Sunday, October 9, 2011

Preparing for Bubba Goat

Went out today and set half of the ribbons. What a beautiful day, the forest was absolutely gorgeous, sun was shiny and mushrooms all over!

The courses are not approved yet, but I am pretty sure that this set of controls won't be questioned by the park. Stumbled on a ribbon for coming 10/16 event and set a Bubba Goat ribbon alongside it. Ha! I guess I have an unfair advantage now :) But no worry - I still can't run and will be walking next Sunday... It's funny how I can walk 7-8 kms without problems, but can't run even 50 yards. Oh well... I hope it'll get resolved eventually.

Meanwhile, half of the ribbons are set. The other half will have to wait until the park approves the courses.

One last thing, I hope to see you all this Wednesday at Joseph's house (see here). If you would like to help the club or just interested in the way it operates, by all means COME!

Friday, August 26, 2011

What does it take to organize an Advanced event?

After talking to Roman last Sunday, I thought, it'd be good to put it all down on paper. What does it take to organize an Advanced event? How long does it take? What kind of time commitment is needed? What are the preparation steps and how difficult are they?

Surprisingly, it is not hard at all to put up such event - pretty much anyone who is comfortable with running advanced courses could do it! Time commitment is rather small, it's fun and a great training exercise. In fact, this is THE BEST way to quickly and drastically improve your map reading skills.

Sounds like a shameless advertisement already, but yes, if you are reading it, I want to ask you to seriously consider organizing one of those event in 2012! You won't regret it.

So what's involved?

Step 1 (designing the courses)
Time required: 2 hours (if you do it for the first time), ~30 mins if you've done it before
This might be challenging if you do it for the first time: you would need to download and install Condes (special software we use), download maps, spend some time getting familiar with the software and actually design the courses. It's much easier to do for an advanced event, though, because you'll be basically designing just one course - Red. Green and Brown will be subsets of Red. There are instructions on the BOK site on how to design the course, I won't go into details here. Remember though, that many people (me including) will be happy to review your design and suggest improvements. It can be done via email and the whole process should not take more than 2 hours of your time throughout several days. Of course this step can (and in case of Umstead should) be done 1-2 months before the event.

Step 2 (get the park approval)
Time required: 30 mins
Different parks have different requirements, but for the most parks a simple call or email would suffice. You'd need to talk to a person in charge there and see if they are OK with our date and whether they have a preference for a start location. In some cases, you'd need to reserve a shelter as well. Umstead has the toughest requirements - they actually want to review the courses, so you'd need to send them the courses in JPG format at least 1 month before the event for review and approval. You might have to go through a few iterations with them as well. BOK site has all the contact information and requirements for all the parks we use (Joseph or Mihai would need to provide you access to that page). If you feel uncomfortable with this step, I am sure, you could get help. I remember Joseph getting all the approvals for the first few events I did (thank you!).

Step 3 (announce the event on the BOK site)
Time required: 15 mins
You could do it yourself or ask someone else to put an announcement up, doesn't matter.

Step 4 (get equipment)
Time required: 1 hour
You would need to pick up all the equipment from the last event director or from Joseph's house. It's just a driving time.

Step 5 (set ribbons)
Time required: 3-5 hours
This is the most important part and a great training exercise for you. The idea is to find all the spots where controls should be, check and double-check them from several attack points, see if all the important features around the control are indeed on the map (if not, consider moving the control a bit), and, of course, hang an orange ribbon with "BOK - date" mark on it.
It is done 1 week before the event. I used to split it between Saturday and Sunday. Now I do it during one 3 hours hike. I don't run when setting ribbons. Basically it is a long thoughtful hike and you get a chance to enjoy the forest and explore the map in great details, like you never could during a normal run.

Step 6 (adjust and cleanup the courses/controls)
Time required: 15-45 mins
After all the ribbons are set, you usually would need to move a few controls on the map a bit. You would also need to play a bit more with Condes: clean up control circles, set numbers right and position the legend. Again, someone could help you with that kind of cleanup - in that case this step will not take more than 15 mins of your time.

