Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Georgia Navigator Cup and Extreme O

We spent this past weekend at FDR State Park for the annual Georgia Navigator Cup and Extreme-O. It is the one GAOC meet each year that is classified as an A meet, so you actually can get ranked Nationally by participating. (Kind of like the NORBA National Series..but for orienteering geeks)

The first day for me was just so-so. I wasted about 5 minutes overrunning the first control and then I forgot to punch another on my way to the finish, so I had to go back for it. I was only 6 minutes down on the day's leader, so it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. Chris smoked everyone in his category by over 20 minutes, big surprise.

The second day was fairly horrendous. I woke up with stomach issues and wasn't feeling great. I hit the first three controls fairly cleanly, however, the third one I went to was actually #11 on my course. You have to go in order and for whatever reason, I looked at #11 and thought it was #3. I seem to always have these brain-farts and can't understand why. It was clearly marked as #11 and they even draw idiot-proof lines between the controls on the map, so that a monkey could probably figure it out. After that, I scrambled to recover, and ran hard up a hill to the point of making myself feel ill. I'd lost a lot of time and couldn't think clearly anymore, and was getting cold because it was raining and I was walking. I didn't start feeling any better, so I just walked back to the finish without completing the course. Chris made a few bobbles on his course but still won his category for the day.

Monday was the Extreme-O. The Extreme-O is more of a military style orienteering competition where they use a variety of maps and make you do tasks that usually include water, mud, and/or darkness. Its not particularly hard in my opinion, but that's because AR has given me plenty of experience plotting UTM coordinates and following bearings. I ran the course with Chris because I was bummed about Sunday's performance and figured he was more "on" than I was. Plus, if we had to do anything REALLY nasty, I could just hand him my punch card. I made the mistake of not wearing my o-shoes with spikes, so I was hating running on all the off-camber leafy sections, but other than that, the course seemed to go pretty fast. For one of the points, we had the option to swim to an island or cross on a rope bridge. There was a big bottleneck at the rope so I should have just swam across and punched both our passports. It was only 20 feet or so, and no more than a couple of strokes in water actually deep enough to have to swim. I would have gotten major "bad-ass" points from all the dudes standing around waiting to cross on the rope too. But no...we just waited like a bunch of pansies. The next task involved crawling into the enclosed crawl space of one of the ancient cabins at the park. I thought of all the possible Indiana-Jones sized bugs that were probably crawling around in there, along with all the probable rat feces and just handed my punchcard to Chris. Like a true gentleman, he took one for the team and crawled on in.

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