orienteering race 15:16  2.8 km (5:27 / km) +61m 4:55 / km
US Team Trials - Sprint Distance
Cool weather. Forest Sprint. I started out 1 minute behind Ethan Childs and as I waited on the start line I had an uninterrupted view of the first leg of the sprint. I could see exactly where he ducked off the trail and so when it was my turn, I hit the trail at top speed.
I was not thinking about conserving climb for such a short race, and so I planned to go up and over the hill on the way to 2, though I modified that when I got to the hill and realized the footing wasn't so good.
Saw Ethan's back as I climbed towards 3, and got even closer as I neared the buildings at 4. I watched as he rounded the hut and a moment or so later I saw him sprint towards 5. I kinda turned off my brain for an instant, then, and was worried when I came around the first hut and didn't see a flag at all. I did a lap, and even tried to run inside the hut to find this flag before realizing that I was still one building too early.
I hit the next set pretty cleanly, and saw Ethan up ahead as I cut through the forest down the hill to 12. I lost the plot once more at 13, ending up on the wrong side of the building and would have kept searching if I hadn't caught a glimpse of the flag in my peripheral vision.
Proud of my route to 14, back on Ethan's heels, and closing in on the finish of the course. However, I made one more error and counted trail junctions badly which ended with me cutting down the hillside on the way to 16 much too early. Was disoriented and confused, saw the flag for 12 and recognized that I had punched that control code earlier, and scanned my descriptions to discover that I was at control 12.
Pushed hard to the finish. Was glad to be fastest of the team trialers today, and was rueful that I ended 2 seconds behind BigE. Not my best sprint, but the legs were moving well, and a win is a win, right? :)
Congrats to Ethan for running himself into a Gold Medal... impressed that he held me off so surely.