Orienteering (Foot) 1:45:57  7.5 km (14:08 / km) +356m 11:25 / km
QOC: Swanson Rd. It was a good thing that it was such a nice day in the Swanson Road Natural Area--I spent a lot of time out there on the Red course (no Blue offered). I figured I'd be in for a tough day when just before I started, I asked Ken Walker if he'd broken 50 minutes form the 7.5K course and he told me that he finished in 75 minutes. Other people were better able to surmount the issues which caused me trouble. The leafy forest was one thing. Dave Linthicum, the mapper had told me long ago when I'd set the first Summer Short Series event here, that he had not really field checked some areas thoroughly--his purpose for mapping the park hadn't been all about orienteering. Things were just a bit inconsistently mapped. Much that was mapped white, wasn't white. Some of what was green, wasn't that green. In some places,the contours and formlines had been worked on a lot; this wasn't true in other areas.
I started poorly on #1 but running okay on the long way around on the road and mowed field. With the line covering a narrow ridge, I looked in a ditch in a reentrant before moving up to the end of the ridge to find it. I went straight over hills at #2, reading contours well but missing high. I did a 180 leaving #2, but did find #3 quickly, a bit left of where I expected it. I aimed off to the right for #4 and spiked it while passing Billy Allaband. Going back over the ridge straightish to #5, I was on target but hesitant--I didn't see it until I was right on it. I went a bit to the right going toward #6, saw a trail bend and came down off of it into what turned out to be the wrong reentrant. The bend I left from wasn't the same one shown on the map. At the bottom, I turned the wrong way but eventually got there w/o a really large mishap. The same kind of thing happened going to #7. There was a lot more going on with the map in that area than shown--multiple ditches, and some mappable depressions and rootstocks. The trail run to #8 was okay. I saw Billy Allaband again as he was leaving it--he was probably running on the Green course. I passed him getting to #9 by going along the top of the edge of the hill but I'm really not sure what happened there. From the reentrant that I started down, I didn't see the control. I looped back and forth not really getting things to line-up as expected but stumbled on to it somehow. I'm not sure when BIlly found it.
I was fine going low to #10. I ran across the hillside going to #11. I knew that there was at least one major extra reentrant on this hillside from my earlier course setting. I think there really were a few more. I was still feeling like I was reading the map well enough and judging distances. When I hit the two reenrants the conrol was supposed to be in, I didn't find it. Other ROTC kids were looking and asking for help--I felt bad refusing it though I was in just as much trouble. I went low to relocate on the earthbank and stream bend and was just about where I expected. I came up again only to miss again. I finally found it going on after fully exploring what seemed to be 4 reentrants.
I came right off the stream bend and followed a ditch up toward #12 but didn't find it. Another depressed ROTC asked where we where. I pointed out the direction of the finish and he was satisfied with that. I did however, tell him that he'd probably see some buildings on the way that he could relocate from. I hit #13 and #14 just fine by basically going straight. After using the field edges to approach #15, I stumbled and by happenstance, one of my fingers got stuck under my thumb compass at the pointer as I stopped my fall on the ground--that left a bloody L shaped divute in my fingerprint. Good thing that I'd already gotten re-fingerprinted recently. Finally at the right location, I stood and looked around and up and down the ditch. Literally one step further, and I found it right under me, tucked rather low. On the way to #16, I went straight; the contours weren't always making sense until half way there. Tom Nolan crossed my path, on a path there. Continuing straight, I went over some hills and down past some deadfall only to find Tom having just gotten there ahead of me. We both found the control quickly after that. It was steep at first going to #17. I led walking, then ran still ahead as it flattened. At the top was the nicest running we'd had except for the start, and the one trail run to #8. I kept along the edge of some open an less open forest, staying a bit left of a knoll. Tom went over the knoll to my right and got there just ahead of me. The route to #18 was a dogleg back. I hit the bottom of the reentrant just a bit lower than the control so I lost time circling back. For my run-in, I didn't want to cross the rough open field. I went around to the field people parked in like I had going toward #1.
It was a poor day but given the many issues, I'm not going to get depressed about it. I got a fairly good workout in (7.3 miles and 356m of climb on what was billed as a 7.5K, 145m climb course). Peggy's brother Paul had met us at the park and we had lunch afterward. We also got home early enough to enjoy the neighborhood block party,