Had been thinking long and hard about participating. My right knee was still making funny noises and I had an appointment set up with Dr. Abraham at HP Como. Should I really risk messing it up even more? I had not done anything in 10 days except some roller skiing during my Sisu class. But I decided it would be worth a try and as a compromise I would do the short distance instead.
The drive out to St. Croix Falls and the Wisconsin side of Interstate Park was uneventful, traffic was less than would be expected on a weekend where the fall colors were nearing their peak. This was making me think that our canoe trip in mid-October would again be in more drab surroundings. Oh well, at least I would be enjoying the leaves today.
After I arrived I had already second thoughts on making the right decision on the short run. Instead of switching to long, I did the whit/yellow course as a warm-up. No problems, not even with my knee. I finished with some stretches and waited for the start.
The adventure run format is basically an O-race with a mass start. At the pre-race meeting Todd Peterson told us about the intricacies of the not-quite-O map and we were off. As I was heading for CP1, I passed Ian, who was walking because of an Achilles-tendon issue. He was walking and I was running but somehow I could not lose him. This shows what a superior orienteerer he is over me. CPs 2-5presented only slight to moderate difficulty though I managed to hit a barbed wire with my shin (thanks to the gods for gaiters) while dropping into the valley after CP3 and I stepped into a hole after CP5, weding my foot between two rocks and spraining my left big toe in a bad way.
Slightly of kilter from the pain in my right shin and my left toe I headed for CP6, which seemed more difficult than the previous ones. I did find CP6, but then, going for 7 I made my big mistake of the meet: I headed north, looking for the trail I should cross. I missed it and ended up at the bridge across the creek heading out of the wetland. I decided to go for the trail crossing the wetland to retrieve CP7. I met a guy and a father-son team who were coming towards me. I e-punched 7 and passed both again. In hindsight, what I should have probably done is to head south to County S and follow it NE to the trailhead. After I recovered I knew full well that I missed my chance to beat Ian. He arrived a few minutes before me and was just telling the folks at the finish how even crippled by injury and walking he had beaten a runner. He is right, my results were nothing to call home about.