Orienteering (Billygoat) 3:08:28  11.1 mi (16:59 / mi) +680m 14:16 / mi
Took the right side trail down the stream out of the start, around and then up the hill the steep hill as the two packs joined somewhat. Good first leg route choice. 11:08
Followed a train that was more or less going straight to number 2. We seemed to be veering off left, but I told myself that it was my desire not to climb that made me want to go right. As we climbed the big hill into it, the pack split pretty bad and when I saw the flag, only Eric Smith was with me. Alas, we were looking at #5. The good news is that although we were seven contours high, we were "close". And as we headed in, there were lots of other people who had blown it coming in as well. 17:55
Straight line in a bit of a train. 5:16
UGH up the hill; I took the left fork, but there was such a crowd that it didn't matter. 5:47
Climb had taken something out of me, but I followed the train to #5. 3:48.
Nothing to #6 except the realization that somehow another train had caught us and I was now in the middle again. Nearly died going up the hill. 4:50.
Did a very bad job leaving and ended up losing lots of time and a little skin on the rock scree. Took the trail past the second knoll and tried to follow the cliffs in. A pack entering from my left and heading up the hill confused me and I spend some time exploring the spur due east of the control even as I saw Sharon Crawford go by saying, "it must be the next one". Relocating on the spur, I again learned how smart she was. 15:38.
Up the reentrant south of the line, only Rob Freeburg with me. He beat me down the hill, but took the trail too far around and had to come back to the stream, so he punched only slightly in front of me. 6:39.
Followed Rob back to road and into woods, but lost him until I saw the rock and then him punching at the control. 3:10.
Rob went a bit south, but I went up the spur to the road. As I passed the trail junction, he came out on my left. Guess the spur was a better option. I was faster up the hill, but distracted by the tower. I punched, looked back and saw that Rob was also distracted by the tower. 5:59.
Rob ran past me down the hill as I kept jumping to the trail to the west. Crossed the reentrant and followed the hills in. All alone now. 8:41.
Took the path of least resistance out and hit the east end of the field, then took road to the aid station. Caught Rob. 5:45.
Rob and I had both earlier discussed skipping 14 and now put that plan to work. Took the trail up the steep stuff and then contoured in to the control, albeit coming in one contour low. 12:27.
Down the reentrant and then around. Hit the intermittent trail next to the cliffs, took it to the big trail until that turned left. Turned right instead and had a small climb to the control. Saw Bob Lux looking confused and someone else punching ahead of us and leaving quickly. 8:36.
Slog the hill WSW to the trail. Trail to the (near) summit and then herd path in. Saw all sorts of folks heading down the trail from 18 to 19. 14:05.
Once again, no challenge. Straight to the summit. Led a decent group in, all of whom would have three minutes on me by the time I got to #19. Still, the water here (17) was most appreciated. 2:36.
Down the trail in a pack. Cut in a bit soon and ended up punching last. 3:32.
Dropped by the pack down the hill. I am real bad these days about running downhill on stony ground. Ultimately cut in too soon as well. Didn't get lost, but woods were slow - even for me. 10:19.
Beginning to get worried about time and I'm alone and 20 is a disaster waiting to happen. Climbed a bit to visit the dark green near the easternmost of the three ponds. At that point decided that the trail was the better part of valor and took it all the way around. Cut the corner on the two oxbows 200 m west of control and came in off knoll NNW of control. Bounced off cliff, saw green and punched. Slow, but safe and now I know that I will almost certainly finish in time. One other person here (came in contouring) but I never saw him again. 21:31.
Aimed off a bit right, crossed trail, then took trail to junction. Continued down spur and saw the falling off into the swamp, but didn't see control. Saw very shallow thicket and the low hanging flag. 7:01.
Skirt the swamps, which involved more short steep climbs than made me happy, but no big deal. 6:22. (Now I am truly golden; even a sprained ankle - as occurred more or less right here at the last goat here - wouldn't stop me.)
Right fork as it has no climb. Oh crap, there is a bit. No matter. Run/walk to flag. 4:55.
Trail to road to flag. 2:22
Run in not having seen anyone for quite some time. :14
3:08:28. Not a very good run, but it could have been worse. I did more solo work than normal for a goat, but given my poor choice of packs (other than my brief period in a pack of two with Rob) it was probably for the best.
(Skipped the sprint even though I was signed up for it. Hearing Eddie say, "it was steep" was all the impetus I needed.)