Running warm up/down 10:00  1.5 km (6:40 / km) +20m 6:15 / km
slept:9.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800
Warmup for the long. I took a GU about twenty minutes before my start.
Orienteering 1:57:06  *** 10.51 km (11:09 / km) +435m 9:14 / km
West Point Classic Course. Of the three courses at this year's meet, this was my best, both measured by my assessment of my performance and my time relative to the field. In my judgment, the terrain and configuration of this park was easier than that of last year; relocation would not have been overly difficult on most controls, and features were generally prominent.
Overall, my approach was slow but conservative - I stayed in solid contact with the map, though my zone of uncertainty did become sufficiently large at times that I had to pause to ascertain my precise location from local features. I moved somewhat slowly at times; I need to practice retaining rigid contact, planning and executing routes, and observing features while still moving quickly. I never had to relocate; my biggest mistakes were on the order of 1-2 minutes.
On the first control, among three route choice considerations, I chose what was probably the worst, but it was an acceptable route, and I executed it well. I have done that exact process - enumerating three routes and choosing the worst, usually a compromise of the other two - several times in the past year, including on control 14 on the Ran-It Granite Classic in March. Controls 2 - 4 were fine; on control 5, while aiming for a prominent cliff on the edge of the map, I drifted slightly off and climbed too high. It was a common mistake.
I was especially pleased with my long leg execution - control 7. While I was far from the fastest on that leg, I chose between the two obvious routes - a long road detour or over the top of a large hill - and chose the hill. I then executed the route cleanly, effectively, and conservatively. I could probably have run faster, but I wanted to make sure I stayed in rigorous contact; I arrived at my attack (a saddle), found my simplified visible feature (a knoll), and found the control easily. I estimate I could have executed my route in about 15 minutes had I run more aggressively.
I was sluggish (and conservative) moving through vegetation down a spur to control 8 and traversing some cliffs to control 9. On control 10, I planned to visually locate via some large cliffs on the eastern side of a hill, but a smaller set of cliffs obscured them and confused me momentarily. I paused for about twenty seconds, guessed what had happened, and found the control for a total loss of about a minute.
I felt fantastic navigating from controls 11 through 17, which were of moderate technical difficulty. Everything was making sense, and though my pace was not the fastest, I was moving well. I made a thirty second error at 16 drifting down while contouring.
I started slowing down after control 18 because of fatigue, but I was aware that I was set to run in under 2 hours, and pushed near the end to keep that limit. I took a Gu twenty minutes before my run, and took one at controls 3 and 11.
Clearly, I need to work on my wood speed; also, armchair orienteering exercises and extensive catching features practice are in order.