Night O champs, F50, 1st place of 2
I was really looking forward to this race since I love night O and I tend to be better at it than my peers (or just more experienced?) It was also a flat area, which always helps:)
However, I was not looking forward to starting at 10 pm (which is past my usual bedtime). I was also not looking forward to 6.6 k through woods that had standing water and lots of deadfall (I was told by the folks who had run in the day time).
Pretty easy start through. For 3, I thought I could cut through the woods, but I messed this up. I was more cautious going to 4, so AP says I lost some time here.
Gained some more confidence in the woods for 5 and 6, then blew 7 pretty badly. Obviously did not follow my compass (which was one of the things I was trying to do better this weekend). Stopped when I saw the road, which is a good thing for me. Found a trail and thought I knew where I was, but the trail was going in directions that didn't make sense. Turns out I was very close to the control, but I didn't know it. I thought it was wiser to relocate from the road., which worked. I was spooked now, and took the long way around from now on, even when it wasn't necessary.
11 was awful. Trails were standing water or shoe-sucking mud. And the area around the control was crappy vegetation. I lost a lot of time and motivation on this control.
As I left 11, I looked at my watch and saw how much more course I still had to do. I seriously thought about packing it in, this was not as much fun as I had hoped it would be. But I decided it would be a good test to see if I could stick it out, so I did,
14 was funny. As I approached the control, I saw a flash of reflective tape in the distance and headed towards it. Then I noticed many more controls, in someone's arms. They were picking up controls! I panicked and looked at my watch. I thought the time limit was 3 hours?? I accosted the two people picking up the markers and asked if I still had time, They gently pointed out that they were picking up daytime markers. Oops! My apologies for the false accusation. And then I had to turn around and go back to my control, which I had passed in my haste.
I was getting really tired now and anxious to finish. It was no fun to look for 16 (tree in woods) at night, so I just got to the edge of the green and threw my headlamp around until I saw the reflective tape.
I was so happy to finish and jump in the car. We still had an hour drive to the hotel. Got to bed around 1:30 am.
I made some mistakes out there, but overall, it was a better run than I first thought. I relocated when I made mistakes and kept up a good pace for the second half of the course. I was not tired at the end, I was still able to run on the roads.