The Red course at Great Brook Farm, set by Tim Parson. Since SGB, Brendan, and I had volunteered to pick up controls, we arrived at about 11:30. Ali, Magnus, and PG had already finished their races, so I knew what time I had to beat. I set out with a race mentality - trying to pace myself early on, and push hard in the latter half of the course. I won the race, and this is my first local meet victory (helped by Ross's departure). The first nine controls had some challenging legs, 10-13 had lots of trail running, and the last seven were again technical. It was a good mix of legs and a challenging course given the terrain. GBF has a dense trail network and some sapling-rich woods that make it challenging for course setting.
Tim had provided an inset with the area bounded by controls 5, 15, and 6 at 1:4000 to supplement the 1:7.5. That area was tricky, and I made a 45-sec mistake at 4 stopping too short at the wrong boulder. I found I had the most success when I focused on the contours and not the rock features and trails.
I ran aggressively, but I am still slower than I would like to be. Consider that 10-11 was a trail leg except for the last fifty meters, and I ran a 5:40 pace. I suspect Ross or Jordan would have run 4:00/km. Nevertheless, apart from the error at 4 and small hesitations, I had a clean race. AP doesn't think I made any mistakes relative to the field (maybe everyone struggled at 4). However, I only won two splits; I lost eight minutes to superman, and was 16% back on average. I'm thrilled to have won (beating Ali and my British alterego, IanF is especially sweet), but it was something of a fluke. The race was a tossup among the top 5 or 6 runners, and I had the cleanest race. Even still, my orienteering wasn't that great. Brendan is injured, and Ali lost a contact. I hope to claim victory when they have good races, too.
Alee Perkins, the daughter of Tim Parson's college roommate, joined us for her first orienteering experience. She graduated from Harvard in 2010 and works at a solar panel company. She ran white and yellow well, joined us for dinner, and seems interested in joining our merry band. I also met Sarah Bjorkman, Magnus' other half; she seemed like good fun and should join us for CSU activities.
Thanks to Tim Parson and all the NEOC volunteers for making this a great event.