RMOF, Day 3. This was a weird run in that I felt really good about my nav - good planning, flow, visualization, etc. - and had no trouble finding controls, yet still lost 4-5min due to two unfortunate route choice decisions and one silly mistake.
First (most disastrous) decision - Leg 2-3 here
. How would you do that leg? I outsmarted myself and instead of going straight I elected to head to the right around the big hill (notice monster loop in GPS track). Clearly didn't analyze this fully; if I had would have realized that it only saved two contours and added a ton of distance. Executed it terribly to boot and ended up traveling even more distance than was necessary for the route (though I realized none of this at the time - which was lucky for the rest of my race's sake). +2:21 to Eric on the leg, so at least 2min time loss.
Second decision - Leg 15-16 here
. They had warned us at the start that the water was very high in the big E/W marsh just south of 15, so I headed back W to find a better crossing point. Came through okay and popped out into the open as planned, but then crossed the smaller N/S thicket/marsh way too early, because I happened to see an easy way through, and found myself having to side-hill across a bunch of rocky, slashy crap to reach the control. Could have saved >1min merely by running 100m farther S in the open along the W side of the marsh, then crossing and shooting directly up the (non-rocky) reentrant for a foolproof AP.
Silly mistake - Leg 16-17 here
. Obvious route is the long, gradual reentrant that leads just left of the line almost all the way to 17. Note also the very similar long, gradual reentrant just right
of the line - at a quick glance to the map about halfway through the leg I mistook the right for the left and apparated myself over there, which led me to erroneously correct left (again, notice big tumor in GPS track) and since I had always been left (according to plan) I naturally ended up well left of the line on the hilltop with a very picturesque view of the big lake. +1:29 to Eric here, so likely >1min lost.
Nonetheless, felt pretty positive about this race, as I had a lot of really solid legs (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 18, 19) and did many more good things than bad things. For example, won the splits battle against Bonesaw 11-9, which doesn't happen all that often. At 3, I was 1:40 behind Eric and 2:21 behind Nick, then at 15 was 1:32 behind Eric and 3:05 behind Nick, so was holding my own other than the three miscues, in terrain that was more rugged and technical than yesterday.
Happy America, everyone!