Orienteering (Foot) 3:11:06 17.1 km (11:11 / km) +710m 9:15 / km
QOC: Fountainhead. I ran the Ultralong course and only 5 others signed-up. It was fun and I wasn't sure how I'd do with the distance. Being rested helped. I did okay with the distance though I made more errors than I should have. Dave Pruden and I exchanged leads a lot with him ahead more often than not.
I'm very familiar with the map from having set the US Champs Ultralong courses here in 2014. From the start and running up the road, I set a comfortable pace yet on the way to the first control I was fumbling looking for the right trail head. I ultimately cut through the trees to the maintenance yard fence. Dave was ahead on the trail there so he led us into the control. Going to #2, and on the road, I read the area around the control to be a reentrant instead of a spur. I cut it a little early before realizing it so Dave led 2 adventure races there with backpacks who were training for the World Ultralong Championships in Australia. Going to #2 I moved ahead slightly again going up the road. With parked cars and dogs at the trailhead, I went the long way around and the other got in front. We all came off the trail around the same place but Dave went down a reentrant headed for a stream junction. The adventure racers chose to go direct over an extra hill. I ran in between Dave and them, and got to the control first. I didn't see the adventure racers again until we finished.
Going to #4, Dave got ahead of me as I initially started to head for the trail on the wrong side of the creek. Dave was moving well so I went the way he was going and passed him. I pulled in a bit early, coming up one reentrant while Dave went around. I climbed a bit extra to pop over to the next reentrant so Dave got ahead. Going to #5, we ran up toward the big trail. I guess the running hard up the hill was making me not think so well. I started seeing the leg to the upside down #9. To my credit, the map was made really thin in this area since the mountainbike trails were made out of bounds. However, it was still a bonehead move to see Dave going down the road while I decided to take the trail to the wrong control. I realized what I had done and corrected back to the road. Dave got a +30 second lead on me. By the time we took the road and trail to the next control, Dave was still ahead but I was just close enough behind to be helped with him ahead--he kind of queued me to recognize the terrain. After #5, I lost sight of him for a while but after crossing a big reentrant, I saw him again at the top and on a big trail when I got to that. After leaving the big trail, I kind of lost sight of him again until I got close to the control. I was about to cross a reentrant when I saw Dave peeling down toward it. After #6, I chased Dave going up and then across several reentrants. I paused to make sure where we were so Dave got further ahead again. I thought I recognized the spurs ahead and Dave was dropping there. He pulled up on spur too soon and I chased him to that. We crossed a reentrant to the one with the control. Coming out of #7, I got ahead briefly climbing. I lost track of where we were near the trail so Dave got ahead there again. He was ahead while I was trying to read and then he disappeared. Not seeing him made me realize I'd gone too far--Dave had cut to the right while I was reading. I lost sight of him but moved well across some forest to the next trail. I stayed on that trail too long too but this time it was because of the gentle curves. When I went into the forest, I had to go across more reentrants than expected to get to the control. Dave was no where in sight. Going to #9, I crossed the creek early and went through some green--it wasn't bad and I knew that from being in the area before. I got to the next trail but cut a corner to save time. On the high ground on a big trail, I was not matching-up things that well. I got almost to the intersection just after the control. As I turned back, I saw Dave leaving it.
I paused for water so Dave was long gone before I left for #10. I was toying with the idea of staying on the road to go around the out of bounds (neighborhood). Not thinking well, tired and undecided, I went out of my way to the road. As coincident would have it, Peggy and our kids were driving past on the way to the event. I cut back into the forest and went nearly past #4, but I used the trail more. After crossing the creek, I came-up one reentrant early. I was having trouble seeing the one I'd come up since one side of it was out of bounds. I corrected okay but did lose time. For #11, I decided to drop early so that I wouldn't miss the stream junction on the most direct route. It was a bad move. I ended up taking the other stream anyway. I ended up coming over a ridge early when I didn't see a ride that I was looking for. I read my way across well, using a cairn to attack from and hit the control. Had I stayed high from the beginning, I would have not wasted energy and time. I knew I wasn't navigating so well so I took a trail to get out of the area. For #12, I started out okay, leaving the road but drifted right and into an out of bounds zone. I only realized this afterward. I had paused near the control but it took me a while to move to the correct reentrant. I ran fairly straight to finish the loop and lost 5-6 minutes on Dave by the time I'd gotten there. I had a quick drink--a Coke that I'd asked Peggy to bring since we were out of Gatorade. I ate a little bit but wanted a banana.