Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Stumbling Through Stubblefield...Again: Day 2

clues are there for a reasonDay 2:

It was a new day and I had a new plan of attack for the Stubblefield. I went back to basics and kept two techniques in mind at all times: (1) pacecounting...duh; and (2) aiming off. I must say these two simple but important skills made my life a lot easier for day 2!

This time, I was the first of the 3 of us to start. The guy at the starting grid joked with me about the really long leg on day 1, from CP3 to 4...ha ha, very funny. Anyway, I kept it loose and relaxed and as soon as I was out of the gate, I just jogged/walked, making sure I knew where I was going. For CP1, I simply followed a major gully going southwest that should lead me to a minor gully where the CP was...and there it was! CP2 was a nasty bushwack through the dark-green stuff, so I decided to try my aiming-off technique. It worked as I hit the gully, but I must have walked pass the gully intersection I was looking for. I did hit CP3 first and had to backtrack to CP2. But this was simple. At the same time, international racer, Robbie Paddock leaped and bounded pass me like he was a gazelle...note that he had a later start than me. Nice. It was cool to see him in action, though--he seemed to run straight to the CPs!

Anyway, after CPs 2 and 3, I headed for CP4, which was at a dreaded rootstock! Ugh. Okay, no aiming off here, but there was a trail right before the rootstock that I could use. I used a bend in the trail as a point of attack then shot a bearing to the rootstock. I almost missed it...thankfully I looked to my right as a slowly paced my way to it! CP5 looked like fun as there were trails and a definite water feature (pond) that I could use. I followed the motorbike trail and kept going southeast when it went west to pick up another trail. The brush was thick here, so it took me a few minutes to fight through it and I never did find that trail. But I did use my bearing and hit the eastern portion of the pond, so I just had to go around to the NW side of it. Got it! CP6 wasn't too bad either as I shot for a gully intersection. I did forget that the clue said the CP was on a finger--I assumed it was in one of the gullies. When I looked down the gully and saw nothing, I looked at the clue again and remembered it--I looked back from where I came and there it was!

The next leg to CP7 was another long bushwhack...and this time rather than be cute, I blasted through the crap. It was slow going, but my waypoints along the way assured me I was on the right track. I aimed-off to the left as I hit the major gully and then headed right to find the minor gully CP7 was supposed to be in...punched! CP8 was at a trail/gully intersection--I just aimed off for the trail and then followed it to the intersection. Done. CP9 was a straight shot north, but I decided to play it safe and use gullies as my rails. It worked to perfection as I ran right into it. CP10 was another straight shot north, and again I aimed off to the left to avoid some of the green, thick stuff on the map. I aimed off a little more than I had wanted and had to follow the catch (gully) a bit longer than expected. But there it was, in a side gully. CP11, I had planned to aim off a little to the right, but to my suprise as I got within 150m of the CP, it was right there, clear as day! I was so skeptical, that I checked the control number twice...it was the right one! Sweeet!

CP12, again, north. I aimed off right to find a trail, which I did. What I didn't realize is that I was on a different part of the trail than I thought I was. I wasted a little time here as I went from gully to gully, a bit confused, but I then realized what was going on. I popped back out onto the trail, followed it west a bit more, then popped into the gully system and there it was! CP13 was at a rootstock, but this was right next to a gully, so it should be easier...at it was. After waiting for a slow poke racer on the brown course to finally punch her card, I punched and charged down the road to CP14, another rootstock. I slowed down once I got to the marshy area where the CP was supposed to be, and there it was on my left. Of course, the whole race I was able to keep my feet dry, but they placed this point such that you had no choice but to trudge through water. Jerks! LOL. Anyway, got it and speeded down to the final CP15, same place as the last CP on day 1. I then sprinted into the finish line, a lot happier with that day's performance!

I think I had finished 3rd for that day, but I had not erased enough of my previous day's mistakes to make the podium...I missed it by 5-7mins! That sucked a little, but I couldn't do anything about it--I had a really bad Day 1 and I suffered for it. Still, it was a really great experience and I again learned a lot from it! I think the problem is that there are so litte orienteering meets during the year that once one comes around again, I have forgotten the lessons learned from the previous meet. Well, at least now I have this race report to refer back to! :) Both Jackie and Monty had better days too, with Jackie jumping a spot to claim 2nd in her division! Way to go, HART!


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