GHO's NavStock weekend was a success once again. We had over 80 participants, some of whom had made a long trip from Manitoba, New Brunswick, or the U.S. Wow! Many of them stayed at the group campsite at Bass Lake and/or attended the Saturday potluck BBQ dinner and NavStock Games, organized by the enthusiastic Waterloo Stars orienteering club, who are just excellent folks (with really good-looking club shirts!) The maps were all new or updated, and the courses, designed by Hammer, were challenging and fun. The poison ivy wasn't too thick anywhere I went, and I only had one encounter with stinging nettles. We didn't lose anyone in the woods permanently (although we were definitely wondering for awhile). We had lots of sun with a brief sprinkle of rain between the Middle Distance and the Sprint event. All in all, a great weekend of orienteering and socializing. Special thanks to the club members who came to this event only to work and not to orienteer - GHOSlow, Mrs. GHOSlow, Backwoods and Grizz.
Orienteering race (Middle Distance) 1:09:00  ***
Between late night registration paperwork, warm temperatures for tent sleeping and a 4:30 a.m. bird symphony, I only got 3 hours of sleep. Crap. This may be the only Sprint/Middle/Long orienteering event that I do in 2007, and I was really hoping to use this weekend to seriously work on my orienteering. It's not that I cared about my ranking that much, but I wanted to work on all aspects of trying to orienteer well, e.g. proper sleep, nutrition, hydration, mental preparation, warm-up, etc. I was off to a bad start, plus I'd managed to dehydate myself along the way.
I was busy at the campsite checking people in and helping some first-time orienteers until shortly before my start time, and when I got to the race site, the list and waivers that I'd sent earlier with a participant hadn't been delivered to the registration area yet, so a number of people went into the woods without waivers signed. Argggh - it's impossible to be two places at once, but I still felt like I'd messed up.
And so I headed into the woods for the Middle Distance with minimal warm-up and my brain on a different planet from the race map. Too bad, because this is usually my best distance. I had to check out several rock piles in the dark green at #3, but I wasn't the only one. Then on the way to #4, I bushwhacked across to the 2nd trail when I should have gone to the 3rd trail. By the time I figured it out, I had gone well down the trail, made a turn, and was finally wondering why it was going the direction it was. Luckily, I saw my error and managed to relocate quickly - but I was a lo-o-ong way from where I wanted to be. Then when I got in the right area, things started to look wrong again, so I retraced my steps briefly, then decided to push on to meet a major trail. Phew - a flag suddenly appeared on a spur. It felt like a 25-minute split, but it was only 15:30. Looking at the results, it was probably a 6-7 minute error, even though it felt like much more. Fortunately, things went fine after that - plus or minus a few minor details - like running right past the 2nd last control to the finish, because I thought a control at a trail junction must be on the kids' course (no, I hadn't looked at my control description yet!)
I'd entered the Female Open category because I thought there would be a longer race course, and I never got around to moving back to my age category after finding out that we would all be running the same distances. So I would have won F40+, but instead I ended up getting my butt kicked by most of the young ladies - and rightly so.
Orienteering race (Sprint) 23:00  ***
Sprint around Bass Lake Campground. This is a really fun map for a sprint, with lots of variety and a surprising amount of climb and bushwhacking for a campground sprint. It was a busy afternoon, and I wasn't at the start line yet when I heard my name called with a minute to go - yikes, that got the adrenaline flowing!! I felt happier with this race than the one this morning, but actually, my relative results were slightly worse. I guess I just don't have the speed for a 3K race - oh well, I can live with that.