Saturday, November 15, 2014

1 Down, 2 To Go

It is a good thing that I decided to leave early for the race yesterday...  Traffic on 695 was brutal and several people missed their start times.  Props to the start director for squeezing the people that were stuck in traffic into later start slots and still managing to get everyone else into the shoot at the correct time!  The start was very official and began 3 minutes before my actual start time.   At 17:50, I was called to check in with the start director who then sent me to the second stage at 17:51.  There was a clear and check for my epunch at this stage and a volunteer who checked to make sure I had my whistle!  At 17:52, I was sent to the final stage of the start where I picked up my map, face down, and wrote my name on the back!  A volunteer checked to make sure I had the correct map and then I waited... at 17:53 there was a long beep/whistle which meant I could punch the start and begin my course!!!  So exciting:)

This was my first solo night orienteering event and it was a little intimidating.  (A bit of background for those of you who don't know me... I'm not a huge fan of the dark... my Mom would say that's an understatement... I grew up in a house 100 meters from my grandparents and if I happen to be visiting them after dark, I would sprint home in sheer terror... a normal run might be 50 pace count steps but I probably only took 15!... P.S. I lived out in the middle of nowhere, miles up a dirt road, in the White Mountains where I often woke up to bear in my backyard!)  With all that being said, I did ok in the race!  I only got super lost once and it was not fun... turns out it is way harder to re-orient yourself in the dark.  I ended up walking south because I knew I would eventually hit water and be able get oriented...thankfully logic set in instead of panic!!!

Seeing the finish was definitely a relief!  The last leg was a fun sprint along the grass to a bunch of Christmas lights that lined the finish...wahoo!  Luckily I was able to capture this fun finish in a pre-race handstand.  Thank you to my photographer who not only captured the race clock time at 5:13 like I requested, because 3 is my favorite number, but also happened to catch it at 5:13:33... great timing!!!  5:13 was also exactly 30 minutes before my start time... most people were running and warming up for their race, I was taking handstand pictures:)

~Night-O Finish Line Handstand

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