orienteering race 4:55:29***** 17.99 mi (16:25 / mi) +1081m13:50 / mi ahr:127 max:158 spiked:27/29c slept:7.5 shoes: Inov-8 X-Talon
A perfect October day, just the right temps and after a great breakfast laid out by Lissa.
Knowing my conditioning was a bit weak (no long runs), the plan was to go out slow, and focus on perfect navigation as I figured I had no energy to waste wandering around.
Basically a trail/road run to the1st control where I drifted back in the pack. For reference, I wanted to keep JJ nearby as I figured we were about the same pace and his navigation is good enough to keep an eye on in case I lost contact.
Accelerated a bit to get in contact with his group, which he was leading nicely through the first 4 controls.
Going to 5 he lead them up a steep, bushy hillside, which I thought was pointless, and took the trail to gain the elevation and get closer to #5.
I got a slight lead there and stayed ahead, with a sketchy crossing of the creek (ducked under the outlet pipe as it spewed a barrage of water) below Lake Welsh dam.
Started the 2nd loop to #8 and spotted David O..(complicated Swedish name) in the parking lot. He was aiming for the northernmost corner, which semed like a good idea until I noted the uncrossable fence there, so did he.
Approached 8 a bit ahead of him and picked up Nadim who was wandering short of the control, claiming he had been abandoned by the junior girls.
David, Nadim and I navigated together to 11 (smashing through the non-trail trail in the laurel). Bernie caught us up on the way to 12, where we encountered the junior girls, and the JJ lead group was not far behind, smashing through yet another line of laurel on the way to 13.
Tyra, and Nadim were just ahead on the trail to 13, and I cut off just ahead of them and tried to stay with Tyra as we went through 13 and 14. Tyra cut off just after the tunnel, Nadim and I went up a bit further, and I never saw her, maybe she finished her Lowlander ahead of us.
Hung out a bit at the refreshments with Bernie and JJ and Nadim, then off for the trail run, staying with Bernie which seemed a nice pace.
Started the Surebridge loop just behind JJ and Bernie, but misread the cliff direction at 18 and wandered a bit and JJ got away.
Bernie missed 20, and I ran up the mountain...slowly to 21.
Getting down from 23 was very slow, my legs were getting weak and my mind weary. Navigated perfectly and got to 24. just as Bernie appeared!
David O, appeared as we were at the Skannatati aid station, where Pavlina informed us we had let JJ get away to a 7 minute lead.
With 4 hours 14 minutes on the clock, my hoped for under 5 hour finish seemed dubious, with about 3 K left to go.
Climbed very slow through never-ending low bushes toward 27, with some fellow in blue shorts around, that must be really painful in shorts.
Bernie was in sight as we topped the hill, and I pushed a bit harder to try to catch him up, and as I punched I looked ahead across the slash green hill, but no Bern' in sight. He must be putting on the Bernie burners!
Got the perfect line, moving as fast as I could along and down the hill, hit the trail at the bend where it came up the hill, and ran as fast as I could.
Alas I never caught sight of his back, and to add insult, was duped into running hard to the non-existent finish punch in the double circle.
Despite the, at times, really tough terrain, the trail runs made for a fast overall pace, so a nice design by Joe, and, of course, superb directorship from Chinghua and all the other helpers.
Now to recover, and then use this to up my conditioning game.