Step 7 (print the maps)
Time required: 1 hour
This is done on Friday before the event.
If Joseph is in town, you can ask him to print the maps. Otherwise, use Fedex/Kinkos print online service. It's pretty easy and self explanatory. You would need to export map with courses into PDF file to do that (PrimoPDF freeware is used for that).
Then you would need to pick the printed maps up. So some driving time will be required here.

Step 8 (hang the controls)
Time required: 1.5-2 hours
One day before the event you would need to go and hang the controls (taking off the ribbons). This is an easy job, because you will already know the area intimately after setting ribbons. You can run if you wish - I prefer to walk and enjoy the forest. Some people prefer to hang the controls in the morning right before the event, but if you don't like rushing things up, just set them on Saturday.

Step 9 (download sign-up spreadsheet)
Time required: 5 mins
Every person who registeired for the event will appear in the "registration" spreadsheet on the BOK site (Mihai or Joseph can give you access to it). Ideally, everybody should register before noon on Friday, so you would know how many maps to print. In reality there are always a few people who register late, so it's better to print the spreadsheet at the last possible moment. You will use this spreadsheet during the event for marking start/finish times - much easier comparing to regular events.

Step 10 (run the event)
Time required: 5 hours
Come 30 mins early, set parking signs, set the start place. During the advanced event you won't have to deal with registration or money, as everybody is pre-registered and everything is paid for already (members go free), so it's all very easy and relaxing.

Step 11 (post the results)
This is pretty challenging from technical stand point. Someone will have to show you how to do it, so for the first time I would suggest that you ask someone else to do this step.

So in total you'd be looking at something like 16 hours of various activities, with 11 of those being "preparation" time spread over 1-2 month before the event.

Think about it :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ribbons at Schenck

Set the ribbons for the Aug 21 advanced event yesterday - took me three hours of very careful walking - but the knee held out. Got some pain at the end, but it's clearly getting stronger. Yay!

Didn't have to move any controls, but will need to update the map a bit - a trail disappeared, a gully went in wrong direction (well, it was always plotted wrongly, we just never used it...) - this kind of things. I won't be updating areas where the forest was cut down though... Remembering Artem's warning I didn't put any controls close to the Reedy Creek road, so the courses were fine, but I'd say we lost about 10% of the forest due to the cutting and logging. I hope that area will be seeded with new trees, but who knows.

There is another area where trees were cut down - in the north-west corner, right behind the fence. I guess technically it's not the park - looks like this area was cut down for some kind of housing or business development. Oh well...

Also get ready for some mud walking - looks like the lake went bust a few days ago - a large area along the creek is all covered with a thick layer of mud (including the trail).

The courses look good though, I really like how they came out.

See you on Sunday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Score-O at Lake Johnson

It was so hot... And my knee hurts - 3.0 hours of controls setting/running/pick-up in one day is probably too much for me to handle it this point. But I did reasonably well on the course: 29 controls in 55 minutes, despite walking half of the time. I am also quite happy how we were able to pull this event up - everybody chipped in and everything went smoothly without a dedicated event director.

I decided against describing every control I took, but will outline some decisions I had to make before and during the run regarding the course. For me Score-Os are always about judging time and remaining strength and then making right decisions based on it.

From the very beginning I knew that I absolutely wanted to take all controls in the middle of the map (from the road up to 59). I figured that I would need about 30 mins to do that. So the question was where to spend the other half hour. One option was to go behind the road and take everything there (maybe with exception of 79). Another option was to take controls in the eastern part of the map and possibly take 52,53,54 (or 57) if time allows. Second option had potential for more points, but looked longer and I would have to run on a paved trail a lot - which I don't like doing. So I decided to take my chances with option 1 and went there right after the start.

I had a few small problems on 52, 62 and 73 - couldn't spot controls right away and spent extra 30-40 secs on each one, but everything else was OK. I was getting tired quickly though - heat... Anyway, I reached 78 at 17-18 minutes mark and had to make a decision regarding 79. I was worried that I soon won't be able to run anymore and would not have time for the middle section, 600 extra meters just for 1 control seemed too much. I decided against taking 79 (as it turned out I would have been better off taking it, so it wasn't a correct decision).

