Friday, March 4, 2016

A bit of blue sky

After a couple months in Vancouver, I was hankering for some good old forest.  This past weekend, I may have gotten off the sprint map, but not necessarily into woods.  Instead, I got the chance to run on some one-of-a-kind terrain in Eastern Washington: grasslands!

Saturday morning opened a bit chilly, but there was a gorgeous blue sky. The terrain was very open, with a couple of marshes near the finish, but the rest was grassland interspersed with little patches of trees.  This meant that there was little in terms of route choice, but a lot of looking up and sighting ahead with the trick being to look for the big features.  There were also some interesting rock features.

A bit of bright blue sky

Would you go north or south from 6-7?
I felt pretty confident with my race.  It was my first time in a while on a non-sprint map, so I took the first couple controls to get into the scale and the mapping.  I found the contours to be sometimes difficult to read,  so I ended up sighting up for cliffs and forest clumps: very helpful in keeping me in line.

Results: and route choices:

Driving to day 2 we encountered a beautiful sunset
Day 2 was another gorgeous day, with some incredible natural walls that made for very interesting route choice.  Like day 1, the terrain was very open, but unlike day 1 it was impossible to run in a straight line.  This time, compass was of the utmost importance, as figuring out where you were after getting lost was made all the more challenging by a lack of distinct features.  

How would you go from 1-2?
This race started out ok, and going to number 2 I decided to take a route that did not involve too many cliffs and direction changes.  Fairly pleased with that leg, I made an error going to 3: I ended up coming off the cliffs in the wrong place, and as a result made a parallel error.  From there, I decided to be extra careful, and rest of the race went by with relatively smooth sailing.

A couple of the 'natural walls'

Can you guess which control on the long course this is?
A big thank you to all of the organisers - it was an amazing experience, and I am definitely looking forward to going back!  Thank you too to the Woods for making it possible for me to get there.

1 comment: