With one exception it was a small group of seasoned orienteers who came out onto the frozen slopes of Hackberry Hill before the sun rose Sunday morning.
|Carrie and friend navigating on the run|
As is the case with every meet offering navigational challenges, there were minor mishaps to provide the grist for post-meet conversation. Three orienteers had the temerity to imply that the course setter had allowed a dangling cord to lie across Control UA in such a position as to convert it into a “JA”. Apparently the dangling cord had been so expertly placed as to send one of those poor souls off on a frustrating multiple minute for search for UA. If only the course setter were so clever by half, he would have crowed with pride at his duplicity. However, modesty ruled and sympathy was dispensed. And then there was Control CA, which had been ever so carefully placed, but omitted from the design of each of the four motala legs. No one should be surprised that in this cynical climate one orienteer openly voiced the suspicion that CA had been placed only to seed confusion. This sad state of affairs calls to mind a time-tested precept: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. Your course setter sincerely wishes it were not so.
Rarely has there been a more gripping and grotesque CTOC finish. That adverb ( rarely ) is employed here instead of “never” only to avoid a further suspicion of hyperbole in these suspicious times. Readers can consider the circumstances and draw their own adverbial conclusions. Michael Bading and Bill Leahy leap-frogged each other through the final leg. They first drew attention as they appeared nearly neck-and-neck 75 meters up a steep hill from the finish. The sprint to the finish was on. As they came crashing down the hill Bill pulled insurmountably into the lead. Well, it appeared to be insurmountable until within 20 meters of the finish Bill converted “crashed” from the figurative to the literal. He sprawled, rolled and seemed to have preserved his lead with a somewhat less than seamless recovery, all the time with Michael overtaking him. This observer had visions of cleat marks running up Bill's back as Michael sprinted in a straight line to the finish. That almost seamless recovery was almost because Bill no sooner sprang to his feet than he crashed again within 5 meters of the finish. In a final heroic effort Bill again leaped to his feet and then to the finish. Although it looked more like Bowling than orienteering, it was indeed a Super finish. Eat your heart out, John Elway.
|Amaya's First Map|
There was the exception noted above. One of the orienteers ventured into our sport for the first time. Cursory examination of the results might lead the observer to believe that Zach, whose enthusiasm for our esoteric sport is contagious, fell far below his potential. A cursory examination, however, doesn't tell the story. We were ever so pleased to see Zach step up as a coach and ambassador of orienteering. Zach brought his cousin, Amaya, along for her introduction to the sport. Amaya's evident enjoyment brightened the day. She got a dose of the real thing with boulders and re-entrants, vegetation and elevation and all of the little discoveries we have along the way. Thanks, Zach. Great job, Amaya. We hope to see a lot more of you.
Photos have long been a staple of these CTOC blog posts, often far superior to photos in commercial orienteering publications. Today marks the first step into drone-based video thanks to Liam Murray. He's been excited to explore drone technology, and his grandfather along with CTOC now benefit from his budding expertise. He is currently editing aerial video of the meet. Notification of posting on YouTube is coming soon.
Please join Bill Leahy and Jim Byrne as they host our next meet on Saturday, February 20 at Julia Davis/BSU/Ann Morrison.