Orienteering 3:10:18  *** 20.4 km (9:20 / km) +670m 8:01 / km
27c shoes: 201110 Inov-8 Oroc 280
US Ultralong championships, blue course. The good: I finished, made mostly good navigational choices running solo for most of the race, didn't injure myself, and completed the longest O-course I have ever run. The bad: I was pitifully slow - losing 43 minutes to runit, and made mistakes in the second half of the course.
Prerace conditions were suboptimal; it was raining for much of the race. My fleece got drenched while I waited in the line for the bathroom before the course, and I was shivering waiting for the mass start. I wore short sleeves and tights in the ~12 C wetness; a hat or long sleeves would probably have been a good idea. While I had a solid breakfast 2.5 hours before the start, I didn't take my usual shot blocks in the haste to get ready. I took three Gus with me on the course.
The first leg was a long trail run, and I was at the front with runit, Mikkel, and Wyatt. The trail went further than it indicated on the map, and I hit ctrl 2 while navigating to where I thought ctrl 1 was, losing about 40s. I milled around in the front group; I was chasing Wyatt and ebone (who was late to the start) on the trail run to 4, but they inched away from me, and I declined to pursue. I navigated the second half to 4 on my own. Apparently the front pack made a mistake, because as I was descending a steep reentrant to 5, I saw ebone and Wyatt ascending on the other side. I reached 5 about 15s behind mindsweeper, and stopped to take my first Gu. I was comfortably warm, but not terribly energetic.
I didn't even consider the road route to 6; instead, I sluggishly bailed to the beach and ran along the lake. The route was good, but I did a poor job getting to the lake - I was in survival mode, not race mode. I executed my route to 8 poorly - running further along the road than needed, and choosing to attack from below. As I popped up into the control, jtorranc approached from above and remarked that above was clearly better. Jon stayed with me through 11, but I started getting away on the road run to 12, and he was out of sight by 14. I took my second Gu at the water stop at 15.
Control 16 consisted of a long, 3+ km trail run; I bobbled it at the end, losing about 90s running to the wrong little reentrant. Ctrls 17-20 were fine, though I was definitely getting tired. I decided to cut a trail corner at 20 to save at most a minute, but totally blew it (bad compass), was AOWN, and relocated at control 16 - losing at least 5 minutes. Jon passed me here. I stopped at the water stop on the way to 21 to take my last Gu. I think my route to 21 was optimal (will upload later), but between my adventure at 16 and exhaustion, I was ten minutes back. I saw Carol on my way to 23, and we exchanged pitiful encouragement.
On the way to 24, I was completely exhausted. I had no more Gu, and I marched up the (navigationally trivial) reentrant system to the control on willpower alone. Steep, wet, muddy reentrants were very challenging on the course, and I tried to avoid them. Ctrl 25 was also a slog, but I tapped my remaining energy for 26 and 27.
I think I realistically could have finished 20% back - where I was at ctrl 20. Had I not botched the trip to the trail at 20, Jon would have caught me, and I would have run with him for a time. Whether I could have held with him isn't clear, but it's disappointing to fall off so severely. This is a reminder to train for distance - if I can run 20 km, a 13 or 14 km long course will be easier by comparison. Kudos to runit for annihilating the field.