Orienteering race 2:24:35  *** 13.9 km (10:24 / km) +345m 9:15 / km
spiked:3/7c shoes: Luath Blue XTalon 212s
Blue, 9.9 km
Meet 21, course 31
I had a lot of fun doing this. It was my first blue course in a long time (possibly the black course at New Forest was the next back) and it was made more fun by the continuously long legs. My navigation was lame for the first half and improved once I had given up.
Leg 1 - pretty easy but overshot on the road (near the edge of the map) and took a poor line along the spur
Leg 2 - tried to wrap around the tops of the reentrants and drifted N (left) further than expected. Bailed to the road which was fine but I made a confused turn/turn back not believing where I was. Then, I choose to go the long way around on the road but I moved pretty fast and had a good split. Control was well buried (even for me expecting it). This was my least favorite leg as the road was a good option.
Leg 3 - total botch. Couldn't decide whether the river was (really) crossable. Started to go the direction of crossing; then decided to believe the map that it was not which seemed odd because it would have been nice to run next to given that it was a beautiful flat approach to the control. At this point, I knew it would be a technically hard leg. Ran back up the road to the hilltop/road bend, successfully cut off the reentrant tops and climbed the ridge. Now I understand that I was on the correct ridge but headed out a minor spur that was a parallel error. This left me baffled, had I miscounted?? So I crossed over to the next major ridge line. I was pretty sure at this point that the trail was wrong and likely under the line to C4. Crossed the nasty power ride to a steep ridge top that was narrow; argh! Decend and fight along the stream edge, cross a stream (doesn't seem like the one close to the control) bash on to two more ( now it makes sence), head to the bag). I only missed by 600 m but at least I had seen much of the terrain heading to C4
Leg 4 - undershot when the trail faded along the stream, checked out the marsh for 2 min and then went right to the control
Leg 5 - My best executed leg. Back to the stream bend, up the valley (pretty badly mired by raspberries under the power line), used trails/ridges/valleys to connect together a series of mini-legs until I got to a good attack point (distinctive small reentrant) and went carefully by compass into the green and punched. Spike! Partook of the gatorade.
Leg 6 - down into the valley, confused by all of the extra well developed trails (in most places these were very complete but not here), worked up and over a ridge and open wood then across a creek valley. I didn't climb out cleanly and wandered into a green patch. This was dopey but I fixed it reasonably and went directly to the correct erosion gully.
Leg 7 - getting tired. On my descent to the control, went fully airborne grabbing a 5" tree that I sailed past. This was a big win because I could have flown a long way.
Leg 8 - make it up the final solid climb, punch, dry off, drive 10 h home with cedarcreek.
Lessons: keep tighter contact, sometimes the easy looking route really is.
This was one sweet weekend thanks to the effort of Dave Waller. Really fantastic!