orienteering 1:45:06  3.8 km (27:39 / km)
Day 2 of the spectator races. Another decent race with no major errors just a lot of slogging through physically tough terrain. Ended up in 11th place for the day about 20 minutes back of the winner. I think there are about 70 or 75 in D55, with lots of people not finishing. I'm in 14th overall now for the two days.
Took a very safe round about route to #1 basically staying on trails the whole time. Got off my line to #2 but after fighting through some slash and steep stuff got on the trail I wanted and found the control. Pushed my way out to a big trail then off the trail at a corner, then worked my way across a nasty hill full of moss covered square chunky rocks (limestone/karst stuff) with huge holes everywhere - maybe not the best route but definitely knew where I was - then down a reentrant that had a huge elephant track then over to my control through more rocks and downed trees. Felt pretty good about this leg although it was probably pretty slow. The rest of the course was similar - find my way to various small or large trails, find my attack point and then somehow fight my way through slash and rocks and steep slopes. I wouldn't do much different except perhaps one leg where I decided not to go around but to go up and over to a trail junction. The up and over part was fine - not super fast but not too bad - but the back down part was scary. I sat down for most of it and lowered myself with my arms and by holding on to the small trees and dropping a foot or two at a time.
On one long leg near the end I started to go around but then remembered team members talking about taking a trail to a control in the same area so I looked a little harder and saw a small trail with some indistinct bits that went pretty much to the control. I figured the elites had turned it into an elephant track and it would be easy to follow. And it was. It also didn't hurt that it was on one of the beginner courses so it was streamered!
One funny bit today was at the end of that trail where it hit a line of cliffs. My control was just down the ridge in a reentrant. As I started to wonder about how I would be able to get down this ridge, I realized the trail went down so, duh, I could take the trail and then cut over. Down near the bottom there was a control on this trail and it was clear it was on a bit of yellow where the trail bent. But there was a group of older folks standing there very confused and not sure where they were. I headed off into the woods knowing exactly where I was and hoping no one would follow me. Unfortunately, a kid came into the control and punched just then and they all looked at her map and then they knew where they were and came bashing through the woods past me and into the control. Ah well.
The penultimate control was also a bit funny. I took a somewhat around route - I was starting to fade and it looked easier even though it involved a good bit of climb. As I was going and wondering whether to go higher or what, I noticed a cable on the ground. I looked at if for a few seconds and then I remembered the announcer from yesterday talking about competitors punching at the "pre-warning" control and suddenly I realized it was the cable for the computer to tell them who was punching. So I just followed the cable right into the control. That was fun.
It's hard to describe this terrain well. Yes, there are a lot of little trails everywhere but that doesn't make it easy. But one, they're tough to spot on the map, and two they're tough to get to in the woods soemtimes. Also, there are enough elephant tracks everywhere that it's easy to not be on the trail you think you are so you have to pay close attention to other things. But the woods are just really, really difficult to move through - very steep and very uneven ground. And today had lots of slash. So while it's not what I would normally think of as fun terrain - it's challenging in a different way and so fun for that reason. It's definitely not easy that's for sure!
Got lucky with the weather - it was pouring when we arrived at the arena but it stopped before I started and didn't start again until after I finished.
Went to the WOC opening ceremonies this evening. Boy were they lame. Had a very nice dinner afterwards - especially because I ended up with Clem's dish instead of mine. We both ordered mussels but with different seasonings. I commented how delicious mine was several times and I guess Clem didn't have the heart to tell me I was eating his. Thanks, Clem!