Click here for my US Champs, Bend Oregon, M21 Day 1 map.
Click here for my US Champs, Bend Oregon, M21 Day 2 map.
Excellent venue, excellent courses and organization, decent
map, tho always some quibbles. Some of the forest and some of
the views were absolutely spectacular. The rave reviews which
no doubt will be coming over the next few days are well-deserved.
Only technical quibble would be perhaps both the mapping on the
read in and the hang on #15, day 1, was a tad off.
Altitude was about 2000m, which, fortunately, I didn't feel,
except that I felt constantly dehydrated all weekend. I don't
think it affected my racing.
Terrain was fast but viz was cluttered enough to keep it from
being trivial. Certainly could be described as a "runners
venue", tho there was plenty of pockets of technical interest
and route choice problems.
My races could be described as mediocre to decent, tho certainly
overall we left with a feeling of disappointment. Overall placing
was 12th, so I am off 2 notches (I guess I can't count on beating
Eddie anymore at the US Champs:-)). Lost 1 place due to a pair of
large navigational mistakes (about 5 minutes each day), tho core
speed puts me in 11th, which was below what I had, perhaps
over-ambitiously, hoped for. Core speed was mid 7s - mid 8s, which
seems a tad slow for the venue for me.
I was actually happy with my route choices, and I'm not much of
a route choice guy. Only thing I might have done differently was
run left on #15, day 2, but I don't feel comfortable running off
the map or that close to the edge of it. Given that, I was
actually happy with what, on paper, looks like an awkward route.
(The slash is actually poor viz pines, but did not compromise
runnability). Given the choice of right, I did not want to suck
down extra lines.
As to the errors, #17 day 1 is a tough leg on paper, and worse in
the forest. I had been making money reading the white to green
changes, so I planned a simplification based on picking up the green,
but the change was too vague, the relief too vague, and I got in
trouble. Contributing to the problem was that I was with a very
good orienteer, so I let up concentration for speed to take advantage
of pack running, and got burned. Only consolation is that I lost
less time on the control than he did. This was an inexcusable error,
especially at the end of an otherwise near clean race.
#7 day 2 was an inexplicable disaster, again on the order of about
5 minutes. I felt I had a strong attackpoint and read of the land
into the bag, until there was no bag. I'm not actually sure where
I was, tho I know I ended up several lines low, bouncing off those
rocks. Otherwise, I was pretty much satisfied with my orienteering
over the two days, tho perhaps not the speed.
Looking for positives about otherwise disappointing races, a back
of the envelope calculation based on time per k would have put me
at about 2:21 on the red course, which would have been second best
time only behind Ted de St Croix, ceteris paribus. Of course, this
doesn't account for proportional expansion of the booms, but this
is about thinking positive. Even accounting for that, tho, I think I
would have safely won M35 or M40, but the real problem is that
alot of my competition also eligible to run those categories also
ran M21. Oh well, so much for thinking positive. The real positive
is that by running M21, I got about 40% more orienteering in awesome
Now for a cool story. #13 day 1 I was looking for
a specific boulder en route to verify my contact. And sure enough,
the boulder comes into view, and I'm happy. But as I run by it, I
notice it is actually a cairn piled to look like a rounded boulder.
So I stop to look for a cairn on the map, and, not finding one,
press on, trying to remember if ISOM 2000 did away with the cairn
symbol or not, or it was just mapper's choice.
I mention this curiosity to Jeff (the course setter), who tells
me Andy (the vetter), could not find the boulder on the map and
constructed it the day before. That's pretty good vetting, as
the boulder is a good 500m from the bag, and not likely to be
part of everyone's flight plan. I just think it is really cool
that they did that. (And as an aside, I was looking thru one
of those magazines on the airplane where they sell really
expensive yuppie stuff, and one of the items for sale is a fake
plastic landscaping boulder. Now we know where to get one if
we ever need one ...).