Orienteering course length: 4.4 km, Green 1, Relay.
After some solid results over the past two days (except the Night-O), I was put on the second leg of the CSU first team. We noted that Ross, Boris, Ken, and Izzy would make an especially fast four point team, and denoted them "CSU 1." Alex, me, Ali and Mikkel formed "CSU 2," and Brendan, PG, Bill, and Greg formed "CSU 3."
Brendan had a solid race, especially given his IT band problems, and finished first, with Zac Barker close behind and Alex about thirty seconds back. I caught up to Peter by the second control, and Vadim by control six. On the way to 6.
Vadim and I had the same forkings, so we ran the rest of the course virtually together. At control 10: 1
. I considered trying to break away, but I was much more likely to make a mistake if I either pushed hard to get away or was running by myself. I made a noticeable compass error at control 12 (16:58 on my track) where I was too far to the left. While I punched the control first, Vadim's presence helped me correct the error. I'm not sure I could have made up that much ground on speedy, as I was pushing hard the entire race.
Control 13, at time 20:14, was a long scary-ish leg with not much to check off on the way. I was careful with my compass and checked off streams, marsh boundaries, and a rootstock; I ended up about ten or twenty meters to the right. Dan Barker captured some nice shots from that leg: 1
I figured 14 was a safe leg, so I ramped up my effort leaving 13, but drifted to the north and had to correct. Speedy and I entered the clearing bridge within about 10-15 meters of each other, and I punched 14 maybe 5-10s ahead of him. After 14, I again increased my intensity on the long run to the go control, then threw everything I had left at the finish leg to tag off Ali. Brendan got me by five seconds on the finish leg, which surprised and impressed me. Mikkel was six seconds ahead of me in his climactic run in against Wyatt.
I had few mistakes on terrain that could have invited errors, but as I was not really alone, I'm not sure that's a testament to my performance. I am happy that I had a solid race in a relay - when it matters most, and that I didn't let down my team. I would have preferred to give Ali a bigger lead than the 22 seconds she had against Clem, but DVOA and our team were too closely matched in speed. Any margin that left the two runners in sight of each other was irrelevant, as the back runner would catch up quickly. As a result, the relay came down to the last two legs of the blue course, and Mikkel outkicked Wyatt for the win. DVOA was an excellent opponent, and I am curious to see how our teams would have performed on a broader test of our orienteering abilities. DVOA is a worthy adversary, and through friendly competition, we can hone our abilities for the day when we take the field against the Canadians.
Thanks to SLOC for a fun and exciting relay and for an excellent weekend!