The correct event is---none of the above!
I went to Gov Bebb for the Easter Egg hunt. I did a "dust off the cobwebs" radio O' course set by Bob Frey. He used his new 80m microtransmitters
. The course was amazingly fun. Despite having used my 80m receiver last in Bastrop, Texas in May of last year, I did everything just about right. (I won mostly because I got lucky a few times.)
I started off down the corridor and found that 1 was directly ahead. I settled in to run down the road a while. And then I realized that 2 was off to the right a little, and loud! So I peeled right and switched to tone mode and ran at it. It went off suddenly, with no ID, so I just guessed at my last bearing and went on the compass. I almost missed 2. Brian (k4bri on AP) was to my right, and when I looked I could just make out the flag on the backside of a tree. (This is actually within the rules of ARDF, but I'm not so sure I agree with it.) So I got lucky on 2. It was technically offcycle, but less than a minute, so there was no gloating.
I got back on the road and went for 1 again. I had 5 farther in front of me off to the left. I waited at the end of the road for 1, and spent about 20 seconds deciding to come back to it. (5 appeared to be constrained to a small corner area of the map, and 1 would be on-the-way coming back from it.)
So I ran out to that little corner area, checked the reentrants for flags, then crossed the little bridge. 4 came on, and it shocked me how loud it was. I realized that although I was going for 5, that I had made a mistake, and it was really 4. (This is not uncommon, but it is a newbie error.) I realized that 5 was in fact back in the direction of the start.
So I had 2 and 4, and 1 was next. I don't remember having a clue where 3 was, so I paid attention and got a line marked for it on the next cycle.
So 1 was next, and then 3 and 5 (not sure which).
1 came on, and I could see the trails on the map zigzagged along the bearing. So I ran as fast as I could on the trail, and kept spinning the receiver so I could make sure I (1) had a bearing to it, and (2) that I hadn't overrun it. It went off, pretty strong, so I walked along the trail looking right and left, expecting to see it. I went almost to the bottom of the hill, checked the line drawn on my map, and looked down a ditch---and saw a flag. This was really offcycle---so a big smile.
I was a little more than halfway down the slope. There was a trail at the bottom, and a road at the top. I thought there were a few indistinct trails around where I was, so I contoured a little and found some game trails.
3 came on to my left, down along the lower trail and stream, so I hightailed it down there. I had a good bearing from the hilltop that crossed this one, so I knew I about where it was, and I ran there.
Along the way 5 came on, and I slowed down to look at the white hillside. I saw some O'controls (with blue stripe), but no plain orange and white ones.
I'm pretty sure I got 3 offcycle just seconds before it came on.
I hurried up the road towards the park exit. There is a big ditch on the right that I wanted to be at when 5 came on so I could just select the correct spur and not have to cross the ditch. But when 5 came on, it was on the other side of the road. I ran up the road until it was almost 90deg to the road, and ran into the woods just as it went off.
Almost immediately I found a blue-stripe control with SI (which means it wasn't a radio control). I always suspect trickery at local radio events, so I looked around it for the transmitter. It wasn't there, but I knew that transmitter had to be close. And there weren't a whole lot of places it could be. There was a fallen tree that looked possible. About the time I decided to move towards the tree, I saw Addison (11 yr old) running towards it with a receiver. (He was coming from a direction where there were no radio controls, though, so he might have had some trouble). I followed him into the control (he could see it from where he was), and got 5 offcycle as well.
I hurried up to the finish, and found out I was fastest at 28 minutes. That's pretty remarkable because if you find 1 per cycle it takes about 25 minutes. I found four transmitters offcycle, but I'm gonna call it three because I would have missed 2 for sure if Brian wasn't there.
This was a really fun event. I think this is how the really fast runners experience ARDF. It is very fast and very strategic---you have to keep your head as you figure out where the Ts are so you don't add distance. For example, if I'd gotten 2 then 1 then 4, rather than 2 then 4 then 1, I would have not only added distance, I would have given up 3 minutes off the cycle. (You hear 2 then 1 then 4 in 7 min, but 2 then 4 then 1 in 4 min.) I didn't realize this at the time, and I certainly didn't get three in 4 minutes, but I did realize 1 was better after I got 4 rather than before.
I have ordered some 2m microtransmitters. I hope I get them in time for some practice events prior to Boston.