WOC Relay, Leg 3
This was pretty awful and I'd like to do it over again but that's not how orienteering works so I just have to live with it.
or you can follow along with the gps at the Live Orienteering
Headed out of the arena in the surprise mass start with AUS, NZL, JPN, HKG, POR, TUR, CHN, and BRA. I had not anticipated seeing much of anybody while out there so this was a bit of a twist, but a fun one. I knew things were going to be tricky from my mini training camp, reinforced by hearing about all the mistakes good orienteers were making out there today, so I didn't try to keep up with AUS and NZ once we were in the woods (the other women fanned out) and instead made my way more slowly to 1, 2, and 3. I was finding them but I wasn't being very systematic. I think I was feeling a bit hectic even though I wasn't trying to run fast.
I had bad direction out of 3 so I decided to just be really safe about knowing exactly where I was by taking the trail all the way back up to the road. When I popped out I was surprised to that I could still see a couple of other women ahead of me on the road and, perhaps unwisely, changed my route to 4 based on what they were doing, figuring there was safety in numbers. But once we entered the forest again I couldn't really see them in the distance and I guessed the control was forked. I made my way very slowly to where I thought the control was, only it wasn't where I expected it to be. That confused me and I did a nice big circle that took several minutes just to get right back to where I was... and there it was. Best I can figure is that I was confused about which direction I was facing and was looking on the wrong side of the depression (90° off), which would explain my gps track and my thought process as best I remember. The visibility is so low that even though I stood on the edge of the small depression, and then went right through it up to another edge I couldn't see the control that was on the adjacent edge. Ugh.
Hooked in to 5, picking off the wrong yellow area. Then neglected my compass into 6 and ran down the wrong ridge and it took me a very long time to figure out what I'd done wrong, where I was, and find my control. The last bit before the run through, to 7, 8, 9, went just fine and I think I'd started to jive with the map.
Smiled and waved for the run-through, which might have happened during or between some parts of the medal ceremony, and made sure I was reset for the second loop. First loop in an eternity approximating 38 minutes.
Took a super safe/around on trails route for the first part of 10, figuring it was best to get myself closer to the control with exact position. Made my way through the now familiar area near number 4 and hit the control ok. Phew.
On the way to 11 I started following an elephant trail that went the way I wanted to, until it didn't, so I bailed at the bottom of the big depression, which isn't really ideal, but at least I knew where I was and got into the control from there.
After this it was two controls down in the "cutting area" I'd heard Per mention a few times. I had a good line down to the open area and I could see 12 from the edge. I could also see two other runners, much to my surprise, as I figured my atrocious first loop had left me dead last. Also, lots of tracks, thankfully, because that was some waste high grassy shit in there. Thirteen was also easy.
Opted again for the trail transport to get closer to 14 and then feature hopped very carefully. Managed to hook into 15/5 again, despite having been there before, but then it was easy going for 16, 17, and 18 and I sputtered into the arena. Second loop in about 31. Still too slow but it felt so much better and in control.
So that's that. My first and possibly last WOC Relay race. I actually enjoyed the terrain -- the low visibility makes it more challenging but it isn't because of any tangly or stingy or spiky vegetation. The contours and vegetation changes are interesting. I would absolutely orienteer there again. As for another WOC... seems unlikely, especially under similar circumstances.