Anyway, I went back to the parking lot taking 3 remaining controls along the way and reached the parking lot at 29 mins mark. I had my 30 mins for the middle part - good! I couldn't run anymore - bad... Fortunately, the middle part proved to be smaller then I expected - I actually took everything there in 25 mins while mostly walking.

One good thing I did was to take 42 and 46 during the run east - it made the way to the finish very easy and without hills (44-43-41-40). I also took the first 4 controls in this order 42-48-46-56, thus avoiding tough green stretch between 42 and 46.

I reached 51 at 40 mins mark. 20 mins was more then enough to get back to the finish (that's where taking 79 would have helped). But alas, I had to spend extra 5 mins to go for 60, and it was painful because of the hill on a way there... I got it and had 17 mins to get back at that point. Quite enough, but not enough for risking 65 - so I didn't. Turned back and went to the finish taking controls along the shore. 7 mins later I was at 44 and realized that I can leisurely walk the rest of the way and still be on time. I walked and finished at 55:02 - extremely exhausted despite taking it easy at the end.

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Will we swim tomorrow?

With all these rains the past few days I have growing suspicion that people will have to swim tomorrow... One of the controls is set in a way that the only reasonable way to/from it is across a creek which is usually knee deep...

To late to change it now. Good luck, everyone...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May 1 in South Umstead

I've been wondering where the shingles from my house went after strong winds two weeks ago (that was before the tornadoes). I know now. They flew to the Umstead Park. Very likely so.

The park was full of torn shingles and pieces of insulation. Especially insulation - it was everywhere. I didn't pay much attention to it during the run, but when I went out to pick out controls I was astounded by how much debris from the tornadoes landed in the forest.

Anyway, back to orienteering. It was a great day for a run - warm, not too hot - perfect. Not many spiderwebs either. I planned to run green (it's South Umstead after all - with all those hills!) and I did just that. I used "no-man-made-features" map and the course was very interesting. Every leg was challenging in its own way - I liked that. There were a lot of hills at the end, of course, so I ended up walking a lot, but the course quality made up for it. Thank you, Mihai!

Here is how I ran:

#1: I used the trail until it crossed the power line (yes, despite using "no-man-made-features" map I did remembered and used a few trails - nothing I can do about it :)). Then I went south-south-west trying to get between the gully and re-entrant. I saw the gully first and then re-entrant. After that it was an easy run down to their junction.

#2: continued along the creek, switching sides a few times, then walked over the spur. Somehow I got disoriented there. I thought it was the spur north-east from the control, but it was the one before that. So I ended up in a wrong re-entrant. I checked the compass - the re-entrant was going in a kind of right direction, but not quite. Plus the other side was clearly too steep. So I decided (correctly) that I confused the spurs, went down along the creek, then over the right spur and eventually to the control (stayed on the same elevation to get there, so ended up going in a wide half-circle). Lost about 2 mins there...

#3: went down to the big creek staying on the re-entrant's slope, crossed the creek and proceeded down alongside it, reached the side creek, crossed it and walked up the hill right there aiming for the top side of the side re-entrant. From there went east, crossed a trail, saw re-entrant on the other side and went down using the "white" slope. Saw the rock from the top and took the control.

#4: along the creek, switching sides, to the trail and the bridge. Crossed it and ran south along the river. When the river started to bend, turned into the re-entrant and ran (walked) up. Crossed the saddle at the top and went down to the gully. Followed the gully up into the thick vegetation to the control.

#5: didn't use the re-entrant because of the vegetation, but went down using the "white" slope of the hill and reached the bottom right by the creeks junction. Crossed the creek and ran alongside it around the first spur and finally over the second spur. Crossed the creek there and used the trail on the other side for a little bit until I saw the shallow re-entrant going up on my left. Took compass bearing and went up. Saw and recognized a bunch of small gullies on my left, but then it all got very confusing. The re-entrant became very shallow, almost flat and there was a bunch of dry-ditches and depressions. I knew though that I should get pretty high, so I passed this area, reached the elevation where I thought a control might be and went left looking for it. Saw it as well as 3 other people coming to it from different directions.

