Thursday, December 23, 2010

Destruct-O at Lake Johnson

I loved it! Even despite the cold. We should do it more often.

Below is my route: dark blue is Score-O part, light-blue is Destruct part. My strategy was the following:
-- I didn't want to compete with fast runners like Brendan and Mihai for 60th and 50th in the east part of the map - I wouldn't stand a chance there. So I decided to do only Score-O run out there and pick up 70th in the western part.
-- I wasn't sure if I would have time to get all controls, so I didn't go for easy 40th by the start and left them till the end of Score-O with a thought to pick some of them later if time allows.
-- I wasn't going for the farthest 70 control

The strategy worked just fine: I didn't have competition for my 70th and I indeed didn't have time to pick all 40th, so it was good that I skipped them. But I still didn't win :)

One mistake I made was allowing too much time for the western 70th. I allowed 10 mins for them, but it took me only 7 mins to take them all, so theoretically I could have scored 43, 44 and 47 too (it would still didn't allow me to win though). Other then that I don't think I could have done any better.

P.S. was able to cut through the dried lake twice. The first time was fine. The second was quite disastrous - I got knee deep in the mud. Ouch :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov 14 results

The results are up.

And I am back to Mexico... Will miss Dec 5 event, but hope to be here for the Destruct-O on Dec 19.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October 31 2010 at South Umstead

All right, I am buying protecting glasses for the next event. No point in arguing with fate...

After I got pocked into the eye during the last meet I ignored the warning thinking that it was the only time in 15 years, so I shouldn't be too worried. What a flawed logic... After the first control I got poked into the right eye again (and as I found out later on, tore the lens). The lens stayed in the eye, but during the whole run I felt something else in there too, which was very uncomfortable (it was a torn piece of the lens). And if that wasn't enough I got another twig into the same eye around control #8. That one actually stuck in, but, fortunately, went sideways, so I didn't get any serious damage and was able to carefully extract it and keep running.
Anyway, I am buying glasses.

OK, back to the meet.
The weather was great, a little too warm, but still. The course wasn't very hard.
Actually some of the legs looked too easy for advanced courses, but then Ruth offered me a "non-man-made-features" map and suddenly the course became very interesting.
In fact the legs I was grumpy about became the hardest ones. I ran cleanly, but not very fast with a few "non-optimal" legs and one delay caused by a misplaced control.
So the resulting time was OK, but not spectacular. I enjoyed the course, and that's what counts anyway.

Here is how I ran (on green course):

#1: north west, crossed the re-entrant at the top and went down to the creek, used the trail on the other side for a bit and then proceeded north-north-east without loosing elevation.
Noticed re-entrant on the left and went into the next one from the top to the control.

#2: tried to keep the same elevation when going south-east. Finally crossed the re-entrant around the side dry ditches and went up to the trail (which I knew was there).
Used the trail until the bend, then crossed the re-entrant, hill and another re-entrant and went up to the earth bank. Followed the earth bank to the end and found the dry ditch,
but the control wasn't there! Circled around for 2-3 mins and almost decided to abandon the search, but then saw the control further north east. In was misplaced.

#3: ran to the trail, cut to the bridge and followed the trail on the other side on the creek past the marsh. As soon as I passed the marsh, went up the hill to the ruins with the control.

#4: went south-west and crossed the creek just below the dam, walked up the hill and then proceeded west keeping the elevation. Noticed re-entrant on the left and then went down
to the re-entrant with the control. Didn't see the control right away despite being right there and the control being in the open (interestingly Josef complained about it too).

#5: walked up, noticed re-entrant on the left, then crossed the big re-entrant on the right and went north-east-east in order to reach the other side of the hill south from the control.
It worked as planned. Reached the other side and proceeded north till I saw the gully and then the control.

#6: crossed the creek and went up the hill between two re-entrants.Then crossed another re-entrant and took very careful compas bearing (I made a big "parallel" features mistake in this exact area on one of the previous meets and didn't want to repeat it).
Went east, noticed re-entrant on the right, reached the other side of the hill and proceeded north to the control.

#7: walked on the side of the hill and then up. Crossed the re-entrant and proceeded south to the gully with the control.

#8: probably didn't do this one in an optimal way. But I got scared by the thick vegetation on the direct route and ended up walking around the green area. Saw the bridge from the hill and used that as an attack point.

