Orienteering (Foot) 1:17:46  *** 3.51 mi (22:09 / mi) +144m 19:39 / mi
QOC: Prince William Forest--Happyland. I went out on the Short Advanced course. Glancing at the course starting out, it looked a bit easy. In the forest, it turned out to be more difficult. This was mostly due to changes in vegetation that the map didn't show. There was a lot of deadfall that made even simple legs hard. The deadfall from what was a new storm at the time, was reason for cancelling this same event in 2018. I hadn't felt good earlier but by the time I got going, I was feeling a bit better. I used my nice headlamp and put it at low power most of the way. Low power was sufficient for all the dense woods. It helped a little in some open areas.
S-1 - I headed straight to the control but pulled away just short of it when I saw a reflector to my left. The reflector was from a control set for Sunday training exercises. After checking the other control, I turned back and hit the control I needed, well.
1-2 - Since experiencing the thickness of the forest, I went out to the road on the shortest route. I turned left and ran through the junction. I was slow. Leaving from before a road bend, I found a patch of white forest to get into the nicer terrain and spiked it.
2-3 - I ran back out to the road (It would have been nicer to have another control in this part of the forest like the long advanced course did but Gary said he wanted to shorten the Short Advanced course. As it was, the control for the Advanced Course had gotten set on the wrong marsh) and turned left. I took the left fork which had a shorter route but a longer distance through forest at the end. In retrospect the longer route out of the forest was faster. Though I didn't make any mistakes following a stream from a powerline ride, deadfall slowed me again.
3-4 - I left #3 going to the cabin roads. Turning left, I thought to cut some distance on a short stretch across the forest. I really didn't know what I'd really done until looking at my GPS track. I made a complete counter-clockwise 360 as I tried to make my way around deadfall. I came out close to where I'd started at #3, and then took a while with a incorrect explorations to figure out where I was. Best that I can guess, I had at some point held the map at 180 degrees which is something the beginners that I was coaching to day were worried about doing. Finally I relocted myself on a road bend and proceeded straight to the control on bearing from far away. I had a little help at the end when I'd seen some headlamps across the road where I was heading--they were from Matyas and his father--I'd been coaching Mayas earlier in the day so it was good he didn't see me making my horrible 6-7 minute mistake.
4-5 - I went off straight but drifted left in some deadfall. The vegetation here wasn't as bad and I was being more careful than my last leg. When I hit a stream ditch, I realized it wasn't the stream closer to the control that I was aiming for. I had been aiming off a bit and I followed the stream to a junction and until I was in sight of the control. Someone was closing in on me
5-6 - Initially I headed off straight. I realized after going that I would have to cross the stream so I cut left more to get across and not have to climb. I was going to come down the stream on the other side of the ridge but I kept getting pushed back by deadfall at the top. I ended up following the ridge until it ended, then following an intermittant trail along the creek to the next stream junction, and to the control.
6-7- I thought the intermittent trail going along the creek was okay so I dog-legged back the way I'd come. This also seemed better than crossing the creek twice--I thought it looked deep. The vegetation started getting rougher and once around the creek bend. The trail completely disappeared where there were big trees that'd fallen amidst mountain laurel and thorns. I picked my way through climbing and descending a few times. The area mapped open with a trail on one side was completely green too--saplings had grown-up in it. Only after hitting the flat ground did it open up. I ran past two people who recognized me but whom I couldn't verify. I spiked the control but this felt very slow. I heard from some who had crossed the creek who did better and some who also found thick vegetation.
7-8 - Instead of following the creek a ways, I took a bearing straight and ran it to where I started climbing. I come see a slope to my left and thought it was the reentrant. I didn't descend into it so I wasn't sure if it was the one I needed or a wider one along the main creek. I climbed higher to see if I was going to get to the ridge top. Using my bright light for the first time, I could see a mess of vegetation that was still climbing, so I dropped back down into the correct reentrant. It still seemed a long way to get to the control but I stuck with the reentrant until finding it.
8-9 - I headed out straight across instead of angling toward the road. I crossed the stream and hit the road soon after. Jody was running along the road so after a slight bobble, I eventually passed him getting into the field. I didn't feel the need to go to the corner of the field so I went straight in. I misread the control being lower than it was--the circle coverd-up a contour but I probably should have known better. After getting too low, I climbed up to the control.
9-10 - I angled back to the field and past the backstop onto the roads. I read everything well on the roads and trails I used getting to a cabin above the control.
10-11 - I went straight, eschewing the longer trail route to the right. Initially this was okay. I got to a road at a powerline junction right where I wanted to be, without much trouble or really bad vegetation. However, going across the next reentrant was different. I hit big tree fall and drifted right. I came out into the field without hitting the trail I'd intended to, which would have gone to the control. I ran around the cabins until I got there.
11-F - I was not far behind someone who'd come up the trail. I tried to catch him but only closed the gap.
It was fun to do night-o again but this wasn't so great a place to do it any more. I was happy that all the climbing over deadfall seemed to loosen what'd been bothering my calf to an extent. I finished running better than I had earlier in the day. After the run, my stomach didn't feel right and I'd passed some blood again.