There Nadya joined me and we stayed pretty much together all the way to the finish.

#6: ran around the gullies and then west parallel to the re-entrant (but staying up top). Crossed the re-entrant at the bottom, used trail a bit to pass the cliff, crossed the creek and walked to the slope on the other side. Didn't see the control right away and walked a few steps north. But quickly realized that it wasn't the likely way, turned back and found the control.

#7: simply ran north, crossed the river and continued north. Reached the slope and realized that I didn't see the slope turning on my right which meant that I was too far to the left. Went right, so the re-entrant and slope on the other side. Went up the re-entrant to the control.

At this point I was already very tired, plus the hills started, so I walked pretty much all the way from there.

#8: walked up the hill, but lost orientation for a bit and ended up too far to the right. Saw the big gully, corrected myself and proceeded along the slope, then crossed the big re-entrant, walked up the hill, saw re-entrant on the other side and went up along the hill to the control.

#9: down the hill diagonally, then further in the same direction, crossed the creek, walked up the hill. Continued a little further, so I could see gullies on the other side and from there walked up north to the control.

#10: across the hill, saw a glimpse of rocks on my left, down the re-entrant, noticed rock cliff on my left and steep side re-entrant in front of me. I knew it wasn't the right one, but decided to go up there anyway and then cross over to the correct re-entrant. Did just that.

#11: went down to the creek, then west along the creek watching/counting side re-entrants. Kept going until I reached the control on the slope.

#12: kept going west and eventually reached the road. Didn't use it, continued west, through "green" and down to the creek. Crossed it and noticed rock piles line. Followed it up, then saw another big pile and used it as an attack point. Reached the gully, but control wasn't there. Looked around and saw it further up (probably in a wrong place). Took it and ran to the finish.

I spent 65 mins 05 secs - an OK time for me in this part of the park.

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 27 in North Umstead

It was a tough one... The courses were beautifully designed and non-man-made feature map made them even more challenging. I liked that, but it didn't go very well for me. I lost a lot of time on two controls: one was caused by the map (I can't put it down as my mistake), but the second one was clearly due to my fault and I lost almost 15 mins there! I think there was another leg where I lost 3-4 mins as well. Plus I was soooo tired after control #11 - at times I could barely walk. Clearly I am not ready for 7.3KM red courses at the moment...

Here is how I ran:

#1: used the trail until the fence and then went straight down to the creek, crossed it, saw the cliff on my left and went up diagonally to the control

#2: walked up to the road, crossed it and proceeded along the re-entrant, saw gullies on my right, went over the hill to the re-entrant with the control

#3: went north, crossed the re-entrant, then proceeded north-east on the north slope of the spur to the control

#4: to the re-entrant, passed the gullies and dry-ditches, went up a bit and proceeded along the slope to the control

#5: north up the hill (but not to the top), then stayed on the same elevation until I saw the re-entrant in front of me, turned right along the slope to the control

#6: crossed the re-entrant, walked up the hill, then down, crossed the creek, up the hill again and proceeded on high ground monitoring re-entrant on my left; after I reached the side re-entrant turned right to the control

#7: down to the main re-entrant, ran along it, passed the big side re-entrant on my left and walked north up the hill there; saw a top of a small side re-entrant on my right, kept going north across the hill, reached the other side, saw another small side re-entrant there, proceeded along the slope, saw the hill curving to the right and cut to the control. Reached the huge pile of rocks and stopped in disbelief. There was supposed to be a control - not rocks! In fact there were no rocks on the map. What was going on?!! Well... As it turned out the control was on the other side of the pile, but I didn't know that, because it never occurred to me to look at the legend, while the rock pile wasn't on the map because it was removed from the "no-man-made features" map I used. Apparently it was marked there as a stone wall (which actually wasn't correct, I think).
Anyway,.. I went further north along the slope, then realized that it didn't look right at all, decided to take another bearing, went down to the creek, walked south, found the dry ditch, went up and found the same huge pile of rocks. There I finally decided to check the legend and realized what was going on... Went around the pile and found the control.

