Orienteering (night) 2:10:00  ***** 5.2 km (25:00 / km)
ahr:121 max:155 spiked:8/10c shoes: Inov8 MudClaw 272
Pawtuckaway camping weekend, night course. My first ever night orienteering course. Mass start, following allowed, any controls in the sequence could be skipped. Scoring done by the number of controls, with ties broken by time. I kept up with the posse up to control 1, then they took off and I started from 1 to 2 on my own. My only strategy was to keep to the compass bearing as precisely as possible and to start looking all around me when the land started to slope down and I felt that I had gone the right distance. Surprisingly, this worked. I then set out to the shore of the lake between 2 and 3, also on a bearing. When I found the shore, I started following it left to the pathway between the lakes. By the time I found the pathway, there were people coming up behind me to the pathway from the other side. That group soon caught up with me and helped me find 3. I followed them to 4, then we all got a bit lost on the way to 5, but eventually re-located and found it. We then found 6 without too much trouble and then 7. Then the rest of the group split off to go to 12 (the last control), and I was again by myself. I then considered where to go next. I figured that people were going to fall into two categories: those who would get all 12 and those who wouldn't. I suspected that I could never catch up to those in the former category, but that with a little perseverance I could get more controls than everyone in the latter. I suspected that no one was going to get 11 controls (it made no sense to skip just one control) and that very few would get 10. Furthermore, even though it was hopeless for me to try to get from 7 to 10 directly through the woods, I realized that I could just follow a trail all the way around to both 10 and 11. So I cut to the trail and carefully noted all of its turns until I knew I had to be next to 10. Then I dove into the woods, got 10, went back to the trail and followed it back to 11, where I did the same exact thing. I then went back to that same trail, followed it as close as I could to 12, and got 12. When I finished, I found out that I had been right - other than me, no one got either 10 or 11 controls and the times for people who got 12 controls were all better than mine. So I had no hope of doing better than any of the 12-control people and got just the right number of controls to do better than everyone else. I was feeling very clever and pleased with myself, indeed.