That was a sweet leg. I had the same experience and felt pretty great about it. Also liked 5 to 6, heading down the nose, picking up the trail over the knoll and straight for the rock from the top of the nose.
Whereas what's with 7-8? Did the course setter see any other route than yours?
I thought it was clearly the best. On the other hand, George Walker was just about a minute slower going more or less straight, and I'm just a little faster than him, so maybe there was less difference that one would guess.
To me it was a no-brainer because I don't yet have my woods legs and running on the road was a lot easier, even if I had to climb at the end (didn't have the legs to run that either).
Staying high and running the flat was fine. Most was an old logging road or very open woods. Running almost a K on the road with a climb at the end didn't make much sense. Peter is running much faster than I and would have a minute on me either way, probably more if I tried to run the road.
I just took the road because I figured I'd do a better job of keeping moving. I didn't take the road from 10 to 11, though, which looks like it might have been good.