A rerun of the 2008 US Team Trials Middle at Hickory Run.
Really beautiful day. Sunny and on the warmer side. Water features were quite dry, except for the uncrossable marsh south of #14. That still had enough water in it for me to sink waist deep after two steps.
I included a quote from Thierry to remind me how to approach this middle. Okay. Maybe he said it in an interview at WOC
and was talking about Estonia. But, he would say it about Pennsylvania too, as I'm sure anyone who's run at Hickory Run would agree.
The vegetation reduced visibility in most parts to about 20 meters, 50 meters was as good as it got. The worst part was definitely the overabundance of spiders and their webs. I lost focus on the way to #2 because I had to keep cleaning them off my face.
I do not count Hickory Run among my favorite maps to enjoy orienteering. It's difficult to enjoy getting smacked in the face by plants every step. To enjoy orienteering, I prefer places like Harriman, Laramie, Peguerinos, many parts of Sweden. But it is a very technically difficult map. Such low visibility and subtle features mean that you can never relax. It's great to have a terrain like this to prepare the US team for Latvia.
I'd like to take a few sentences to celebrate the disappearance of
snot-nosed kid Greg
(way down in 42nd) and the emergence of snot-nosed adult Greg. Kid Greg ran the red course at the same meet nearly ten years ago and spent almost as much time lost as adult Greg spent on the blue course today. So progress can happen!