Pt. Pinole, 4.5km / 40m / 24c. Course were advertised as Middle and Orange (though I would call them advanced) of 3 lengths: Short, Medium (which I ran) and Long.
Projected to 43:30 - 44:00 on Long Orange, which would’ve been good for 9 out of 52, ahead of Werner, Kent, Derek, Steve H., Penny. Dead even with Kent on all the common legs (everything but my #9), 1 - 2 mins ahead of the other 4.
Only extended time loss (:50) was on #15, due mostly to unmapped ditch that looked to me (and Francois, the winner on Long Orange) like a road. Half-dozen bobbles (:05 - :15) totaling about 1 minute loss. Ran pretty well, having to walk only a few times on some of the uphills.
1. Straight, nailed it.
2. Picked my way around the two white patches, sacrificing a little distance in order to not be slowed by deadfall. Across the big field, tried to pick out thin spot in forest prior to road and keep that on my right while keeping the broad shallow reentrant on my left. Thought I did the well, and nailed the control, but Mikkel Conradi had gotten out in front of me so hard to judge whether watching him helped.
3. Quick bearing, spotted the bag very soon after leaving #2.
4. Able to pick out the small white patch on the other side of the forest and then the lone tree beyond, so nailed it, though again I spotted Mikkel heading towards it, too (though I believe I would’ve nailed it anyway).
5. Undecided when to leave the road, stayed on a bit long and had to back track 15m. Lost :10.
6. Good job of identifying the patches of white and then the rootstock from a long distance.
7. Nailed my attack point, the road-trail intersection. Slowed a little to get a good bearing. Some unmapped brush ahead, thought I’d go around to the left, but spotted Lauren Knight more to the right seeming to punch in, so went around to the right, got to a rootstock but no control. Look at map, figured I had to go just a little SE, turned and spotted the bag - and, surprisingly, Mikkel coming back to it. Lost :12.
8. Wound up on the N side of the hill (maybe I didn’t check the clue) and spotted the control 12m to my left. Lost :05.
9. Felt tired for the first time, had to slow a little on the upgrade. Forced a little to the right by vegetation, hit the road a little to the right of the opening to the big reentrant. Leaving the road, took longer than I expected to get to the clearing, so I slowed a little trying to look around to make sure I hadn’t gone too far before finally spotting it just a little to my left. Joe Huberman (on Long) came from the W and punched in 15 secs ahead of me.
10. Rough compass out to road. Woods looked thick so stayed on the road parallel to the correct direction, spotted the rootstock easily.
11. Rough compass towards corner of big field. Catching up to Lauren Knight and another runner. See they’re headed a bit too far left; nail it.
12. Cautious because this looks tricky. Spot the elevated ground to the left, use that to guide me to the “stand” of rootstocks. Have to stop to check the clue and map to see which one I’m aiming for. Spot the bag from 25m away.
13. Straight. While crossing the road, check that I’m about the right distance from the junction. See the rootstock nearer the broad spur, veer a little right and soon see the desired rootstock.
14. Angle to road, then over to water stop. Don’t drink.
15. Turned into the big reentrant, then ran up the right side, heading for the hill top. Puzzled when an overgrown ditch appeared in front of me. On RouteGadget, I can see that it’s there (as a narrow reentrant), but on the race map, the control circle and connecting line obscure some of the detail. Decided to just head up the hill anyway, and the control was there. Lost :10.
16. Biggest time loss of the day. Contoured around the hill, spotted the building at the top, crossed what I thought was a road (turned out to be an unmapped ditch with parallel “tracks” that could be mistaken for tire tracks - I went out later to check this) and a depression below, so went down there but no control. Puzzled by a couple of ditches I wasn’t expecting. Finally realized that I hadn’t actually crossed the road, so the map now made sense. Crossed over and saw two big mounds with seeming earth banks on their downhill sides. (Realized later that these were mapped as dot knolls, but didn’t figure that out during the race.) There was a ditch between them, so I was hoping that that was the ditch leading to the pit with control; went around the nearer mound, and there was the bag. Lost :50.
17. Aim a little to the right of the big hill, hit the road just left of the junction, soon see the control.
18. Probably a little too cavalier with my compass bearing, but there was crappy vegetation in that direction, so tried to loop around to the right. Fortunately, spotted the bag, more straight ahead rather than a bit to the left as I expected.
19. Uphill (tiring), right next to the man-made objects, straight down, soon see the bag.
20. Straight, staying level. Spot the elongated knoll in front of where I expected the control, contour around it’s right side, right into the bag.
21. Run along the contour, but features aren’t making sense, so I stop. To my surprise, Joe H comes flying by. Realize I’ve been reading the leg to #22 instead of #21, so now things make sense. Lost :15.
22. Use the elongated knoll just S of the depression to guide me.
23. Consider contouring a bit, but realize I’m just about done so I should push it. Cross the road and pass Joe. Try to keep moving and not get drawn off looking behind every bush because the one I want is down by the road. Good job of recognizing it without hesitating.
24. Straight, just left of the crest. On the road for 15 - 20m. Use the woods in the distance as a guide, nail it.