Interesting weather for April last Sunday. It was cold, below freezing, damp and even a little snowy at times. Not quite want we expected for a mid-April romp through the woods. It was just perfect weather for Raid the Rib at Albion Hills Conservation Area. From what we could tell the organizers from Don’t Get Lost had a great turn out for the race.
Our team had a newbie this year, we were fortunate that Stephanie was able to join our team to make up the required team of three – The Blister Sisters and the Band-Aid (although she would have preferred to be called the butterfly strip!) We arrived in plenty of time to plan our route and to fill Stephanie in how an orienteering race works. She was a great addition to our team.
Studying the maps, we picked out the controls that we thought we could get to with in the 4 hour time limit. We did caution Stephanie that this was just an idea we had, we don’t ever really stick to our plan. When alternatives pop up, chances are we’ll take them, so be prepared for anything!
The first three or four controls were a piece of cake. Partly because of our great map reading skills and partly because the snow cover ground presented a trail right to the control. Track reading goes along with map reading, right?
Off we went down the road and onto the second map. Now, I’ve mountain biked at Albion, it’s a pretty popular place for riding and I have a general idea of there I am when I’m there. I really had no reference for the second map. We had to trust our map reading abilities, which at first proved to be sketchy and we got completely turned around after a couple of controls. No problem, here is where the alternative popped up. We just continued mapping our controls we hadn’t planned on getting but did find just like that. Everything just fell into place!
Other than that little turn around and missing one control we were sure we were going to find, we had a great race. Stephanie survived and we made it back to the finish with minutes to spare!