Night Rogaine   Leave a comment

It's been a summer of no O. I last trod in a forest in June, at a national team training camp, and since then I've had some army duty, a heatwave, lots of work, some internet-O (JWOC, WOC), but none of the real stuff.
So the Night Rogaine that was held between Friday and Saturday was an event for Roni and myself. There were about 100 competitors, and it was really fun running around the woods and meeting other headlamps once in a while. Obviously it hurt (6 hours is a lot), the humidity was terrible, and some parts of the course weren't nice – but it was worth it.
Our route – about 33km over 6 hours – is here.
The points were based on the control numbers, so the basic plan was to take all the controls from 11 to 36, and any of the others only if they were right next to our route. We went counterclockwise, because that opened up more options at the end, and planned to skip 11, 14 or 19 if necessary. We thought we could do between 4 and 4.5 km/hour (straight line), and the basic plan was for 25.5 km – right in the middle of that range. As usual, we walked on uphills and in the terrain, and ran everything else.
The highlights:
22 – lost a minute because I missed a path (Roni saw it and wasn't stubborn enough).
31 – another minute or two – I mistook the contour line for a path.
30 – a minute searching for the control.
24 – left the path too late and lost 2-3 minutes.
32 – missed the path on the way, but orienteered by contours to the control. Then we didn't see the flag (it wasn't exactly at the bend in the wall) and lost 3-4 minutes before we returned there.
This is where we were falling behind the pace (and tiring), so we decided to skip 14 and 19.
29 – lost concentration and went down the wrong path – 4 minutes.
13 – we both mistook the vegetation boundary for a path, and then started looking too far to the east, with some other teams. Then I understood that the open area was now younger forest, started moving west, and another team found the control just as we hit the smaller clearing below it. 4-5 minutes gone…
18 – after 13, we were in a rush, so we knew there was just one chance to find 18, which is a "bingo" control even in the daytime. We missed it, despite going in carefully with the compass, and decided to run for the finish.

In the end we were 16 seconds late (2 points deducted, for a total of 565). It gave us a respectable 4th place, 16 points behind the winners – but the GPS track shows that at control 18 we were at most 20 metres away from winning the race, so we can be slightly disappointed by our result.

Our next orienteering is probably in September. But if we don't have another heatwave maybe I'll be able to get some mapping done before then.

Posted 23/07/2012 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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