QOC Junior Nationals--Green Long Course, Quantico Marine Base, VA, on the Beaver Dam map. Generally I don't think of a 7.7K course as a long course. I usually run Red and Blue courses for local events. Being injured has affected that a lot more lately and I hardly did any running since March began. I was concerned about my endurance with 2 races yesterday and it being humid. Unlike yesterday, it did not feel as hot.
I got a good start on #1. I'm not sure if the route was efficient but I did it smoothly, running most of the way. For #2, I figured it best to go left around the green. I crossed Beaver Dam Creek only getting wet up to my knees at the most. Once across I was in the open ground. I looked at the contours, corrected my bearing, and spiked #2. I got there just before or after Kean Williams. Kean came into and left #2 a little awkwardly, so I got ahead pretty well. For #3, I kept a fairly straight route but a little to the right to save climb. This kept me right of the road area. I counted reentrants and actually paused before #3, even though I could see it--it seemed I might have been off to the right but I wasn't. For #4, I ran straight, and through the green near the stream. There was the makings of an animal trail but not a clear one. Emerging from the green, I ran the left side of the stream until it got too green again. I crossed the creek twice and attacked, spiking it. A Junior had come in just ahead of me, from my right. I kept moving well toward #5. Hitting the fencing, I crossed where it was easy and dropped into the reentrant to get to the control.
Leaving #5, I stayed high for a short while before dropping the flat area by the creek. I got on the trail until the rocky spur. There I crossed the creek on rocks and got through the green pretty easily--I hadn't really seen that there was a bridge just ahead. After climbing, I ran south of the trail that was parallel to me, and I crossed it when it bended. I saw Ken Walker Sr. make a change of direction there. At the end, I was hesitant, and I was not reading the contours well--I took up for down, but seeing a control point/man-made object to my left, I trusted my bearing and spiked it shortly after. A woman Junior was catching-up to me from behind, I crossed her path leaving #6. I ran well to #7 but hesitated on the way down the spur. It was just a little further than I'd thought. I figured the woman I'd seen at #6 would catch me, but she hadn't--perhaps she was running Red?
Going to #8 I took the trail but I was having trouble reconciling the map to my compass. I slowed and eventually left trails going up the spur south of #8. I'm not sure what happened along the way. From my GPS track, I'd gotten distracted by a control to my left, and ran out of my way to it. Realizing it was wrong, and seen the trail nearby, I corrected a bearing and spiked it from there; it almost seemed like I was going back where I'd come from, but this time I hit the control. Going to #9, I crossed the creek at the boulder but I was having a hard time focusing my eyes and wasn't sure if I was seeing a boulder on the map. It worked out okay and I didn't lose any time. I was still worried about people catching me as I ran off to #10. I held a pretty good bearing in this flat area. I was a little hesitant after the marshy area. I was running too fast toward #11. I was off to the right but fortunately realized it, and corrected at the end.
I did get caught running toward #12. It was the woman I'd seen at #6. I was thinking I was close to finishing as we left #12 and headed to the field. Soon I realized it was just the spectator control. The woman left the spectator control going to my left. I started to do that too, but decided staying in the field was better. I got on a trail taking me to the road, and I turned left on it. This was perhaps unnecessary. I just felt like I'd get closer for an attack and the streams were standing out as a good way to attack. I ran/walked up the spur to the control Leaving #14 I drifted to the right. I figured it was okay since I planned to follow the stream in--this may have cost me a little time since I hit the creek at a S bend and crossed it 3 times. I followed the hillside into the control. Leaving #15, I went right a bit since it was clearer. With mapped green ahead, I went left to get around it. I guess I got pushed too far right while still climbing. I crossed the road seeing a ride and used it to get to the field. I saw the Go control ahead and started running to it, forgetting about #16 at the field edged. I got 1/4 of the way there before realizing the error. I corrected going to the left (SW) and got #16. I saved a bit of strength getting to #17, and kept increasing intensity until finishing. It was another pretty good run for me but Andras Resvez got me by 3 seconds this day. He's running so much faster than me these days so I suppose it's an accomplishment for me to be that close. I thought Kim Jepsen would catch me this day too but Kim had troubles. Stephan Slutsky was true to form and finished 11 minutes ahead. I was 8th on the course. It was encouraging. Hopefully I'll be able to continue running training again and thus be able to improve my speed.