One lesson learned for the future is that we should not put controls on "man-made features" when offering "non-man-made features" maps option.

#8: went north-west up the hill, then (when I reached the top) turned west to the control

#9: west down the slope, watched re-entrant on my left, crossed the road and creek, saw the re-entrant, crossed the trail, went up the slope of the re-entrant to the dry-ditch with the control

#10: went north and actually counted small shallow re-entrants while doing so till I reached one with the control

#11: up and across the hill, saw re-entrant on my left, but continued north and reached the creek near the gully, crossed the creek, noticed small re-entrant on the other side and from there cut to the control, saw rocky ground and the re-entrant (or something that looked like one), but no control. I am not sure why. Maybe I was looking at the control from the side (it was hanging flat), or maybe I was indeed a bit off - not sure. I went down a bit and then west trying to find the control, but no luck. I was getting quite confused at that moment and decided that I better start it all over. So I went down to the creek, reached the creek but wasn't exactly sure where, so I proceeded along the creek with an idea that sooner or later I'll position myself on the map correctly. Ended up walking all the way to the very distinct gully on the left side on the creek, went up and then west to the control. Found it. I think I spent 15 extra mins on this one...

#12: I guess I was quite upset then, so I made another mistake right there. Instead of going north west, I went west-west-south and ended up on the hill way south of the control. I wasn't lost, just way off... Went north along the hill, didn't see the control right away, but then saw the big tree and went there

#13: down the slope, crossed the re-entrant, up and proceeded west along the hill until I saw the big pile of rocks, from there saw the control

#14: south around the re-entrant, then south-west along the hill, saw re-entrant on my right, passed it and went down along the other the re-entrant which lead me south to the creek; there I saw those weird earth formations, went to the other side of the creek and to the cliff with the control.

#15: crawled up the cliff and lost all the strength... Felt terrible and for a while could barely walk. South, around the re-entrant, reached and crossed the trail, went around all the gullies, across the hill and down on the other side, ended up too far to the right, so corrected myself and went left to the control

#16: went around all the re-entrants and across the hill, then down to the road, crossed in and went diagonally to the saddle with the control

#17: back to the road, used it and then used the trail to get to the dry-ditch with the control

#18: down to the creek, ran along it for a bit, then crossed it and reached the road right below the intersection, crossed the road and reached the trail, used it for a bit then went up and proceeded along the slope counting gullies to the control

#19: very tired... just walked further along the slope to the re-entrant and gully with the control

finish: again very tired... tried to avoid big hills, so ignored all the trails and simply walked south west through everything till I reached the paved trail, from there ran to the finish.

It took me: 102 mins 39 secs

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

Huge thanks to Ken and Terese for organizing the event!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Night-O at Bond Park

Night-O's are my favorite events, no doubt about it. It's an ultimate orienteering adventure and a lot of fun. Maybe because of this attitude, or maybe for some other reason, but historically, I always do well at Night-Os. Yesterday wasn't an exception. I had a great run (though not 100% clean - what you expect!). Didn't take all controls, but ended up close (26 out of 30). Got disoriented a few times, but fortunately made right decisions in those situations and avoided wasting a lot of time.

Here is how I ran:

Start: I spent about 20 seconds studying the map under the street light. I noticed that west portion of the map was very populated with controls. It was different from the previous Night-O, when majority of the controls were in the south part. I had to choose where to run first. From one side it was safer to pick a lot of controls right away, but from the other side I would prefer to pick far away south controls as soon as possible, so I would be closer to the finish at the end of the hour. I also noticed that it was possible to take all south controls in one big curve, which was nice. Finally, I remembered that last time I had enough time to visit both sides of the map, though I couldn't take the most north-west control. So finally I decided to go south first, watch the clock and possibly skip some 40ies if necessary.

#40: straight down, across the field to the corner of the forest

#57: went to the road, reached the parking lot and ran to it's south-east end. There I saw an unexpected extra paved road. It wasn't there last year! Got confused because of it and missed he control. Stopped, then decided to take the control from the other side, went to the baseball field and took the control from there.

#58: back to the parking lot, to the beginning of the trail, used it to cross the stream and then went along the stream (or ditch) to the control.

