Goat Race Anyone?

This weekends event was a goat race.  An interesting orienteering format that is basically a line race – go to all controls in the specified order – but with a few twists.  There was a “box” with four controls that you can visit in any order before moving on again, there are forks where you have to decide which option to take and which control to visit, and finally you can skip a control completely.

Last year we ran this, we picked the long course and I after the first couple of k’s I did NOT enjoy it.  This year I chose the medium course in the hopes that we would be able to keep some momentum throughout.  My head was not in the right space at all today though and we got off to a very, very rocky start.  I think we were a very definite last by the first control!

A few more controls in hand, we had passed a couple at the tail end of things, but we never really got back in the midst of it.  Another run where you can’t look at the map until time has started and it took about 20 minutes before I really got my head in the map.  I need a LOT more practice at this!  Once I was in, my navigation was pretty good, even guiding us through the box pretty neatly.  This was a really tricky one this year.  Last years box was in a small open area, easy to move around and find the controls.  This year was in a rabbits warren of trails in dense scrub.  We came across loads of people here, wandering around, checking and rechecking maps.  Several we passed a few times and we were out before they finished.

The last part of the race was much faster – quite a bit of it on road with in and outs to the last couple of controls.  The final control was in hand and we made the last dash to the finish – a headlong, reckless downhill dash along a twisty, but open, trail.  That was the most fun I had on the entire thing.

We finished in over an hour, taking around 6.6km to do the 5.3km course.  Results are already up and we finished 25/26th out of 34 doing the medium course in a time of 1hr 8min, nearly 27 minutes after the fastest person.  According to Garmin our moving time was closer to 50 minutes…

Not a great event, but it was nice to be outside once I could actually stretch my legs a bit and run.  Looking forward to getting out for a no pressure run on the local trails soon.

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