"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Laumeier Orienteering

Our Jerseys
Okay, 3/4 of Team POW/MIA took part in a orienteering class/meet at Laumeier Sculpture Park this morning held by the St Louis Orienteering Club.  The remaining 1/4 was off in Colorado for the Warrior Dash (I guess she was too good to go to Joliet like the rest of us).  But before I get into how we did this morning a little background information might be helpful.
Not long after I broke my wrist Mark came to see me at work and asked if I would be healed up by Sept. I thought I had agreed to do a race and forgot about it, so I was a little confused.  When I asked what was in Sept. He said "Berryman" and with a crazy look in his eye "36hour".  He told me Ryan was in and that Megan would do it if I did (He probably told Megan I would do it if she did).  I thought about it for a minute, this was not a decision to be taken lightly the 36hour is a quantum leap in the world of Adventure Racing for all of our prospective team members.  I realized that if I didn't do it they would find someone else and I would be hearing the stories for a long time to come.  So that is the story of how I became a member of the rookie team POW/MIA.  Which leads us back to why we out at an orienteering meet this morning.
Laumeier Orienteering Map
Getting to the park this morning was a challenge.  The class was scheduled to start at 8am.  I got there early and all of the gates to the park were locked.  Eventually someone showed up right at eight to let us in the park.  We got the class and it turned out to be very basic, a little too basic.  If today was your first time ever trying to navigate with a map then you were in the right place.  There were kids there who really seemed to be enjoying the class.  Once the class was over we were let loose for a 45min Score-O (go out on the course to find as many points in 45min in any order).  The park is not that large so it wasn't very hard to find the points, even though we did miss one.  The hardest part was running with my fully loaded pack.  I realized that I need a new one more suited to racing.  Mark has a new Osprey Manta 30 that he really likes.  After we finished I went to REI to buy one and of course they didn't have any.  The brick and mortar REI store never fails to let me down.  I know we won't be doing a whole lot of running on the 36hour course but I need a pack that will stay in place and not bounce around like mine.
Ryan did an admirable job as navigator, and shouldn't feel bad about missing a checkpoint.  We were running around so fast from point to point it is surprising that we didn't miss more.  Berryman will be a whole different animal though, the pace will be more relaxed and the distances much longer.
Today's exercise was a success in that we did something together and did it well.  I think it was also important for us to apply our orienteering skills in a real world environment, at least now we know we can.  Berryman is going to run us through the ringer, but hopefully once we get through to the other side their will be a finish line in sight.
Currently Mark and Ryan are somewhere paddling a canoe out on the river, and I am guessing that Megan is still trying to wash off the mud from Warrior Dash, as for me I think I'm going to get some dinner and watch a little television.
Team POW/MIA is alive and well...for now.

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