#9: went to the trail, run to the bridge, went up, reached the trail again and used it until the re-entrant with the control. Went up the re-entrant (if it can be called that) and found the control up there. Probably lost a minute or so there too.

#10: ran south west, crossed the creek and proceeded south till I saw the rock piles and the control right behind them.

#11: this was probably the easiest leg on the normal map, but it became the hardest one of the "non-man-made-features" one. First I went south and reached the gully, decided not to cross it and went around, staying out of the dark green area.
Finally reached the road, crossed it, then crossed the power line. Decided to keep going south and then turn west - this way I was hoping not to miss the gully with the control. It was somewhat risky as I didn't know exactly how far south I went (I usually don't keep pace count...), but it worked.

#12: ran north-west-west, reached the road and proceeded to the intersection. From there into the re-entrant with the control.

#13: went up to the road by the parking lot and used it.Then went to the open field and to the side re-entrant behind it.

And back to the shelter. It took me 71 mins.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.

Huge thank you to all people who organized this event: Michael, Joseph, Ruth, Mihai.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sep 19, 2010 in North Umstead

North Umstead is my favorite "half" of the park. It's less hilly comparing to the "south", relatively open, thus it's usually a pleasure to run there. It would have been a pleasure today too - Artem and Holly set awesome courses - but right after the second control I got poked in a eye by a small twig and lost one of the contact lenses... That changed everything. Suddenly the course gained elements of a "survival" game. Double vision was no fun... A mixture of blur and perfect picture was quite unnerving, misleading and even dangerous. I actually felt better with one eye closed, but simply couldn't keep it shut. I could still see the map and read the forest and terrain, but observing my immediate surrounding became a challenge. Jumping over trees and ditches was tough - my brain refused to judge distance properly and I ended up falling a few times while attempting to jump over dried creeks. Also it became hard to avoid low branches and cobwebs as well as noticing the actual controls (fortunately Holly set them pretty high, thank you!). Finally I had to take into account my vision deficiency when choosing the routes.

But despite all that, I did rather good. No big mistakes, maybe two or three 1 minute ones. Orienteering was mostly easy with only a few hard legs. Of course, I didn't run uphill at all and also slowed down considerably at the end, but 64 mins on 5.3 km was decent. As far as choosing direction of the run, I picked the one which offered longer run before Red/Green decision point.

Here is how I ran:

#1: south-south-east, carefully watching for the re-entrant to start forming on the other side of the hill. When it was there, simply ran down.

#2: along the creek to the road and continued on the other side along the dry ditch but about 15 yards to the left on the slope. Got to the control, but couldn't spot it for a few seconds.

#3: south-east-east to the road, immediately crossed it and reached the trail. Used the trail thinking about cutting down from the first turn, but saw how many fallen trees were in the green area and continued on the trail until the next turn. From there went across the road and down to the control. Got poked in the eye and lost the lens... Spent some time trying to find it, couldn't and continued further down. Crossed the creek, up the little spur and went south on it looking for the control.

#4: south along the creek, crossed it and went up the hill bearing to the left, so I would be definitely to the left of the control. On the other side went to the right and took the control.

#5: down and long the creek for a bit but quickly went across the hill, re-entrant and up the slope. Then continued on the slope until the dry-ditch with the control.

#6: east, down the slope, crossed the creek, didn't see creeks crossing but could see the re-entrant, used the left slope to get to the control.

#7: tried to reach the road by going up the hill south-south-east, but ended up to far east and reached the road about 100 yards further than I wanted. Used the road until I saw the sharp bend and cut to the control.

#8: to the trail. I didn't even think about going uphill there, so used the trail as much as I could and when I reach the distinct bent went south-west carefully looking for the re-entrant to start forming, It was very flat and quite challenging, but I got there anyway.

#9: went down to the big creek without getting into the side re-entrant and reached the creek right at the junction. That was nice, I simply went up the slope and to the control.

#10: I was getting tired, plus my vision problem, so I decided to stay on Green. Walked up to the west and reached the opening with ruins. There I realized that barbed wire is somewhere in the area. I wouldn't be able to see it in my condition, so I decided to so a bit south so I could definitely avoid it. Then continued west, reached the road, crossed it and continued further west aiming to the hill between two re-entrants around the controls. Crossed the power line and went down the hill to the control.

