Orienteering race 3:04:00  *** 14.1 km (13:03 / km) +365m 11:33 / km
14c shoes: Rory (inov8 X-Talon 212)
The Ultra-Long was the part of the weekend that I was most looking forward to. Too bad I really blew it. I felt fine physically, but I think I was still a bit tired from yesterday, including getting a bit too much sun. Imagine that, too much sun in Rochester!
Two big booms. One is described below. The other was pure stupidity - I was no more than 20m from the control and turned around, convinced that the hill I was climbing was too big to be the one my control was on. Minutes and minutes lost wondering where the heck I could be.
Now for a diversion. I'm not a map expert, but the map situation today is bothering me. First, I will tell the story of my adventure to the second control.
The problem is really that I took a shoddy route to the control that didn't offer a good attackpoint. My plan near the control was basically to relocate when I got to the area, which is a terrible plan, but I did end up running right into a distinct cluster of 4 rootstocks - attackpoint! I had passed lots of unmapped rootstocks on the way over, but these were perfectly matched and in the right general area, so that was good enough for me. I headed up towards the control and came right up to a small pond. Pond? There's no pond on the way to the control. In fact, there's next to nothing on the way to the control. So I search the map, pond...pond...pond... aha! There's a tiny pond (the right size) on the *other* side of my control from where I'm standing. Pretty far away, in fact. In my mind, a pond or depression of that size is way more certain than a bunch of rootstocks, especially in an area full of rootstocks. And I was not really all that certain about where I was. So, I turn around.
I'm going to guess that it took me at least 10 minutes to solidly figure out that I was right the first time, with the rootstocks, and that the pond was unmapped, and to find the control. I was not a happy camper, but had I had a better, more solid route and attackpoint, I may not have cared about that tiny pond. So I won't blame the map.
Throughout the rest of the course I noticed lots of other unmapped things. There was even an extra pond in the control circle for a control that was located at the edge of a pond. By that point I was ignoring this stuff, but it was clearly I trend. It was weird, because much of the map was very detailed and didn't appear to be missing a thing.
I have since learned that there were large chunks of the map that were not field checked, or at least not fully field checked. Many of the courses passed through these areas, and there were controls in some of these areas, though I'm not sure how many people had problems related to this fact. Information about the incomplete field checking of the map was not in the course/map notes. Is this acceptable for a US Champs?