Orienteering race 56:06  5.0 km (11:13 / km) +360m 8:15 / km
WOC relay, third leg. This was enjoyable and the terrain was awesome - but the experience was clouded somewhat by me not being able to orienteer normally due to the impending darkness. The original plan was for Eric to run third, but with the forecast calling for rain and thunderstorms he (very presciently) became concerned about being able to see, so we switched. He ran the second leg with a headlamp, and was going to pass it to me, but then they made us mass start just after Eric passed through the arena, so I never got it.
Heading to the first control on the road with Romania, Japan, and Portugal, I was already having trouble reading while moving at speed - without even being in the forest yet. Very jealous of the Japanese guy's headlamp at that point. In order to read any close detail I'd have to basically slow to a walk and hold the map six inches from my face; this was also exacerbated by the claustrophobic competition area, criss-crossy nature of the course, and intricacy of the terrain. Most of the time I was sort of half-in, half-out of map contact, navigating solely using the rocks because at a glance the thick black stood out best against the white paper, and sort of inferring the contours. I also bailed up and around to the main trail multiple times when it was probably a bad choice, just because it felt simpler and faster than trying to read the straighter route. Still a fun experience, but would've been a lot better under reasonable circumstances. At the end I hardly felt tired, because I was rarely able to push to full speed. I get that the IOF or whoever don't care about the slow teams, but starting a race at 6:25pm is just trash.
At the same time I never thought I'd get a second opportunity to finally run a forest race at WOC, and it took a funky, unique year with a lot of our best guys injured or declining, so I'm thankful for the memorable experience in any case.