Thomass 2009 - Glen Haffy

January 19th, 2009
Thomass 2008 - 2009
GHO Racing

Host: Various

Date: January 18, 2009

Type: Sprint Orienteering / Snowshoe

Team: Brent Hysop, Frank Job

Thomass Extreme Winter Adventure Running 2009
Thomass (4) - Glen Haffy Conservation Area Jan 18,2009 - Franks Race Report

Hosted by Caledon Navigators

OK. I’ve got the hang of it now. Follow the crowd to CP#1. Hang on thru CP#2. By then most everyone except those at my own skill level will have disappeared. That’s my plan. Not much but I’m just a beginner.

I had plotted the bearing from CP#2 to CP#3. At that point I would be treading water. But, usually, with no one around, I take some time and manage to figure it out.

The start:

I was ready as we got the maps a few minutes early. I glanced at the Thomass Box just to get an idea which 3 CPs I would go for. Not too worried about that. It was far into the race and, who knows, might not even come into play!

Some pre-race info was provided. The fella was to-the point. Hate to say it but the lady was kinda long-winded (just jokin’). My toes were starting to freeze up. She mentioned ‘just splash thru the water” and I inwardly chuckled. No-one knows I’m wearing what I lovingly call “dry socks”. Others call them plastic bags. They’re great for up to 2 or 3 hours. As long as I don’t stop. If I sit around, the sweat soaked socks will conduct plenty of cold directly into my feet.

After a fun new years eve style count-down, the crowd started down the hill. I did pretty well there. Heels digging in, I was able to bound, yes bound, thru the snow and take care of CP#1.

Hmmm, only a couple of folk still around me. Not looking good. Got to CP#2 Ok. Turned out some of orienteers with me were doing Novice. I was alone.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Into the box. Did OK. Slow but Ok. Don’t remember where it was, but at one point we ran along a trail thru a man-made forest. All the trees in a row. Very nice. Quiet too. I passed wetware several times. I felt better to see him. It meant I was on the right path, or he was REALLY doing poorly. Either way I win.

Now here’s the deal. I’m watching the Dakar Rally on OLN. The greatest drivers from all over the world make mistakes. I do too.

I got C in the box. Next was CP#7.

Stick with me. Look at the map. Thru fogged glasses, probably the wrong bifocal and inside a map bag. See the correct route? Me neither. I stopped, I leaned on a tree. I ate a gel and drank some water. Nothing worked. I checked my watch. OH Boy. 11:44. I had 15 minutes to get back to the finish. Unlikely. Just working thru the distance calculation made it worse.

I must admit for a couple of minutes I had felt lost. Then I realized that all I had to do was get moving, go South-east and I couldn’t miss the road. Calm reigned.

I couldn’t figure how to get to CP#7. There’s water, there’s out-of-bounds, there’s my long-gone confidence. I could just start along sorta the right direction and hope for the best. That didn’t sound good. And I only had 15 minutes.

So I planned a route back past B using a trail and thru CP#6 to the big path/road. From there it would be a easy jog in. The return route went slowly. Sometimes I was blazing trails thru thigh deep snow. It didn’t feel right to be where no one had gone before but I double-and-triple checked my bearing. I looked around. No-one to confirm my route choice. At a picnic table, I swept off the snow, considered sitting down but in the end, just called in to allay fears. It was 1:30.

The jog in didn’t go so good. The snow-mobiles hadn’t packed the snow well enough. But at least I knew my phone worked. If I needed hand-holding, another call would suffice. As it turns out, wetware came to meet me. I don’t know what he wanted, but he used a codeword on the phone when we were speaking: “Comfortable”. Perhaps that was meant to calm me. He used it twice. Maybe three times. I’ll look into the code. Also, he didn’t say but I’m sure he was embarrassed to have to admit knowing me. And leaving the scene allowed him to feel like he was doing some SAR.

I didn’t need him. I was running along, I guess with my head down, and I almost mowed him down. Adrenalin rush! I took the lead and made it in. LAST! No kidding!

Some good natured ribbing and warm stew were uber-welcome. Seems a bit unfair but I was awarded a DNF! Just now I re-read the web-site and it does mention “enjoy a morning of hiking”. I’ll let it go.

Thanks for hosting. And extra thanks for waiting to the organizers from Caledon navigators (B especially).

One Response to “Thomass 2009 - Glen Haffy”

  1. comment number 1 by: frankj

    Update later: looking over the map at home with my feet up, I see a thick red line from the box to 7. I guess that’s the suggested route. i thought red = out-of-bounds. Lots to learn. one less now.

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