EOC Middle Distance Qualification.
I was very excited to race this morning, and I didn't mind the drizzly slightly chilly and very windy weather. I went out for a short loop on the warmup map and was again reminded about how fast the forests were and how subtle the bland features could be, then it was off to the start.
From the start I had a bit of a panic-y feeling when the two others in my start minute ran off a different direction from me, but I knew that I was on a different course and I just headed down the hill and into my control.
I made a mistake on the next control, climbing too sharply, and finding a parallel reentrant in the low visibility of the green slash. Once I stopped moving it was hard to read any of the hills in the terrain around me, and I was quite hesitant as I recovered and found the flag.
The next few controls I hit cleanly and with confidence, perhaps not going straight enough on the line, but moving quickly and anticipating everything that I saw.
To approach control 9, I stayed low along the shelf of the hill until I saw the boulder before climbing up the steep bank. This uphill effort, I am convinced, helped contribute to a large error on the next control. I was climbing steadily across the blank hillside looking for a flag in a reentrant. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw such a control several contours above me and I convinced myself that it was mine, though the code proved that it wasn't. In the next couple of minutes I scoured the hillside and especially a bushy reentrant that wasn't on the map, trying to make sense of my mistake. It took me awhile to go far enough because the reentrant my control was actually in looked green enough to be the vegetation boundary that was just past the control.
The rest of the course was uneventful, I was navigating well, but feeling a little more tired after my big error at 10. The climbing to 15 and 18 was excruciating but it was great to hear Judy cheering me in the finish chute. Per had a break in the action too, and he announced my finish as well which was a cool birthday present in itself :)
I was 41st in my heat, which is indeed disappointing, but even with a clean race my time would be 3 minutes outside of qualifying for the A final. It's a tough field here at these races.
I drew my routes as best I can remember Map
and splits are back up now splits
after some changes in the women's classes due to technical issues.