Orienteering long 1:53:37  11.8 km (9:38 / km) +445m 8:06 / km
shoes: Icebug Spikes
Fountainhead Regional Park - US Ultralong Champs - Green course. I had been to this park way back in the 1980's during my brief stint as a QOC member. It has changed a bit since then and the new map is much-improved. I didn't have any major expectations for this race - had not trained well for the distance and I got virtually no sleep last night. The congestion from the cold and the scratchy throat were still bothering me. But I once ran a half marathon under similar conditions so I knew it would still be possible to compete.
I was feeling very groggy at the start and took a sub-optimal straightline route to #1 (the road would have been faster and safer). But it looked like a relatively innocuous control and I figured the pack would help me hone in on it. I thought I knew where I was when I crossed the ridge but when I dropped into the re-entrant, I saw no control. I was too far to the north. I bounced around the re-entrants and finally figured things out after losing about 4 mins (Attackpoint says 3:37 lost, which coincidentally was my exact time behind Spike, the winner). But I can't say it cost me the race. Things would have been much different had I been racing head-to-head with the other leaders and I think there's a good chance I would have made another bobble somewhere else. As it was, it allowed me to negotiate the course mostly free from the stress of the head-to-head competition, which is the way I like it.
I slowly reeled people in but was still not feeling very strong up through #6. I took a gu on the way to 6 and some Gatorade at the aid station which seemed to help. I felt a little stronger the rest of the race. I first spotted Pavlina leaving #8 but was unable to catch her until 14. Also ran 11-13 with Glen Tryson. 11-12 was an awesome leg. Very challenging both mentally and physically - I was relieved to get to 12 unscathed.
I knew the last few controls were relatively easy and it would be a good opportunity to pass people if I could muster some speed. I edged ahead of Pavi and then caught up to Peter just before crossing the road. We punched 15 and I headed out to the road toward 16. I never saw the out-of-bound X's on the road on my map - just didn't register in my brain. Peter and Pavi yelled to me to tell me I was out-of-bounds so I returned to the trail to complete the leg. Then it was a footrace to 16, 17 and the finish and I was able to avoid being passed.
This was a fine course set by Nadim and a good finish to a fantastic weekend of races. QOC did a great job on all counts. A nice capstone to a busy Fall A-event schedule in the northeast. I really enjoyed slugging it out with the other runners in a tightly contested M-50 class.