#11: to the trail and used it as far as I could. However, I didn't realize that the trail is supposed to go away from the creek at the end and continued along the creek, over the rocks to the very dead end by the dam. There I finally realized what happened, but I didn't have much choice and had to literally rock clime out of there. That climb did me in... I was walking most of the way after that. Anyway, after I climbed up I immediately saw the re-entrant and went to the control.

#12: over the hill, crossed the re-entrant, over the next hill aiming a bit to the left, then went to the right to the control.

#13: up north, reached the big building, across the field. Decided to go around the green area from the south, so cut north right after the little building at the end of the field. Missed and reached the creek almost at the opening. Corrected the mistake and went east to the control.

#14: north-west carefully looking for the re-entrant to start forming. Finally reached it, but further north than I wanted. Had to return south a bit to the control.

#15: down to the road and to the control on the other side

and then up the hill crossing everything to the finish. It took me 63 mins 58 secs.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.

Huge thanks to Artem and Holly for the great event!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aug 29 in Schenck Forest - Results

Got the results out

The data in the download box was a mess... I fixed it the best I could, but I am afraid that some data, like Charles' splits didn't get recorded at all.

Other than that I am happy with the way event went. I feel like my goal of making a challenging set of courses at Schenck was achieved. We always used to do something simple there: Score-Os and such, while in fact the forest has bigger potential. Especially during summer time.

P.S. And I got some fried chanterelle mushrooms out of it - got a bunch when setting up controls on Saturday :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Everything is ready! I believe it is the first time I have every single control set a day before the event, so I can arrive at the same time as everybody else and still be on time :)

Tanya helped me to set controls this afternoon, so there will be some inconsistency in the controls high. She was merciful and set her controls about half meter from the ground, while mine are mostly lying on the ground with one corner slightly sticking up.

The idea of this course is that you absolutely have to find the small feature the control is on before you'll be able to see the control. No looking from far away or even from 10-15 meters away.

I also just realized that I missed two controls when designing the courses. That is I had 28 ribbons set, but used only 26 of them. Bummer...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Aug 29 in Schenck Forest event is approved

Just got an approval for the Aug 29 event and designed the courses. It won't be a score-O this time. Actually nothing tricky (well, almost, there will be some tough vegetation crossings), but the courses will be "sprinty" in nature. Just to give you a teaser:

  • Blue: 6.6 km, 26 controls
  • Red: 5.9 km, 23 controls
  • Green: 5.1 km, 21 control
  • Brown: 4.0 km, 17 controls

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 9, 2010 in South Umstead

Very good event, interesting courses and nice weather. And "no man-made features" map! I had a chance to try it this time and absolutely loved it, we should continue the practice.

I was also happy that my hip held up. I've been stretching "it band" in my left leg for almost two months and it looks like it is starting to show. After the last event I felt crippled, but I am fine after 1.5 hour run this time. Phew. But I was also very much out of shape (again...), so I ran slowly and often walked. All in all, I ended up with my "normal" speed for South Umstead.

I did help Ruth to set up advanced controls on Saturday, so you can say that I had an "unfair" advantage, but the funny thing was that one of my two mistakes was on a control I personally set. I walked right by and couldn't see it! So whatever I could have gained on other controls I lost on that one...

OK, here is my route:

#1: to the parking lot corner, then straight through the forest to the opening on the other side of the road and from there south-south-east while staying on the hill. After re-entrant on my right, turned south down the slope, across the creek, climbed up and continued south to the control.

#2: ran around the re-entrant, up the hill, followed it for a bit, then decided to go down so I could see gullies on the left. Did that and when passed the gullies went south to the re-entrant with the gully/control.

#3: down to the creek and followed it behind the bend. From there climbed up leaving re-entrant on my left. Continued up and across the hill, crossed a trail, noticed re-entrant on my right and went north from there.

#4: simply ran south-south-west, down the hill across the creek, up and over the spur and then scaled the slope to the dry-ditch with the control. Didn't see the control. Walked around, but still couldn't see it... Decided to double check and ran further south, found another set of dry-ditches and saw a glimpse of I-40. So I was in the right place, came back and immediately saw the control! I can swear I looked at this exact spot before!

#5: Walked across the spur, ran down to the creek, followed it, then crossed a side creek and went for the control from there.

