orienteering race 1:57:46  *** 6.0 mi (19:38 / mi)
25c shoes: Icebug 2016
SMOC Maybury Score-O. Got 25 of 30 controls in just under 2 hours. A 2 minute bobble on the first control, number 63, on a "thicket" in thick woods. It was probably not the wisest choice for a first control to visit while still getting familiar with the map, but it made sense as far as a logical order to clear the course.
The weather of course was the story of the day. Everything was coated in a layer of glistening ice from freezing rain (although the paved roads were mostly just wet or slushy). Temperatures hovered around 33 to 35 F (+1 C), and a cold rain fell throughout, with moderate winds causing a bitter chill when you turned into them or got into the open. I've orienteered in a lot of nasty weather over the last 32 plus years, but this may well have been the worst ever.
I forgot to start my watch in the rush at the start until after the first control. After getting kids ready, and deciding to add a layer of clothing, and having only briefly glabnced at the map to decide which order I wanted to go, I was coming back from chugging a water bottle and heard "3 - 2 - 1", so I went straight into "Go get 'em" mode. Later, I checked clocks on the back of a couple control units and determined that my watch would be around 7 minutes short, so I would need to account for that as I made decisions on if and when to skip any controls.
I felt like I made control skipping decisions very wisely with a good handle on my time and progress. Made my first skip about 30 minutes in, passing 43 (no hope of getting it later) and 54 (a chance of picking it up on the way back in if time permitted. Skipped 56 at about 75-80 minutes in. Leaving 34 (88 minutes), I decided to pick up 39 (hit it at 92:51), which proved to be a good decision. Bypassed 54 again, and made a tough call to skip 32. Knew by then that there would be no hope of picking up 31. If I had gotten 32, I would probably still have gotten everything else but wouldn't have had quite enough time to pick up 50 at the very end. But, if the marsh or green around 32 had slowed me down too much, I could have cost myself another control or an overtime penalty. So in the end it worked out very well.
Finished with 2:14 to spare; safe but not excessive, especially since I wasn't sure exactly how much my watch was off (I hadn't tried to figure it down to the second; I just knew it was a little over 7 minutes). I don't regret any skip decisions - I could not have picked up any of those other controls in just 2:14.
The map was generally really good, although there was an un-mapped service building and fence at the southeast corner by 62, and there were a couple weird map symbols that didn't seem to represent anything real. One was the path-like symbol of very short dashes that paralleled trails and road along the east edge of the map (maybe a very old cut line or a proposed trail?) I thought maybe it could have represented a seasonal ski trail, but didn't even see any evidence for that). The other feature was the two parallel black lines with right angle turns in the NE corner of the map near the horse stables. They look a bit like the symbol for a major (tall, high voltage) power line; or perhaps pavement edges with no street-infill. Again, I didn't really notice anything obvious either on the ground or overhead.
Took 6 juniors to the meet. All returned after just a few controls, cold and wet, but none the worse for wear. They ended up doing the course as two threesomes, which was probably smart given the extreme weather conditions. Middle schoolers PT, Wyatt, and Ethan got 6 controls; while Graham, Noa, and Julianna got 7.