Orienteering (Corn) 12:51  1.91 km (6:43 / km) +1m 6:42 / km
12c shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite
After some waffling, I decided to make the trek out to Sunderland for the third annual sanctioned CMOUSA Classic and Sprint champs at Mike's Maze, and I am very glad that I did. The event quality was great, the challenge was stimulating, and the socializing - the best part of CMO - was magnificent. Bgallup, Ed, a Swiss newcomer named Claudia, and I carpooled out - and on the return journey made conversational ventures into how to deal with the impending self-annihilation of the human race. I forgot my X-talons at my office, so I ran in sneakers.
My only previous corn maze experience was at the CMOUSA Middle Champs in St. Louis in October 2011. That corn maze was a different technical challenge because with a few exceptions, there was exactly one route to each control, and the optimal route was blindingly obvious if you could spot it. Mike's maze involved much more route choice and many, many more decisions.
I started out by completely flubbing control 1; it took me about fifteen seconds to get into the map and make sense of what I was seeing, and then I ran off in the wrong direction before dead ending. Fueled by my frustration, I turned on the afterburners for the next few controls and started running well. I had a moment of fear when I hit 7 to find no e-punch, but it was just on the ground. I caught sight of Ali going to 9 on my way to 8, and focused on trying to catch her. I took a wrong turn to 9 and doubled back, apparently costing 15 seconds. I had another hesitation going into 9 and 10, and another short double back at 12. These small mistakes are essentially inevitable in CMO; it's very hard to have a perfectly clean run at speed. At no point did I lose contact, and my routes were generally good. Very happy to pull off the win.
Orienteering (Corn Sprint) 3:12  0.51 km (6:19 / km) +1m 6:16 / km
6c shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite
The sprint was a great challenge - lots of blindingly quick decisions. I had a cleanish run that wasn't spectacularly fast. I lost 2-3s from a bobble at 3, 5-10s from being confused on my route to 4 (which was fine), and maybe 5s from a wrong turn leading into 6. I'm happy that I chose to go right to 4, though Giovanni picked a more optimal route than mine. Happy to hold off Giacomo for the win. Special kudos to bgallup, who had 6/7 of a fantastic race.
Orienteering (Corn) 6:56  0.77 km (8:58 / km) +12m 8:19 / km
8c shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite
Peter designed a slightly handicapped relay; there was a mass start of second-leg runners two minutes after the first first-leg finish. My partner for the relay was Harriet Small, a Cambridge high school friend of Izzy's. The mass start actually was a queue'd start, since we all had to punch a start box. Peter prescribed the order for that, and I started dead last out of seven in the mass start. Ed had a 3-4s error in which he kept missing the start box; I suspect he was paid, as I was the only one behind him. :)
The cluster of people running off to the first control was an easy bunch to follow ("Hey Mats, is this the lead?"), and when most of the group made a small mistake, I scooched past everyone except Giacomo. I was intent on my map leaving 1, and glanced up to see Alex coming directly at me. We avoided a head-on collision, but the aftermath was that she went flying off into the corn while my path was essentially unperturbed. After verifying that she was ok (she was laughing), I began chasing down Giacomo. I led a group in an unnecessary circuit of the roundabout around 2 before finding the entrance; Giacomo was out of sight. At this point, I started reading my map more deliberately, and cleanly led a group to 3-5. I had a 5-10s hesitation on the way to 6 and surrendered the group lead to cmorse and bgallup.
I punched just ahead of Ed at 6; I didn't realize it at the time, but we were actually in the lead. I lost 25s at 7 by attempting a route, aborting and choosing the correct route. Unfortunately, Giacomo was only 10m behind me at 7; I don't think I could have held him off for the win. While he followed me for the first part of the long leg to 8, he could read ahead, settle on the optimal route, and crush me on the finish kick. I actually chose a dumb route - costing another 20-30s, and Giovanni slipped past both of us for the win. I'm a bit disappointed; the last two controls decided the race, and I made two big errors. Still, the race was tremendous fun, and I highly recommend corn maze mass starts. Thanks a bunch to PG for making this entire event possible.
Running 15:00  2.5 km (6:00 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite
Warmup, including some pre-race chatter with Ali.