Over the years, all my friends and family had told me how ledendary the Possum Trot Orienteering meet is. Some of the best Orienteers in North America have completed it.
No GPS, no real aid stations, just pure woods off roading with a map for four hours. When the timer starts you get your map and everyone is off. You have five hours to complete the course or get as many points as possible.
Since it’s a mass start, everyone heads to the same point at the beginning. As we headed to second point, we got to a creek and everyone headed their separate ways. At this point, three of us left the trail and started our bushwhacking adventure.
The first couple of points seemed to go by pretty fast but you have to remember It’s always easy until its not. After climbing cliffs, going through multiple thorn bushes, crossing creeks and full fields, you start to question why you are out there. And then the nagivation gets hard and a 70 year woman is passing you through the woods. At this point, distances don’t matter. All you can think about is finding the next point.
As I started to struggle on our two mile trail run to the next point, I realized I needed food so I pulled out a bar from my waist pocket of my 50 mile tights. After that I began counting down the points to the finish... 20, 21, 23.
At point 24, 3 hours and 30 minutes in, I am struggling to follow my partners as we climb up the last cliff. From then on, we run to 25 and head in towards the finish. The feeling of relief and accomplishment sets in. Even on a bad day, the accomplishment and spending time running through the woods is worth it.