#62: scrambled back to the trail, used it until the "sewer thingy" and cut from there to the control

#71: back to the trail, used it until I saw a cutting on the left, went south-west watching the lake shore line in front of me on both sides.

#70: ran along the shore line, then cut straight to the trail, crossed the bridge and went east, staying at the bottom of the hill but pointing up with my flashlight. Proceeded like that until I saw the control.

#64: ran north, crossing everything until I reached the trail. Used the trail to get close to the control and then used the corner of the baseball field as an attack point.

#63: up to the field, ran along it and then down to the re-entrant with the control.

#56: to the parking lot and used a little trail that goes to the playground. Attacked the control from the trail fork.

To the road on my right and stopped there to think about my next steps. I was in a good shape time-wise: only 18 mins spent. Yet I was still worried about getting to the west side of the park in time. So I decided to skip #42 and take it at the very end if time allows (as it turned out it didn't). I was also in doubt about #60, but decided that I better take it and skip one of western 60ies instead.

#41: north, crossed the parking lot, to the picnic shelter, ran along the tables and them down to the creek. Didn't see the control from the top, but was able to spot it from the bottom.

#55: up to the trail, used the trail for a bit, then cut east to the control

#61: to the road, went left a bit to avoid steep hill, then east across the hill to the re-entrant and up to the control

#50: down to the road, to the crossing, then left, passed the trail and went for the control

#60: straight east to the road, crossed it, to the re-entrant and ran on the east slope or it to the control.

#43: straight to the road, north until the trail, then used the trail to get to the control

#44: well... I couldn't find it... I used the trails to get there and I found a lot of root stocks, but no control. After about 2-3 mins there I decided that I couldn't afford lingering no more and went west aiming for #47

Yes, #47.... because I somehow didn't notice #45 on the map... I ended up running right by it without knowing about it.

#47: I guess I was frustrated because of all that wasted time at #44, so I made several bad decisions at this point. First I skipped #45, then I went around the building instead of going straight through them. Then I got lost at #47... I used the road and parking lot, turned down to the re-entrant and proceeded further down, but stopped short of the control and went around some green staff, then around some other greet staff and so on. Somehow I ended up back east, saw the building and got even more confused. Finally I decided to check my compass. That helped :) I was in the re-entrant north of the parking lot. Phew... This time I went right through that green staff and saw the control behind it.

I had 22 mins left at that point, despite my fiascoes at #44 and 47 I still had enough time for the west side.

#54: to the parking lot and used the tool shack as an attack point, but didn't see the control from that side. Reached the creek and an opening at the side of it. Used this opening as an attack point and got the control.

#67: to the creek, reached it by the junction, crossed the creek and went along it to the control.

#66: used the field, then crossed the creek to get to the control

#73: to the trail and used it to get across the creek, overshoot and had to go through the green wall to get to the swamp on the other side, then followed it south to the control

#72: went back to the field through the opening, used the trail to get across the creek and to reach the other field, ran along the fence, after the field corner cut to the swamp and followed the swamp to the control.

#68: south to the field, along the fence till about a half way, then to the forest and proceeded along the field in the forest until I saw the control.

#65: back to the field, went east from the corner aiming for the creek bend, reached the creek right there and proceeded along it to the control.

9 mins left at that point. I decided to skip #51, but I still had hopes for #42.

#52: crossed the creek and went north along it. It was tough - very green...

#53: same thing, even greener....

#46: to the restrooms building, to the road and used it until I saw the fence end on my left. From there cut to the control.

I had 4 mins left that time. Enough time for #42, but I was also tired...
When I reached the parking lot I had only 1:40 left and it was about 30-40 secs short from going after #42, so I just went to the finish.

Huge thanks to Mihai for setting up the event. I loved it!

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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Surviving Raven Rock

I finally made it! I went though an advanced course in Raven Rock without making any major mistakes or spending hours looking for misplaced controls! It look me 7 years to put one decent run/walk there...

