O Log - Badger

[26-Apr-04] 

    Here is my Badger '04, M21 Day 1 map.

    Here is my Badger '04, M21 Day 2 map.

    An excellent meet. Proves that a small club can put on an excellent meet. I felt the map, Devils Lake, was championship quality terrain. While there were probably some things I might have done differently course setting wise in some places, I felt the course setting approached, if not met, the potential of the area. It was alot of fun and physically and mentally challenging in any case.

    The area was very French Creek like, without the terraces and blueberries. The preview map indicated this, but it felt more like being on French Creek than I expected.

    These were really the first races this year, I think, that felt like a USOF blue. Winning time was a touch low (I never really studied the results but I think Brian averaged about 72-73), but it didn't feel overly short, especially on day 2.

    I'm not a big believer in thinking about ultimate goals, but I was thinking beforehand that I would be happy with second place. I ended up third (behind Brian and someone else from Minnesota I don't know), but possibly could have been second. This is the second time I've medaled on M21 (thanks CSU :-)). I think I lost about 8 minutes over the two days on booms.

    But one thing I did observe was that speed matters. Day 1 I felt as fast as I ever have in rocky, physical forest, but did not orienteer particularly well. Day 2 I was as slow as erosion, but, for the most part, was happy with my navigation. I was third both days, but my day 1 relative time was much better day 1.

    Day 1 I had a big problem with the second to the last control. I did not think it was fair, and lost 2-4 min. I talked with a vetter/course consultant after the race who asked me what I thought about it, and he agreed and told me he had asked the course setter to move it, but it did not get moved. I was pretty angry about if for a couple of hours, but kept looking at it, and felt it was solvable. The problems with it are that it is not clear what the feature is, and there is a stream right under the mag north line (both blue), which I don't think can be seen at race pace (at least I didn't see it, and it took a while to notice it while studying it later, and that lead to my problems). It ended up the feature was some sort of sapling in the middle of trash. But I think it may have been solvable. I'm not sure about it now. I think one has to look at that stream/mag north line situation and wonder if it is fair or not. I don't really know -- could have been my fault.

    Day 2 was just about speed. I wore the wrong clothing. I forgot my Neoprene socks, and wore undergarments because I was too cold. It was raining and my clothes just seemed to soak up the water. The rocky terrain was wet and I almost killed myself a few times, and I just could not get it into high gear. The first three controls were in rocky, physical areas, and required slow map reading (at least for me). I think that set the tone for me speed wise. Leg 4 looked like a leg where I could try to get into my "A gear", but it just never happened; I kept falling down or hitting dangerous rocky areas. The soil was soft and wet. I just could not get the speed up anywhere during the race for whatever reasons.

    I did boom #15 (no discipline on the approach, then no confidence), and on #19, the area just did not make sense. Perhaps my brain was tired.

    One small criticism is that they should have sealed the map cases. Water got all in my map case, and pieces of my map were coming out (I look at my compass and see all this paper -- what could that be?) -- fortunately no part of the courses were affected.

    In any case, great meet.

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