Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lake Maria Orienteering Meet, Red Course

I don't generally get disheartened with my blunders during O races, but this time I did. I had few if any problems on the well-laid-out course at Lake Maria SP until I got to CP11.

On the long leg to CP11 I had decided to play it safe and run the last portion on the trail a little NE of the connecting line. I chose the man-made feature (a bench) at the T intersection/clearing as my attack point. When I got there I made the decision to follow the trail west and to attack from where the trail veers from NW to due W. I think this may have been my main mistake. As it often happens, it was hard to tell where exactly the trail veered west and of course, I did not find the wetland withe CP 11. I made matters worse by searching for about 10 minutes until I finally gave up and returned to the intersection with park bench. Now I took a careful bearing and walked straight to the CP, which took exactly 2 minutes.

My self-confidence badly shaken by my search for CP11, I was probably overly cautious when heading for CP12. I wanted to be sure I took the right approach and hesitated to take the path towards the road. When I finally started moving down, I had to stop at a tight spot to let a group of about a dozen horseback riders pass. I found the CP without much further ado but decided to see if the wetland to the N was crossable. It was not, given the thick vegetation this was another few minutes lost.

My last blunder was on the home stretch. After punching CP14, I did not take a careful bearing (not that it had to be very careful) and ended up on the trail moving almost due W from the Finish. Instead of heading home, I took the opposite direction. This was definitely my worst run of the year.

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