orienteering race 1:38:46 
Loved this map. Really, really enjoyed orienteering here. A 1:7500 map would have been sweet (like the older classes got) but my glasses worked well and when I was careful I could read what I needed to.
Was careful to #1 and quickly realized the swamps were the best things to use for navigating. I couldn't hold a compass bearing because of having to constantly dodge around boulders and things but I was prepared for that after the model and so was deliberate in making sure I had good contact. And then was careful about 90% of the way to #2 and then lost focus and couldn't remember how many trails I had crossed and didn't read the map carefully. I was almost to the control but then somehow got turned 90 degrees and went into crazy mode. Finally settled down, figured out where I was and went back and got the control after about a 10 minute error. But I then did a 180 out of 2 and went completely the wrong way and only figured it out when I revisited the spot where I had relocated for #2. Got back to #2 and went the right way and nailed #3 but another 5-6 minutes lost. At that point I (foolishly) thought the race was over but I was really enjoying the terrain so I was determined to just have fun. But then on #4, I got to the control circle and saw the flag but could not figure out a way to actually physically get to it. There were a few others there and they offered to punch the control for me but I finally figured out a way to climb down the boulders without hurting myself and punch. But another 3-4 minutes lost. I found a way out of the control that did not involve climbing back up the way I came down and headed off to #5. I realized I had a shadow but it was a short leg so no big deal. Then on my way to #6, she asked if it was okay to follow me as she had been wandering around for a while, was relatively new to orienteering and was really having problems. I didn't recognize her but I said sure. I told her my race was over since I had made some big errors early so I didn't mind and did she want me to tell her what I was doing. She said yes so I started to talk my way through the leg saying what I was doing (going down the spur, looking for the big swamp) and she was just following along. We got to #6 and headed off to #7. She started chatting and I told her I didn't mind telling her what I was doing if she wanted to follow along but that I needed to concentrate since these woods were challenging so couldn't really be chatting and she apologized and said she really appreciated what I was doing. So on the way to 7 I was kind of doing a stream of consciousness - what I was looking for, what I was seeing and she would nod and follow along on her map. Nailed 7 then I explained my route to 8 (showing her on the map what I planned) and then doing just that. And to 9 the same thing. She asked a few questions along the way (I said "there are those blue dots" as we passed the feature and she asked what blue dots meant; she asked why I wasn't just using my compass and I told her the features were a lot easier and safer to follow if you could read them but that I was using my compass as a backup all the time). When we reached the trail to the last control I told her to go ahead and run - it was clear that physically she had a lot in reserve whereas I was pretty spend - and off she went. And then it turns out I was about a minute out of 3rd! I didn't really give up after my early errors but I certainly wasn't in racing mode. Then again, perhaps if I had been pushing I would have made more errors later on. Maybe verbalizing my plans and having an audience kept me focused (really didn't want to screw up with someone counting on me). And then there's the whole issue of whether what I did was "legal". But I enjoyed it and I think Mary Ellen (that was her name) did as well and hopefully it meant she would continue to orienteer. So a very strange day out in the woods but I so enjoyed the challenge of that terrain.