Last weekend Dad and I went to New York to run in the West Point A meet. We did this last year and it was a bit of a disaster for me.... Last year I ran an easy yellow on day one and quit a way too difficult orange on day two. This year I decided to run on orange both days; the reasons for this decision was that I've started to run brown courses and home, have started using my compass more, and am feeling more comfortable navigating through wood (no paths).
Day one went really well. I was able to navigate to all my controls really well, aside from a silly mistake of following on my way to one control. The course felt way too long though, and no water was provided to runners on the orange course (thanks for making me feel unimportant...). There were low blueberry bushes all through the woods which made running (walking for me) through them feel like water jogging; I think this is what made the course feel sooooo long. (also... the map said the course was 5k, but my watch clocked 5 miles...)
After the race, Dad and I got to drive around West Point and look at the buildings. They reminded me of some of the buildings at Tech. They we accidently took a wrong turn leaving and ended up on the sonic route and got some great photos from the mountain above the school. (If I can get his camera I'll try and load them!)
Day two was really hard for me. I did an awesome job navigating the first half of the course, then it turned into walking in a straight line using my compass hoping I ended up in the right place, then I never found the 2nd to last control. This course had a lot of cliffs and I wasn't able to see a route to make getting up them easier, no paths just rocks.
We had planned to take showers at the start site which was a camp group, but the water which had been working on day one was now off. We ended up rinsing off and changing in the parking lot of the West Point golf club! (we had to park there and take a bus to the start). Never thought that would be something I would be doing, haha.
Overall, I'm pleased with my performance; I knew going in to this that I would probably struggle. I'm really happy that I was able to finish one orange course in NY! My compass skills improved also during the weekend. I'm really looking forward to running more brown courses at home to improve my skills.... running in woods without blueberries and cliffs also sounds really pleasant.
The cadets do put on a good meet, and they are always so nice and accommodating. I lost my map walking to the finish after I quit on day two, but they let me have a spare to take home.