Orienteering race (Classic) 1:20:36**** 6.01 km (13:25 / km) +157m11:52 / km ahr:142 max:160 spiked:8/14c shoes: Inov8 xtalon 212 B
Day 1 at French Creek. Epic Fail as I mispunched control #10. This was a classic mess-up with me making just about every mistake in the book. I was running on a bearing downhill toward the control location, knowing that I had the bottom of the reentrant as a catching feature. I saw a control to my left. It looked reasonably like a charcoal platform and had water at it - seemed like a match. I also found it reasonable to believe that I might have fallen downhill a little, which would put the control to my left.
Mistake number 1 - from the direction I was approaching the control, I hit the water before the bag and started to drink. D'oh!
Mistake number 2 - as I was drinking, I realized that I hadn't punched and made a mental note to do so. When I did, I failed to check the code. Double D'oh!
Mistake number 3 - now that I thought I was at number 10, I went for number 11 from the incorrect location and totally bungled that one. Triple D'oh!
Still waiting to see some other maps and my track to be sure of where I was. I know that there was another control in the area on a cairn, but I don't recall seeing a cairn at the site. Wondering if there was a control on another charcoal platform in the area.
Otherwise had an interesting run. Lots of compass and pace work, which mostly worked well for me. I got confused on 3 to 4 trying to follow the linear rocky areas down the hill. I did eventually hit the trail, but it was quite a bit lower than where I wanted to and since I was unsure of where I was I ran all the way up to the top bend to have a clear attack. Splits seem to say I lost about 4 minutes.
Enjoyed the woods, enjoyed the course, just didn't like that moment after download when you look at the splits and go D'oh!
Trail-O race 1:06:00  *** 1.99 mi (33:10 / mi) +32m31:35 / mi spiked:15/16c shoes: Inov8 F-lite 195
Trail-o at French Creek. As I ran the classic course today, I was trying to figure out how you do trail-o in this terrain, but the pool area that was used was a great spot. I really enjoyed the course. The one control I missed was number 6. Many people solved this using a line through the pool corners. I didn't notice that, so I used a line, that was far further from perpendicular. I also tried to pace it off, but neither of those methods is as good as the pool corners.
The only other controls where I had doubts were 1 and 2. At 1 I just wasn't sure what the feature was and the controls seemed too far away from the standpipe that I could see. At 2 I just felt the area was poorly mapped and other than the landform feature itself, nothing seemed to point to a control. But everything I looked at led to crazy different spots. In the end I applied the Clare rule both times with success.
One control was thrown out. I'm still not sure I agree with that. It seemed like all of the complaints were about fairly small things compared with more obvious ways to solve the problem. It wasn't different in quality than other controls on the course. I almost feel as though It was thrown out just to appease Sharon and avoid having to convene a jury.
Also wondering about the map. After getting notes that indicated many point symbol sizes were smaller than standard it appeared to be the opposite. Most symbols seemed to be the size of a blown up ISOM map instead of being the size specified by ISSOM. A map with correctly sized symbols might have been easier to get accurate lines from.
Happy anyway! I was tied for second place (three of us with the same time on timed controls). I met my primary goal for the weekend, which was to replace my high ranking score that is rolling off with another high score.
Orienteering race 2:14:30*** 10.64 km (12:39 / km) +671m9:37 / km ahr:150 max:170 spiked:11/11c shoes: Inov8 xtalon 212 B
Ultra-Long Champion in F-50+, Yay!
Had a really nice race today with no significant errors. It looks like I forgot to take a split at number 1, so the splits shown on the track are one off. Course was listed at 8.5K and 500m climb.
This was a mass start and out of the start I wasn't feeling so optimistic because most people were already zooming ahead of me. I figured with such open terrain and the opportunity for pack running, I would be soundly beat by those who run faster than me.
Started right off the bat with a slightly more eastern route to #1 than many people took. I believe I gained a small amount of time on this. Similarly to number 2 I took a route through a saddle that seemed a little more optimum than some other folks.
At this point, I was just behind a crowd of people that I could see climbing the hill out of #2 in front of me. But they weren't taking the route that I had planned. I stuck with my plan and was the sole person climbing the reentrant straight towards the trail junction. Everyone else was one reentrant over from me. I figured the climb was the same either way, I'd rather get to the trail and have some nice running and a clean attack. It seemed to about the same either way as I saw the others still ahead of me by a piece at number 3.
From 3 to 4 I dropped to the reentrant junction then took a bearing aiming off above number 4. It looked safer to be too high than too low and this route worked just fine. There was a little climb at first, but after that it was downhill with clear visibility of where I was going. Apparently this is where everyone else took a lower route and got messed up. I didn't see my competition again until the finish.
To number five, I planned a route slightly to the west to avoid climb. I hadn't really read the map well, though and didn't realize there were actually two ridges between me and the trail. After crossing the first ridge and realizing there was another, I bailed even further west to hit the trail lower than originally planned.
At the aid station I asked how far I was behind Eileen and was surprised to hear that she hadn't come through yet. This kept me pushing to stay ahead through the back half of the course.
As I approached number 7, I saw a young green runner coming out going down the reentrant. I had already planned my route to 8, with the intent of climbing the spur to take a fairly direct route, but this, coupled with my fatigue at anything uphill, made me take a second look at the western trail route. I counted contours and decided that the longer, twistier trail route was probably worth saving at least 10 contours of climb. It worked out ok. Split comparisons seem to show it as being no slower and I didn't kill myself with a crazy climb there.
The rest of the course was pretty straightforward. I got passed approaching number 10 by a lady in a light blue top (learned later her name is Christine Brew F40+). I was a little worried by her passing me, but she had so much energy that I figured maybe she had been on a much shorter course - like the standard Brown. At the finish I learned that she had been motivated by seeing me ahead of her and knowing I was on her course, so she raced the last few controls to pass me - Way to go, Christine!
A great day and a fun course. This was a really nice place for Ultra-Long. Made up for the less than stellar Middle the day before.