Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16 event in the Umstead Park (Whispering Pines)

Yet another great day for orienteering. No rain, and the temperature was just right.

We arrived at early (at 11.30) as Michael and I volunteered to help with the start and registration. So, naturally, we worked during the first hour until Nadya and Charles released us. And Tanya was watching two little girls our friends left with us for the weekend. With 40 girl scouts we had a lot of people attending the event, many newcomers too, which is always good to see. The only bad thing was the download box not working (again!). I really see it as a problem now. We should either test it a day before or get a spare one (which I guess is expensive...). Artem and Ken kept doing some manipulations with the box and at the end they were able to fix it somehow, but many runners left without the printed results.

Initially we planned that all three of us will run and watch after the girls in turns, but we ended up only with me and Tanya running. Michael decided to stay at the start.

Tanya ran the Orange course and I did Green. Well, actually, I did my usual "1 hour" run, which turned to be Green this time. I liked the course. It wasn't very difficult, but Nadya and Charles hidden the controls pretty well (as usual :-)). It added to the challenge. Also there were a lot of steep hills on the route, which I couldn't avoid and had to walk up quite a bit. Anyway, here is how I ran:

#1: went to the left, crossed the re-entrant and walked uphill; then when I saw cabins on the left, turned and went down to the control.
#2: walked uphill, then ran north until the slope started to go down. There I stood for a few seconds and located the stony ground on the other side of the re-entrant (I wouldn't be able to use this trick in summer time!). Then just ran straight to that stony ground and up to the control.
#3: walked up the hill, ran down aiming to the bend of a re-entrant, crossed it and walked up another hill (I told you, a lot of uphills walks...), crossed the re-entrant and ran along the slope will the control.
#4: straight to the road and them took compass bearing to the control. Missed it and reached the open ground far to the left. Corrected the mistake and took the control. Met Ken and Terese there and we ran together back to the road.
#5: used the road to get there, attacked from the road's turn, watched and counted gullies and dry-ditches without crossing them; then turned to the cluster of dry-ditches with the control.
#6: thought about using the road again, but decided against it; crossed the first re-entrant in its higher part, then went down into the second one and ran along the slope to the re-entrant with the control.
#7: walked up to the road and ran till it started to curve; met Bill there; ran by the big re-entrant and crossed to the small re-entrant I was looking for; unfortunately, didn't notice it and reached another branch (eastern) of the same re-entrant; looked for the control there, didn't find it, looked at the compass and realized the mistake; went west and got the control.
#8: ran north-north-west over the hill and down the slope (but not straight down!), then cut through the green to the trail; the green area was bad, I could have probably been better off running all the way down that hill and then turning west, but I really wanted to reach that trail; after I got to the trail the control was very easy to find.
#9: used the road to get there, that was a mistake: the road went up, so I spent a lot of effort; I should have used the lower ground to get to the creek instead. Once at the creek, the control was easy to get.
I looked at the clock at #9 and realized that I spent 35 minutes to get that far. I wanted not to exceed 1 hour, so I had to turn back now, which meant finishing on Green.
#13: walked all the way up to the road, then ran east crossing and counting upper parts of re-entrants, reached the hill and followed it to the saddle.
#14: ran south-west using the high ground, then went down to the re-entrant and reached the road; used the road to get all the way to the control and walked up crossing gullies till I found it.
#15: back to the road, across the bridge; ran by the shore till the first re-entrant, but it was very slippery on the dry leaves in that area, so I decided to get away from the shore asap; went over the hill to the middle of the second re-entrant, crossed it, went up another hill to the beginning of the third re-entrant and aimed to the control from there; unfortunately missed and realized the mistake only when I saw that familiar stony ground ahead; turned back and took the control.
#16: was too tired to attempt the straight run, so used the re-entrant to get almost to the lake, then went up the control's re-entrant; it was easy to find this way.
Then barely managed to crawl up to the camp - the slope was very steep and slippery...

Ended up spending exactly 1 hour on the course.

Huge thanks to Nadya and Charles for organizing the event, it was fun!

Here is my route. Click on the image to enlarge. Blue - mostly running, yellow-brown - mostly walking.

From Orienteering

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