Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20 training event in South Umstead (Whispering Pines)

I don't remember being so tired on an orienteering event. At least not in the last few years... Artem set up very very physically challenging event. Part of my fatigue was because of the CT scan I took on Friday, part because of the route I took, but most of it was indeed attributed to the way controls were set and scored as well as to the small time limit. Well, I actually liked 1 hour limit, as it is exactly how long my knee seems to be holding up, but I was (like everybody else) late on the finish and therefore pushed myself too much at the end.

But let's start from the beginning. We (Michael, Tanya and I) arrived quite early, but there were already people starting up. Artem gave us the maps (short ones) and it was immediately obvious that it was going to be hard. Michael walked us to the start and all the way there I was trying to make up my mind on which route to take. It was quite clear that I wasn't going to take them all in one hour, so I had to decide which 30 pointers to target. There were indeed a lot of choices. Tanya had started and Michael followed her shortly afterwards and I was still standing at the start control thinking. Finally, I decided to concentrate on the south east part of the map. Jumping ahead I think I made a strategical mistake there: north area with T30 and A30 would have probably be a bit easier for me, especially physically. But at the same time I almost avoided using roads (which I guess is a plus... maybe...).

So, my plan was: X5, J5, G10, W30, V15, M30, E10, O10 and maybe also A30 (plus Q5 on the way back).

X5 was easy, though it was the most tricky one in terms of "poisonous controls". Small re-entrant and gully looked very similar, but still it wasn't hard to decide which one is the northern one there.

J5 was again an easy find if not counting climbing over a lot of fallen trees in the greenish re-entrant and gully over there.

Then I ran south to the road and went of the map... Yes, basic mistake like that...I saw the trail emerging in north-east direction on the map and I saw a trail sign down the road. I made an assumption that the sign was for that trail and shoot for it instead of cutting through the woods. I found a trail there, took it and later on discovered that it was going south east instead of north east. I have no idea where I missed the trail split, but I did miss it and took southern branch, thus going further and further off the map... When I realized what was going on I decided against running back, as I was sure about hitting the road soon (the one that then would cross the power line). It was a correct decision, at the end I indeed hit that road and reached the power line in the very south east corner of the map. It turned out that I didn't loose a lot of time on this run around off the map. The control wasn't hard to find from that intersection, but I suspect that it wasn't set correctly. I went down the re-entrant and started to count side re-entrants on the left. Much to my surprise there was a control in the very first one. I decided that it was a "poisonous" one and went further. Reached the next re-entrant, noticed creeks crossing and re-entrant on the right side, but there was no control... Looked around, looked some more - still no control. Then I suspected that the control wasn't set right, returned back, found yet another "poisonous" one, took the one at the bottom and went off. I might be wrong there, of course. Artem was going to check this control later on to make sure.

Then I went for V15. It was stupid. I was already short on time and should have abandoned it and go for M30 using low elevation route by the river. But I went up to the power line, went up hill, lost my breath and there realized that there was no way I could take both V15 and M30 and still be on time. I wish I wouldn't use this power line at all, I wish I would take M30 from the river... But I used power line, made all those huge ups and downs and completely exhausted myself.

All right, I took M30 and it was time to go back to the finish. Used power line to reach the river, crossed it (almost waist deep) and took E10. Then went by X5 again and to the road. Crossed one bridge, then another and my time was up then.

It took me 8 minutes and the rest of my strength to go by the lake shore and Q5. I was walking most of the time there, feeling quite miserable.

Finished with 95 points (-35 for being late) with the final score of 60. Lol - I could have simply take two 3o pointers to get these points. At the finish I found a lot of runners feeling quite the same :-)

Tanya and Michael ran their courses smarter than me. Tanya took X5, O10, A30 and Q5 and was only 2 minutes late with 44 points. Michael took both A30 and T30 (plus X5, O10 and Q5) and ran all the way back very quickly using the road, so he ended up just a little bit late and with 50 points.

All in all - good but very tough event. Very unlike to our ordinary advanced courses.

Here is my route (except for the "out of the map portion"). Click on the image to enlarge. Blue - mostly running, yellow-brown - mostly walking.


Anonymous said...

I confirm that you were correct and my setup of W30 was wrong.
I apologize and hope that my mistake did not spoil the whole event for you.
Artem, aka blackrussian

Vaskor said...

No problem, Artem. I maybe lost about 4 minutes there, no more. This control didn't influence my run that much. My own mistake to use the power line did...

misa said...

I loved the course, but I really lost a lot of time in various places.

After deciding against getting wet before getting to the start control by following the West-side of the lake instead of crossing the river on the East side, I did X5, E10. Then lost a bunch of time between E10 and O10 because I was looking for the control 2 reentrants too early (and that particular reentrant is confusing, it has huge boulders that are not on the map), finally got O10, A30 (that was an easy attack from the power line clearance), then the 30-point control north of A30 (lost a bunch of time not realizing I can cut through the woods and I followed the river instead), and had 15 minutes to get back.

I was wondering if I should go back on the Western side of the lake the way I walked to the start, but decided to use another trail instead - so took the road, then right on the other road for about 100m, then SW on the trail towards Y15, which was an easy pick. Then run as hard as I could on the Company Mill run, over the bridge, then up the trail (I was essentially off the map at that point). At some point I made a turn South and I caught the road that led to the ranger's house. From that point it was just running, and getting back 10 minutes late :-(

Vaskor said...

It was quite a distance to cover in 15 minutes!

And it is somewhat heartening to know that I wasn't the only one running off the map that day :-) As if there wasn't enough controls to visit within the map!