#6: crossed the creek, went up a bit and proceeded along the slope. Passed the rock, then first re-entrant and attacked from there.

#7: walked across the hill and ran down to the bridge. Used trail for a bit and then walked up the re-entrant to the control.

#8: walked north-west then ran west down the slope, saw re-entrant on the left, crossed the creek and walked up diagonally to the re-entrant with the control.

#9: across the hill, crossed a trail, then re-entrant and located a gully on the other side. Followed the gully down to the big re-entrant and took the control on the other side.

#10: went north-north-east, crossed the trail and saw re-entrant forming on my right. Stayed on high ground, noticed double small re-entrants on my left, then crossed another small re-entrant with Orange control. Crossed powerline and made a mistake of going too much to the right. Almost reached the camp buildings, but saw re-entrant behind them and realized where I was. Turned left to the re-entrant with another Orange control and attacked from there. But didn't go high enough and spent time walking back and forth on the wrong elevation line... Decided to redo the approach. Went down again, took better compass bearing and counted steps up. Reached proper elevation and found the control there. Lost 5-6 mins there, I think.

#11: crossed the re-entrant and went east over the hill, then parallel to the slope. Had to cross several plausible unmapped gullies before I reached the big one with the control.

#12: crossed the creek and followed the slope for a bit, then went over the hill, saw re-entrant with gullies and rock pile. Attacked from the pile.

#13: simply across the hill

#14: decided to use the road instead of going straight. Went up to the road and used it until I passed the re-entrant on the left. From there turned into green, reached the big gully and followed it to the control.

#15: continued along the gully and then creek, reached the trail, used it to reach the gully/re-entrant with the control and walked up.

#16: across the hill, noticed pile of rocks on my left, crossed the trail and counted dry-ditches.

#17: down to the creek, walked up the hill and took compass bearing to the control (also noticed a small re-entrant on my right when approaching the control).

#18: across the hill and used the trail along the creek. When the creek turned, went up to another trail and used it to get to the well knows 3 piles of rocks. attacked the control from there. Reached Z-gully and followed a side dry-ditch from there.

and straight to the finish. Time: 91 minutes.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.

Thanks to Ruth and Joseph for a very interesting event!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apr 18, 2010 results

Posted results.

Also updated the "cleared" map, so now both north and south Umstead sides are "cleared" from man made features (with exception of bridges).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RGB+ courses on Apr 18

Just posted an announcement on the BOK site about extra RGB+ courses on Sunday. After the Falls Lake event where we competed on the very outdated map and which I loved, I decided to give it a try at Umstead. I played with the map and removed all man made features from it, such as trails, roads, buildings, fences, power lines and parking lots. My goal was to get rid of all man made features including linear features, like power lines and rides. The initial cut was close but not quite there - I could still see power lines using vegetation. So I went ahead and got rid of all yellow stuff as well as some green stuff at power lines. The result was a truly "surreal" South Umstead map. Every control as well as start and finish were literally in the middle of nowhere and some legs became very complex (and I am sure confusing too).

So that'll be the map for the RGB+ courses. I don't know how will it go, but I can promise an adventure for people who would risk trying it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 21 in South Umstead

South Umstead is always tough. In my list of tough places it takes firm second place after Raven Rock. Raven Rock is far ahead of course, but still. I always have troubles in South Umstead, it's just too physically demanding. Hills, what could you do.

But this time I not only couldn't run at the end, but also made a big 6-7 min mistake on one of the controls. So I am afraid, my time wasn't any good (87 mins on 6 km course).

Tanya came with me again and she did good on Brown though. She planned to go on Orange and leave before me, but Artem ran out of Orange maps, so she went on Brown and was so pleased with her walk that stayed even longer and helped with controls pickup.

Here is how I ran:

#1: easy, trail and then along the slope and up to the rocks with the control

#2: walked up the hill, then down to the creek, followed it, went over the little dam and continued along the creek looking for the pit; missed it, but quickly realized what happened and turned back staying a bit upper on the slope; found the pit.

#3: here goes my big mistake. Classical "parallel features" one. First of all, I took imprecise compass bearing and reached the trail farther north than I thought. There I saw green area on my right and confused it with the one south. So I went around the green and then around the big re-entrant (which was parallel to the one south). I started to feel uneasy when I saw many side re-entrants on the northern slope of the re-entrant and then I saw bicyclists moving on my left. That confirmed my suspicion. So I went down the re-entrant, up (the extra) hill and to the control. 6-7 minutes wasted...

