ARDF 2m race 59:34  *** 4.59 km (12:59 / km) +100m 11:42 / km
shoes: Nike Trail (Blue)
A short 2m radio course at Mitchell-Memorial Forest set by k4bri. I'm calling it intensity 3 because I spent a good 25 minutes walking and standing around waiting for transmitters to come on.
This course had the transmitters in more green than I like, but it was good practice. A few times I went less than 50m when the T was on, and that is just too much green.
I prefer courses where you can run all the time, and the winner is the one who figured out the problems at speed.
I saw 4 about the same time it started transmitting, but before I realized it was the one transmitting, so I'd claim this one as off-cycle. I got 3 on the next cycle, which was pretty cool. I was about 20m from it when it started, but it was in no way an offcycle spike.
Next was 2, and it killed my time. The green was so bad. I'll download my GPS later, but I know I spent a good 5 cycles on this---25 min.
Leaving 2, I got on a road (that I'd been hearing for 2 or 3 of those cycles---that might have been a way to speed up getting 2), and ran up to the park entrance and waited for 30 seconds on number 1. I was on a little hilltop, and I thought it would be in the white forest area (based on my bearing as I left the start corridor). It wasn't. It was down along the road. I barely made it to the lake when it went off, and the bearing just wasn't solid---I couldn't tell if it was north or south of the road.
Thinking strategically, I knew the course was short, and that I had 3 minutes to get to the vicinity of 5. 1 was near the finish, so 5 was an obvious choice. I ran by all the people at the grand opening of the new MTB trails, walked up the hill, and cut the corner of the road to get to a high spot. Waited about 45 seconds for 5 to start, delayed just a few seconds getting down the cut to the road, and got to the road intersection with seconds left in number 5's transmission. I turned in a slow circle, and got an even signal---no directivity. This sucks. I tried to sprint away from the intersection up to a little hilltop, but I didn't have time to DF the signal before it went silent. I spent 5 minutes walking around an area I suspected, but found nothing. I was near that intersection, but on top of a hill (again) when it came on again. I had a 5 on the strength, but as I ran toward it, it went down to 4. I hesitated as I checked behind me, and verified that the signal was weaker. I ran along the road trying to get the signal perpendicular, but that was a big nasty green area, so I backtracked and dove into a field. I ran into the field until the signal was perpendicular, then remembered the bearing and looked for a spot to enter the thicket. I saw some clearings inside a little left of my bearing, so I went there, looked along my bearing, then put my head down and started back into the green. I saw the flag almost right away, then touched it (I forgot to mention we didn't have punches).
I started back toward the finish along the high trail, even though the road looked a little shorter. I think I made it back in less than 5 minutes (it was either 4 or 9, I think). I ran by the OH-KY-IN field day site, down past the stairs and waited at the parking lot on the south side of the road near the lake. 1 came on, and it was strong---5, then a few steps later, 6. Then a few steps more and a 5 again. I stopped and looked around. It was no where to be seen, but yet the signal was strong. I swung the antenna back and forth, and started running it, but it went off, and I didn't have time to get a good bearing to follow during the off time. I took a few steps, then turned around and...saw it. The flag was right up against a tree (but well within the rules for visibility).
I hoofed it up to the finish, thinking I had taken so long that everyone would be waiting on me, but I only saw Bob talking to Brian (k4bri). He was pretty winded, so I was pretty sure I beat him. It was some time before Dick finished.
The coolest part of the whole day for me was the reaction of all the people in the park. I got asked about 5 times, "What are ya trackin?", and I just said, "It's a game. We're hunting 5 transmitters", as I ran by. Lots of rangers and sheriffs and miscellaneous law enforcement types; and no indications that they had "crazy people vibes" from us.
Just a beautiful day, and a great day to be in a park. So much fun.
I decided not to check the MTB trails---they had *a lot* of people on them.