Hiking warm up/down (Trail) 12:07  0.51 mi (23:45 / mi) +31m 20:00 / mi
Great Fall Park, MD. From the Angler's Inn parking lot, Greg and Kathleen Lennon led a group out to the start area for the Summer Short Series training.
Orienteering (Foot) 55:11  2.84 mi (19:26 / mi) +331m 14:16 / mi
Great Falls Park, MD. Summer Short Series (SSS). Greg and Kathleen setup a map contact training exercise. It was based on a training idea from Thierry Gueorgiou. We navigated to controls which on a map that had no indications of north or south. All trails were removed along with any feature that's normally oriented north south. To make it more challenging, our maps were cut in the shape of a circle, and of course, we ran without compasses. I've done much training and map updating in the park so I probably had some advantage but there were plenty of times when I just wasn't sure what part of the park I was in. I kept my focus on what was around me and what would be coming up. When I needed to orient the map north, I'd do it on a gully, ditch, or reentrant. Since we had walked in, I didn't realize that I'd left my glasses at the parking lot until it was too late. Since the map was printed at 1:7,500 scale, it didn't make a big difference. I found the exercise to be great. It's generally great to be training in Great Falls, MD anyway since the map is so good and the contours are often intricate, but the exercise really forced good concentration and for me to see things like I was seeing them for the first time again.
I started well, taking a gully to the left away from the route Peggy and Joe Barrett used. Just before getting to #1, I saw Joe coming into the control from my left to my right. I lost sight of Joe before I got on the way to #2. I was hesitant and feeling like I needed my eyeglasses there but it turned out that I was right on target--I spotted the control (a red cup on a string that also had a streamer) in the green just in front of me. I felt lucky to be getting out of there quickly and with no one seeing me. I was right on target to #3 too; I made course corrections along the way using small knolls. For #4, the leg lines in and out of the control covered up a contour so I wasn't reading a reentrant that I crossed. I tried to make it fit by thinking I was at the next reenrant I had to go down into. When I hit that reentrant, I got a bit off track to the right. I corrected by swinging over 2 reentrants. I started #5 well. Along the way, Joe Barrett passed me--he apparently never found #2 and lost time. After crossing a ridge, I started to go down the right spur, and had Joe on my right on a different spur. I ran too high and it took me a while to figure out what gullies I was seeing. I came back as Joe had been running out of #5. I got too low this time and eventually climbed enough to see it. As I was going to #6, I came across Mark Thompson. He needed help relocating and afterward, he stayed with me as we got the last control. From there, I had him take us to the first control again, for practice. I helped a little but he was starting to pickup reading the right features and matching them up on the map. Mark led most of the way back to the start from there but we continued to verbalize the navigation to each other. This was a fun exercise!
Running warm up/down (Trail) 5:42  0.46 mi (12:24 / mi) +6m 11:53 / mi
From the finish of the SSS training to the Angler's Inn parking lot.