Ratlum Mtn., Rhin-O X, 3.4 km, 180 m, 18th. Back after having missed last year's edition due to a leaky spleen, and my worst placing at this event in its history stretching back to 2008, primarily due the big turnout fro West Point -- I was beaten by over a dozen cadets. Quite a sloppy run, actually; I'm surprised that SA has me with only 4 1/2 minutes of errors. I was running with the self-imposed handicap of no glasses, because I was too lazy to go back to the car to get my orienteering glasses. Not such a big deal, because it's not necessary to see that far in the dark, and I haven't worked out a good way to combine headlamp and eyeglasses.
Sloppy on #1, OK on #2, no problem on #3 though it might not have been the fastest route. Missed a little to the right on #4, then on #5 I encoutered Nellie, who had pulled up short and was wandering. I found the south end of the marsh, and was crossing on a fat log, but I hit a rotten spot and my foot went throught it and into the drink. Clint caught up here, but he had a fading light. #6 and #7 were fine, but I drifted right on #8 and ended up in a bunch of unmapped laurel (beyond the edge of the fieldchecking. Not quite sure what happened leaving that control, but I ended up on the trail heading south instead of the one going WSW. Things didn't seem right, but I knew exactly where I was when I hit the Buttonhole Trail. At that point, under the mistaken impression that I was heading for #12, I backtracked to Ellen's Pond, where I fortunately realized I was headinng for #9 and had no problem. Missed #10 a bit to the left and the leading cadet passed me. The chase pack of cadets passed me on the way to #11, though they were hesitant and I knew exactly where I was going. They backtracked to the trail, but I pushed through the laurel and went by Ellen's Pond again. Anothet cadet passed e on the way up the hill, being very polite and excusing himself for going by (I just gestured and said "Play through"). A couple more were on my tail heading to #13, and they got ahead on the way to #14.
But at least I beat Phil. :-)