After competing in the Ontario Orienteering Championships sprint and middle distance races on Saturday, October 28, I was up for one more race on the Sunday – the Don’t Get Lost Peak2Peak Adventure Run! This would be great preparation for the upcoming Don’t Get Lost Raid the Hammer race.
While I signed up for the Peak2Peak as an individual racer (not a team), I had planned to run through the woods with my friend Rebecca. Then my friend Kristin, new to orienteering, asked if she could tag along. And on race morning, we gained one more racer – John, who I met at the STAR Tracks Mountain Bike Adventure in October, and who would be racing with Kristin at Raid the Hammer.By the time Kristin and John joined us pre-race at St. Thomas school in Waterdown, we had already planned our proposed route. With 2 hours to get as many controls as possible (and only 1 mandatory one, the first one, which was 1 km from the race start line), we knew we couldn’t find them all and would have to strategize. We decided that because we have never found all of the dog bone controls in a race before, that would be our goal. Dog bones are 2 controls that you must do sequentially (e.g. #2A and 2B). You can normally do them in any order, but you can’t punch another control in between (even if it’s nearby!) or you don’t get the bonus points for the dog bone. We also decided to run the optional “prologue” section of the course, which was the Ontario Orienteering Championships long course for kids under 12. Beyond that, we weren’t sure how many controls we would have time for.
The race started and off we went! The first bottleneck was a metal gate that we had to squeeze through or climb over. The next bottleneck was the first control, which everyone had to punch. It was at this point that we were able to collect the map for the “prologue” section. We weren’t the only ones starting with this course! The 7 controls were all on trails or very slightly off them, and were easy to find.
From there we headed for the dog bones, picking up one control on our way. With the exception of one control that we overshot (our first of the dog bones), we didn’t have much trouble finding them. We did, however, have to run up and down many hills to get between them! And, we found all 6 controls making up the 3 dog bones. Success!
There was a neat section that we planned to do if we had time, but unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. It was called “Walk the Line” – if you walked the marked line on the map (not marked in real life) you would find 3 controls. It was a neat idea that I hope I get the chance to try at another race.Another opportunity at the end of the race was to pick up a small map on your way back when you passed the first control, which would show you wheree to find 3 bonus controls. You weren’t allowed to take the map with you, but you could mark your map, or take a picture of the new map, or just memorize where to find the controls. We didn’t have time for this section either.
In the last km, John and Kristin were running quicker than Rebecca and I, so they finished first and Kristin was able to snap a picture of Rebecca and I finishing.
In the end, I finished in 1:57:39 with 770 points, good for 22nd place out of 35 women in the open age group.This race was super fun. I really enjoy being able to choose which controls I go for. I’m looking forward to Raid the Hammer this weekend, which I will do with Rebecca and my husband Alasdair as team “Three Triathletes Watching for Falling Trees”.
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