(Center of the) Universe Orienteering Championships! Venue: downtown Fremont (map
). This was a super fun and tricky sprint - there were many tough, quick decisions and places where the best route was not obvious; I definitely made some suboptimal route choices. Many thanks to Patrick for singlehandedly creating the map and for letting us run on it.
1 - Pretty straightforward along the trail to the lawn.
2 - Around the big ramp.
3 - I recognized from the description that 3 was high, and only had time to see the Z route between 17/18 and past 22. The other route is to go back and up the big ramp and around, but it's not immediately clear to me whether that's any faster.
4 - One of those legs where there's no "clever" route; it seemed that taking the vertical stairway on the bridge was pretty clearly better than retracing all the way around.
5 - Wrong choice here to take the Z route. I wanted to go past 16 but couldn't work out the impassable fences in that area quick enough, so ended up going the other way by default, which was definitely longer.
6 - Quick leg back up the stairs.
7 - Upon first look, I wasn't sure where exactly the flag would be, but the important thing was that there were no impassable fences there to dictate which side you had to approach from. I went north two blocks then east down the alley.
8 - Messed this one up. Firstly I decided to go left which I think is slightly slower, then for some reason I went too far north and reached 36th and had to double back between the buildings. Not really sure why that happened.
9 - I think 8 was in a weird time/space distortion vortex that threw me off because I also left it in the wrong direction (i.e. back the way I came). Again not sure exactly what happened but I do remember getting distracted by a car while trying to cross Evanston, and after that looking at some buildings and junk that weren't on the map, which caused a moment of confusion. Eventually made my way through the canopy to the flag.
10 - Not seeing another way out of the parking lot, back through the canopy and around the building. Almost overran it.
11 - Down the alley and left around the big building. Never even saw the sneaky tunnel which is the best route.
12 - 13 - 14 - No major decisions.
15 - Suboptimal. Didn't see the stairs due north of 14, so went along the water for a bit and up the big stairway, then zigzagged my way there. Momentary hesitation because I didn't look at the description and thought it was on the single tree.
16 - Three possible routes here - left between 5 and 6, zigzag left, and right on the bridge. The last one is definitely shorter in horizontal distance, but the stairway from the bridge down is pretty slow. Hard to say at a glance which is best; these might all be pretty even. I took the zigzag.
17 - Under the Fremont bridge and down the street, up the first set of stairs and around.
18 - I went right on this one which I think might be a touch longer.
19 - Left to the short stairway and around down the longer one. Had a moment of panic as I approached the little planted area and made sure it wasn't olive before crossing. Good boy.
20 - It took me half a beat to recognize that the two buildings are actually the supports for the Aurora bridge, but didn't cause any hesitation.
21 - I decided to go left along the BG trail. Another ambiguous choice, but I think left is better.
22 - Up the vertical stairway to the bridge and around, which seems like it should be faster but I can't say for certain given the slowness of the stairs.
23 - I went left here and down the big ramp which may (?) be faster given the 3-4 stairways on the other route.
24 - A sneaky leg because it was very easy to overrun the small entrance to the area with the flag, but I was careful and hit it okay.
So, some troubles on 8 and 9 due to losing focus (partially attributable to circumstance), and definite suboptimal routes on 5, 11, and 15. Don't feel too badly about 11, but I should have read ahead for 15, and I was drawn to the other route on 5 even as it was happening, but just couldn't make a positive ID of the route. It is tough to hit every route perfect on courses like this where the decisions come fast and furious, and are more complicated than the usual left v. right. A lot of fun and great sprint training!