PTOC event at Weston Bend. 14C and wet; some sun, some wind and rain during the race. Drove up with MeanGene.
This park has big hills with loose soil (when dry). When the ground has been frozen, starting to thaw, and it rained overnight, it's a mess. It was really hard to get up and down the hills.
Still, that is no excuse for my first control. I obviously did not look at my compass, and when I reached the stream I couldn't figure out where I was. Went up and down a a bit, still the directions didn't make sense. So I decided to go up the hill to the trail that should be north of the control. But I never hit the trail; I was on the wrong hill. Finally figured it out.
I have had string of recent events where I mess up the first control. I am worried about the US Masters in 2 weeks.
After that disaster, I contemplated cutting the course short. But I decided to treat it like the Nationals and complete the whole course no matter what.
Saw Sandy on the way to 3 and that threw me a bit. I left the trail too early (there was also no yellow areas left any more; this is a very old map). we got to 3 at the same time. She left and went back to the trail; I decided to just push through the dark green. When I came out on the trail, she was just a little bit ahead of me, so that was good choice for me. (She is a much faster runner than me).
Still making mistakes on 4 and 5, not really sharp or paying attention. It started to get warm on the way to 8. But the trails were a muddy mess. It got worse on the way to 9, slipping and sliding with every step. I found the vetting tape for 9, but no marker. Spent a few minutes looking in nearby reentrants, but never found the marker. I saw Gene running around back and forth, but I decided to move on to 10.
As I was leaving 10, I saw Gene again; he never found 9 either, and was giving up the race. At this time, the clouds rolled in, along with the wind. And then the rain. Ugh!
Leaving 11 was really hard. That hill was steep and slippery. I had to hold on to trees, and do some switchbacks. But I wanted to keep moving so that I wouldn't get cold.
I made it to the end, and was happy to hear that almost no none else found 9 (Fritz found it eventually in the reentrant system to the north). I was happy that I finished the course in tough conditions. But overall disappointed with the early mistakes.