Day 1 of the Western Pennsylvania OC A meet, Deer Lake Park a little NE of Pittsburgh. Red course, straight-line distance was 7.9 km.
The course is here
Given the possibilities -- hills, thick vegetation, summer heat and humidity -- today was way better than expected. I just totally enjoyed it. I'm sure it helped that it was on the cool side (mid 60s?) and that my legs had some life. It also helped that I thought both the map and the course were excellent.
Regarding the map, I could nitpick a few places with the mapping of green, but not much. And most everything seemed to be mapped really well, just matched up perfectly with what I saw in the terrain. Made it such a pleasure.
And the course offered a good variety of stuff, including lots of choices. There was quite a bit of trail running, especially on the routes I chose, but that was so much preferable to having a course with 25 controls arranged to keep you off-trail as much as possible -- and to offer more "real orienteering" -- when all that would have done was put you in the thick stuff a lot more and piss you off. This course was really nice.
I think my routes weren't the best. Especially to 4, I went left, straight was better. To 5 I went left and my time was slow, perhaps right was better? To 8 I went right, maybe OK. To 10 low, pretty sure that was OK. To 11 stayed on the trail, not too bad. To 12, well figure it out, I had the best split, must have been OK.
Legs feel like they used up all reserves today, so tomorrow may be a struggle. But it was nice to have had one energetic day, even if it was not quite enough to beat Balter.... :-)