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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander X:


1. +00:20~5th-10th along the trail. Leaders missed the turn and I said, 'trail' or something and Ross cut onto the first left turn right ahead of me. As trail approach the road again and faded, Ross got confused, and turned right. I stopped and figued to turn left as Greg B. yelled 'you got it' or something from the hill behind me. Led on the trail, took a wrong right turn then came back losing a 15 second gap. Stayed on trail longer than others but it turned out to be windy, rocky and narrow. Diagonalled up to 1 just after Greg B. and saw a herd off to my right.
2. +00:15Down spur to road. Pass/get passed by Greg B. on road until just before it drops and I head into the forest with Greg right behind me. Basically due W the whole time, reading contours - hestiant on the way down until I noticed it was on the flat and I looked up to see the bag just as Greg B. yelled 'zdees' (here, I think :).
3. Had planned my route, keeping spur to my right and hill on left - although edge of top of yellow hill was runnable so stayed there then dropped. Greg B. was behind but he'd dropped out of sight - apparently misreading the control area as a spur.
4. Pretty straight going around marsh to the right and contouring in. Apparently Florin did okay but the next pack followed each other way right. Drank ~5.5 cups, then punched bag and ran, figuring (correctly) that the King-of-the-mountain might count from punch-to-punch.
5. A little right at first, then found broad spur, confirming it by the depression in the flat area. Went left-up to little trail, then up trail a bit before heading straight again. Saw fire break and mini-spur to confirm I was on line. Gu & 2.5 cups of water. Left before seeing anyone (although apparently many people saw me.)
6. +00:30Ridgeline to left of green marsh, right of ridgeline through pine trees to unmapped road. Major hesitation, but contours matched and I recalled 'new firebreak' words at start, so kept going. Had to check code to see it wasn't on the cliffs.
7. +00:30Exitted on line & hit new road again. Saw others behind near control. Up to hilltop then down bare rock, but missed right a bit standing still figuring things out.
8. +00:15Bashed through on exit but ended up climbing due to downed trees, and had to contour through more cliffs than I should have. Saddle down toward bag with eyes open then worked well...
9. Straight, aiming right at end to run on edge of (dry?) lake. ~5 cups of water.
10. +00:45Trail run. Hesitant & got lost at end of white-cross trail, but then hit the next trail on the black&white map and turned right, then north. Greg B. was gaining, but I didn't see him until the water stop. Drank 16 oz. weak Gookinaid, 1 GU, picked up 2 GU's to carry, and then had ~4 cups of water (15 hes., 30 route near last turn - better short-cut available - down spur - if I'd been looking.
11. (10) Along marsh to indistinct trail then generally up hill and around the cliffy stuff to the left, finding a rock & control in back.
12. (11) A little right of line along the fairly broad/open reentrant/marsh. Remembered this exact same cliff from the team trails (approached from the west in that case.)
13. (12) SE to avoid climb of first edge then weaved E. Down creek to flat area and then climb up creek to 2nd hilltop. A little nervous but found bag way off the back.
14. Climb, then it'll be easy. Looked back on climb expecting to see Greg B. & thinking he must have made a mistake. From the top, I followed the hilltops on a rough bearing, then went around rocks to the right.
15. +00:20Looked like straight would have a lot more climb than if I leaned off to the left. Stopped a few times early as I was unsure of where I was, but better safe than lost. Wasn't quite sure where I was crossing the flattish area, but the hillside SW of 14 was reasonably distinct. Climbed and dropped down to 14.
16. +01:15Knew I had to drop hard, then climb, but still went left on drop and was confused when I hit the trail after climbing, as I imagined I was nearer the line. After ~30+ seconds of standing still on the trail (as some hikers walked by), I figured out what had happened, and a run south on the trail quickly confirmed it at the turn. Didn't read much on trail until I hit the big marsh, then went S of the big hill, and dropped 1.5 contours too far before looping back up to the bag.
