Rogaine race 7:54:49  **** 25.78 mi (18:25 / mi) +428m 17:31 / mi
47c shoes: Salomon Speed Cross 3 Black
Nitrogaine 3 with syd as Topo the Mountain.
1st/21 overall - our first overall win :D
Third iteration of Nitrogaine and I think we’ve finally learned some valuable lessons. Had the goal of traveling 24 miles (+2.5 from last year) or an average pace of 3 mph, so we planned to maximize trails heading in valuable directions. We also front loaded the points clearing the silver lake section first instead of leaving it until last and ending up having to bail on parts of it as in the last two years. Planned to clear, with an obvious bail option to miss 2 cps (90 points) but save half an hour or so. Our plan was roughly counterclockwise with a lot of the off trail nav front loaded and long trail and road slogs at the end so we didn’t have as much to do when our nav got worse.
Started off with a pack to some easy points and then to the SE section with Igor and a few others. Igor was flying on trails and we were keeping him in sights but trying to conserve also. 36 proved to be the nastiest point of the whole course (thick, thorny power line with uncertain footing underneath). Finished the loop claiming $5 at 54 about 10 seconds ahead of Eric.
From there we headed into the silver lake section taking advantage of our knowledge from hosting O there to find some of the indistinct trails. A small bobble after 78 turning the wrong way on the trail, which syd quickly corrected. 80 was our favorite! Super sketchy little bridge across the swamp. Made the swamp crossing from 80 to 60 – slow going but saved a lot of distance – I was sinking in much father than syd. We were doing well on time and didn’t want to start skipping points yet, so we opted to hit 32 and 34. Arrived at the road between 34 and 47 at about 2 hr 50 m, which was about 20 minutes later than our goal – not too bad.
Heading into the SW section we hit 47 and then traveled around on the road to 71, which made it a much easier attack despite the extra distance (one of my few nav insights for the night). The woods around 71 sucked and we got pushed around heading in and out of it. At 37 we were recognizing we were probably falling farther behind our goal pace, so we started looking at options to skip. Syd though 64 since it was a long out and back, but it was mostly easy trail running, so I suggested 69, which was a long trail-less slog, which we ended up agreeing on (contribution #2 woot!). 82 tripped us up a bit as we came in too far E, and had a hard time figuring out where we were. Ended up going out into the rather firm swamp and seeing some real trees to our easy, which ended up being the knoll we wanted – disaster averted. Getting to 51 went well, but getting out was pretty thick with no good options.
Hit the water stop at 41 at our goal of 5 h, where we also ran into igor and confirmed he had also started skipping, which made us feel better. Refilled on water and headed out North which was a lot of trail running. I took the nav to 49 so syd could eat, but then she didn’t listen to me and forced us down the hill instead of finding it from the top. The rest went smoothly.
Got to the private road before 42 at exactly 6 h 30 m, again still directly on our goal. Caught igor again on the road and he lamented that we were still running. Looking good on time so we opted for 33 before heading up to 52. Around this time my IT band started bothering me, so I took a few advil and just tried to keep up a steady jog. Opted for 81 before 56 just in case it took a while, but another nice firm swamp crossing so we went up to 56. I started getting a little worried on time as we had a long trail slog back, but syd ensured we had time so we hit 74, 53, and 38 on our way into the finish, finishing with 7 min to spare. Only skipped the one 60, and the long road out and back for 90 more points that we had planned needed an extra 30 min.
The weather was awesome this year – mid 50s and low humidity. Saw many fewer spiders, and less animal activity in general – 1 deer, a few mice, and a couple rambunctious owls hooting at us. As always the flags were all perfectly placed and well reflected with a triangle of reflective straps around the reflective flag itself.
Ate 3 gu, 1 caffeinated shot block, half a bagel, 2 ensure (which helped me out taking pills and clearing my throat after swallowing a bug), and 1 waffle. (all except 1 item). Would recommend a gatorade even if not humid as another means for pill swallowing. Also had ~2 ecaps per hour. Wore tights, light long sleeve, compression socks, salomons (sadly time to retire, too many holes). Tried to wear a baseball cap but it made the headlamp slip off too often. Also I wore my out there with my water, all the mandatory gear, and all of our food, leaving syd with a running bladder only.
We are super excited with how well we nav’d, how far we traveled, how well our plan worked, how well we adapted to maximize points, and of course how well we did! Not only 1st place, but with a pretty substantial buffer. We worked really well together all night, neither of us had super low points, ate and salted well, and ran probably 75% of the time we were on roads or trails, and kept up a good walking pace in woods the whole night.
Final order: 43, 31, 36, 57, 54, 68, 59, 77, 75, 65, 40, 46, 78, 79, 80, 60, 63, 32, 34, 47, 71, 37, 64, 35, 76, 39, 66, 82, 51, 44, 45, 41(W), 49, 55, 62, 50, 61, 73, 42, 33, 67, 52, 56, 81, 74, 53, 38
(47/50 cps, 2420/2570 points)