Sunday, 20 June 2010

Ultra O at Mohales South

Today's orienteering event took us across a piece of ground previously unused at Mohales Gate, near Maropeng. I haven't been out to this area for two or three years; and it is one of my favourites. Very runable on this southern section.

I've done my QuickRoute thing - after roughly dotting in what I think I ran on the map. Memory not great, evidently, because some parts are off. But seeing the track has reminded me of features I ran close to, which isn't indicated with my red dotted line.

I made two mistakes today.

CP7 - CP8 issue
Approaching CP7 I found the road to my left, which I thought should was higher - it came up too soon after reaching the lowest drainage point. I stopped (see red shading on GPS track). Nathan caught up to me here and so I asked him what he thought. He had the same idea. So, we headed uphill but it was actually towards CP8! Someone else was there and Nathan got that it was CP8 and not CP7. So we backtracked. Nasty and silly.

I'd been looking at another drainage feature, not indicated on the map. I also saw the rocks near CP7 but they didn't look distinct enough initially. The one thing that had me thinking, on the way to CP8, was that we were too close to the fence. Turns out that I was right. So, that lost time.

Ahhh... second last control after more than 2h30 out there... This is when mistakes happen. Like a horse bolting for home.
I headed for the gap between forests, thinking that I'd shoot through to the road and then run up it to the control. Mmmm... The forest wasn't actually forest. Very much rough open ground with tiny trees/bushes. So, I went straight through it. I thought I was angling a bit to the the NW but I was actually going quite straight. So I pop out on a path and can't find the control. I backtracked to a junction and was very confused. I backtracked a bit more and nailed the intersections, finding the tree with the control. The tree was actually not right next to the road but a bit off the road. Silly, silly me.

All other controls were spot on.

The colours on the GPS track, superimposed on my map, are cool. Green is fastest running speed; yellow medium; orange/light red is where I'm walking or punching the control. Yes, lots of running. On the long sections, like from CP18 to CP19, you can see 'morse code' colouring where I'm running a bit, walking a bit, running a bit, walking a bit...

At this Ultra colour-coded O event the brown course (longest) had the fewest number of participants - maybe 10. I think only six of us completed it successfully. Winning time on the blue was around 1h30. Winning on brown was 1h55 (Alex Pope). Eugene came in second at around 2h15. Stijn was 3rd at about 2h30 and I was 4th at 2h50. Good, long run. It was marked as 16km; that would pretty much be as the crow flies. This human ran 19.8km.

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