Orienteering race (Foot) 4:16:28  **** 26.3 km (9:45 / km)
Hudson Highlander at Harriman State Park, NY. The race consisted of a loop on the Sebago Lake map, a 4.5K trail run to Rte. 106, a loop on Surbridge Mountain map, a short trail run and a final loop on the Lake Sebago map. Fortune fell my way though endurance had something to do with it too. In the first loop, several leaders were missing turns and controls. I wasn't navigating that well but the safety of the pack kept me near the front. I thought I did well on the King of the Mountain leg (leg #5 had about 125m climb) though I had punched first, then drank water and a Gu; optimally I would have done the reverse to get a good time on the leg. Daniel Schaublin, Tom Carr and I started coalecing into a group on that leg and it was the first of several times that Daniel kept us out of trouble. On the trail run, like many, I wasn't sure if I was going the right way since some of the streamers had been taken away and the copied B&W small scale map was not very helpful. I moved well on the trail run with Tom and Daniel behind but took a while again at the rest stop to drink and eat a lot. Tom and Daniel pretty much caught up. Starting out just ahead of Tom Carr and Daniel on the 1:15,000 Surbridge Mountain map, I immediately flubbed the approach to the 10th control; my "NA" control from my 10th place finish last year. Tom and Daniel were immediately ahead and I didn't navigate well on that map much at all. At one point, I turned up the wrong trail and went off on my own. Fortunately, I didn't lose much time with my poor route execution and I caught Tom and Daniel again after the next control. Daniel's skill really became apparent on the long leg to #17. I really felt lost much of the way crossing from the east side of the map to the west. He and Tom got us there w/o problem on trails I could bareley see on the map. I knew Tom was a strong runner and expected him to leave Daniel and I once we got off Surebridge Mountain. I had started fighting off cramps on the way to #16. It was warmer than usual--in the upper 70's or low 80's F. Like several others, fatigue and cramping seemed to catch-up with Tom at an inopportune moment, leaving just Daniel and I together. Leaving the Surbridge map and arriving at the rest stop was where we first head that we were in 2nd and 3rd. Greg Balter who had been ahead had some problems on Surebridge Mountain too and then he sucumed to cramping too. He had only gotten to the rest stop as we were leaving. I passed Daniel on the second trail leg and then navigated reasonably well the whole second Sebago Lake loop, leading Daniel by just a little on each leg. I think we both were suffering and fighting-off cramps. I thought he'd catch me going into the last control since he was cruising downhill going over rocks better than I. I felt a little guilty kicking out a finish to stay ahead since Daniel had done most of the hard navigating on Surebridge Mountain. I finished 2nd with him 9 seconds back. I suppose our real fortune in placing so high was that the top orienteers went off to Italy for the World Cup or had other engagements.