Orienteering race (Foot) 53:20  *** 5.6 km (9:31 / km) +190m 8:09 / km
HVO US Championships Day 2 at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, NY. I knew that a lot of competitors who've been doing better than I had were close enough behind me from Day 1, that they could easily catch me. I kind of forgot about all of that after making an error early on, and just feeling winded on the early legs. I also had a good time trying to keep ahead of Neal Barlow, who caught me early. He said it was at #2 that he caught me, and I thought I was seeing him for the first time as I got ahead of him just before #3. After that, I kept a slight lead the rest of the race. I got 2nd in M55+ again and finished the 2 day total in second--yay!--even though there were some notable M55+ runners not racing.
S-1 - I ran on bearing and was more focused on the index contour than the one below it. I ran over the top of the control until a change in slope, confirming where I was by seeing the trail bend and intersection on my right. I ran back straight away but seemed to have lost a minute.
1-2 - I ran back to the trails and left on a broad spur with the right angle rock wall corner. Charlie Deweese was just ahead of me as I attacked off the broad spur and spiked it.
2-3 - I ran the trails to the right but was not doing so very swiftly. I almost miscounted the bends, probably being out of breath. I didn't even realize that I'd run on the same trail going the other direction on Saturday. I left the trail from a bend and mostly kept a good bearing. I saw Neal Barlow on my right and was making a little better time than he was when crossing the dry marsh. Seeing the rock walls on my right helped. The leg line hid part of the contour on the spur before the control so when I climbed that, I expected to see the control. I realized what happened and kept going straight to the control. I'd seen this control the previous day but again, I hadn't realized it was the same one. Neal was pretty close behind me when I punched.
3-4 - I went left around the initial knoll and queued off of the trail bend to correct and attack. I went right to the correct cliff and was happy about that. Neal was still very close behind me.
4-5 - I climbed early to get above the initial cliff, then climbed again. I intended to follow the green in, but it may have extended a little further to the east than mapped. I cut west when I didn't see what I'd expected and got to the control ahead of Neal, who'd taken a better, more direct bearing.
5-6 - I just ran straight at it, queuing off of the spur and probably the stone wall. I spiked it.
6-7 - I hadn't thought this one out well but wanted to avoid climb. I thought I knew just where I was when I crossed the first dry marsh, but I can't recall whether I saw the nearby stone walls. The climb across was looking steep and seeing an easier slope to the left, I went for it to try to avoid climb. I got further left than I knew. When I hit the stream, I crossed it and saw another. An east-west stone wall ahead clued me in that I'd gone too far, so I ran north. Along the way, I saw Neal taking a straighter route, however I got there a little ahead of him. I think I lost 20-30 seconds.
7-8 - I thought there might be a good way to use the trails but initially I got running going straight. By the time I saw a big east-west oriented cliff funneling me into a reentrant and located it on the map, I realized I'd crossed over a trail that I was considering to take to go around a hill. I then committed to my route to go straight and over the hills. I stopped hearing Neal Barlow for a while and figured he was on a different route or that I'd opened a better gap. Getting down the first hilltop felt a little slow as I hunted a safe way down from the cliffs. Fortunately I found it quickly and hop-jumped my way down the big boulders. Going up the next hill and crossing a distinct small reentrant, I was confident of my exact position SW of a marsh. I followed the green from there to the trail, then went straight. The blueberry wasn't too bad and I cut right a little to make sure I'd hit the next trail well. The shallow reentrant was easy to read so I ran over to the left side. The control was just a little past where I thought it'd be.
8-9 - Finally getting some more downhill running, I ran under the cliff and forced my way left to spike it. I was thinking that I might have lost Neal.
9-10 - Going straight initially, I cut left after looking at the scrubby green ahead. I had to climb a little to stay out of it and ended up going a bit too far left. I cut down at a gap in the green, and saw cliffs on my left. As I dropped to the right, I again cut left in a risky way, without a terrain feature to guide me. It just felt right and I knew I'd have to get through the green to get to the control. About the same time or soon after, I saw Neal coming across from my right, again having taken a more direct route. I next spyed the reentrant and ran in ahead of him. He started to close on me but I picked-up the pace after reading the map and seeing that the control should be a little further down. At the end, I saw Peggy leaving it and I was happy to have stayed ahead of Neal.
10-11 - I started letting Neal's presence affect me more, by leaving the control pretty quickly. I had earlier glanced and presumed that I'd take the trails on the right going toward #11 so I just did that without further evaluation. The trail was rocky enough that I was slow to catch Peggy on it. I was trying to read the bends a little but she was probably working hard too. When I did pass, I went by fast only to soon after have to slow again to make sure I was not going to overrun the trail intersection. I gave it an honest effort to get up the 2 1/2 contours that I could have mostly avoided going on the trails to the left. After crossing the stone walls on the downhill (unfortunate that we had to loose all of those contours on one leg), and staying above most of the barberry, I saw the unmapped deadfall. I wasn't sure which reentrant the control was in but crossed the first just above the fallen tree. Cutting right, I fell into the correct reentrant and was relieved. At the time, it seemed more like a spur, but I checked the code. I could hear Neal nearby.
11-12 - I gave this one a quick look and went. Fortunatley, I saw the control in the next reentrant over to the right and went to it. I had done this all too fast and riskily. I was mostly going on bearing and didn't stay in the reentrant that I started in. The beginnings of an elephant trail over thin forested grass helped give it away.
12-13 - I think I just knew I had to slow down before I really blew it so looking at the next leg took me time. My initial thought was to drop to the road. Fortunately, I looked at it for a long enough time (10 seconds?). I even shouted out getting frustrated at why my eyes weren't reading the leg that well--just tired and pressured by Neal I guess. I dropped to the trail and stayed on that. I felt slow and fatigued.
13-F - I didn't think I was going slow enough to make an AP calculated error on this. I did move casually around the tree line but got up to speed soon. It seemed a long way and I wasn't sure that I could keep a top speed the whole way. I paced a little until I was sure I could sprint the rest.
This was certainly a good result for me, and satisfying to have held off Neal for so long. He had taken some different routes and caught up after I'd gotten further ahead a few times. Of course after my slower start, he beat me overall this day, and easily was ahead for the 2 day total. I was happy to have semblance of being able to run faster again. For the second day, the park and course was pretty enjoyable for me.