I normally have a miserable day at the annual Long Course Champs
, which is a half-paradox given my extensive ultra background. But, the Long race is usually run faster than your typical 50 km, the effort is at a pace closer to a road marathon, in a regime that I totally hate: This effort requires a significant utilization of the carb-burning mechanism, which I undertrain, as opposed to the fat-burning mode which I train tons. And, my main problem at the Long-O usually seems to be the lack of training specific to both terrain and length. I.e. my running prepares me for the distance, and BAOC events, to the specificity of running in the woods; but neither, to the particular task of utilizing your jump-over-the-tree-and-balance-the-body muscles for three hours. So, the usual outcome of the Long-O for me is a slowdown around 2 hours, followed by cramps, switching into survival mode, and cursing the Universe for hours after the finish.
... my navigation was 100% clean, with only one questionable route choice to Control 1. I did cramp, and it did cost me 5 minutes. But the cramps came close to the end, and my result (time behind, USOF points, etc.) was a lot better than usual. My placing, if I were USOF-eligible, would have been not too far out of the medals. Maybe all that training is finally paying off... but most likely, I finally learned to pace myself and eat correctly.
The course was excellent, on par with the one I consider the best ever in my attended lifetime, the 1993 Champs at S-F Ranch. It spotlighted decisive route choice on most legs, and the difficulty of control sites was appropriate to the competition outcome being resolved on the basis of the athletes' endurance and coarse-navigation skills. The travelled length is preliminary but the climb, from the Polar, is correct.