I was thinking about my top 5 for '03 (I'm big into these sorts of
lists; during my sanctioning nightmare I distracted myself by making
a list of the 100 best rock albums of all time -- elsewhere on my
website). I knew Dallaschye (day 1 of the Scottish Six Day) was
my #1, but I wasn't sure of all the reasons, other than a sort of
vague "coming together of things" where I felt I was alot better after
than I was before.
While I was thinking about this, I was watching the Fiesta
Bowl and the commentator was talking about a player's improvement and
said something along the lines of "midway thru the season, the game
just slowed down for him". In other words (at least the way I interpret
this), in a given unit of objective time, he could process more information
about the game, and was moving faster relative to the speed of the game,
its other objects, and the game's presentation of information. This
was the way I felt at Dallaschye, in retrospect, and about my orienteering
since. It is a feeling of running slower, yet having faster times when
measured objectively by something like a clock. I always feel this way
in a good race, slow, yet the clock shows a decent time. It is sort of
weird, and I think, sort of important. Unfortunately, no more will
come to me on this tonite, and I don't know how to force success here
other than to practice by running O races, which we all do anyway.
But I think there is something here relating information processing
theory to effective information processing in O, and the subjective
experience of time.
So, I'll just have to go with my top 5 after all.
-   1. Dallaschye. 18/71 in an international M35
field. Best international result ever. Especially encouraging given
both the technical and physical difficulty of the terrain. This map
was used for a WOC race. More importantly was this feeling of growth
and understanding and improvement of technique.
-   2. Relay Champs. Winning a national
championship should make the list, and probably should be #1, but this
doesn't seem as important to me as my experience in Scotland. The real
important thing about this race, to me, was having a near perfect, fast
race, under pressure and in a team setting. Alot has been said of the map,
and most of these comments are valid; however, I think I still would have had
the same personal race had the map been perfect (it was my preparation
for and execution of the race that seemed important), and I still felt good
afterwards, and still feel good about it today, yet feel bad for those
who were denied an enjoyable experience due to the map.
-   3. DVOA PEEC meet Nov '03. I don't like picking
a meet by my own club, but I had two good races and placed well (for me)
in a strong field. Outside the US individual champs, this was I think my
best 2 day A meet result. And I didn't particularly enjoy myself at
the US champs; its still about having fun, so meets I had the most fun
at are making the list.
-   4. Canadian Relays Aug '03. Running 5.75 min/k
on an O course and the team winning always seems fun. But the real cool
thing about this race was the course setting that allowed watching our
anchor (Eric Bone) race against Ted de St. Croix to see who would win, and
of course, the actual head to head racing. It would have been a thrill to
this race as a fan; to be on one of the teams involved made it that much
-   5.Woodhill NZ Apr '03. I had a collection of
bad races here. But it was good to get exposed to completely alien terrain,
to be exposed to what has been described as the best O terrain in the world.
I did do some good things here, and learned a ton, including the concept of
applying semiotics to map reading, which I think has helped me. And despite
my incompetence, the O was damn fun.