orienteering race (Oceania Long) 1:44:37  8.3 km (12:36 / km)
shoes: new Olways
Starting 3rd-last in a long race in the Warbys at 1pm on a rainy afternoon more suited to June than October wasn't really my idea of a good time as it would be a long time until lunch, and although WMOC had taught me plenty about waiting around when the entire day is taken up with orienteering and the getting to/from thereof, wearing a GPS unit was an entirely new experience and one which made me rather jittery.
Started out slowly and sensibly but that only lasted about 2 controls and then I remembered about my 'extra bra' and got distracted just long enough to veer in the wrong direction crossing the track to 3. Corrected okay and went cautiously down the rock slabs to the correct little gully but thought I was above the control when I was actually less than 5m below (didn't spot it because of foggy glasses), and came back to punch a minute later. Long leg to 7 was okay, very slow up the hill through the rubble, then really cautious in to the circle. Overshot 8 (on a bearing and a prayer) but when things didn't seem right I slowed down, looked behind me across the clearing and saw the control - good save. Basically, every time I couldn't see to read the map, I made a mistake - the next was on 10 where coming down the hill I couldn't make the little gullies fit and the bare rock to the south seemed closer than it was.
Still, was feeling okay (if slow) running-wise but could feel an attack of the vague-and-hungries coming on. Disaster struck in the same place it did two years ago, coming over the ridge above the spectator/radio control. I crossed the minor track right by twin/split boulders* and a tree with a blue blaze on it, headed NW across the saddle and ended up in completely the wrong spot, unable to make anything fit. Somewhere between 6 & 8 min later I decided that the blur of the commentary was definitely coming at me from too far south, so I headed south in search of the control.
Final loop was okay, took a poor down/up route across the hill/valley, Tash caught me here - first person I'd run with all day - but got away from me towards the end, by which time I was very glad to see the finish. Really, it was a great course and a good physical challenge but I made close to 12 min of mistakes, which is definitely not cool. Probably the hardest I've had to concentrate all year, plus my brain was otherwise preoccupied.
*In hindsight, I think that these rocks aren't mapped at all but that in both 2009 and 2011 I have mistaken them for a pair of boulders marked near, but not on, the track - about 150m south of where I actually was.