Orienteering…

I’m very behind on posting… Something like 4 books, 1 cooking club event, and 2 orienteering events. I’ll try to knock them each out over the coming days.

First off is orienteering:

1) Local Backwoods Orienteering Event at Shenck Forrest on 4/15

I ran the red course, and as BOK did at the smaller venue of Lake Johnson a few months back, they made this one tricky by putting out extra controls on the more advance courses. (Shenck is also a bit small for the longer courses when compared to some of our normal venues like Umstead or Raven Rock.)

That means you have to be right-on to get the correct control. I did pretty well in that regard, missing just one of the tricky ones, but overall I was pretty slow. Much of that was due to walking along a fence for 15 or 20 minutes, wondering if I should really jump it or not. Over course looking back, it was obvious that it was not out of bounds on the other side, and the control was clearly on the other side, so I should have jumped it much sooner. But that certainly cut into my time! However, I still ended up 3rd, though much further behind than normal! Give me back my lost 20 minutes and I would have finished more like normal in relation to the other racers. Normally folks I would not have beaten due to that mistake, I still beat. That is because several people decided not to cross the creek, so they were DNF’s. The water was high as there was a ton of rain. In fact, on one of my crossings when I couldn’t find a log to use as a bridge, the water was up to mid-thigh, and it was almost white-water like, so it was pretty strong.

http://treklite.com/bok/news/event-07-04.htm

2) West Point A Meet on 4/28

I was working in Boston and decided to fly home via New York, so I could do this meet in West Point. I lived there a long time ago when my Dad taught at the Academy, so I thought it would be fun to go back. Two things on that… First, I would not fly into JFK or any of the NYC airports again to do this. Traffic in and around the city was crazy. It didn’t help that I ran into Yankee — Red Sox traffic on the way back. Second, the West Point guards would not let me onto base, so I could not see our old place.

As for the race, it was pretty tough. I started out doing ok — not fast, but not terribly slow either. The map was somewhat hard for me to read as the contours were 5m and I’m used to 1 or 3m. And the location was very mountainous. The course was a little over 6K, but had over 325m of elevation gain. While I was not spot on for the 1st 9 controls, I was never too far off. However, #10 proved to be a killer. Took about 30 minutes for me to find it. When I did, I headed off to #11 dejected. Orienteering is so hard when your mind is not in it. I again struggled with #11, and decided to skip it and start heading in. On the way in, I picked up #13 and #14. But I was a DNF since I had missed #11 and #12.

I still had a great time, and the area is so beautiful. I would definitely go back and give it another shot next year if I can work it out.

/Sean

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