Orienteering race 1:35:34  *** 11.77 km (8:07 / km) +305m 7:11 / km
Again, an improvement compared to the low water mark of the middle distance.
To be sure, it was not without its problems again. Once more, the start was delayed, this time by an hour. How can we manage to screw up the scheduling twice in a row? Did we not learn anything from yesterday? Could it be possible that controls on the advanced courses were still being set on race day?
There were map issues as well, though nothing nearly as bad as the middle. Something definitely incorrect at our #9 control (several top navigators, including both Ted de St Croix and Katta, reported missing time there) - missed a minute maybe? The "yellow" areas en route to numbers 12, 15, 17, 18, and 20 were all very, very rough in spots, and quite inconsistent it seemed. Other people have noted elsewhere that it might have been a disadvantage to start early due to this. Well, I started about 70% into the field and I didn't encounter any elephant track either, so I don't think there was as much of an advantage for the last starters as suspected.
Two significant control mis-descriptions - notably the first control was on the northern end of a fence, not a cliff. And the 12th control was in a re-entrant, not on a spur (interestingly, same issue as #12 in the middle...).
Before the race, Mike S and I discussed whether we would carry water with us. We decided we wouldn't trust the organizers to have water out in adequate quantities at appropriate intervals, and carried our own with us. It was a good move, as it turns out - of the 3 water stops, only the second had water when I came through. The first was a dubious-looking "fountain" on the edge of a marsh/pond - several runners elected not to drink here. And the third was out of water when I passed. This probably affected some of the guys who hit the wall in this race.
Anyway, I carried on and had a usual "steady" race. Miss at #9, another at #11, and lost some time sorting out the extra unmapped cliffs at #19. No huge blow-outs though.
Annoyingly, the control descriptions covered up what I would have considered to be an optimal route to the last control and I had some problems on this leg too. Katta's map showed the area and it contained an open area and a nice trail - I'd have gone that way if I had known. The is no reason to cover an optimal route choice with control descriptions - they could have been placed differently onto the map (in two columns) so that we could see the optimal routes!
Will be interesting to see the splits to see where I dropped out of 2nd place - I was about 35 seconds behind Brent, for the bronze. Surprised at how the other guys died, but I guess the lack of water was important. And nice to know that my fitness is up there with the rest of them, even on the longer races - couldn't say that last year!