Here is a history of my struggles in this dreadful place:
2004: Red - 3 hours, misplaced controls, lots of mistakes DNF
2005: Won the yellow course with a cast on my leg :)
2006: Red - 3 hours, misplaced controls, cold rain, DNF
2007: Red - 1 hour 49 mins, mistakes, average speed 3.3 km/h
2008: Green - 1 hour 52 mins, misplaced controls, mistakes, average speed 2.8 km/h
2009: Red - 2 hours 24 mins, misplaced controls, mistakes, average speed 2.7 km/h
and finally
2011: Green - 1 hour 24 mins, average speed 4.1 km/h

This time the course was mercifully set mostly in the western part of the park which is much cleaner comparing to the eastern part. The course was still very hard, challenging and physically demanding, I walked a lot. But I ended up enjoying it. It was also nice to be able to visit a few beautiful landmarks during the course: the rock field and the river. 13 (65)-to-14 (67) leg was brutal, of course, and #67 was a bit off (at least I think so), but other than that it was a very good course. Huge thanks to Artem and Holly was setting it up!

Here is how I ran:

#1: to the road and used it until the re-entrant, went around thorns to the control

#2: to the trail and used it to get close, then continued north-west, down to the gully and took the control

#3: climbed up a bit, then tried to stay on the same elevation, crossed the small re-entrant in its top part, crossed the trail and went north-north-west. Got a bit disoriented as I didn't see the re-entrant south west from the control, so ended up further north, but quickly realized the error, turned back and took the control.

#4: went down to the creek and climbed up on the other side. There I saw re-entrant on my left and realized that I was further west from the control than I wanted to. But I didn't like the look of vegetation on my right, so instead of going there I went down to the creek by the cliff and then went along the creek to the control. It was easy to find this way, but I am not sure it was the best choice, as I spend a lot of time in rhododendrons by the creek.

#5: up to the trail, then used it a bit to go around bad green staff, then went down. Didn't go to the rock field, but I saw a glimpse of it, went a bit to the left and took the control.

#6: decided to take a risk and try my luck by the river. There was a possibility that there wouldn't be any place for me to run, but I thought I was far enough from the Raven Rock, so there was a good chance that I'll be all right. Plus I really, really hate going up unless I absolutely have to. So instead of going up to the trail, I went down to the river. The view was awesome, but initially I thought I made a mistake. There was a stretch of "near rock climbing" at the beginning, but fortunately it was small and after that I could run all the way to the control. I had to climb up to the control though.

#7: up to the trail in a straight line, then used a trail a bit and cut west when I saw a small re-entrant/gully on my left. Crossed the creek and climbed up on the other side right to the control.

#8: kept going up to avoid the deep re-entrant, then went down along the hill and diagonally to the other side of the hill where the control was

#9: didn't want to loose any elevation, so went on top around two re-entrants on my right and then across the hill to the control.

#10: crossed the re-entrant and tried to keep my elevation, so ended up crossing the hill north from the control. Went south-west along the creek to get it.

#11: just went south-south-east to the top of the hill and from there down knowing that I'd be a bit west from the control. Looked for that side re-entrant from above and went there.

#12: up to the trail and down to the rocky field. Walked from there up to the control.

#13: kept walking up to the trail, then went down to the creek and proceeded down, carefully counting all side creeks until I found the right one on the other side, went up and took the control. The vegetation was awful but it got even worse right after that

#14: scrambled up the hill, it took me 6-7 mins to do just that... Then I made a mistake. I should have used the white and go to the trail, but instead I went straight, back to that vegetation... I went down to the creek and again carefully counted all side creeks, found the right one and went up the slope. Then proceeded there looking for the control. But it wasn't there! I started to question myself and walked up the hill to double-check, everything looked correct from there, so I went down to the slope again - no control... Decided that it was probably misplaced and went south to the trail and saw the control along the way. I believe that it was about 50-60 yards south from where it was supposed to be. But it was in a ditch all right. I think the map is not very precise there.

#15: proceeded south to the trail and went down along the dry ditch on the other side. Reached the creek and went a bit left just to make sure I'll be west from the junction. Then went west along the creek, saw the junction and ran between two creeks to the control.

#16: up to the trail and to the control
and then finish! Took me 84 mins.

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