twilight and shadow

Queens Birthday Day 3 - Long Distance (Plantation Forest)

I've run on this map 3 times now and only managed 1 clean(ish) run so I was hoping this race would be different...but it was not to be.

I started off nice and slow...the first control was pretty easy (a spur not too far up off the track) but it was clear it was going to be a steep, slippery course. The route to #2 showed just how steep it was going to be and just trying to sidle round the side of the hill was pretty difficult. But navigationally it wasn't too bad. Neither was #3 but it was a little unnerving getting down to the control. Unfortunately #4 was where it all came unstuck...

I sidled round and got down to the river, crossing that, then debated going round the bottom of the next ridge but decided I'd go up and over...bad mistake number 1. So up and over I went, crossing over the track and what I thought was the next stream. I climbed up the next hill but couldn't find it anywhere and nothing was quite adding up. I spent so long (embarrassingly long) fluffing around wondering what was going on before finally ending up heading down to the bottom and stumbling over the track again which totally threw me and I wondered what on earth I'd done. Turns out I'd done a 90 degree error and crossed the wrong stream (turns out I wasn't the only one who did that either as one of the other girls never worked out what happened and ended up dnfing). I found the control fairly easily after that but it was terribly demoralising as I'd lost HEAPS of time. I stumbled through the next few...fairly easy navigation but the hills and slippery terrain were getting to me (the climb out from #5 was awful).

I passed Mum out there on my way to #11 and she said she was having a really good least someone in our family was! I then proceeded to take the wrong track at the junction...silly me! But I realised pretty quickly and was able to bash up the hill to the correct one. #12 was a spectator control and I felt like bailing since it was right by the finish but that isn't me. The loop after this was pretty cruel with more steep, slippery climb. I'm not sure I've ever been so relieved to finish an orienteering race in my life (or had such a bad control)!

After the first two days which had gone pretty well for me I was pretty upset to finish the weekend on such a bad race but I guess that's just how things go sometimes.