Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Goat- BY Myself?! December 11, 2010

 I got word from my bud, Dany, that she wasn't going to be able to make it to today's orienteering meet.  She couldn't get her sons to come.  I almost decided not to go, but then decided what the heck.  On the drive to Jefferson Memorial Forest I realized that this was the first time I had ever been to an orienteering meet by myself.  Oh crap- I wont have no one to chat with when I get lost!  I had always managed to talk someone else into going; my husband, his sister, Dany.  Nope not this time.  I was on my own.  I was kind of excited to see how I would 
do without anyone to help me second guess.  There were 3 courses:  The Goat, The Junior Goat, and the Kid Goat.  Originally, I would've probably signed us up for the goat, but since I was alone, I decided to do the Junior Goat.  In hindsight, thank goodness for that.  They were allowing 4 hours for the Goat and rain was heading in.  Did not want to be on those hills when the rain came.  It was already a little balmy.  Anyhow, I got my map, listened to the pre-race briefing, and we were off.  Since this was a goat race, you could follow others, but there were also forked controls.  You had to choose the A route or the B route
and whichever way you decided you had to stick with that route through those 3 checkpoints.  I thought the B route looked better to me.  I think I may have lost some time heading to the very first control by sticking to the road instead of cutting cross country.  I soon found a groove though and felt I was doing fairly well.  I was keeping and eye on the clock.  At one point I came to a pond and the control point was on the other corner.  This was one spot I should have went the longer way around.  The ground was very wet and with leaves on a steep embankment above a pond- not a good combination.  I practically slid on my butt trying to stay so close to the ground so I wouldn't slide down into the pond.  I was also concerned about two high school boys close behind me that made the same mistake.  When I reached the control point, I waited, pretending to study my map, just to make sure they reached the control point safely.  They did and I headed off again.  There were a few checkpoints in some pretty steep ravines.  I began to understand why they called it the goat.  I thought it was because you were allowed to follow, but no- you had to be a goat to climb and keep your footing on those hills.  I finally made it back in to the finish line.  All 12 control points found- 1:19:14 was my time.  Good enough for 5th place.  I didn't get lost after all! 

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