Thursday, April 5, 2012


In a rare convergence of me being healthy, not racing, and an orienteering meet on the schedule had me heading up to Mine Falls (Nashua NH) on Sunday.  This would be the 11th time in the last 20 years that I’ve competed at Mine Falls.  Back in 1992 Steve Tarry taught me about orienteering and the first workout we did was at Mine Falls.  The only other maps I’ve competed on more are Beaver Brook (13) and Pawtuckaway (15).  Mine Falls is a very urban park but surprisingly technical, there is a lot of unusual detail out there and so many trails that it can make it a lot harder than it seems at first glance.

I was a little tired when I arrived at the start, having run at 4am then caught a flight to Boston from Tampa (where I’d been for a long weekend).  I was also a bit nervous about my lack of orienteering, it had been a year and a half since I’d last gone out and I’d only orienteered 7 times over the last 5 years.

Mine Falls is probably the best place for me to get a refresher on orienteering.  There are tons of trails so there are lots of opportunities to relocate if I’m off in my navigation.  I’ve also been on the map and just regular runs in the park that I have a good general sense of where I’m going.  That certainly gave me an unfair advantage J

I headed out and did a 3 mile warm-up then got my start time and was off!  As is sometimes the case I had a little trouble on the first control, not reading the map as carefully as I should and maybe running a bit too fast.  I settled down and made my way around the course.  There was a lot of interesting terrain and I really enjoyed the northern part of the map which is a lot quieter this time of year (especially on a nice spring day when people and dogs where EVERYWHERE).  I made some minor mistakes along the way but mostly I had a good idea of where I wanted to be (and I actually ended up there!).  I finished the 6.1 kilometer course (which is measured via the shortest distance possible, which is always a lot shorter than the distance you cover) in 42:27.  I ended up running the fastest time of the day which is a good result for me!  I finished off the day with a 2 mile warm-down to close my day with 15 miles and my week with 108 miles.

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