Orienteering 1:32:13  7.53 km (12:15 / km) +229m 10:38 / km
shoes: Salomon SpikeCross - 2nd pair
TOC/UKR Turkey Trot 90-min Score-O
Glen Haffy Conservation Area
There was no excuse to miss the Turkey Trot this year, given its convenient location just 10 minutes from home. 'Bent and I haven't done much orienteering since the pandemic started and it was really nice to see so many familiar faces, including many people I hadn't seen in real life for 2-3 years. There was a great vibe. I think many of us now feel more appreciative of these opportunities.
This year's event was a 90-minute Score-O with 23 controls and minimal planning time. I'd planned to stay mostly in the north half of the park but as soon as I saw the distribution of points, I realized that I had no choice about travelling the overgrown trails and scaling the "mountains" in the south half of the park. Almost 2/3 of the points were south of Coolihan's Sideroad so I ran directly to the road crossing when the race started. I was going to need all the time I could get down there.
I went 16-17-20 with no nav issues although the physical side of the course was already ramping up. Then several of us - the winning woman Emma Sherwood, the winning junior girl Lia Fransson and Ognan, the 3rd place masters man - had major issues finding 22. It ended up being farther south than any of us were looking. [Note: after reviewing the map against the satellite map, I see the error I made - and maybe we all made it.] It looked dead easy - a depression just 20 m off the overgrown trail - so none of us wanted to give up. Given that I'd gambled on visiting a smaller number of higher value controls, I stayed in the area for 12 minutes looking for it. That forced me to drop one of my planned high-value controls. I visited 21-19-18 but skipped the highest value control 23 at the bottom of Caledon's K2.
The vegetation was evil in many places and we'd been warned that the map was outdated. While crashing through thigh-high weeds northwest of 18, I finally did a face plant over a hidden log. A minute later, I heard Emma Sherwood calling from 50 m behind, "Did you lose your phone?" In an unbelievable stroke of luck, she crashed through the weeds along the exact same line and saw my phone lying where it had catapulted out of my pack pocket when I fell. PHEW!!!!!
Once I got back to the nice, well-maintained Bruce Trail, I of course turned my left ankle. I just kept running. At this point, it's all scar tissue in that foot so it barely swells anymore.
My plan for the end of the race was to pick up whatever I could on the north map on my way to the finish, which was more than 1 km from the road crossing. Unfortunately, I decided to contour around and find 10 first, which didn't work out. That wasted so much time that I only had time for 4 and 1 - and actually, I didn't because I finished 30 seconds late and lost my 10 pts for 1. It would have been smarter to ignore 10 and I could have got 4-1-3-5 enroute to the finish, which would have put me at 410 instead of 380.
Regardless, there was no catching Emma S. for the female win but I did take home the Cabernet Sauvignon for winning age 45+. I was 2nd/20 female and 5th/25 masters, and I'm really happy with that. My training has been limited and hasn't focused on running because of my Achilles but even when I was better trained, I couldn't have expected a better result.
Congrats to Sudden for taking the Masters win and to Isak for being one of only two people to clear the course. Lia won Junior Female so it was a good day to be a Fransson. The overall winner was Aidan Minto, a TOC member I don't know, who finished with more than 7 minutes to spare. Wow!
Big thanks to organizers Eugene, Nev-Monster, Barbara G, Andrew B., Mark I. and Svatka. It was a lot of fun!