O race 1:42:30  *** 10.1 km (10:09 / km)
20c shoes: Inov8 Mudroc
Wow! I finally won an official towel at this race! I am very pleased.
Cool enough for long pants at McKeldin today. I opted for the shorter course because I did not want to get too beat up since I’ve got a long race planned for the following weekend. It was a good decision because I got a sufficient workout and plenty of enjoyable orienteering – but felt ok later on. I like this area because it has some unusual looking rock features – e.g. a natural pool surrounded by black rocks and cliffs. This race started out on the opposite side of a knee deep stream, which we all had to ford using a fixed rope as a hand-hold. Kind of fun - like an “outdoor Ed” exercise. Lucky for me, I was late getting there and ran down to the start carrying my O shoes – hence I used my sneakers to ford the stream and could then switch to my dry shoes. Helpfully, the meet dir. arranged to carry the wet stuff back to the parking lot for everyone. The final control had another similar stream crossing back to the other side.
No navigational mistakes in the sense of going somewhere I hadn’t intended (aka “getting lost”). However, I ran right by one control not paying attention (cost 3-4 min), made one bad route choice, and a few times I got (briefly – 20 seconds or so) confused as to my next control. Also I generally failed when presented with the “micro-navigation” problems. As I recall there were 2 controls on this course that were placed in areas with multiple similar looking boulders and pits. Both of them cost me time (cost 5-6 min?) just “hunting and pecking” around till I hit the right one or someone else showed up who knew where it was. Note to self – try practicing solving one of these outside of a race context sometime.
My worst route choice was on the last long leg to control 19. For the last few controls before that I was hitting each control very close to 2 other runners (Greg L. and Corrine P.). On 19 I just got bad case of “tunnel vision” and focused entirely on following the straight line path to the control. This was very tiring because it went over several steep reentrant/spur stream valleys. I executed this route pretty flawlessly and was feeling pretty good about it, only to realize (after finishing) that I had wasted time and effort by not taking a trail (where my nearest competitor Corrine P. went) a bit to the left of the straight line, which avoided all of the elevation change and ran most of the way to the control! Duh. I get very distracted when running too close to someone else.