orienteering race 2:23:10 
The Grunt. Oh wow, what an effort this was. Although not part of the "A" meet, this is really what made the weekend worth it for me. A MONSTER effort on a hilly, subtle, route and skip choice happy map.
I love mass starts, makes for a greater shared experience for me--it's like experiencing everyone else's run along with yours at the same time. Particularly at this one I was able to see many of the usual suspects at many different times throughout the race. Following some for short distances, having them get ahead or fall back only to see them again later.
For example, I started ahead of Andy Dale to one and two, he passed me on the way to three, I tucked behind him, he bobbled and cost me 30 seconds but I caught it first and beat him to three, then he passed me soon after, then I saw him again at #19 and could not hold him--he ended up winning!
I started a bit ahead of the Rainbow Unicorn as I was trying to keep the speedy Andrei 300 in sight, but then he passed me while I was following Andy Dale to #3, then I saw him coming out of #4, I could not hold him on the way to #5, but caught him at #6. Worked with him until #12, started to get the feeling his fitness was too great for me around there. Thought he was off at #15 and left him, lost 40 seconds there. Stopped navigating as much and tried to catch him, hung on to his visual until #17, where I lost him. He ran like a Delta Force Ranger from there and ended up getting 2nd.
I also saw Andrei and Pete and Ian at many different times throughout the course, as we took different skips and routes.
The first half of the race was an adrenaline filled mania of working together with other runners. Mostly the Rainbow Unicorn (from 6 to 17) but also, Andrei 3000, Andy Dale, Pete Curtis, Frederick from Bushwacker, fast guy in orange shirt, and skinny guy with curly hair in white and orange.
The second half of the race was a solitary navigational effort that went pretty well after I got a chance to stop at 21 and refuel - I made a mistake not wearing a hydration pack. I skipped control 13 (water stop) so I didn't have access to any food or hydration until over 90 minutes in at CP 21, I collapsed to my knees, ate three cookies and drank 30oz of Gatorade. I was dehydrated and hungry. It would have been worse had it not been that the Rainbow Unicorn had the generosity during his journey to the podium to offer some of the water he carried, as well as a succulent banana/strawberry gummy nugget. A gesture that will not soon to be forgotten.
I was glad to find out that everyone, by and large, was happy with their efforts. It was an epic day in the woods.
I would come again next year.
Edit: Thank you Ian for posting the splits! Finally someone stepping up to the plate. I just put in my splits with my CP 23 leg omitted for comparison sake (as it was my intended skip that never happened). I took the same time Ian did to 24 as I was running the same pace at the time.