Orienteering race 1:55:43  ***** 7.2 km (16:04 / km)
spiked:12/15c (sick) shoes: orienteering shoes
Day 1 at Anza-Borrego. I focused on being really careful to each of the controls because I have had trouble on this map in the past. I was really happy with my run until about 2/3 of the way through when I bobbled a control and then made a huge error on the next one. Other than those two (and the finish!), it felt controlled & fairly solid.
Control #10: I lost some time looking for the control in the wrong re-entrant. It was a fairly small parallel error, but it cost a fair amount of time because it's hard to move on the shifting rocks/dried mud and it's hard to see if a control is in a re-entrant without going partway into it because there are random cliffs/other rocks that jut out and cover up what's underneath.
Control #11: This control was really frustrating for me because I had been so careful during this race. I lost about 30 minutes here! The total split for this control was around 40 mins. There were two possible routes: drop into a canyon and follow it to the control, or go a bit further and stay above. I decided to drop into the canyon with the idea that it was a linear feature and the route would also probably involve less climb and less distance. There were several problems with the choice, though; first, it was very difficult to get into the canyon at all. The entrance was right next to control #10, but it was ringed with cliffs almost all the way along it. I lost a fair amount of time just trying to pinpoint the small gap in the cliffs that was mapped and finding a safe enough way into the canyon.
Once I was in the canyon, I started running, probably faster than I should have because I was not pace-counting or really paying attention to the branches that were coming off of the canyon. I was checking its direction with my compass, but after awhile it seemed slightly off of the line. It was not a significant deviation, so I convinced myself that it was just because there might be minor meanders/turns along the canyon and it wasn't exactly a straight line anyway. It turns out that I hadn't looked closely enough at the map and that a cliff actually blocked the entrance to the side-canyon that I needed to find. I ended up following a nearly parallel branch for a very long time.
It was really hard to relocate because this map is full of parallel features--mostly alternating canyons/washes and spurs. It's hard to move very far very fast since you have to constantly drop into canyons and over spurs on loose footing. I finally found a huge rock-and-cliff-covered mound to relocate off of.