Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gold Rush O-meet and Idaho

Returning to blog-land after some fun and traveling!  Here's a short post as a segue from where we were (Colorado) to where we are (Montana)... the weekend in between was spent in Idaho.  It was "Gold Rush" weekend, an orienteering meet that including the national ultra-distance event.  Sounded like fun to us.

It started with a sprint race in a park in Boise, lots of running back and forth over bridges, along canals and streams, over boardwalks, under trees, along paths, and even through a small marsh.  I managed a couple of controls faster than John but he kicked my butt in overall time.  Fun and fast!  By afternoon it was around 100 degrees, a surprising heat wave that had us hiding out in a coffee shop for a couple hours before heading up to our campsite in the hills.

A glimpse of the state capitol while driving through Boise:

The forests right around this reservoir aren't exactly green, but further up in the mountains the situation improved greatly.  At least the reservoir is really pretty:

An adorable little firetruck in Idaho City:

Saturday was the ultra-long race, meaning 15 km and 750 meters of climb (some of it rather steep).  It's not exactly "ultra" compared to some of our running exploits, but with a 5-hour time limit it was one of the longer non-rogaine orienteering events we have done.  Happily the morning started under cloudy skies so it took a while before the heat set in toward the end.

I messed up the first control and that was all it took for the group of runners on the blue course to disappear (everyone started at the same time).  I was happy to work my way around the course on my own, finding fun little trails, nice open woods, and interesting terrain.  The map was most excellent (well drawn, in my opinion) and with plenty of detail to work out where I was.

Several of the legs were super long, making for some of the most challenging route planning I've done in an O-meet.  I've never alternated so many times between trail, off-trail, road, off-road, back and forth, and that was just between 2 controls.  Lots of options to go around vs. through drainages, longer routes on trails vs. straight across through woods.  Really enjoyable.

Plus an actual aid station in the middle with ice cold water, bars to eat, and friendly conversation with a couple volunteers.  That's a new one for an orienteering meet (for us).

I was never too worried about finishing within the time limit, coming over the line just over 4 hours later.  By the end I was hot and ready to stop climbing up steep banks.  A dip in the cold creek helped immensely and all was good again.

John found a mylar balloon - another one! - and carried it most of the way through the course.  Talk about dedication to trash collection.

And also, good run John!  He finished in 3:38 and had several "fastest splits" of the whole blue course field.  I think he tried for those on purpose.

Sunday was a classic middle-distance course, lots of controls reasonably close together but still lots of up and down.  Orienteers were criss-crossing all over the woods, quite entertaining.  The control placements were more technical (a specific boulder in a boulder field, behind a root stock, hiding in a depression) so I had to be more careful right near the controls to locate them, making things interesting in a different way compared to the day before.

All good fun - John captured me on camera on the way to the finish:

Yay for Idaho orienteering!

And we got a new state colored in on our map:

One last photo on our way out of Idaho - the best concept ever, and yes, we partook on both offerings ($20 RV spots with hookups!):

Next up - lots of pictures of pretty Montana scenery  :)

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