SVO Mid-Atlantic Champs Blue
9.2 km (7:52 / km) +205m 7:04 / kmMapRoute Gadget
Wow, I have very mixed opinions about this race. Parts of my race could have gone way better, and parts of my race went really well. Let's start with a brief analysis.
First, and biggest mistake was on #2. So in the race, I thought had poorly compassed when I went to far, and tried searching around a little. I had a very hard time understanding where the green area started and ended in this area, so where I thought the green area started was higher than where the control was. Looking at GPS, I apparently ran right next to the control, which is really frustrating that I had a good compass here, but just didn't see the control. I lost about 6:20 here. The fix for this control is honestly just slowing down a little, and recognizing that the area is vague, and if I miss the control I would be in trouble. I need to learn to respect this type of area.
I think taking the route choice south of the building is better than the route choice north of the building so I lost a little time here on route choice, not sure how much, but just a mental note.
Next notable mistake is at #4. This one is a little weird. Basically I was going on my compass, pretty much straight to the control, when I saw a bunch of boulders in the area, and other people going straight up. This matched with what my control had, so I figured I dropped to low off my compass and started climbing up. Hit a shelf with almost identical features to mine and with a control, just not mine. I was certain this was my control so I was pretty confused. Turns out the rocks were not mapped, and the shelf I was on was underneath the line on the blue map, almost impossible to see it when racing. Since where I was didn't really match with anything on the map in the close proximity, I went off the angle of the uphill to determine about where I might be and went from there. Thankfully this was a good approach and I hit my control, but this little adventure cost me about 2 minutes. Also by this point my confidence has taken quite a hit since in the first four control I lost about 8 and a half minutes :') For this type of mistake. I just need to have more confidence in myself, since I was going right to where I needed to go, but then second guessed myself.
Small mistake on #5. Just like #3, I have the fastest split, but I also lost some time. Since here it was a compass error, than a route choice error, I can say I lost about 30 seconds based on gps data. Fixing this mistake is just focusing more on process, since at this point I was running fast without too much of a plan.
Last really notable mistake was on #13. I would say I can probably nit-pick some things between #5 and #13, but it's hard to say how much time I lost if any. The mistake was very similar to the on #4, but the reasons for the mistake were a bit different. Again, I am heading straight to the control, and then decided I am too high, so I start dropping early. I was hoping to see the shelf by the control, but no luck again in spotting features :( saw the building and relocated from there. Lost about 1:40 here this way. The other thing that could be done here is taking the road from #12 and #13. Greg did this and was quite fast, but I am not sure if I would have been faster on this route necessarily. I am not sure if my speed on the road could have been as fast as his was, so I think if done correctly, the two route choices would be similar in time for me.
So total mistakes added up to 10.5 minutes. Yikes, quite significant in really fast terrain like this. I came out of the race quite disappointed with my technical performance, and when seeing the gps track, I was even more frustrated with how I lost time; however, I am very happy with my physical level right now. I am able to push controls really fast, and keep my cool after blow-ups and execute legs really well. I think today was a good wake up call with keeping my orienteering in check and I really can't wait to race next weekend on a map I feel more comfortable with.