Orienteering (Foot) 1:17:59  5.1 km (15:17 / km) +285m 11:57 / km
QOC: Cunningham Falls, MD. I ran Green today. My injuries have been improving but still need some care. I could feel the injury area very early on but afterward it was not a factor. I had grabbed the wrong shoe bag today so I had my trail running shoes rather than my o-shoes. My feet slid around in them on rocky and steeper bits. My GPS stopped during the run-I probably hit a tree branch on the button.
S-1 - As I moved up the trail, it took me a while to realize that I was still wearing my mask. I wasn't able to remove it and get it into my inside pants pocket while moving so I stopped to do that. Leaving the trail at the bend (mostly walking up the steep hill at that point), I kept a careful bearing The rootstocks to the right were confusing me. I saw and went to the cliffs to the left, before climbing further to the larger cliffs that the control was on.
1-2 - I went straight and saw the ride, walking most of the way. I surmised a large rootstock midway was one of those mapped. I kept right of the steeper slope to my left and that got me within eyesight of the rim of the charcoal terrace. I was glad to see the control on it after getting above the rim. Someone else had come in from the other direction to punch before me.
2-3 - I went straight but had to weave to pass the vegetation. It seemed that I was too high when I crossed the trail, since I could see a bend below. The was confirmed by me remembering that I crossed a ditch after the trail, though with my eyes getting worse, I hadn't read the ditch on the map, on the go. I kept straight but did not see the 2 charcoal terraces that should have been higher to my left were I on track or above the straight route. I did see a flatter area below me and started to move that direction. As I got closer I couldn't see a control so I thought I was getting drawn off. I moved upward again, but as I was even closer, the control was revealed where I had been headed earlier.
3-4 - I aimed for the bend in the stream and hit just above it; vegetation was pushing me left. After crossing, I corrected, keeping above the drop-off for the stream on my right. Entering the greener area, I moved up higher as the leg line showed. Eventually, I saw the flattening of the spur below me so I dropped and found the control.
4-5 - This leg turned out to be greener than mapped due to the summer vegetation and treefall. I moved around most of it, but I felt I was getting left of straight. I saw 2 rootstocks above where the drop steepened and they might have been the 2 mapped close together. However to get through the next part I had to go left or right due to unmapped vegetation. I chose right. As I was descending I could see ahead on the flatter terrain, where it dropped on the right side. I was below that by the time I got close so I went up and found the control there. I might have saved 20-30 seconds had I gone left earlier.
5-6. I started to go straight but then with the big reentrant ahead, it made sense to contour around the hill before it. I saw Greg Lennon coming the other way--he'd made an error on #5. Climbing out, I saw the mapped ditch and I crossed it. I kept a good straight bearing and eventually saw a person in blue ahead. Very soon afterward, the control was visible. It was hung high and on the visible side of the mapped rock--that was good because there was probably some unmapped rock there too.
6-7 - Climbing, I gained on the guy in blue whom I'd seen while approaching #6. I felt I was close to being on target when midway I passed a rootstock. I kept a little left and saw Kim Jepsen and the other guy in blue on my right. Getting high enough, I saw the reentrant on my right and a 3rd person--my son Max! Everyone got to the control a few seconds ahead of me.
7-8 - Max led Kim, and the other person--Matt Smith. They were drifting right which was higher. I cut in under them on a straighter path, and passed them. After dropping sufficiently I thought I recognized a steepening slope to a point on the map. I climbed up it with the others following. I knew that the slope wasn't the one I thought it was, because there was no reentrant just past it. I spotted the reentrant off further and a little left so I ran for it. The terrain was better than the heavier deadfall and rocks that we'd been through earlier, so I was able to run well.
8-9 - I aimed a little right of straight so that I didn't have to run down a too steep slope. The mapped green in the reentrant wasn't so evident. I think I was closer to it than intended. I ran on up the spur through the mountain laurel with Max chasing me. Emerging, I could make out the beginning of the reentrant east of #9. I cut right/west a little, but when I didn't see it I paused. Max and Matt caught up. Max went on a little, and eventually, I did too. I think I saw it first, further ahead. As I ran for it, Max did too, but I think he just happened to see it right after I did. Max was closer so he got there first. I kind of passed Matt getting there.
9-10 - Somehow, I led us out of #9, and I went straight. Once across the stream, I tried figure out how to deal with the mapped cliffs--I think this area had been out of bounds earlier so we'd never run through it previously. I learned that the area hadn't been mapped until course setter Michael Dickey had added them. Michael probably didn't have time to map it all. In reality, it was a complicated jumble of boulders and cliffs. I had decided to go low around the rocks and then contour over to the control. However with all of the unmapped rock, I wasn't sure if I was above or below what was mapped. Crossing the rocks was tricky too--fortunately none of us fell and we didn't hit an uncrossable cliff that we had to back out of. I hit the flatter ground first and kept my bearing which was kind of level. I saw one guy below me and 2 women above me. The women were near the rootstock and only reading the map, I thought the control was on a rootstock--my eyes have deteriorated enough that my +1 diopter glasses weren't good enough any more. I climbed, didn't see the control, and hit the Catoctin Trail--a catching feature for this leg. Max and Matt were nowhere to be seen. Fortunately I'd hit the Catoctin Trail at an intersection, so I knew exactly where I was. I went back into the woods to see Max heading my way ahead of me. Seeing me, he turned around and we found the control within a few seconds. Max punched first.
10-F - Max led towards the trail but he wasn't going very fast. I angled downward to hit the trail and got ahead. At the trail, I was looking for a better way down, but decided on the Catoctin Trail. Both my shoelaces were untied at this point. Max and I both pounded down, accelerating as we went. Max passed me exclaiming that his knees would feel it the next day. As we hit the road, Max paused for a second or so. I cut right right away, but he quickly got a few steps on me. I gained going down the hill on the road but It wasn't enough to catch him. I also didn't feel safe going into an all out sprint due to my injury history. Max finished the leg 4 seconds faster.
I got a respectable 3rd place, one minute behind Rick Oliver, but almost 13 minutes behind Zach Kuder, a US Junior team member. Max had made errors earlier but he'd still gotten 4th place, about 10 and a half minutes behind me.