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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander:


1. The plan for the race was to go slow, at HR 150–155, since I was not ready for any faster pace and a 4–5-hr run would fit perfectly into the training schedule. I also went out without a compass, in order to make the most of map reading. I also somewhat-consciously planned to stay away from other people to make the most of my map-reading exercise, on a perfect venue for that. Started with Greg in the back of the pack, talking. Near the start, decided it was finally time to check the map. "There are no trail routes to this one," I tell Greg. "Oh yes there are." As William and Co. leave the start triangle to the NW, I see the trail route. I follow Greg to the trail. He slowly pulls away and I'm left with J-J, who is moving a bit too fast for my liking. As we climb the hill up Hogencamp Mountain, I notice the speedy folks to our left: William, Sergey, Boris, Dmitriy, and Francis. I say, "Look to your left!" Over the next few minutes they pass us. I actually wanted to go "straight" from the "top" of Hogencamp but waited too much, and by some point we were already dropping down to Times Square. I was behind J-J and Jeff Saeger. Right at the hill that the control was on, J-J and Jeff go left around the hill. I thought there were too many teeth and black dots that way, so went right around the hill. I was a bit slow, having to navigate by myself, and lost a few dozen seconds to J-J and Coach. Found jfredrickson, then the bag. I asked John and he said I was less than 2 minutes down from the lead, and that J-J and coach were right ahead.
2. Alone. As I was coming up to #2, saw Per Svensson and Dmitriy going to #3. At #2, J-J and Jeff were coming to it from an unexpected direction (they had gone around).
3. Did not check features en route
The mapped trail to #3 extended too far N. I attacked and found a reentrant with no control; J-J caught up right away. As J-J was being active checking out the next reentrant to the N, I contemplated the situation for a short while and went S. The bag was there. I called up J-J.
4. There were people burning a fire ENE of the control, with what looked like a large antenna. I thought they were Bernie's agents and said "Thanks, guys, for doing this." They looked at me strange. Turned out they weren't Bernie's pals after all.
5. Met Eddie, Randy, Alan Young, and a cadet going to #4. Went left around the swamp, which was shorter but more climb/less trail than going R around it. No surprise, at the far side of the swamp there were Francis, Alan, the cadet, and Randy. I thought (maybe subconsciously) that this was not the company I wanted, so went S on the little trail, almost away from where I wanted to go. Only the cadet and Alan went with me. I changed the direction again after a short while, and navigated to the control. Francis passed me in the process and stopped, looking for the control way too early. Me and Alan went ahead. Francis soon caight up. Saw Eddie leaving the control, then the control.
6. The pack went too long; I corrected just before the control, and found Randy and Eddie.
7. Disturbed by others
Everyone piled up behind me as I was quite tentative going down some cliff faces. "Why you all follow me, guys? I'm lost myself." "Maybe that's because we like your ass," says Francis. As soon as we hit the main trail, I decide I definitely don't want this company, and with a "NooOOO" yell depart on the trail. Nobody follows. I am happy. For a while. At Times Square, I see Valeriy Doverov who is lost. I show him where we are but lose my concentration. I ask him if he'd seen anyone. "Äà, Áîðþ è Ñåðãåÿ, 10 ìèíóò." Already 10 minutes. While pondering this, I take a wrong turn at Times Square. Very soon Jeff comes—he'd been following me and saw me take that turn. I know what I'd done and tell Jeff to look for the main trail to the SE. "It's not there, there's no trail there." Now I don't know what I'd done anymore. I spend some time running up and down the wron trail, finally get back to the Times Square junction and continue from there. Yuck. I find the control without any problems; it was the one I had put the water out on yesterday. Looking at the splits, I'm pretty sure that the trail around was the right thing to do. It's just that I botched it.
8. I ran well and navigated well, but lost a lot of time on this leg to others. I guess they were moving faster–train draft. Saw nobody on this leg.
9. As I was leaving, saw Jeff who had overrun #8 by just a little bit. Zigged a bit where a zag was expected...
10. ...same as #10.
12. (Included: 1:22 of rest time.) As I was eating, mini-trains were showing up: Daniel Schaublin, Nadim, Scott Pleban, coach. I left shortly before DS, and he caught up around the start triangle. We got to the control together.
13. We took slightly different routes with DS, ending up at the control at the same time.
14. Bad route choice
I wanted to go high on this leg from the very beginning. "High", I said to DS. But he wouldn't listen and somehow convinced me that it was OK to start dropping, down a scary ledge with sheer cliffs on both sides. Half-way down, I knew we should have stayed on that same elevation and gone across that cliff. There was indeed a break in the cliff. But what followed the break looked scary to me: wet, slippery rock faces. So I continued behind DS. We eventually found ourselves on another ledge, out of which there was no way out but up. We were quite a bit past the control by that point. DS found a way up which I was too scared to use. I mulled around for a while looking for a better way up. There were breaks mapped in the cliffs, but all they were were places with some grass growing out of the rock. In the mean time, I could hear Scott, Peter, and maybe others running above us on the hillside, talking and running away (I never actually saw them). Then, I saw Greg and Dima, high above. "It's right there", says Greg. "I know, I just need to get up." By then, I had found a way. Greg and Dima were going to #15 as I finally mastered the climb. About 11 minutes lost.
15. Blasted out of the control. Caught up with Greg and Dima as they were leaving for #16.
16. Read map too late
A bit tired on the climb, I lost sight of GB + DK and missed the control long.
17. Read map too late
I also left #16 in the wrong direction (a knee-jerk reaction against the logs across the creek in front of me?), back to where I had just been—did not check the direction to the next control. Looped back. Now, alone.
18. Bad map reading
I went very wide on this one; had to read the map a lot without the compass.
19. Bad map reading
There was a small marsh in the terrain which got me confused for a bit.
20. Alone, I noticed I was moving quite a bit slower than Greg & Co. for the next few controls.
23. +02:10Went down and up, on trails. Knew this was not the fastest route; very similar routes were already encountered at WOC93 and at the 1999 Team event (Tom Bruce's Long-O). But was safe.

Total Time Lost - 00:20:10

Split Analysis

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