Another week has come and gone, which means it is blog post time! This week we will be discussing people’s experiences at Masters Champs in Connecticut. Overall it was a joyous experience with great courses and even better people. Below are said people’s thoughts and overall feelings about their courses and their experiences in general. I also asked people to rate their weekend on a scale of fish to science fiction. Unfortunately not everyone included a ranking.
I decided to challenge myself this weekend by running red both days, even though I was concerned about the length of the courses since I’m not that great at longer courses and I could tell by the climb that it was going to be decently physical, but I figured that I should prepare myself for JWOC part 2 in 3 weeks (namely the long). Longs have always been my weakness, I’m just not a fan of long legs because I’m not the best runner and I thrive more in technical terrain and quick decisions. But this weekend definitely challenged me, and although the courses weren’t exactly my favorite, they were still pretty good and I’m glad I did them. The best leg of the whole weekend was on Day 1 from 9 to 10, since it was essentially just a trail run and downhill and for once I felt fast (okay that might be an exaggeration). Both days I only completed one of my goals, which was to be under 2 hours, but that was like my it-will-be-embarrassing-if-I-don’t-reach-it goal. I was trying to get under 105 minutes but that didn’t happen. I definitely have a ton to improve on, and at least now I know what to expect out of myself on the long, in Portugal.
I really had a blast, particularly on my Day 1 course (Red). I was pre-running, so I saw very few other people out there and the woods was just awesome. I felt really in great sync with the map and found every control exactly where I wanted it to be. Analyzing afterwards, it was clear I didn’t make all the right route-choices (trails were faster, even with the very fun to run through woods), but that didn’t really hinder my enjoyment of the course/map/day in the moment!
For Day 2, I put my “trails-are-often-faster” new knowledge to good use and came away with the Red course win, even with a few mistakes. But it wasn’t as much fun for me, because I’d really rather be running through the woods than really hard on trails. (Biggest mistake this day: reading a segment of a cut control circle as a cliff, because purple+green = almost black… it did not work as a good attackpoint).
Another impression is that nearly everyone missed out by not playing String-O – Jon Campbell planned very fun, cleverly annotated courses. I really appreciated features labeled “Bigelow Slot Canyon”, “The Slash Barrens” and “Check for Lake Monsters”. =)
1. My courses went pretty darn well! I felt like I was really able to connect with the map and understand the mappers style (awesome to be on such a good, new map!). Also just really good to be in New England terrain again.
2. I think the best control I had of the weekend was 2 on the day 1 Green-X (the really long route choice). I just was able to pick a route and stick with it well, and had a very good approach reading the green carefully as I went along the hill side.
3. The worst control of my weekend was definitely number 9 on the day 2 Green-Y. I first chose the wrong route of going left around the green, but then didn’t actually make it around the green. In fact, I went through basically the widest section of the green. Lost significant time there and it was quite frustrating navigating through the mountain laurel.
4. I got to meet Jan for the first time in person which was very exciting!! Also got to see a bit of an intersection between the JWOC and WUOC teams which was awesome as a member of both of them. Both are such squads and having them conjoin a bit makes it even better.
6. I would say somewhere around dog. Quite amazing but not as amazing as cats which almost seem like science fiction they are so incredible.
Day 1 met expectations. I was impressed with myself and how well I adjusted. Day 2, on the other hand, was disappointing. I made some big mistakes and some small mistakes. My favorite control was 5 on GreenY day 1. It was over two ridges and in a field of boulders that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to nail, but I ended up right on top of it. My favorite part of the weekend by far was meeting so many new people and catching up with my friends. Don’t get me wrong, running like a maniac in the woods is fun and all, but orienteers are so much fun to chat with.
Rating – Miso soup – Started out really good but with each sip a little worse
While most people had a good weekend Daniel Riley faced some challenges by spraining his ankle on the way to his very first control of the weekend. When asked for his response I got these very polite responses.
And when pressed for a rating…
Unheated leftover clam chowder.
We are left to ponder ourselves what these wise words mean.
Finally, we can end with my weekend. This was one of the stranger weekends of orienteering in my life because for the first time, at least in my memory, I was not competing. Instead, I was helping to run the event and vetting courses. While I was a little bit sad that I could not compete there was something extremely gratifying about helping run the meet. Every time someone complimented the course or ended the race with a smile I felt like the work I had put in had been more than worth it. It was also very nice to see that everyone seemed to be enjoying the races to such a high level.
On the orienteering side, my weekend did not go as well. Due to having already run all the courses and not being in a race mindset my runs were very meh. I did not put a whole lot of effort into trying to do well and I just felt sluggish and foggy. On the first day, I ran cleanly but slowly while on the second day I didn’t even manage to run cleanly. With that being said it was still extremely fun to get out on these amazing maps and be able to use vegetation in my navigation.
Finally I also really enjoyed seeing so many people from across the country at the meet. It was so nice to reconnect with all the juniors and WUOC members who I had traveled with this summer as well as meet new folk.
Final ranking – Teen dystopian novel – A little bizarre, a little predictable but still quite comforting and fun to read.
That’s all folks! Thanks for reading and bye!