Interscholastics, Day 1. Pic of la mapa.
Did some silly things in this race - mainly on legs 4-5 and 17-18. Leaving 4 I decided I would go straight for the first half of the leg, through the green, because how bad could it be? Turns out, not that bad, but definitely slower than the white. I also missed 5 and had to circle around, so probably lost 3-4 minutes total on that leg.
On the way to 14 I noted 18 to my left, so had an idea of what it looked like - but then heading back through to 18 I drifted way too low, got into the wrong reentrant and found 13 instead. So in other words, I found 18 leaving 13, and found 13 looking for 18. Nice.
Along with some smaller bobbles and inefficiencies, probably lost 8-10 minutes total. Not good.
They said gaiters are a must - which I naturally ignored, and which I found ironic, because the shin-level greenbriar definitely nicked me up a bit but I could generally jump over/run through it without hindrance. The real crux was the higher stuff that would catch and rip right across the thighs, waist, abs, chest, and occasionally shoulders, neck, and face. These were often just single vines camouflaged among the less hostile vegetation, and I sometimes wouldn't even know they were there till I was stopped in my tracks. Unpleasant to be sure, but I didn't find it to be as bad as hyped - simply a matter of accepting the pain without letting it shake your focus (full disclosure - I was not 100% successful at this).
Nice terrain otherwise; the intricate drainage system of reentrants and ditches can be tricky, especially in areas of lower visibility. Disappointingly, I didn't see any armadillos or razorbacks. Wonderfully, I didn't see any cottonmouths or water moccasins.