Friday, August 28, 2009

Courses for Sep 20 event are approved

Sent Sep 20 event courses for approval to Umstead this morning and got a very quick approval.

Despite the approval, I am not entirely happy with the Orange course. While trying not to repeat old South Umstead courses, I am always bumping into the limiting number of controls we have available... And the Orange course usually suffers the most. This time I couldn't get many intersections between RGB and Orange (because RGB goes behind the river and the rest of the controls are quite hard too) and it resulted in Orange sharing two controls with the White course... So the course will start as an easy one (White - Yellow - White) and only after that will become a real Orange.

After I get the controls, I'll check how many are working. If I find an extra one, I'll replace one of the Whites with a new Orange one, but we'll see.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22 in the Bond Park

It was very gratifying to see the Bond Park map finally used in an event. It was the biggest mapping project I undertook (so far) and I was glad to see the map being used.

Patrick set two good (and unusual) courses in the south east portion of the map, so north west portion wasn't used at all (a part of it wasn't even printed). It means that the map is big enough to potentially handle two sprint events in one year! What was unusual about the courses is the way controls were hidden, Patrick did really good job hiding them :-) In fact, I don't remember such degree of "control invisibility" in any of the events we had. But all controls were set accurately. Josef had some valid complains about 3-4-5 "dog leg" on the course A, though, I personally used different routes on this stretch. The only other control I didn't like was #5 on the course B. This control was set right by hardly visible barb wire. Both Tanya and Michael got caught into this barb wire while approaching the control. IMHO, it was too dangerous a place to set a control in.

Anyway, I liked both courses, so thanks to Patrick to setting them up!

Just like 2 weeks ago I ran the first course significantly faster than the second one. 17 mins comparing to 20 mins. I suspect that I might have won the first course and got 4-5th place on the second. Again, I didn't have enough stamina for the second course and again I made a costly mistake on it. A pattern? Maybe.

Here is how I ran:

Course A

#1: used the road, cut a corner at the end, then ran by the shelter and went down to the creek; didn't see the pit (it was truly invisible!), went right a bit then returned back and followed the creek to the pit.

#2: straight, crossed the road and went up the re-entrant

#3: back to the road and used it all the way to the control

#4: back to the road, cut to the re-entrant with the dry dicth from the curve and followed the ditch to the pit, looking to the right so I wouldn't miss it.

#5: went south to the bridge, continued up the hill and saw the control on the right

#6: south to the field, alond the field and used the trail, then down to the re-entrant

#7: to the field and around it, cut to the trail and used it for a bit, then went to the cutting and from there to the creek junction

#8: returned back to the cutting and used it till I crossed a small dry dicth, then went south loiking for the dry dicth with the control, found it and followed it to the control

#9: back to the cutting and used it to get to the trail, used trail to reach the control

#10: used the cutting to get around the green area

and from there to the field and used trails all the way to the finish. It took me 17:21

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

Course B

#1: through the forest to the parking lot and attacked from the corner of the parking lot

#2: to the field and to the control from course A, from there repeated my route to the #2

#3: used the trail until I saw creek on the right and went down to it

#4: did not cross the creek but somehow thought I did!!! so when I reached the cutting I thought the creek is on my left, didn't see the control and went toward the supposed creek to attack from there... Crossed the dry ditch and only then started to realize what happened. Returned back and ran toward the real creek this time, took the control on the other side. I think I lost about 90 seconds there.

#5: used the cutting to get to the creeks junction, crossed the creek there, went up to the dry dicth and followed it to the control. Did notice the barb wire because I was looking for it.

#6: went back to avoid the wire and crossed the creek again at the junction, went to the trail and used it to get to the eastern corner of the field, went up to the field and ran by its side and further on using the trail to reach the control

#7: basically retraced my steps from course A (now thinking about it - I retraced my steps several times on the B course, apparently the courses were too similar, it could have been avoided)

#8: down to the road, through the intersection and to the re-entrant

#9: this time it was easy, used the road until I saw a wide road shoulder in front and went south across the cutting and creek, then followed the creek to the pit

#10: up to the shelter, then used the road and the field as much as I could, then went to the forest to the control.

and straight to the finish. Total: 20:34.

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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 9 in the south west Umstead (Showers and Spiders)

As Josef put it: "Showers and Spiders" :-) It was very hot and very humid - peak of the summer. I did very well again, but made a mistake of spending all my energy on the first sprint so I had nothing left for the second one and instead of making 18/18 mins I ended up with 16/20 mins splits. Controls were from the "advanced" category, but quite honestly it didn't make any difference for me. Both sprints felt just like regular "Orange" type sprints, I only made one mistake on the course B (on the first control). Other than that it was very straightforward. And the forest was very open, so it was easy to run through.

Tanya dropped me by the start, and had to go back home to drive Michael to the urgent care with flu symptoms. However, when she came back, Michael woke up rather refreshed and decided to wait till Monday. Which is good, but Tanya had to skip the event.. Oh well, maybe next time, in any case she wasn't very upset seeing what kind of weather we got. And yes, we are guilty of not un-registering late yesterday evening when we decided about that urgent care visit.

OK. Here is how I ran:

Sprint A

#1: straight over the re-entrant

#2: east, keeping on the same elevation until I crossed the dry dicth, then through the green area (jumping over fallen trees) to the upper part of the re-entrant; down the slope on the other side into the big re-entrant (all this time weering a bit south, to be below the control); crossed the big re-entrant and went north on the other side to the control.

#3: straight, noticing a pile of rocks and the first tree along the way

#4: going north north east so to appear on the right of the control; then went left on the slope, crossed a few unmapped dry-ditches and found the pit

#5: up the hill to the west west north till I saw the upper part of the small re-entrant; then turned north to the control

#6: straight looking for the re-entrant

#7: down the re-entrants and used creek crossings as an attack point

#8: gradually descendend the slope so I reach the bottom further south, went over the hill right there and then went up the side re-entrant

#9: over the hill and then followed the slope to get to the control

And up the hill to the finish.
Spent 16:09 on this course and felt really bad and dizzy after the finish. The last sprint up the slope to the finish was definetely not needed.

Here is my route. Click on the image to enlarge.

It took me more than half an hour to catch my breathing and recuperate. I even conpemplated on not doing the second sprint but at the end decided just to take it easy and walk more. And so I did. Suprisingly the time for the second sprint wasn't bad either despite my walking and making one 90 secs mistake. At the end I felt much better after finishing the second sprint comparing to my condition when I was starting it.

Sprint B

#1: went south instead of weering to the east a bit more and overshot; didn't see the re-entrant forming (ir was very flat), but finally noticed that I was going unexpectedly up, plus I hit a trail which wasn't of the map. Stopped and decided that I overshot, so turned back and indeed saw the re-entrant right there.

#2: simply followed the slope

#3: down the re-entrant, walked over the hill; then walked uphill to the control

#4: crossed the re-entrant and walked up the hill, then ran in the same north west direction till I saw the rocks and control

#5: north east to the upper part of the re-entrant, then to the eastern corner of the hill (it was possible to see how the hill shapes out)

#6: straight down and up

#7: used the upper ground for a bit then gradually went down to the creeks crossing; followed the re-entrant then walked over the hill, noticed dry-ditches and took the control from there

#8: followed the left slope to the control. The control was on the ground, but the pit was not hard to find

#9: walked up the hill along the tiny re-entrant then followed the slope to the control

And the went accross the re-entrant and up the hill to the finish.
Ended up with 20:28.

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

Huge thanks to Josef and Joseph for making this extra event! It was great.