orienteering race 2:12:52  *** 4.9 km (27:07 / km) +135m 23:50 / km
14c shoes: Inov8 O-roc 280 Red
West Point Lake Frederick - Green (F35+)
Kind of a mediocre WP year for me. I was slow but in contact and control MOST of the time. However, when I wasn't things blew up on a few controls.
On this day, things went pretty well to 1 and 2 (though I ended up going almost the whole way around the rock feature at 2 because the control was tucked back in a bit.) On the way to 3 I had a cool experience when I looked up from my map to encounter a doe a few feet in front of me. I thought she would startle and run, but instead she started walking along ahead of me and kept stopping and looking back as if to ask whether I was coming. This continued the entire way to the control, at which point I went down to the road and lost her.
Apparently this leg to 4 messed up a lot of people, including some who went off the map, but on this one I did okay. I went up the road to cross the stream N of the swamp, then crossed the smaller green hill to walk along the base of the large cliffs of Blackcap Mountain. Where the cliffs ended, I walked up the large reentrant/saddleish thing to the yellow blobs and then walked along them until I could drop down to the control.
But I would get my comeuppance on 5. I crossed the stream and then went up between what I thought were the lower two cliffs, but promptly lost contact and spent a good 20 minutes wandering about in a sea of many, many cliffs. A few times I thought I had relocated or was in the right area, only to be proven wrong. I returned to a bag I had seen but couldn't figure out where it was. I found another bag which must have been from some training, flat atop a rock. Finally I gave up and resigned myself to crossing the mountaintop and heading back in... at which point I ran smack into the control. Of course. I still have no idea what exactly happened in here until I download my track (I may at times have been off the map to the NE of the control.)
The ones up top went okay, looked a little early for 7 but didn't lose too much time. Found 9 okay but on the way to 10 realized that I had actually been looking at 6 at least part of the time, so maybe some dumb luck there.
Didn't have a good enough plan to 10 and 11. I ended up being pulled left through the cliffs and getting too much down on the flat, therefore finding 11 before 10. So a climb back to 10, then back down to 11 again. Out to the road and the rest of this was pretty easy. Back at Lake Frederick, there was some kind of large paintball war going on including little paintball tanks (one of which I had seen in the woods on the road) and all kind of people in various armor and with various paintball weaponry. (At first I thought they were real weapons, then saw a tank and thought maybe flamethrowers! before seeing some people and vehicles with paint all over.)
AOWN: In addition to my spirit guide deer, two garter type snakes in two different areas (I am cool with these, just don't want to see any rattlesnakes, which luckily I didn't.)