Orienteering race (Foot) 1:55:55  **** 8.56 mi (13:32 / mi) +193m 12:39 / mi
spiked:21/22c slept:8.0 weight:194.5lbs
QOC Bumble at the South Germantown Recreational Park (Soccerplex) and Hoyles Mill Conservation Park. The Bumble is a mult-windowed event in which each window is a mini-score-o and each window must be completed before going to the next. It's also somewhat handicapped for competition between age groups. That's done by the number of windows each person need to complete, being established by age group. I chose to run the Red course grouping which is a younger group by age. I had a good amount of other advantage by being the mapper for the parks. There was some soft, melting snow on the ground in places.
I took 50 seconds at the start line to plan my way through the first 3 windows. After getting to the first mandatory control, I ran to the NW window first. I took these in order of N,O, L, M, K. I just about spiked all the controls--this window was not very difficult. Going to N, as I looked in to the areas mapped as scattered open south of the power lines, I could see that the thorns had really grown-up since I'd been there last spring. I would have added vertical slash for them based on what I saw today. I ran freely there before. Getting to N, after the power lines, I ran inside the small open forest which was much nicer than the surrounding scattered-open field. I used the road between N and O, but left it from the bend. Going to L, I took the ride over the hill and left the fields from the bend where the fields end. It was much nicer in the actual forests. From there, I went straight to L. I ran pretty much straight to M. I though I was going a little left of straight towards K, to reduce the amount of mapped deadfall that I'd have to cross, but I drifted right, and ended up at the right edge of the circle before going in.
My next window was done in order of F, G, H, J, I. I knew this window would be the most difficult and went slow once across the power lines. I saw Ken Walker crossing the power lines going the other way. I hit F just fine but knew the greater challenge was ahead. I wanted to go around the green forest so I headed a lot towards H initially. I read my way within 150m of H okay and reasoned that hitting G and coming back wouldn't be so bad. I turned at a boulder where I knew where I was and headed straight towards G, but part way less than half way there, I feared I had drifted right too much. I turned left sharply and started going down a broad reentrant. I turned more for some reason thinking needed to be on the other side of a linear marsh--maybe this was fatigue. As it got greener, I realized that I'd gotten into the big green area west of G. I estimated a correction in direction and broke out of the greener area (the green area turned out to be not so bad and I found some unmapped boulders in it and my error cost me around 3-4 minutes). I stopped shortly afterward where there was a small rise, basically standing on the formline within the control circle, but it took me another 10 seconds to realize the pit was in front of me. As I went in to punch, I'd given away the location to another orienteer approaching from the NE. Going from G to H, I steered right of the greener bits and ended up at a rock and a rootstock that I knew well. Attacking from there, I hit H dead on. I ran a little left of straight going from H to J, to avoid the mapped green. At the streams and marshes, I made minor course corrections and I saw Chris Gross running well going the other direction. I ended up spiking J, and was happy about that since it was a longer leg, yet still technically difficult. Going to I, I decided not to use the fields and trail to the right. I stayed on the left side of the creek until I could see a rootstock on the right side. Crossing just before there, I attacked from the rootstock. The pumping station being visible ahead helped me at the end since I had to make a small correction to the right before I saw the control.
It probably would have been faster for me to take the 2 Soccerplex windows to finish-up, but I was more interested in doing the more technical northern window that I'd only mapped in the previous month of January. After crossing the bridge, I went to D first. That was a change in plan since earlier I'd thought to use the road longer and hit B first. I reasoned that I was close to D and that it'd be harder to hit coming from E. I did the window in order of D, B, A, C, E and spiked every control. I was surprised at how short the legs seemed, since when mapping the area, I'd been walking. The woods were open enough that I almost only needed to go half-way before seeing the control from a distance. I did read things along the way which helped me to make course corrections, or just confirmed I was on target. From E, I thought to cross the creek and save distance. However, I was a bit careless leaving E and drifted right too much--I knew I'd have to go to the right to get around a bigger area of mapped green. since I realized I was too far I went to the bridge and happened to pass E along the way. I tell myself that it was probably best because crossing the very cold creek would have left my feet numb and hurting the rest of the course.
Once over the bridge, I saw Angelica Riley going the other direction. I didn't go up to the trail but cut in to the fields before the trail. I took the next window in the heart of the Soccerplex in order of P, R, Q, T, S. Navigationally, it was very easy. I crossed the creek on the trail in the forest and left the forest to run the fields north of the soccer play fields. As I approached P, I realized that this was an area I had spent little time on when mapping it. The vegetation mapping was largely from aerial imagery. It had been getting too overgrown when I got into the area last spring. P seemed a little closer to the trail than I expected but that made it an easy choice to go up and use the trail getting to R. I passed Alexis Merkova for the second time this day on the trail as she headed the other way. Dasha Merkova had gotten to Q just ahead of me and ended up taking my picture punching. I went between the fields toward Q next. As I turned the last corner, my son Max was just ahead of me, heading the same way. He said he'd just had one more control, which struck me as odd being how Q was in the middle of the window. After we punched and split, he headed to the last control in what was a mispunch--he had taken some of the controls in this window earlier, went to another, then came back. Had he only ran with me as I finished out, he'd have had a legal finish. I guess I hadn't emphasized this rule enough before he'd started. I hit T easily and saw Howie along the way. I saw Dasha again as she punched S. I was moving slowly finishing but moved a little faster than I was.
It was fun running the Bumble. I hope others enjoyed the terrain and didn't run through too many thorns. I hardly had any trouble with them after the first window. David and Heidi Onkst did a great job getting permission to use the area (with Mike Newman's expert help), and they did a ton of work right up until late the night before the event. They deserve a lot of credit and thanks. I enjoyed making this map--it was my COVID-19 escape and creative outlet in 2020.