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Race Evaluation

US Short and Long Championships: Blue 2 (Long-O)


1. A cowardly race, firstly because I don't like long races, secondly because I haven't had enough long work-outs this spring, and lastly because I didn't have lunch the day before, and thought I'd be lower than usual on glycogen.
2. Bad map reading
Trail run, then got confused at the top of the hill and ended up further left than intended. Had to head back to the right once I was up on the ridge on the other side.
3. Did not like map
Lacked confidence
Up to the antenna installations, then was very uncertain how to attack the 'bag in woods'. I was in fact a bit confused as to how the installations (and especially the fences) corresponded with the map. Finally built up enough confidence about where I was and headed into the woods a bit behind Jon Torrance who had taken a more direct route and came in from the right.
4. Did not plan ahead
Did not like map
Disturbed by others
Jon went left of the big fence and I went right. Met up with him at the bottom of the hill. He headed up the road which seemed like a good idea, and headed into the forest after 100m or so which also seemed like a good idea. After we were through the green, we hit the trail and Jon took it to the right. I took a shortcut and ended up slightly ahead of Jon going down the hill. At no point did I notice the 'not field checked' part of the map, the line just wasn't visible to me. However, I did notice the 'out-of-bounds' area. When we got to the first reentrant, it was much, much, much deeper than expected, and I went N to find a shallow place to cross. This repeated inself one more time. Jon was just slightly behind me, and on the other side of the second reentrant we hit a trail running on the E side of a ridge. I followed it S and it curved W as expected, then disappeared. I crossed a shallow reentrant and ended up on another trail running N-S on the W side of a ridge, with green in front of me. Jon hit the trail and started to go through the green. I went down the trail to the S a bit and then went trough. I emerged on the other side quicker, but further S than Jon. I thought I had arrived at the correct streambed, and started heading N. (Having gone S twice.) However, instead of hitting the bag, I hit some trails that I now recognized on the map. I went across a small ridge, found another small reentrant, and now Jon came running up from the S. (He hadn't gone up the streambed with me.) After crossing one more ridge we were finally in the right reentrant, and found other people + desired bag.
5. Surprised how far left Jon swings on this one; I try to go more straight.
6. Can't keep up with Jon, he disappears. I take the biggest road I can find in other to avoid #3-like problems. I was going to cut a corner across one of the fields, but discover an unmapped fence with horses on the other side. After passing the Women's Dorm on the right, I'm surprised to find myself just behind Jon again. We run through the start and receive several curious looks. I can't keep up with Jon going up the hill after the start. I drop in the right spot and traverse the one ridge. Patrick is approaching from the other side and punches just before me. A good leg I think.
7. On compass, but since it is downhill I'm being overly cautious. Punch right behind Patrick again.
8. Bad route choice
Did not plan ahead
Bad distance judgement
Patrick heads NE, whereas I head NW to climb out into the yellow. I run down the narrow grassy corridor, and fight my way through the green at the end of it. The rough open has more thorny patches than I expected, so I chicken out and head for the road. I see a crossing guard, and make a bet that the control must be just to the right of the guard. Unfortunately it turns out that there are two controls in this area, and I find the wrong one first. I see Vladimir come running through the forest - hence the control must be further E. I punch a few seconds ahead of Vladimir. The best route would have been to stay to the S of the rough open and head into the forest at the corner of it.
9. Surprisingly slow split, then again the trail curves around quite a bit.
10. Lacked concentration
On trails with Vladimir until the cabin just SW of the control. I find another control on a cliff S of the actual bag and waste some time checking the code.
11. Vladimir has a lead, and by watching him I can make slightly better micro-routes through the woods. At the top of the last hill, he is intimidated by a denser looking patch and veer right, but it is mapped as white and I push through it. It's only bad for 25m or so, and I get to the control just ahead of Vlad, who also grabs a banana from the aid station.
12. This control is right next to my rental car, which rental agreement I need to pick up. I decide to do it on the way back since my running speed is benefiting from running next to someone.
13. Bad map reading
Going up the reentrant under the control, Vladimir reads the map better than me and spots the green. I miss to the right and he gets a one minute lead on me.
14. Bad route choice
Two obvious routes, and I pick the wrong one through the fields. In addition, I descend too early from the last hill instead running along the path on top until I see the control.
15. Read map too late
Drop my control card when climbing the hill - luckily it's just 5m behind me. Catch up with Barb on the trail, and when she stops to look at the map at a clearing I realize I should do the same. I had somehow imagined that the trail we are on will lead to the control, but realize that this was wishful thinking.
16. No good attackpoint, so I'm being cautious, aiming a bit to the right on the compass to know which side I'm approaching from.
17. On compass, aiming a bit left. At some point I stop to look around and see the rock + control 15m directly to my right.
18. Bad route choice
Underrated difficulty
My first intuition is to go around right, then to go around left of the green. As a result, I end up going through it, and it takes me 3:30 to reach the first path. The rest is easy - been to those fields before. While running on the open, I realize my heart rate is only 140 or so, and I try to make an effort to go faster. Somehow my legs aren't listening, and some voice in the back of my mind tries to convince me that a better existence is found by discussing philosophy in coffe shops and taking nude photography classes. I cut through to the rougher open and it's very nice.
19. Bad map reading
Not reading the map carefully enough, I somehow imagine that this is the best leg to go by the car and look for the rental car agreement. There are two problems with this plan: 1) The rental car is much further W than the control. 2) I can't find the agreement once I get there. (Later on I discover it in the trunk.)
20. I stay low on the trail by the cliff, which is scenic and potentially also a good route.
21. I run on the road until just before the parking lot on the left, then up the hill to the upper road and follow it to the bend. On compass until the hill, where I hit the smaller reentant. Over the hilltop and across the reentrant and nail it.
22. Back along the same way as I got to #9, except runing N of the marsh of course. On final approach I decide to take the right trail because I can use the trail bend and the small marsh as attack points. About halfway on this leg I meet John who is running very fast in the opposite direction.
23. Bad route choice
Underrated difficulty
Across the yellow marsh, which is really a lake with knee-high water and lots of stuff growing in it. I try to hop on logs to avoid getting stuck in the mud. According to Vladimir, the green part of the marsh would have been a better choice.
24. More trail running, and more trying to keep heart rate above 140.
25. Pondering how easy these last two controls were, I try to form a plan for the next leg.
26. Across the field to the white break in the green edge. Then straight S in order to hit the correct reentrant and follow it to the fork. I try to push myself and get into a competitive HR zone again, and succeed somewhat. I spot a USMAOC person below me to the right on the way up.
27. Another (I believe) USMAOC runner punches at the same time, and we pick more or less similar routes to this control: Left of the pond, find the trail, left at the end. I'm tired and he gains a small gap.
F. I sprint towards the finish thinking I can surprise the West Point guy. It almost works and we finish more or less at the same time, except he falls and I almost trample him after passing the finish.

Total Time Lost - 00:12:55

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