#4: down to the trail, used it until it reached the hill and then followed the slope to the control

#5: walked up to the trail, used it till the bend and continued in the same direction to the re-entrant with the control.

#6: crossed the re-entrant and walked up to the road. Used the road as much as I could. From the "yellowish" forest turned east down to the creek, reached it at the crossing and followed it down to the control.

#7: passed the re-entrant by following the creek, then walked up the hill, went around the first re-entrant and took control in the second one.

#8: proceeded up the hill to the cistern and kept going south on the hill watching the re-entrant on my right. I wanted to go down from the hill somewhere west from the control and managed to do just that. From there simply ran east and took the control.

#9: ran toward the bridge, but noticed some fallen trees in the river and decided to cross the river there and then. The only problem was that the shore over there had a form of 2 yards high cliff... I poked around, didn't find any got spots and tried to slide down holding a branch. Well, I lost a foothold, the branch snapped and I fell. Fortunately, I missed tree trunks and somehow managed to remain straight, so instead of getting full bath I only got waist deep into the water. There was no point in climbing to the tree trunk now, so I just waded across, climbed up cliff on the other side and walked up to the trail. Still shaking walked up the trail till the bend and to the control from there.

#10: went around the tough ground, reached the road and ran to the bridge, over the bridge and pass the bend until I saw re-entrant ending on my right. From there cut to the forest, went around the big re-entrant and proceed north until the hill end. From there turned left and down to the control.

#11: went over a little spur and stopped because of intense pain in my chest. Sat down and rested a bit, tried to ran again, but pain was coming back. Walked. Walking felt OK. So I walked the rest of the course...
Along the creek, up the south re-entrant, then west along the southern dry-ditch to the control.

#12: avoided both re-entrants by walking close to the buildings, reached the road and walked north to the control.

#13: walked to the trails crossing and followed the trail and later the dry-ditch to the control. Couldn't see the control from the top, but realized which small re-entrant I should go down to and indeed the control was there.

#14: skipped one hill and went up the second one along the dry-ditch. From the top turned west to the control.

and finish: made a mistake of staying on the same side of the re-entrant and had to walk over lots of fallen trees, finally crossed to the other side, reached the trail and walked to the finish.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.

Thanks to Artem for the very challenging course!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Night-O at Bond Park

The event was an absolute blast. I don't know how Mihai fixed the weather, but it was perfectly done: a lot of rain before the event to make every creek and depression a fun to cross, clear sky and ideal temperature during the hour of the event.

This time Tanya came with me and we both had good runs/walks. Tanya walked and managed to avoid crossing deep water by skilfully choosing her route, and I was having great time running through all kinds of water obstacles.

In fact I liked it even more than Night-Os at Lake Johnson (though, those are also among my favorite events) and here is why:
-- huge amount of controls to choose from.
-- pretty much unlimited choices for optimal route. At Lake Johnson I never had to think much about the route and strategy. It was always something like this (with minor tactical variations): go across the road and take everything there, then cross back and take as many controls as you can before the time ran out, and don't go for the far away controls on the main side. Yesterday, there wasn't an obvious optimal route. In fact I am quite sure there were many routes which would work great.
-- I liked the possibility to be able to run under a street light from time to time and quickly analyze the map in relative comfort.
-- The only distinctive advantage for Lake Johnson was difficulty of the controls. At Lake Johnson I had to use terrain features to navigate in the dark. At Bond Park navigation was much easier.

I did look briefly at map right before the start just to see what it looked like and where high-point controls were placed. I immediately realized that there were so many controls and that distribution was quite even, so there was no point in even trying to design a definite route. So I simply decided to go south along the lake shore, pick up the south controls first and then work up from there making route decisions on the spot.

And here is my route:

#61 (3): Dashed across the field, jumped over the long puddle (the last time I did that on this course), reached the lake and took the little trail to the control.

#78 (4): ran back and to the corner of the vegetation, saw the control and literally a part of the lake between me and the control. Thought "here we go", jumped right into it and waded almost waist deep to the control. As you can imagine, I didn't care about crossing open water after that.

