Orienteering race 6:11:45*** 32.8 km (11:20 / km) +1103m9:42 / km ahr:125 max:171 spiked:29/32c shoes: Jalas - sz 10
Hudson Highlander XVIII. Start on Surebridge, trail run on Surebridge, O loop on Rockhouse, finish on Sebego. Very nice course by Kseniya with help from Balter. Quite cold with temps in the 30's and low 40's - some snow pellets while I was on the Rockhouse map.
Finished. Tired. Sore. More when I download the FR.
My 17th Highlander finish (missed the first one). A pretty good run navigationally with about 10 minutes total lost on controls 11, 13 and 18. Also had what may have been suboptimal route choices on 2 (the hilly trail rather than the flat one further west), 5 (around to the south rather than over) and 31(trail and across the dam rather than parking lot and trail to west - although since I wasn't running at this point my route was probably fine).
The race started on the Surebridge Mountain map (at 1:10000 thankfully) with on orienteering section to the north enf of the map and then a trail run back south. The first leg was the King of the Mountain but I kept my pace appropriate for a six hour race. Was behind J-J for the last part of this leg and then until the trail junction at Times Square. Pretty much alone for 2-5 except for the group of three cadets who I saw a few times at controls planning their next leg. I think Tori wasn't far behind on the trail to 2. Kseniya went by on the way to 4 (had she made an error on her own course or did she start late?). Tori caught up on the way to 6 and we then flip-flopped until the aid station at 9.
Trail run was 9-10 - Tori left the aid station before me and I didn't see her again. Jeremy went by just before we reached Alan Young checking off runners at the top of the hill and the three cadets went by about midway. Not surprisingly, I caught no one. The trail run was pretty gnarly with lots of ups and downs and rocky footing but with a quite nice section right at the end approaching Lake Skannatati (downhill and less rocky).
Chatted a bit with George and Betsy Hawes while I refueled at the aid station and then proceeded onto the next section on Rockhouse Mountain. I was alone for 11 - 13. Bobbled 11 because I was still eating a Gu and didn't switch back into orienteering mode until after I crossed the power line and realized I wasn't sure where I was. OK to 12 and then headed in the direction of 13 (note to self: not an adequate plan) but failed to climb so got pushed off line to the left. Sort of recovered by forcing myself to the SE into the big reentrant, but remained a bit nebulous as to exactly where I was. And lots of other stuff was going on during this leg: I spotted a 6-point buck, as I slogged through the blueberry bushes my legs gave their first hint that if I kept doing this they would cramp and then snow pellets started falling. But, I still needed to get to 13. With a combination of reading the somewhat subtle contour detail and vegetation along with some luck, I found the ditch near the control, which got me to the control. Stina got to the control a bit ahead of me and then I caught up to her at 14 and we flip-flopped until I bobbled 18. As I was leaving 13 I heard voices and saw Phil, Charlie, Peggy and Bernie (and I assume Nadim, although I don't recall actually seeing him). I tweeked the effort up a bit knowing that a group working together might be able to catch me. They didn't know that I had already been to the control, so I might have drawn them off. Apparently I was able to keep moving a little faster than them, so I didn't see them again until the finish.
The last loop was on the Sebago Beach map, starting with an aid station and map exchange (control 19) near the parking area. Navigation on this loop was generally easier and there was less blueberry on this map than on Rockhouse, both very welcome. I was alone for the entire loop except for seeing several people passing in the opposite direction: Stina (as she was just leaving the aid station at 19), J-J, Daniel, Jeremy, Peter Z., Janet and Donna (on the road as I headed to 25) and then Ian heading south as I was going to 31 (WTF? - oh yeah, probably started late). I walked for most of the loop since my legs kept telling me they were going to cramp (and did once). Just kept moving along, trying to navigate cleanly and enjoying the woods.
A very fine production by the HVO crew (and additional volunteers). Thanks to all who helped.
Field Checking (Storrs Pond) 4:32:49  *** 11.35 km (24:02 / km) +295m21:17 / km
Headed up to Hanover after having spent the night at Compass Point, the Bundschuh's "cabin" about 15 minutes from where the O meet was (Fall colors and the setting were absolutely spectacular.) Wandered around the Storrs Pond/Oak Hill map looking fo places to hide O-flags. Too early to hang streamers but have now seen most of the areas where courses will probably go. Very nice day - sunny and upper 60's.