Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Meramec State Park O by Scott Shaw

2015 Meramec State Park O by Scott Shaw
I was super excited when my daughter told me she was going with us to the O meet, so I kept the secret to surprise everyone once we got there.  Dave Cortivo, Mallory, 
and Iwould run as a team, Mickey and Amanda as a team, Kevin Minton as Solo, all of us racing the red course. 

 Reanna Pearson went solo on the beginner course as well as did Dave Beattie and his daughter.  TeamBOR had a really good turnout.  Too bad the other members couldn’t make it since the weather was so beautiful.  My daughters, Mallory and Madison, had raced Indian Camp Creek a few years ago with me in the rain and the mud and through some good strategy and Mallory’s discovery of the check point on top of the tower landed us a first place not only in Coed Junior, but also Coed Adult.  However, after that race I didn’t think they would ever come back and try it again.  So this meet was only Mallory’s second orienteering event.   
We started off towards CP#1 by taking the road and cutting in the woods via the nearest reentrant.  Dave had routed his map, but I had not since I like to change the course on the fly.  I cut in early compared to Dave’s route and was heading directly to the creek, which I would take to the CP.  Dave wanted to travel away from the creek so I did and shortly after Kevin passed us.  I kept trying to get back to the creek but Dave kept us moving away from it.  I saw Kevin turn towards the creek and pop back out and figured he got the point, but I just kept walking to see what Dave had planned.  Kevin waited awhile before telling us we had passed it.  I then ran back to it and found it quickly where I thought it would have been and ran back covered in burrs to Mallory and Dave.  I shot a bearing to CP#2 and found the area quickly, but luckily I saw Super Kate tying her shoe, so I thought, in the distance and I quickly realized she was punching the CP in the pit.  Thanks Super Kate.  I shot another bearing to CP#3 and found it with ease.  I then made the mistake of bushwhacking to CP#4 instead of taking the creek.  I thought it was best to stay high with the creek on my right and follow the land contours to the reentrant.  This backfired because I miscounted the reentrants and went up the wrong one.  If we would have gone to the creek we could have used the adjacent trail and we wouldn’t have gone the wrong way.  So the three of us hiked up the reentrant and the CP is not where it should havebeen.   I ask Dave if we are in the wrong reentrant.  He really has been just hanging and hasn’t been paying attention.  So we walk around searching for some time.  Up, down, back up, back down, back up, and we still don’t see it.  We shoot bearings on all the reentrants.  Everything seems correct except one is 10 degrees off.  We think we are in the near reentrant and then we see Jeremy checking the same places we did.  I try telling him it’s not here but he runs off in the opposite direction.  We decide to travel north and hit the trail and find CP#5.  It takes a long time to find CP#5 even after asking another racer where he thought he was.  We see Super Kate and tell her of our CP#4 problems and I want to get that CP so we head back to it finding it relatively easy.  So we bent the rules a little.  I don’t think Dave and Mallory really wanted CP#4, but I had to get it since I was so wrong in my navigation.  They were both troopers though with no complaining.  I told Dave to back me up navigating since I was so off previously.  I told Mallory she is going to tell everyone I don’t know what I am doing.  Dave said that she already knew that.
So from CP#4 we made a B line to CP#6, which was relatively easy.  We then together made a plan to go down the reentrant and up through a steep reentrant to cross the creek to hit the trail.  Once on the trail we dropped down to the next creek but we were worried we may have over shot so we backtracked to make sure we hadn’t and then proceeded down the creek to the CP which we found near the rock garden.  I started to worry about time and decided CP#8 would be our last CP since I wasted all our time on CP#4.  We took the creek to the trail so we could actually run some.  I asked them if they wanted to skip CP#8 and go directly back since we were close on time.  They wanted to get CP#8 and I didn’t argue but told them we would have to run the rest of the course.  We took the trail close to the CP and I Check Point Charlie’d up to it and back down to the trail as they waited.  We continued on the trail until it started going in the wrong direction as it looped around.  So instead we bushwhacked up a reentrant to the upper part of the trail.  Once on the main trail we started running to the road.   We then used the power lines to bushwhack to the road again to cut off the corner of the road and made it back to the finish with 6 minutes to spare.  Job well done…except for CP#4.  If I wouldn’t have screwed up I have no doubt that Mallory, (and Dave), would have made it the entire course in under the time limit, but sometimes you have a bad day and miss CP#4 or CP#30 or what was the other CP I missed in that other Castlewood 8…wait never mind.  It is amazing how one mistake can throw the whole race off.  I was happy when Dave started navigating and checking me.  Next time I will have Dave or Neil show Mallory how to navigate so I stop missing CP’s.  Kevin was super excited about clearing the entire course under the time limit.   Apparently his navigation has improved since he used to always go in the opposite direction.  I guess the Australian compass we bought him has paid off!  - Captain Ahab. 

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