orienteering 1:51:06  11.0 km (10:06 / km)
Team Trials long. I probably have a lot more to say about this race. I'm trying to backlog a bit here, and this was a busy race for me. I haven't yet done the route gadget for this one and those route will be fun.
Race started out pretty well. was really disappointed in my middle race and was hoping to improve in the long. I have been getting used to the idea that I'm a sprint and long specialist over the past year and a half and so I had high expectations for myself. The first control went pretty well, as I was coming across the hillside towards the cliff I saw Michael Norris on the same line which gave me confidence that I was in the right spot. #2 was a breeze and on 3 I had already decided how I was going to go and was starting to feel a groove coming on. It turns out that my route to 3 wasn't optimal but it was an easy control for me coming from the trail to the south. 4 and 5 went smoothly though I was probably a bit too high on 5, 6 was also no problem and now I was definitely in the groove and having a blast out in the woods.
It came way off the rails on #7. I had a series of things happen to make this a true disaster. I cut out to the trail and then ran to the trail bend and cut into the woods. I think i must have come out to the wrong trail bend and that's what started it going to badly. I then had a space out moment where I totally lost all connection with my race, just for a moment, and when I snapped back to concentration I was just way lost. I panicked a bit but then, luckily realized what had happened. I was too high and just had to drop down the hillside following the green. I starting thinking " I lost some time, but maybe only a minute, it could have been a lot worse".... then it got worse because I followed the wrong patch of green, and wasn't really relocated when I tried to attack the control. It went even further south because then I managed to cross the trail that was a good catching feature without seeing it and got onto an even farther away trail. I ran back and forth here for awhile, trying to understand what had happened. The trail was gently rising where the trail I expected to be on should be gently falling. Also it wasn't matching up too well. I was fully panicked at this point. I ran all the way back to the sharp reentrant where the trail made a distinctive bend and it still didn't make sense.... but finally it dawned on me where I must be. A mightly climb awaited me as I made my way back up to the top of the hill.
Wow, that even sucked to write. Lost about 14 minutes to the fastest guys on that one. moreover, the extra climb probably tired me out a bit. The show must go on, and the next control was a real doozy. I decided that the only thing to do was go straight, and pick up the wiggly trail on the line. I executed pretty well, saying my typical mantra " Marc always says not to be afraid of the climb" but Eddie was the real winner here and picked an awesome route to the left.
#9 was gratuitous climb, and I thought I saw a Clem like figure up ahead of me on the hill. I made it almost to the control and saw Jordan punching the flag. As I walked the last bit up I thought to myself " I bet Jordan was running here". out to the trail I stayed high along the hillside and avoided some thicker woods, which allowed me to get ahead of Jordan again. I missed my mark twice on this leg, once coming out on the trail too low, and twice when I attacked into the woods later than I had meant too. because I attacked too late I missed the boulder and lost some time in the circle relocating. Jordan was back with me now and somehow we had gotten in contact with Clem. I chased him down and pounded down the trail on his heels to 11. I was going to take the trail all the way if Clem cut early and cut early if Clem was taking the trail... I decided that Clem was being safe and jumped into the woods... I think that I convinced him to come with me in the woods too, and so we both bashed through to 11. That's where we saw Leif. Now we had quite the posse. The next leg was a long slog ( but at high speeds mind you, I was racing against people here) through green. Leif was staying ahead of me and we popped out pretty close together on the trail. Leif ended up dropping down a bit and coming to 12 from the bottom, and I led Jordan and Clem around up top to come in from the topside. I was pushing hard here, trying to get a gap, and 13 and 14 went smoothly, and I knew I just had to hold on. sadly I almost bombed 15. I came out to a trail, and it looked okay and I almost attacked into the woods. At the last moment I double checked things and it was funny. I stopped scratched my head and then saw I was on a junction of rides, not the trail junction I had planned. I ran up the hill and saw Jordan and Clem coming through again. I stayed just a bit ahead as I went over the top of the hill, and into the finish. I have to say that it was fun to run so hard with a bunch of guys at the end... and that's what helped me stay positive about a pretty disappointing day.
Making the team was really nice though, and I know that I'll have good races and that my mistake at 7 was a fluke. It was awfully close though, I had two bad results at team trials... I shouldn't be able to rely on just my sprint and my rankings.