Bog Slog 2017! RG.
No Bonesaw and no J, but the news of note was that Einari Heinaro, a Finn who ran the WOC Long this year, is in town visiting family and was on the start list. Others in attendance were Peteris, Jonesaw, Cobra Kai, and Dusty the adventure racer.
S-1: Everyone went out pretty fast, so there was a group of six or seven at 1. Einari was ahead at the beginning but had some trouble finding the entrance to a disguised half-overgrown semi-trail so couldn't run away from the pack. Welcome to PNW orienteering!
1-2: Some took the straightish route along the minor trail, I and others bailed to the main trail on the more circuitous route. Einari motored away from me on the uphill and disappeared. Punched 2 with Dusty, Jonesaw, and Kai; Peteris took the other route so I didn't know if he was ahead or behind.
2-3: Dusty led out of 2 but took a route that was a bit low, so I got to 3 first with the other guys close behind.
3-4: Stayed on top of the hill to the trail but strayed a bit to the right and Jonesaw and Dusty jumped back with me.
4-5: Unbeknownst to me there was another guy, by name of Dmitri, ahead of us, but we caught him on the way to 5 as he stopped short about 3/4 of the way there. I decided it had to be further on and by the time I got to 5 found myself alone.
5-6: Straight up the reentrant. Couldn't see anyone but could hear someone crackling through the brush not far behind.
6-7: Jumped out to the trail, being careful not to fall down the hillside and miss the junction. 7 was in a tricky, vague, flattish area so I was unsure and hesitant after leaving the ride/trail, but managed to find the depression with only minimal time lost.
7-8: Elected to take the trails around the north side of the big pond. Leaving 7 I was surprised to encounter Einari heading into the control - I learned afterward that he had big problems and lost 5-6 minutes there. Beginning with 7 I also started waking up controls, so I said hell I guess I'm in the lead?
8-9: My worst leg. I somehow missed the trail crossing, but figured I'd still be fine if I stayed to the left of the broad spur. I must have passed within sight distance of the flag, but never saw it and eventually hit the trail to the NW and had to double back, all the time expecting to see Einari.
9-10-11-12: Pretty straightforward legs, using trails as much as feasible.
12-13-14: Dropped too far out of 12 to the trail and had to do some unnecessary climbing, which wasn't good because things were hurting at this point.
14-15: Lost some time here, as I got lazy and arrived one cliff too low. Also finally heard/saw Einari below on the hillside.
15-16: Got stuck in some boggy stuff for a bit, bled a little more time.
16-17-F: Trail running, feeling very gassed. I found it tough figure out exactly where 17 was going to be because there's a lot going on there, and I also hesitated at the first small trail junction such that Einari caught and passed me, only to hesitate himself and let me get ahead again when I figured out what was going on. Turned out the flag wasn't hard to find at all, so I assumed he was right behind me and was resigned to getting crushed on the run-in, but he did something weird and never appeared, so I was able to limp in 40s ahead.
So, an exercise in the equalizing power of massive homefield advantage, both in the general terrain type and the specific venue. I warmed down with Einari afterward and chatted with him about what it's like to be on the Finnish team, what his impressions of orienteering in the US are, etc. He mentioned that during the race he found it difficult to read the map while running in the terrain because of all the junk on the ground, which I found amusing.