Orienteering race 50:21  *** 5.2 km (9:41 / km) +215m 8:01 / km
15c slept:8.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800
The Blue Middle at the QOC "Ran-it Granite" A-meet in Patapsco Valley State Park, Marriottsville, MD. Conditions were dreary; there was a perpetual light mist coming down, and it had rained the night before.
The course had many legs which involved descending from a hill through a stream reentrant and up another hill. This made some of the legs rather trivial navigationally, because you sometimes just had to aim up a hill. The leg to control three, which was the longest at about a kilometer, had a parallel field a short distance away for about 80% of the length of the leg. This was one of the easier navigational middles I have run, but one of the most physically demanding.
I messed up the first control via a parallel error on a stream - costing perhaps 3-4 minutes. The other errors the attackpoint analysis indicates - controls 6 and 10 - were just hesitation and extreme sluggishness charging up a hill respectively. Otherwise, my course was clean (if slow).
I ended up with a pace of just under ten minutes per kilometer, but given how easy the navigation was relative to my expectation for a middle, I hoped I would have been faster. Emily Kemp, who invaded my country, age group, and gender (and necessarily course), beat me by about five minutes (which is unsurprising); I was 1/4 against her on courses we had in common.
The other blue runners I spoke to agreed that the course was somewhat trivial, and that while the terrain was very limiting, expressed dismay. Erik Nystrom won with a time of 32:52.
Orienteering race 21:39  *** 3.0 km (7:13 / km) +90m 6:17 / km
15c shoes: 200811 NB MT800
The Sprint Relay at QOC Ran-it Granite; the courses comprising the relay were intended such that a combination of any three individuals could form a competitive relay team. More precisely, this theoretically meant that the fastest times on each of the courses would be approximately equal. It is clear from the results that this was not the case; the shorter, easier classes were invariably significantly faster. For instance, the fastest time on the blue course - with such meaningful participants as Jon Torrance, Ross Smith, and Will Hawkins - was 17:26. The fastest time on the easiest course (Orange/Brown) was 13:04, set by Carl Underwood. Clearly the optimal strategy was to combine the fastest runners eligible for the shortest course - any three of the fastest nine runners on the Orange/Brown course would have beaten the winning team. In contrast, the three fastest blue runners would have finished fifth.
In any case, the event was still modestly entertaining. My teammates were Gerald Yip and Vladimir Gusiatnikov; we were hoping to have fun. Gerald had a fantastic starting leg, finishing 14 seconds behind Jon Torrance, who would have the fastest blue course time. No one starting with me was running blue, so I navigated alone through control 8, at which point Will Hawkins, who had started two minutes back, caught up. I tried to keep up with both him and some cadets I encountered, but my legs would not move. I'm not overly discouraged about my finish (four minutes slower than Gerald) given the Middle earlier, but this further highlights my inadequate fitness (which I must try to remedy for West Point). I finished 12/18 on the blue course, at the trailing end of the distribution.
Because all the short course runners finished so quickly, we were in 12th after Gerald's leg; after mine, we were in 13th. Vladimir had an excellent finish leg and passed five teams, putting us in a comfortable 8th of 38 teams, 9 minutes behind the winning Canadian team of Jon Torrance, Eric Kemp, and Emily Kemp.