Event (Something Different) 1:09:26  *** 3.3 km (21:02 / km) +85m 18:38 / km
Was looking forward to this map, it being earmarked for Xmas 5 Day but bureaucracy intervened so potentially today was its one and only usage opportunity. Hence I decided i wanted to do 2 courses - likely a Hard + Moderate (run flat out). But we had a returnee from recent Biodiversity Day so I helped them out to get started etc. and there went my opportunity.
S-1 Straight, across gravel and off track into scrubby. Was surprised to have previously seen people very hesitant here and also that the tracks were so prominent.
2-3 across cleared area and around knoll and up w/c but started to doubt when I couldn't see flag. Checked and was in right spot. What I have gotten into a bad habit is to just look at circle and maybe feature but not the 'side' - this was E side and had I looked I could have avoided climb (about 4th time I've done this in recent events - just slack or falling into Street mode)
3-4 along track, jumped to one adjacent then off on NE bearing after cliff ended.
4-5 short - straight
5-6 first real route choice - S to pick up track, noted cliff, more S to pick up track and note that cliff , through clearing, track to SW, cross major track, through lumpy rock (this was fun), across creek - surprised how easily I could cross - lucky I think - again through lumpy earth stuff and here we find a track - bother - too far but very close. Along track to SE then see people exiting where I was going to go anyway and in to control.
7-8 watch as gazelle Jock glides past and how quickly he disappears even though there is quite a lot of small trees here and he has to stoop. Find control just before track
8-9 NNW to track then across to next track, junction - be careful as a maze developing but try to use cleared areas as a backup.
9-10 short leg and didn't give it enough respect - thinking "just go there". Thought I'd picked right track but beside it didn't look right. Thought I was taking track and #10 would be on my left and saw a high section and interpreted it as the mound on map. Kelly K was here looking confused and I showed her where I thought I was. She decided she needed to go S; realised just about 30 sec later that was not correct as I went on further and found a junction which was on the parallel track section. Georgie M went past then - we said hello and went our separate ways. - me to my control which i just caught sight of as it was well and truly tucked away - honestly would have said it was between boulders, not boulder cluster - sorry to be pedantic!!! and she to hers further along.
10-11 Out to track and went N and around the loop I'd been before 5-6. I made a sub-optimal choice here to not go off from the bend but to pick up the tiny dual section - probably cost me time but was more sure (no it wasn't - just cost me time - poor judgement).
11-12 Found this a little confusing as 11 line seemed to go back to #5. Sure the line was broken but looked weird. What this did mean was I actually used the same bit of track again to go up past 5 and wended my way using the tracks, jumping sideways when necessary. By now a small train had developed so with me being the last carriage i was placing bets about when people would dash off into the bush and what they were using as attack points. I think I did the fastest option, not because of being able to watch others. I'd picked my strategy regardless. Can't see any point in using tracks religiously then leaving (at a bend) and slog though bush for quite a long way leaving you exposed to drifting which the others did. I maximised track usage this time and had shortest attack off, beside W/C and hit it side on. Realised now that there was only 13 and F to go and regretted only doing the Short Hard.
12-13 picked way to open gravel area and could see other 2 people across the other side who were starting up the incline along the track. Strangely when I got there they were gone - but at the top of the incline they were looking for #13 in a bit of a haphazard way. Very odd - possibly both switched off. For once I read the map really well and went straight to the knoll and was most pleased with self.
13-F Ran quite hard in as a reward and because I could.
So this was a very different map for Newcastle - pretty much a smorgasbord. Others have commented that it should be treated as gold mining terrain - agreed!
The low number of spiked controls for this was within the circle and caused primarily by me ignoring the side of the control feature. Almost giving myself a training exercise! FAIL!
Heaps of people there (as I warned of) and consequently we ran out of maps. Nice to see lots of people after Aus champs etc. So there ends the Bush Season - fortunately not with a bang nor with a whimper.
Fair bit of gear transferring and coordinating with changeover to Street Series in earnest, and us going away to small Schools Gala Day later this week and after my gala day with Irrawang, postponed from Term 3.
Nice but brief chat afterwards with Kelly (she worked it out but my slight misdirection was not a problem - I pointed her S and that was what she needed), Cheryle, GT, PN, David K, Lyndy, MessEng, Peels, GF, briefly some Sydneyites and did some organisation for Presentation.
Home in good time for netball and to make slow cook beef and trifle for dinner. It feels like summer (but didn't see any slithery friends) but I still get my winter Sunday fix of O and netball - can't ask for better than that.