#79 (10): I noticed that this control was singled out from the rest of the seventies, so I decided to take it now before I go south along the shore. I think it was a good choice. So I ran to the trail, through the parking lot and cut to the control from there. It wasn't easy to spot, but finally I saw it on my right.

#62 (14): Back to the parking lot, to the opening with the trail and then along the creek down to the control.

#63 (15): Back to the trail and used it until I saw the sewer entrance, cut to the creek from there and followed it to the lake. Didn't see the control right away and waded into deep water, then saw it from there.

#64 (20): Back to the trail and used it until I saw an opening on my left. From there I cut to the control, but missed and reached the lake 50 yards east from it. So I had to go through extremely green and thorny area along the lake shore from there to the control.

#65 (20): And back though the same green area, around the swamp and to the control.

#66 (23): To the trail and used the opening for a bit, then went parallel to the creek (at least I thought so), but somehow missed the control. I realized that I've been running too far and when I saw the dry-ditch I knew where I was. So turned back and took the control from there.

#67 (22): Ran east and up a bit, then traversed the slope until I reached the re-entrant with the control.

#68 (20): Went north east aware of a hidden fence. Reached and recognized the fence and followed it to the control.

#70 (14): Went around the deep creek to the trail and stopped to think about the next step. I could go for 69 or 70 from there. 69 was closer but I didn't want to loose a possibility to use trail between 69 and 74, so I decided to leave 69 for later and went for 70 and 71. At that point I was glad I already took 79. So I went up to the field, went around the corner, down to the creek and followed it up to the control.

#71 (13): To the parking lot, then used the trail to go north and cut further north from the junction.

#69 (16): Now it was time to go back to 69. I used the road all the way and cut through the forest from the corner of the parking lot, reached the trail, saw the field on the right and went for the tree.

#74 (13): Simply followed the trail, noticing parking lot and fields on the left.

#73 (12): Briefly thought about taking 72, but decided to stay on the trail. Used the trail and went down to the control from the bend.

#43 (11): Went across the creek and up the hill parallel to the re-entrant, then went down to the re-entrant and up to the control.

Reached the road and stopped to think under the street light. I had 32 mins left at that point and had to choose what to do next. Should I go for upper forties or not? I decided not to go there, but take the rest of the controls in the middle and push hard for the western part of the park where high points controls were located.

#42 (8): Took the road and then trail, then cut down to the re-entrant.

#72 (11): Used the road and went up from the bend. Didn't see the control from the distance, so kept slowly walking up and finally saw it.

#75 (8): Crossed the road and to the re-entrant

#76 (6): Down to the trail and went west from the trail bend.

#77 (4): Down to the creek and followed it for a bit, then crossed it and used the opening to get to the control.

#41 (6): Crossed the road and went up the re-entrant to the control.

#40 (3): Lost a lot of time there. I reached the trail and feature without problems but couldn't locate the control. I was flashing all around, but nothing would reflect. Finally I despaired and decided to leave, ran away looked back and saw the control. It was hanging so high, that I was doing my "flashing around" staying right under it!

I went to the parking lot and stopped to think again. I could go for 60-59-58-57 or go straight to 57 and go from there. I decided to leave 59 and 60 for a possible "go back to finish" route and went straight to 57.

#57 (8): Across the field, noticed the bump in the field and used it as an attack point.

#58 (9): Went through the green area to the trail and ran north until the bend. Took side trail to the control.

#56 (12): Returned back to the trail and used it until another bend, then cut to the creek. I knew I was further down the creek from the control, so I flashed into north-west direction, saw the reflection and went there. There creek was quite scary. I wasn't sure how deep it was. Waist deep? Head deep? Fortunately it was only waist deep there, so I could cross all right.

#55 (12): Went along the dry-ditch, then switched to the other dry-ditch and followed it to the control.

#54 (13): I didn't notice the trail south (thought it was an elevation line...), so I went straight looking for the south-north trail. Didn't see it and kept pushing west. Finally I realized that I was getting nowhere and went north to the field. There I found a good attack point and took the control from there.

#53 (14): Ran along the field and used the opening to reach the control

#52 (15): Used the opening to get close, then went up and over the spur, up the hill and north to the re-entrant.

Stopped there and checked time. I had 7 mins left. Unfortunately, not enough to go for high-points 51 despite it being so close now. Fortunately, I had a good way back to finish via 49-59-60.

