Orienteering race 18:43:59  ** 73.53 km (15:17 / km) +1845m 13:35 / km
shoes: Inov-8 X-talon 212 blue/red
5th or 6th POCAR for me (can't keep track any longer). Did the race with Leonid, Sergei, Sergei and Richard (the last three of which were new or almost new to POCAR)
Loop 1: The first loop was longer than expected but we made no significant mistakes and were happy to catch our primary rivals, the "Alpine Bushwackers" (who had started 30 minutes ahead of us but did one significant nav error where we passed) by the very end of the loop. F/W East was in the wrong spot by almost 0.5k but it didn't cause us any trouble since we approached from the South. Leonid (who has been sick for a long time) had trouble running, which slowed us down somewhat.
Loop 2: Decided to head to F/W North as early as possible to get any additional check points mapped - which led us to a counter-clockwise approach bagging only three checkpoints before hitting F/W. Were a bit lucky to be told about checkpoint S4 missing before looking for it. The coordinates for S5 were significantly off 200-300m but the (accurate) description helped us find it quickly. Met the "Wackies" again toward the second half of this loop and my watch indicated we were just 5 min or so behind them at that point, despite having walked most of the loop. Made the wise decision to leave the final point-to-point control to the third loop since it was revealed as very far off the route of loop two. Compensated that wise decision a bit with the stupid decision (I should have insisted...) to try to cross over the dam - wasting over 10 min. Met the "Wackies" heading out on loop 3 as we returned to HQ (indicating we were not far behind - given their 30 minute earlier start).
Loop 3: A bit disappointed to see that loop three was close to a copy of the second loop in terms of the route we'd need to cover. Walked the entire loop, since the team was close to exhausted. The younger Sergei started to have stomach issues slowing him down significantly. We happily re-used (from loop 2) a spot to cross the widest creek. Had major trouble finding checkpoint H8 in the dark, although it was probably more or less in the right spot. Lost about 20 min on that one. What tricked us was that the reflectors were very different (smaller and only white - similar to those on many trees) from the previous control we had visited (W8 - which had multiple big red reflectors). It was also further from the trail than we expected. Happy to be the first team at F/W North on the third loop but realized quickly that our rivals likely had taken the opposite route. Only other control we had some trouble finding was the last one (for us) - J15, which we started looking for too early. The batteries in my GPS watch finally died just as we approached this one, so I can't tell how much time we lost, but I would estimate it to 10 min or so.
Fairly satisfied with another second-place finish given the un-experienced team. Were closer than we expected to the "Wackies" in the end (about 25 minutes, we were told), thanks mainly to their decision to get the far-off final point-to-point control before finishing the second loop - which cost them an estimated extra 90 min.