Orienteering 26:56  ** 2.4 km (11:13 / km) +40m 10:22 / km
spiked:13/15c shoes: Salomon SC 3 blue
Oyster Bay C-meet. Start at about 11:55. Set out to do about half of "Course 4", 5.0/85 28c, and that's what I did. Debated about whether to actually go since it was pouring rain, and I've had a good deal of orienteering in preparation for the US Champs already, but decided to go for it, and got quite lucky in that it was only drizzling while I was out on the course. Ankle deep standing water was unavoidable, though. Hadn't been to this park in many years, and it was essentially completely unfamiliar, so good for training.
Counting this as training since I didn't run it like a race. As planned, ran at about 85% speed, trying to keep up a good flow. There were several knots of clustered controls with significant changes in direction, good practice. The sequence from 8 to 11 was pretty much straight running, so I slowed down on that portion. Ran through #14, went to #15 at a reduced pace since it was on the way back to the finish anyway.
2. Went by #4 in an attempt to avoid the (wet) bushes on the direct line. But then I apparently didn't recognize the small foot path and instead turned right on what's mapped as a larger path but wasn't all that distinct. Came to the junction, realized where I was, turned right and spotted the big tree. Lost almost a minute. Clearly hadn't adjust to the 1:4000 scaled, so this was a good wake up call for Mills.
3. A few steps straight E to get on the small N-S footpath. Map showed a trail going down to the paved path, starting a little to the right of where I was. So, even though there was an elephant path straight ahead, went to the right looking for the mapped trail. Not seeing it, went back to the elephant path and took that. Guess that was actually the mapped footpath. Lost :10.
4. Took the path back to #1 and then took the elephant trail I'd taken past #4. That made it easy, but it was too far out of the way. Lost :10.
7. Lost several seconds trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid large and deep puddles.
11. As I approached the final path junction WSW of 11, could see a big field of very large rocks that didn't seem to be on the map - there was a patch of light blue there instead. After the run, realized that that patch was actually gray, representing bare rock - not at all appropriate for what was actually in the field. Anyway, I ran a bit past where I should have left the trail, realized that when I saw the junction ahead, turned back and found the control. Lost about :20.
13. Straight. Got to just S of the little reentrant, could see it, but there was some deadfall and vegetation in my way, and I picked my way very carefully over that - with everything being so wet, did not want to slip and fall. Lost :10.
Looking at the results, surprised I did so well (for the portion I ran) since I was just cruising. Could have easily maintained that pace (indeed, sure I could have picked it up) for the rest of the course. Here are the top times after 15 controls:
1. 2417 Gavin Williams
2. 2522 Tac Sukiyama
3. 2605 Rex Winterbottoom
4. 2656 me
5. 2801 Julia Doubson
6. 2853 Marie-Josee
7. 2859 Steve Gregg
8. 3107 Penny DeMoss
In the evening, before seeing the results, thought to myself that come the weekend I need to be conscious of not being as relaxed as I was out there today. But after seeing the results, I wonder if being relaxed helped me minimize errors, and so that is exactly how I should be. Hmm.
Also before seeing the results, I thought my best legs were 5, 6 and 14, and those turned out to be 3 of my 4 highest ranking splits. The surprise was #15, where I was second fastest. I definitely cut my speed on this leg: after promising myself I'd "retire" at 14 (halfway), I only did 15 because it was on the way back. Furthermore, at one point someone was coming the other way in a narrow passage of vegetation, and I paused maybe 5 secs to let him pass. So how did I wind up with such a high ranking split? Perhaps it was the route choice: I avoid the bushy area W of the control by taking the path to the hairpin turn to the NW and then followed the edge of the bushes.
Running warm up/down 4:50  0.3 mi (16:06 / mi)
shoes: Salomon SC 3 blue
Went directly from #15 to #28 and then to the Finish, as a cool down.