17. +02:00Didn't see the line of white through pine swamp, so went right. Basically east via least resistance to the trail to the SW end of pine swamp Mtn., then up a shelf on the R-side of the mountain. Found it fine, but there was a lot more climb on this route than the left route. (2min). Drank ~ 6 cups, ate 1 GU.
18. Right trails. First along the R-side of the marsh, via Times Square, past the burned area, through the saddle and down the not-so-rocky drop tothe marsh, contoured around back of hill after the marsh, as climbing didn't sound like fun at that point. Not sure if it was better, but I executed it fine.
19. Piecing together trail segments near the line. Dropped all the way to the marsh N of the bag before climbing up to 18, just to be sure where I was. An earlier cut would have saved only about 2 contours, and the trail was notably faster than the forest in that area.
20. Diagonal/dropping until hitting the marsh, then to road. Felt like I could still run okay on the road - quite surprised that I could move that well that far into this race. Had ~6-7 cups of water, 1 cup of Gookinaid, and a GU.
21. I thought they said this was 250m from the aid station, so I was a bit disappointed by the distance. But the streamers were nice so it wasn't bad. Running okay.
22. Going back into the forest, and blueberry here, after the last 10-15 minutes of relatively easy running was really hard. Legs weak, but not quite cramping. Walking on anything uphill or rough, so I wouldn't fall too hard when I cramped. But I didn't cramp.
23. (21). Walked down to the start. Via the easiest way I could find. Not running at all - too afraid to cramp and fall down the rocks. Jogged on trail, cut up to road, then went straight over. Around looks a lot easier, but I can't imagine it's actually faster. Although I was going really slow uphill and through the blueberry. At least the blueberry was fairly weak and brittle due to the relative drought.
24. (22) Tripped over the same piece of wire near the house as I tripped over on the walk to the start. Odd. Reading the map as I went toward 22, I thought the picnic table was lower than the feature, but hey, there was water on that table, and a bag, and that was fine. Drank 2-3 cups. Should've had more but was too tired to drink enough.
25. Jogged really slowly around on pavement. Paul said "There's Wyatt" in a way that suggested he'd expected me to come through there first. Which meant I'd likely had a reasonable lead (say 3+ mintues...) at the 2nd 106 crossing (it turned out to be 15 minutes, but I had no idea.) I also knew I was feeling really slow, and that anyone who could even jog reasonably at that point would be catching up. I consoled myself for the inevitability (I felt) of get passed by saying "at least try to win through 23". Along edge of water for quite a while, over one little hill then near 2nd little then through (very narrow) yellow gap near stream, right of rocks, up form-line spur and over to marsh edge. Wow. I won to 23. Let's try 24...
26. +01:00Jogged out through marsh. As long as it was flat and not rocky, I could still jog slowly. Decided to go over, as it was straigher, so cross reentrant and went up hill - to the powerline? - oops I was going S, not SE. From there a little more climb seemed line plenty and I contoured around at about the right height, over shooting a little, then looking behind that boulder behind/below me.
27. +00:30Wow, still no one in sight. We'll let's try to win through 25. If I can do that, then just maybe... Across, then up, between hilltops, out spur, to right above control, but I wasn't quite sure, so I stood there a bit before checking below the hill in front of me. The bag was there. Phew.
28. Straightish exit. Just as I exited I heard a big branch snap ~100m behind me. Way to loud to be wind branches falling. Damn. Well lets still try to win 26, because if I can, then it's only a parking lot to the finish. Through laurel. Around broad rocky reentrant to the left, looking back and still didn't see anyone. Maybe I can hold them off! Around edge of reentrant than across to hilltop/spur.
F. Just drop & run, drop & run... Hit parking lot, looking back over my shoulder often, then finally eased up when I couldn't see anyone for 50m or so... Wow. I won the Highlander. Wow. "That was uncomfortable" brought a few laughs to the finish crew... Wow. A very good race on a beautiful day!

Total Time Lost - 00:07:40

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