Orienteering race (Foot) 1:01:06  7.4 km (8:15 / km) +35m 8:04 / km
QOC: Mason Neck State Park, VA. I ran the Blue course. I warmed-up just a tiny bit since I was feeling tired and stiff from my run and long field checking outings yesterday. The courses were a bit shorter and easier than normal today since the park authority restricted some areas that the event could pass through. Some legs could have been made harder by eliminating some closely that were spaced close together. Except for the first control, I was on target.
S-1 - I started shortly after Ken Walker but didn't know what course he was running. I ended up going to the paved trail head as he had. I was having a hard time getting into reading the map. This was partly from ducking branches and, partly getting confused by the finish leg going to control #17. Additionally, the number for #1 was printed amongst a blue marsh and green background. Partway there I read the leg such that I had to cross 2 reentrants to get to a 3rd. Really I only had to cross one. I also confused the dashed intermittent stream in reentrant before the one with the control, as a trail that I was seeing in a reentrant. I got all the way to 3rd reentrant before stopping and figuring out that I needed to make a correction. When I came back, I saw the control on the bridge and was lamenting not having read the control description. I probably lost 1:15 minutes.
1-2 - Out to the road, and around the corner. After 2 white course controls, I was starting to think this way too easy.
2-3 - I got onto the paved trail and turned left to get a closer attack point. Like is some earlier years, I drifted left and hit the little trail. I was only on it a very short way before finding the bend and seeing the control from it.
3-4 - Straight, ignoring the trail. I did drift right but with the leg being short, I was able to see the control and adjust.
4-5 - Straight.
5-6 - Straight but I paused partway there. I was thinking to aim off a bit but I didn't need to.
6-7 - I went straight, reading the reentrants as I did.
7-8 - Straight but I drifted right a little before seeing it.
8-9 - Straight again to spike it.
9-10 - Straight, reading the reentrants as I went. I got a little concerned as I closed-in. That's when I came across Max who was walking. He was really tired from his workouts the day before. I paused to let him tell me that he was just going to focus on his navigation this day. I hit it afterward.
10-11 - It took me a while to find #11. Afterward, I ran straight and used the reentrant as a handrail. I was able to see the control about 70m away.
11-12 - I angled out to the road. I read the curves and could see the reentrant coming-up. It surprised me to be able to see the control from the road.
12-13 - I stayed in the forest, but did angle left to avoid having to cross the big reentrant. I crossed the marsh at a relatively dry spot and entered the mapped holly trees I attacked at the edge of the holly trees and then upon nearing #14, I realized that I had to go on. A young guy was coming into #14 from my left and I ran right past it after he left. #13 was visible a few steps further.
13-14 - I doubled back to #14 going on bearing.
14-15 - Leaving #14, I went south, rather than straight. After crossing the reentrant, I paralleled it and read the larger contours. As the forest got thicker, I used the trail twice, leaving it when it dropped. I attacked the control from the trail bend and came in close behind the guy whom I'd seen at #14 when I was going to #13..
15-16 - After crossing the road, I cut left a little since the forest was more open there. I hit some marsh and realized it was mapped. Going further, I ran into the open area--the area mapped as open was more rough open than open. I saw #4 and actually punched it before realizing that I needed to get to #16. After a few steps away from #4 on bearing, I could seen #16.
16-17 - I went straight until I hit the trail. Taking that through the green, eventually left it to continue straight. I emerged right at the trail bend that I'd used to get to #3. Like before, I went to the next bend closer to the road before going straight again. The mapped green extended further east than mapped, so I went around it. I was looking for the general bend of the large reentrant but hit it at the trail which I should have been looking for. I knew where the trail was crossing the big reentrant, so I attacked successfully from there.
17-F - I walked up the hill a little before going on bearing. I thought I might use the trails some but ended up just going straight. The woods were pretty open. Once to the road, I didn't have a lot of energy to run hard on the run in.
It was unfortunate that I lost time on the first control but just about everything else was close enough to consider it to have been a spike. I thought I might finish in under an hour and I could have. The course measured to 7.4K and my route only 7.789K. I think the listed course climb of 115m was incorrect. My watch recorded only 35m on my route.
After the event, we had lunch with my sister.