Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sprints in the Crab Tree Lake park

Mixed results and mixed feelings from today's sprints.

I won Sprint B with a good time, but I got disqualified on Sprint A (and rightfully so). Actually I am quite embarrassed by the way I ran Sprint A. Not by the wrong control I took but by the way I completely lost orientation between controls 6 and 7. But read on...

Sprint A

#1: easy, used the trail to go over re-entrant and then shot straight to the control.
#2: exited the control badly and ended up more to the right than I wanted, then ran north up the hill and took advantage of one of the numerous trails up there. Then went down to the re-entrant and found the wet depression spot. From there took compass bearing a little bit to the right of the control and went up the hill. Soon enough I spotted the control, ran toward it and discovered that the number on the control (#58) was from another course. Oops. However, I was quite sure that I was in the right place. I looked around, didn't see the second control (which by the way was hidden 10 yards further to the right), went west hoping to find the correct control there. Of course, I didn't find it there, hit the trail and decided to double-check if the wet depression was indeed the one on the map (the reason was that there was no water in it). So I ran by the trails, found the depression again, took another compass bearing this time to the left of the control, ran up and found the same wrong #58... At that time I decided that the controls were switched and continued to #3. And that's how I got disqualified.
#3: I took a quick compass bearing and ran approximately west-west-north. It turned out that I went a bit further north than I wanted, so I reached the power line (was it a power line?) by the trail crossing it. From there I went down the re-entrant using the trail and soon enough found the control.
#4: Here goes my second big mistake. I went up north re-entrant and then went north-west toward a re-entrant which would had lead me to the control. But instead I found another re-entrant 100 yards south and mistakenly went down it all the way to the creek. The creek there had steep banks and big curves, so I realized my mistake right away and decided to go along the creek until I see two creeks crossing from where I could go straight to the control. I didn't see the crossing though and ended up at the trail crossing the creek. Hmm. OK. From there I finally went over the small hill to the control.
#5: Thankfully, #5 was easy to find. I just ran up the re-entrant using the east slope thus avoiding green area at the top.
#6: South, using a trail in the middle, then down to the re-entrant.
#7: Now this is the part I am embarrassed to tell about... I was going to go further down the re-entrant, then up to the power line, up to the hill and then use trail to get to the control. So I ran down the re-entrant and then something happened. I honestly don't know how I ended up at the road instead of the power line. I guess my mind just blacked out or something. I have no recollection of that part of my route. Anyway I reached the road and somehow accepted it as the power line. I vaguely remember myself musing why there were cars driving on the power line, but even that didn't alarmed me enough to think clearly... So... According to my initial plan I ran up the hill on "the power line", then went left to the trail and "ran toward the control". Only when I reached some strange benches on the trail I realized that something was amiss. And bingo! I looked at the compass. Ouch. I stopped, oriented the map properly, realized where I was, ran back by the same trail till the parking lot, then went east up the re-entrant till the control.
#8: I ran straight south ignoring trails till I got to the control.
#9: The same, south, using corner of the parking lot as an attack point.
And then finish (31.06).

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

Sprint B

As a redemption to the Sprint A failure I ran Sprint B without making any mistakes.
#1: Used the trail to go over re-entrant and then followed the paved trail to the control.
#2: Simply ran toward the control and found it right away
#3: Ran north-east and down the slope till I hit a corner of the trail, then used the trail to get to the gully and went up to the control.
#4: Used the trail to go down, then crossed the creek and went up to another trail. Followed that trail till the sharp curve and got the control from there.
#5: Decided to ignore a cobweb of trails and used terrain instead. Went north-east, crossed the creek, noticed a re-entrant on the right, but continued north-east over the hill to the correct re-entrant, then went up till the control.
#6: Compass bearing.
#7: Another compass bearing. Counted trails I crossed and, when I hit the right one, looked for the curve and found the pit from there. At that point I also felt sharp pain in my bad knee and ran the rest of the course slower and very carefully.
#8: Just ran south, the control was hidden from that side, but I've already been there twice during Sprint A.
#9: Another compass bearing. I saw a trail to the left when I was running, but the forest was very clear, so I just continued till I hit the trail curve and took the control from there.
#10: Used the trail a little bit to avoid loosing too much elevation, then ran south.
And straight south to the finish (18.40).

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

Yet again, big thanks to Josef, Ken and Terese for organizing these sprint events!