Orienteering (Foot) 1:27:49  10.5 km (8:22 / km) +190m 7:40 / km
QOC: Manassas Battlefield Park: Stuart's Hill. I enjoyed Tom Strat's course; a mix of short and long legs using the best of the park. I ran 7.77 miles for the 10.5K course. I ran with my eyeglasses today so it was much better than last week without them. The course was rated at 190m climb but my GPS only tracked 75m. I got moving okay to #1, but true to the course notes, getting through the grass to the first control slowed me up. The grass was like straw and when knocked over it clumped making the footing harder. Often it has been mowed when we orienteered in the park previously. The grass condition made one think twice about the best route since it wasn't always straight across the open terrain areas.
For control #2, I opted to go somewhat straight across the grasses. It wasn't so bad. Once across the fields, I followed the deadfall vegetation to the control, coming around it to the right. Though it isn't usually wise to navigate off of vegetation, it worked well on this and most of the other legs today.
For #3, I went straight, and adjusted left when I hit the lake. #4 was more or less straight too, though I did read things half way there until I saw the control. Leg #5 looped back sort of toward #2. I ran pretty straight but used the field at the end.
For #6, I went south (left of straight) initially to get around the deadfall. I got onto the ride which is parallel to the north of the creek--don't think I've used it before. When it ended, instead of cutting left in the field to backtrack on a trail that would have taken me to another that I wanted to be on, I angled across the creek and forest. I felt that I was angling sufficiently to hit the trail but I never did. I probably lost some time pausing in the forest to make sure I was doing okay, and then coming out in the tall grass away from the trail. Ultimately, I did get to the trail that I'd wanted, then followed it all the way up the hill to come out above and southwest of #6. I was going to angle across the slash in the forest but it didn't look encouraging enough. This was perhaps a loss of 30-40 seconds on top of the mishap with the trail earlier.
I left #6 on a bad bearing, continuing northward the same way that I'd approached #6. I corrected within 50m but had already dropped downhill. I climbed back, then got a little closer to the road than was optimal. Hitting #7 at the pond was easy after that. My error was probably a loss of 25 seconds.
For #8, I ran the left side of the pond, then crossed the stream at the road. I didn't see the control until past the second pond.
Leaving #8, I expected to see a pylon marker on the map since I ran past one. It is on the map but the leg line obscured it. At the control, being only about 37 minutes into the race, I didn't feel the need to drink. I'd been carrying a Gu in my hand too since there's a hole in the pocket the orienteering pants. I ended up carrying it in my hand the whole race.
I ran straightish toward #10 noting the control was in a reentrant. I saw it long before getting there.
Going to #12, I chose the left route through the light deadfall and around the thicker deadfall. The right route looked too far. I was glad that the vegetation was close to the mapping. I do think the corner of the thicker deadfall west of the control extended further west than shown. I had to hook to the right a little at the end.
Going to #13, I must have taken a bad bearing off to the right. I suppose that I should have just followed the ditch down initially but the upper mapping didn't seem to show bends in the ditch much.
I again didn't take a straight bearing leaving #13 for #14. Unlike the last leg, I realized it soon enough and corrected to the right. Other people were around the control.
Someone left #14 shortly before me and appeared to be contouring around via #12. I went straight at #15, seeing #12 to my left about when I hit the stony ground, but not #13, I had to adjust a little bit to the left at the end but spiked #15.
Going to #16, I went left around the thick deadfall, and hit the field right at the corner. Following the edge, I passed the intersecting field on the right and I was glad that there was ice in some of the marshy parts that I could run on. I think it was there at the field intersection that I saw Victor Lin running the other direction. That confused me into thinking he was running another course. I thought I'd lose time going straight along the stream so I went up to the trail and to an intersection for an attack point. I moved though the lit slash pretty well but ran into a wall of what would be better mapped as green right before the control. I punched through a little to the right and was happy to see the control.
Heading to #17, I went straightish over the creek and hill but crossed over the creek again before the next stream intersection. I went up along the stream to the dam of the pond and along the shore to the control.
Getting out of #17 to go to #18, I meant to go more around the green areas but I found ways through that I could keep to a decent pace on. I ran down the field where I'd seen Victor earlier; not going the same direction as he appeared to be going. In the larger field, I shifted my bearing to use areas where the grass wasn't as thick. This brought me off my line. I hit the lake to the left of of the control and had to correct.
Going to #19, I got confused by the intersecting leg lines and thought the control was going to be where #5 was. After a pause, I got going and just went straight to the control though the mostly open land.
After I'd punched #19, I had to pause. Both of my shoe laces had been taped and tucked at the start but moving through the grasses unravelled them. I had on Sealskinz gloves which are skin tight and not so easy to remove. The gloves made it harder to re-tie my shoes. It seemed longer but my GPS track seems to show about 1:15 minutes before I got started again. After that, I ran straightish, a little to the right, and followed the stream up similar to what I'd done to get to #17. Following the edge of the deadfall, I cut left but did it too early. I got past the control (#20) and had to come back. I should have known it since I was not near enough to the visible road.
I ran straight at #21, feeling good physically and nearing the end of the course. I passed some people who were off to the right and spiked the control.
Still feeling good, I ran down the ridge toward #22 thinking I'd go straight the whole way or try to use a mowed lane across the grass. At the creek I saw a log to the right near the reentrant so I used it. Once across, I hit the pond then went to the parking lot. Using the mapped trail, I proceeded NE until getting past the trees on the ridge. Cutting left I struggled across more un-mowed grass and went around the deadfall to the control. Dan Do was apparently hunting for it too, the control was further down the reentrant than expected.
After punching #22, I again had both shoes needing to be re-tied. I had trouble doing it with my gloves on again so I only did the one that was completely untied. This must have taken about 45 seconds. I left the control going SW the way I'd come to it. Nearing the field and pond, I saw Victor Lin again, going to #22. I went through the fields and spiked the control, #23, visible from far off.
Going to the Go control, #24, I got around the fence and pushed through the tall grass. I moved right of straight to reach mowed ground. I felt I moved across the field well but my my leg speed just isn't there right now. I was feeling my run from Saturday. I could see where to go and others converging there too. I got there just before one couple who were walking.
I pushed in to the finish, more able to, with the downhill.