Orienteering race (Long) 1:57:44  *** 11.6 km (10:09 / km) +345m 8:50 / km
Race was chilly at the start and I didn't do too much warm up but things felt OK. Got up to the start line and was ready to go but looking back I realize that I should have been a lot more focused on what was to come.
The race started with a long leg and I took a good route but got slightly confused in the last hundred meters in the camp ground. Hesitated one road crossing too early then continued fine to the control. Control 2 was fine but a little slow as I was still getting into the race. Got confused by the mess of roads and paths in the campground and lost 1:44
(based on attackpoint split analysis) to 3. I took a poor route to 4 but it was fine. Then I totally missed 5 and lost 7 minutes or so circling back to get the control. I almost made a mistake and went too far going to 6 but caught myself quickly. I lost 1:44 there.
Out to the road to 7 and spent 50sec in the control circle before finding the control. 8 was fine then I stopped too early at 9 at a bunch of boulders that were quite distinct but too small to be on the map. That apparently cost me 2:19 on a 1:00 or so long leg.
So far my race was really not going well so I decided to take the long safe route around on the road and trails to 10. I took the opportunity to read everything up until half way to 14 and was able to pick up the pace on the trails.
Controls 10 through 13 went very well but I was getting a little tired. I took a gel at 13 and the rest of the race was fine. I chased Colin out of control 13 (he started 4 minutes behind me :( ) and caught him halfway to 14. Hopped across the road into the field and somehow crossed right over the trail leading in to 14 so ran along the hillside in the woods and came out at the marsh by the control. I found it no problem attacking off of the marsh whereas everyone who attacked it off of the trail missed it 2 or 3 times :) I guess missing the trail was a lucky mistake but at the time I thought my race was going back downhill.
The loop through the hills at the North-East end of the map went well. A little slow though to read all the details without making mistakes. Blasted out of 18 down to the trail and made good time to control 19. I saw Eric ahead of me as I got close to the control and we ended up leap frogging back and forth a lot to control 20 and half way to 21. I just missed control 20 and he punched it first.
Then there were a bunch of slightly easier controls for the rest of the course and the woods were really open. I was able to put on a lot of speed (I spiked all but one control which I missed due to a bearing and had to circle back to) and beat Eric to the finish by 10 minutes or so.
I had the fastest finish split, even beating Thierry!
Excellent race, despite a terrible first 3rd of the course! I'm very pleased.
I made 13 minutes of mistakes at the beginning and that would have placed me 3 minutes ahead of Mike Smith and Igor!