#49 (12): followed the creek to the trail, over the bridge and down to the control. It wouldn't beep... Tried again and again, but it wouldn't beep... Well...

#59 (10): used the trail, then used the building as an attack point. No beep again!

#60 (4): To the road and followed it watching the fence on my left. Cut to the forest when I saw the end of the fence and to the control. Again no beep! I thought my finger stick got broken or something. In reality what happened is that the finger stick could only hold 30 punches and I took 33 controls!

And from 60 I went up to the parking lot and cut across the green re-entrant straight to the finish. Ended up with 60:26 (a little over time). Also plotted my route in Condes and realized that the course I chosen (straight lines between controls) was 5.1KM - very good speed for Night-O.

Here is my route (click on the image to enlarge):

Huge thanks to Mihai for the great event!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Destruction-O event at the Lake Johnson

Thanks to Joseph, we had an extra event on Jan 1 with very unusual format: Destruction-O. In short: the run consisted from two parts. During the first 30 min part everybody was doing regular Score-O trying to position himself/herself to be in a good spot for the second part by the end of these 30 mins. Then during the second 15 min part everybody was running back to the finish trying to collect at many controls as possible along the way. Controls collected during these 15 mins were counted with double score. The idea was that almost all controls would get picked up during these 15 mins, so it would be easy to wrap up the event and collect the rest of the controls after the finish.

Reality turned up to be even better: ALL controls were picked up! I should also add that the way the controls were set up was the following: every participant took 2 controls and set them somewhere in the forest, then came back and plotted them on everybody else's maps (that's why there were a few unusual control clusters).
From the organizer stand point it was an ideal event.

And it was fun too. I wasn't able to collect many controls during the last 15 mins (only one...), but I had very good 30 mins Score-O prior to that and got 22 controls. From Destruct-o strategy stand point it wasn't a good approach, but I was too pleased with the run to be upset. As for the winning strategy, Joseph used it - the idea was in finishing 30 mins in the middle of the map, so clusters of 10 pointers could be picked up before people would start coming back from remote controls.

Here is how I ran. Click on the image to enlarge. Blue - mostly running, yellow-brown - mostly walking.

#55, 53, 54: very easy cluster of controls. I think #54 was at wrong root stock, but it didn't matter much.

#52: used the trail and cut to the control when approaching the re-entrant.

#56, 57, 59: another easy cluster. Used the trail until I saw 56, then went up the re-entrant collecting other two controls.

#58: used road, then cut down to the control.

#61: followed the shore to the control - it was quite hard, as the shore bank was steep. I think that the control was a bit further south comparing to my map, but again it wasn't essential.

#60: walked up the hill and then down to the root stock with control

#68: followed the slope until the trail, then went down to the creek and followed the creek.

#69; simply to the re-entrant across the creek (I think the control was further up the re-entrant though)

#66: crossed the creek again and went for 66 using the section of the fence where only poles were left.

#67: along the fence across the hill

#64: jumped over the fence (or rather crawled over it - it was kind of dangerous... but I have only myself to blame there, as it was one of the controls I set). Then proceeded down the road and cut to 64 when I saw the creek further down.

#65: back to the road and along the creek to the control

#63: walked up the hill along the fence (again slight mismatch between my map and reality - the control was right on the fence, while the map shown north from it)

#73: simply down the hill

#62: crossed the road by the creek and went up to the control (second re-entrant)

#74: up the hill, then used the road for a bit and went down to the re-entrant with the control.

There I made my tactical mistake. I had 6 minutes left and instead of turning back I went for two more remote controls.

#72: simply used the road and counted re-entrants on my left

#71: across the hill and attacked from the road bend.

And there I stood for 30 secs waiting for the 30 min to run out. Then picked up the control and went back to 72. It was already picked up... Ouch... I made one more attempt to pick another control at 62, but it wasn't there either, so I simply ran/walked back to the finish.

And that was it.

Mapping at Lake Johnson

Finally entered into OCAD another portion of the Lake Johnson map. I did field work back in November, but only now had some time to plot it. With February event approaching (and vetting tasks starting in 2 weeks), I am not sure how much mapping I'll be able to do - maybe 2 more small pieces this winter - we'll see.

Here is the new area.

P.S. Also designed courses for the Jan 10 sprints. Tried to make them as hard as possible in the Bond park.