The first leg was also analogous to this morning in that it involved a fast exhilirating downhill run. This time the control was near the bottom of the slope and a number of route choices presented themselves. I followed the track into the forest and ran down it until it turned sharply left whereupon I took to the spur and enjoyed the running through the wide open forest with little if any undergrowth. The first control appeared in the right place at the expected time. Everything was going swimmingly.
And that was probably the last bit of easy running I did. The second control was a pivot control. It was located in a patch of forest that was a lot greener that it looked on the map in the gully of a stream bed that was a lot deeper than it looked on the map. I didn't have any problem finding it but I did spend a lot of time climbing in and out of the area. The forest leading up to the third and fourth controls had good running in both cases and I probably lost a bit of time by taking a conservative route into Control 4 when it would have been better to run across the hillside through the forest instead of climbing over it in the paddock.
Controls 5 and 6 were both uphill and I walked for most of these legs. I was definitely feeling the effects of a race and a half of steep hillside orienteering by now so it was a relief to be heading downhill to Control 7. This control was also at the bottom of a deep stream bed gully and from a few metres above it, it was still impossible to see the flag. I saw it soon enough as my plans for a controlled descent down the hill were overtaken by an uncontrolled plunge into the stream, luckily the hillside was mostly sand based and no damage was done.
Not only was I now at the bottom of the gully, I was also at the bottom of the map, elevation-wise. A lack of fitness now caught up with me and I was reduced to walking. In fact, I wouldn't break into a trot again until the downhill section of the fourteenth leg. In the meantime, Controls 8 and 9 were easy to find and I'd already been to Control 10 as it was the pivot control that had also been Control 2. However, the approach this time was down the opposite longer, steeper hill. I made my way down the slope at what I considered a reasonable pace for a hillside that was only just distinguishable from a cliff and was overtaken by Gene who had obviously mistaken it for a rolling meadow. By the time I got to the bottom and punched, he was long gone.
It was a long hot climb up to Control 12 but this was nothing compared to the climb to 13. This went up vertically with the only consolation the fact that it was in the forest and thus out of the sun. First Imogene then Paul went racing past me on this climb. The control was near - but not at - the top of the climb and I chose to climb the rest of the reentrant and run around and down the paddocks to the next control. Quite why, I am not sure. Looking at the map afterwards it seems like I would have been much better sidling around to the track and repeating my downhill sprint of the first leg. But by now I was completely done in and even considered a DNF as I was close to the finish.
I considered it, yes, but I didn't succomb. I was off back down the paddock and track and around to Control 14. From here it was all uphill to the finish and I struggled my way round the last remaining controls before putting in a token shuffle down the chute, punching the finish control and collapsing for a few minutes next to Dwayne to recover my strength. During this time we admired the sprint finish of a number of the juniors - how did they manage it?
ANOC continued with a Long Distance race on the Sunday but we didn't compete.