Orienteering 2:48:52  *** 14.9 mi (11:20 / mi)
spiked:22/25c shoes: PI Synchro Seek Trail
Valley Forge O-Marathon: I went into this event thinking I had at least a shot of finishing the marathon (with a lot of walking), but the half distance and a little over 2.5 hours of running was more than enough for my body. I came into the event unprepared in more way than one. Physically unprepared, certainly, but I did not have a good plan for managing all of the stuff I had to hold during the event. I knew there would be two map cases, an e-punch and a card to worry about. Add compass, gloves, hat, and a gel and you have the makings of a case of the dropsies. I did have one pocket, but I didn't use it very effectively.
After control #3 the maps were slipping in my gloved hands, so I stuffed the small map (which I wasn't currently using) in the back of my pants. Well, almost 1km toward the next control I realized it was gone. Someone in the string of 5 or 6 behind me saw it and said it was back in the field. I traced my steps but could not find it. Fortunately, Angelica (co-meet director), who was only running the start of the race, graciously gave up her small map when I was wandering through the field in obvious distress. My attitude could have turned south for the day if not for her volunteering her map. The other bad thing, beside the extra effort, was that I lost the group that I was running with - which included Mike. The rest of the way out I was pretty much on my own. I heard other stories of dropped items and I picked up and returned one punch card myself. Once the gloves were off, it was much easier to hold two maps.
My other mistake - and it was a big one - was not taking enough water during the event. I was well hydrated before the start and maybe thought that was enough to get me further along. I took small drinks at 1 hour and at 1:45 hours, but by 2:15 the leg cramps (calf muscles) started. I was able to trot in to the start/mid transition area but I knew my day was done.
The navigating was fairly basic - but there were some route choices and I thought I did OK. The hardest one was #5. The mapping for this one was quite basic (in a transition from a regular o-map to a hybrid photo/o-map) and the choice was to go over the hill and run on a road or swing around the hill for a field/trail run. The problem was you couldn't see obstacles near the control on the aerial photo. It turned out that there weren't any significant ones and the straight line approach worked.
It was a unique event on a map that I hadn't run on before. I had a good time I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Plus, it was nice to get there and back fairly quickly (Mike had to get back as well and the threat of snow got us going). I was able to put the kids to bed both Friday and Saturday nights and I don't feel like a zombie today.