orienteering race (SA long champs) 1:44:57  9.7 km (10:49 / km) +190m 9:51 / km
shoes: Inov8 Oroc spikes
Crooked Straight, last year's AMDC map. The main take-home message I recalled from last year was: sand is sandy. I remembered this too late to do anything about it in training though. Wasn't quite sure how a long race could be achieved out of this area but Peter Mayer managed it well. Apparently there was significant difference between his climb estimations and those of Bob Smith as controller, depending on what each of them considered the optimal route...
Gosh, this is a fun area! From the very start you had to concentrate, and I was pleased with myself for nailing the first (danger downhill) control, then choosing the wide route around the clifftops to the second, where I was so excited to see Steve Cooper emerging from the creek end below me that I ran straight to his control instead of my own on a creek 100m further west - oops, 2 min lost already. Glad of a drink on 4 because the sun had come out, then ballsed up the approach to 5 because I aimed for a prominent tree on the ridgeline without ever bothering to check where that actually was on the map, and triangulated off a small knoll 100m south of where I meant to be, then spent about 3 min doing some circle work before fixing on the correct basin. As the course setter said, I should just have aimed for the fence corner to start with - but where's the fun in that?
Really enjoyed the navigating, but knees were baaaad. At first it was just that I had to walk all of the uphills, but by halfway around the course even going down was painful, and where Winsplits thinks I made mistakes it's mostly that I had to stop & stretch. Was tempted to call it, when the course passed back so close to the finish, but I'm not a quitter and I really wanted to complete the challenge I'd set myself. And it was worth it, just for the lovely river flats section in the NW (so close to where I'd been trying to convince cars to park among the gaps between the saltbush last year...).
Expected the drive home to be equally uncomfortable but after very good coffee from the old fire station café I agreed to take parents on back roads to look for where mum's mother had lived among the mallee when a girl (sooo dry out that way) then we crossed on the ferry at Swan Reach and took Pine Hut Rd up the range from Sedan, something I've always wanted to do. It's bounded on both sides by dry-stone walls and the views back east to the river plains are magnificent, and it comes out between the Keyes Gap & Marne Rocks maps, so it made perfect sense to stop for dinner at the pub at Mt Pleasant. I don't want to go to work tomorrow!