Possum Trot XIII - Part I
Knob Noster State Park, in the beautiful state of Missouri, was the site of my first Possum Trot, way back in 2002. I think it was
just me, Ian, and Brian May at the time, and the other two had decent runs there. Which means Brian won, by a lot. In contrast,
I was overwhelmed by the map and the course, and ended up DNFing. But it was only my second year in the sport, and I was wasn't quite
in peak shape yet :) This year, I could rightly say I had a little more experience, particularly with Missouri style ridge-and-reentrant
terrain, and felt good about going back.
Sunday course - Possum Trot XIII at Knob Noster. Click to enlarge
And I ran well. Well, for the first 27 controls. I wasn't worried about the navigation this time, I was worried about the competition!
What's That Running-in-the-woods Thing You Do Again?
For all the times I've been asked that question. This is some raw video from last weekend's Possum Trot.
Click on the still frame to play.
- I used an open back on the camera case, so the wind noise is pretty bad (who knew there was so much turbulence in front of my head?) I'll have to
try running with the closed back and see if that improves the audio.
- The Hero HD has a 1080p mode with 135 degree FOV, which I used in this video. There's also a 720p with 170 degree setting, which I want to try
for the next event. Then maybe I can get people to vote on which FOV they prefer.
- The weight is about the same as a typical headlamp, although concentrated in the front since there's no battery pack in the back. I could feel the difference
after dropping it off, but I think that was more because of the tight straps then the actual weight.
- It's almost funny how similar this looks to a video game. Bouncy video, darting looks, plus regular map consultation. (Maybe I could complete the
comparison by recording a paintball game?)
- Wait for a more-produced version too, with soundtrack and maybe some map overlays. Woo!
By the way, watching this is a LOT of fun, and I'm really tempted to wear this camera for a lot of the stuff I do... yes, I'm a geek. With pride.
Some of the most beautiful woods you will ever see.
Do You Feel Safe at Home?
This Saturday Chris and Verónica were kind enough to set up a 3-4 hour AR practice event in Minnetonka. A big group of us headed out to
Lone Lake Park for the 9 AM start. It was cold, windy, and raw out, but we warmed up quickly with a 300 meter run to the top of a hill to pick up our
maps. Stephen Regenold and I ran solo, while everyone else teamed up in twos or threes. Midwest Mountaineering even showed up in their Halloween cowboy
Take a look at Attackpoint for a quick description of the course and links
to gmap-pedometer. I had a pretty good run in just about 3 hours.
Except for the part where I skidded my bike out on wet leaves over asphalt, doing about 17 mph.
That's about 15-20 feet of plowed-up leaves. From my body.
So today I'm really sore all along the left side of my body - a sore calf, a big bruise on my upper outer thigh, a sore shoulder, a scrape on my arm,
and a sore right side of the neck from the whiplash where my head hit the ground (that's why you wear a HELMET, people!) and snapped my teeth together. I
can't turn my head all the way to the right, and have given in and taken a couple doses of Vitamin I since then.
Outdoor athletes have a hard life sometimes. It reminds me of Stephen's story about going to get a physical a couple days after a particularly prickly orienteering event. The doctor took one look
at the scratches on his face and arms and asked, "Do you feel safe at home?" The standard domestic abuse question. You can understand why the doctor was professionally obligated
to ask it, but in the actual context, it was pretty amusing. And it made for plenty of merriment, off-color comments, and a fair amount of teasing when he
later retold the story - especially with Kari there.
US orienteering;navigation Champs - Day 2
Sunday's courses started from the same location at the group camp, but went south and west on the Cat's Agenda map instead. This was a simple one-day A-meet,
and without a "championship" course at stake, I ran up to the Blue course to get more time in the terrain. Charlie had set the courses, and when I turned over
the map at the start, I saw there was a little less penalty for navigation mistakes - not a lot less, but there were certainly more good
Day 2 Blue course. Click to enlarge.
You all know what happens if you click the link.
US orienteering;navigation Champs - Day 1
Last weekend was the 2009 US Orienteering Champs, hosted only a few hours away by our friends in the Badger Club. All the events were held on a relatively
new set of maps (one just finished this summer) in the Northern Kettle Moraine area with evocative names like Cat's Meow, Cat's Agenda, and Hep Cat. The map
below speaks for itself!
Day 1 Red course - 2009 US Champs. Click to enlarge.
Mostly open, white woods and a tremendous amount of contour detail made it some of the most challenging terrain I've ever run on. Read on to find out how
What More Can I Say?
I have orienteering friends who talk a lot of trash. (Thankfully, it's usually not to me.)
While under the influence of several Summit IPAs, a
recent round of jousting
about this year's Possum Trot race
gave me a moment of inspiration that was well satisfied by a few Google image searches and a hour or so in Photoshop. The resulting hilarity
forces me to repost it here for all to enjoy.
If you don't get it... you won't get it.
The Wild 24 Hour Race
So this was only our third (my second) major race this year, but it sure didn't seem like we were out of practice. We captured a solid 2nd place
finish with a convincing performance in the orienteering section at the end. Even though second place really means first loser, finishing within an hour of
WEDALI is a victory in many people's eyes, including ours. And we were even ahead of them for a time! But first things first.
Brian, Dave, Val, and I made up the main team, and Rick and Chris raced as GH 2. Race headquarters was at the Black Bear Casino and Hotel off I-35
and Hwy 210, so it was quite obvious we'd be using Jay Cooke for at least some of the race - and I had some ideas about other nearby areas.
The pre-race meeting was 2 PM on Friday, and afterwards we loaded our ropes bag and paddle bag into a trailer and got on the school bus for a
rocky, dusty drive to the start in the middle of the Nemadji State Forest.
Happy Toe Jam
I'm a bit rushed to post a route description, so I'll just show the maps from Friday ("The Toe") and Sunday ("Happy Jam").
September 4, 2009 Red course at The Toe, near Laramie, WY. Click to enlarge.
Notice the 11-12 leg with a ridiculous 150+ meters of climb.
September 6, 2009 Red course at Happy Jam, near Laramie, WY. Click to enlarge.
Splits for both courses are posted on Attackpoint.
Skipping a day here - yesterday (Friday) we did a crazy course at the Toe, but I'll have to wait until I take a picture of the map to post it.
One leg had a 160 meter climb, all at once. There was another way around, but quite a bit longer.
So anyway, here was today's "real" race course at Pelican Bay. Each day this week, more and more people have showed up. There were quite a few faces
from Colorado this time, including the whole Baird family who are out visiting Graham.
September 5, 2009 Red course at Pelican Bay, near Laramie, WY. Click to enlarge.