2014 Queeny O by Scott Shaw
In this O meet (Farsta) we were given the same map but different clue sheets with different routing through the course. They warned us from the beginning to pay attention to the clue sheet and make sure to get the correct CPs in order. Because of my track record of ignoring the clue sheet and missing CPs I was slightly nervous. I also knew that this would be perfect training for me.
The race kicked off with a mass start and Jeff Sona, Mickey, SuperKate and I headed in the same direction as the rest of the fleet went opposite directions. I was trying my best to keep up with Jeff and Mickey and then remembered to not follow and to check my clue sheet. As I did, I noticed SuperKate took off in a different direction. My first CP was 1A on the East side of a depression. I found it quickly and moved to CP2 in a small erosion gully. I ran back into Jeff and Mickey here and Jeff had lost his E-punch. I trail ran to CP3C in another small erosion gully off the side of the trail. From here I bushwhacked to CP4, but I missed it and had to go back to CP3C to shoot a bearing and track to CP4. I finally found it and moved to CP5E. Having my confidence restored in my bushwhacking abilities I made a long but easy field traverse to CP6. I continued to bushwhack to CP7G. I took a look at the next CP which was a long way to bushwhack so I made my way to the nearest trail and ran to a trail junction near the CP and bushwhacked to #8. I continued bushwhacking to CP9I. I had to then bushwhack to the nearest flat trail and run back near the start to CP10.
Now back by the start I had to start the second leg of the race by repeating the course but picking up opposite CPs. So now I had to find CP1B, which was nearby and I thought would be easy to find. I started looking for a trail junction and got on a deer path and passed the CP. I realized I went too far and headed back and spooked up some white tails and found the CP near a man-made object. From 1B I had to go back to CP2 where I ran into Jeff and Mickey again. Jeff was looking for his punch. Next I had a long distance to 3D. I decided to trail run as much as possible to this CP. I then had to bushwhack to CP4. I ran in to Mickey and Jeff at this CP also. Here I did a combo bushwhack trail run to 5F. I noticed Mickey cut into the woods much earlier than me. I then realized I overshot and started heading back as I saw Mickey also started heading back. The CP was so close to private property I was worried that I wasn’t in the park any more, but then I saw Mickey pick up the CP. Shortly after I hit it. I then used my same route to CP6 that I had used previously. I then realized that Mickey was relying heavily on trail running. I also noticed that Jeff was bushwhacking more like myself. As I jumped the creek at CP6 I snapped something in my leg that hurt so bad something in my head snapped and I fell forward on my face. Luckily I didn’t fall backwards into the cold creek water. I mustered my strength and bushwhacked to CP7H. This seemed like a long bushwhack and I feared losing my way but I held my bearing right to the point. I then bushwhacked to CP8 and found it much faster than the first time. I dropped out of the woods onto CP9J and decided to take the same trail run as I did previously to the finish, which avoided any hills. My leg was in severe pain but I finished shortly after Mickey. This was probably the most fun I have had at a SLOC event. I was challenged being on my own and without a team, I was challenged to pay strict attention to my clue sheet, I was challenged to not follow other racers, and I enjoyed the constant path crossing that Mickey, Jeff, and I had been doing the entire time. My leg didn’t feel very good at all but I had a great race. This race also made me want to memorize the O symbols. Oh I forgot to mention there was no significant defecation...sorry my loyal poop fans. Ahab.