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"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Please Dont Push

So, some have you have known or have figured out by now that I'm trying to take a break from Adventure Racing to concentrate on the upcoming nuptials. I have been so engulfed that I almost went a whole month without blogging! I know! So, this will be a brief post in the 11th hour to prevent that from happening. Thankfully I have something to talk about.

the mapSo much has happened since the H-NAV back in December, so I will just concentrate on the race I did this weekend. I decided to sharpen up my navigational skills and do the Team Texas Score O up at WG Jones State Park. It was only 10 bucks, which is nothing compared to an easy 70-100 coin you would put down for an adventure race, so I had no excuse. Plus, start time was at 10am--I love orienteering! Finally, all you need is a compass and you're set!

I leisurely got up at 7am and eventually made it to the meet at around 9am. Signed in and looked around to see if anyone else from the AR world decided to show. I only saw the usual 20+ crew and the sea of ROTC and boy scout cadres. After staying in the car as long as possible, I braved the brisk morning chill and walked to the start point. Along the way, I got caught up with a chatty couple asking what all the hubub was about. They were funny so I just strolled with them to the start point.

By the time I got there, the team competition had started already. Typical--whistle would blow and kids would be sprinting in every which way without even knowing where they were on the map yet. I just stood there with the other 20+'ers, waiting for our turn. I had seen on the prereg list that a couple Romanians were racing--WTF?!? I figured I was going to get blown out of the water again, a-la Stubblefield last year. Oh well, this was just a training session anyway, right?

We eventually lined up, and there were the Romanians, in their cool-looking official orienteering suits. Ugh. I was in the first wave to go for the individuals. 10 seconds...3-2-1-tweeeet!! I jog and pull off one of the maps from the clothesline. I headed northeast first, at a steady clip. It didnt take long for the 2nd wave to catch up with me, along with one of the Romanians, grrr! I figured they'll just burn themselves out. In the score o format, checkpoints are worth different points based on their difficulty and distance from the finish line. Controls 701-710 are 1 pt, 711-720 are 2 pts, and 721-730 are 3 pts.

720 was down a powerline easement. Done. 727 seemed to be at the end of a dirt road. I just took a straight bearing from 720. Done. I was feeling really good because at this point I had caught up with those rabbits by just keeping steady and dead on. I decided to do another straight bearing to 726 because there were no real features to use out here--no mans land! 300 meters and all I can see is thicket in my video. Crap. I had troubles last time I was out in this area, so after 10 minutes I just let it go. I went north, found a rough trail heading west and hit 725 right on the mound.

At this point, I saw no one, so I was thinking I was still doing ok. Straight west, bushwhack, use creek as catch, and there was 724. Followed the creek further west, headed up northwesterly at a minor creek junction, and there was 723 in the dry creek. South back to that major creek, west some more, and 722 was right there off of the creek. West even more on the creek until it turned south and then caught a trail heading off west--there was 721. I followed that trail west until I hit a slight trail and then it was the heaviest bushwhack for the day. Two kids had gone in right before me, but then they slowed down considerably, crying that it was hurting. I gave one of them an encouraging "lift" and he complained and asked me not to push. I laughed and thought, stop being a girl. I went off on my own path and found 712 quickly after that.

I followed a creek south to one of the major roads and had to decide whether to knock it out of the park and risk being over time, or just play it safe. I didnt want to lose because of penalties, so I went the safe way. I headed back east on the road, turned south and then picked off 719 on the east end of a clearing. Back south on the road until a pond, circumnavigated the pond and there was 708. I got tricked into trying to run over a muddy portion of the pond and I almost lost a shoe. Trudged through, headed south on the road, turned east and found the grown-over trails leading to 707.

The final stretch--I had about 15 mins left. Ran west to a clearing just south of the finish chute and there was 709. Bushwhacked a few meters west (of course I had to trudge through a nasty wet spot) and quickly snagged 701. West some more and there was 703 at the road intersection. This was the final decision point--I had 10 mins left and there was 1 control I could still try for. I figured I could get it in 6 mins, so I headed south on the road, turned left and there it was at a trail head. I used that trail, albeit crappy, to get back to finish. I had tons of time now, so I just jogged it in. Finished in 54mins 34secs.

Rock wants a piece of 1st placeNow the waiting. Awards was supposed to start at 2pm (it was around 1130 when I finished), but because of a system I couldnt understand, it took a lot longer than that. To make it worse, my control card was pretty much one of the last to be entered into their fancy computer--I had already figured out that I had to beat 30 points to win. In fact, it wasnt even one of the Romanians taking top spot--one of them had 2nd and 1st was held by a HOC member. They finally posted my score and I couldnt believe it--30 points! So it came down to time now. I was so happy now that I came in a bit early at 54+ mins--he came in at 59mins! I won the advanced div, with the most points overall!

It made waiting all that time worth it. But of course, I would not get off that easily. I was talking to Nancy about helping out with future meets when they announced the results for Advanced Male 20+. Im sure my jaw dropped when SFC Duane Adams announced I was 2nd! WTF?! I just calmly waited until he finished with all awards and pointed out their "oversight." One of the scorers admitted that they didnt pay attention to the times. Whew, crisis averted.

Beside that, one of the more funnier moments of the day was when I saw Monty laid back munching on a chili dog and slowly crept up on him. I sat down on a log next to him, which was holding his chili. As I nearly tipped his chili, I could tell he was a bit perturbed, but he didnt even look up--he didnt realize it was me! I just sat there another minute to give him a chance to cuss me out about disturbing his lunch, but nothing. So finally I asked him, "so, how long have you been here?" He looked over and we both laughed. Good times. Next time I'm just going to smack his chili off the log--that would have been HILARIOUS! He and Jackie were there doing the map hike.

Anyway, that's all I got. Sorry for the radio silence once again. I got something planned in Feb, so I should have at least that to blog on. Until then, race on and stay found!

Team Texas Score O Suunto T6 Report

* pods not used due to race restrictions
** altitude not calibrated