|Starting out 12th, right after Syd and Greg. Plan is to pass people. I lose sight of Greg after he gets over the first knoll, but Syd's Team shirt appears and disappears ahead several times. Stefan Hess is behind me. I go off on a bearing, doing very little map reading and trying to count the ridges and find the full yellow with a large rock blob. Once I find that, I next go and find the clearings NW of the control, again doing very little map reading. Then slow down just a bit and SE to the thicket and into the bag. O should be like this (eat this, you scoliotic map readers). Syd is leaving and no sight of Greg.
|Again, my kind of O: follow reentrants into the bag. Syd executes it beatifully. We close in on Elis and Ross.
|S to the trail bend, then Syd starts climbing. I make a 90 degree turn to approach using the open spaces—the footing is better there. I'm right behind Elis and Stefan is after me. As we make a turn left at some boulders protruding into the large semi-open, we see Alexei on the way back, then Ross and Syd.
|Now I can see Greg way ahead. The train is Greg, Alexei, Ross, Syd, me, then Elis and Stefan. Again, follow a large reentrant, then take a right at a spur—what map reading? Alexei is being gradually passed.
|The train climbs to a kind-of saddle, then it's hard to see people ahead. I turn left and drop almost all the way to the bottom of the hill, then contour around—the footing is better and there's less sage. Just before the control, Stefan and me hesitate; he goes up the rock formation above which the control is, and I continue to contour. A few seconds later, I can see people leaving the control, and go up to where they came from. We just caught up with Eddie.
|To the trail ASAP. I'm right behind Alexei and Eddie, then there's a white shirt way ahead (Greg). This was the high point of the race: I pass Eddie on the trail with ease. The ease is over as soon as we get back into the sage. At the control, it's Eddie, Alexei, me, and Stefan. It later turned out that Syd took the right-hand route.
|Up a broad reentrant (what reading??), when Greg suddenly appears and crosses our trajectory at an about 35 degree angle, moving about N. One more, I think. On the trail, there's suddenly Mark Voit. We speed up, through the aridly extraterrestrial feature and into the bag between the two lines of hills.
|Now Mark and me are in the lead of Train 2. We drop down, between the greens, up a spur. At this point I start to not feel very well.
Bad compass work
|Mark goes W, along the green marshy thing's boundary, after punching. I cramp up and follow him. As he gets to the corner of the boundary, he turns N. I think that the race may be over for me and decide to do something original, once in a while. I plan to go high, hopefully through some open and above most of the sage, and drop into the control, probably using some greens S of it. I climb to the left of the large cliff W of the control. Everyone's gone but it turns out that Alexei was doing something similar behind me. As I get to the top, I turn right. Too far right, it turns out. I was running with a $10 compass borrowed from Steve Gregg (left mine at Yellow Pine in the morning). I end up going mostly N and performing an S-curve around the purple line. When I hear the cars on Happy Jack, it's too late. I have a navigationally easy approach from the ESE, but it's through sage and I've added too much distance. I see the Fluegels doing something next to the control. As I punch, suddenly Eddie appears from nowhere, then Stefan Hess. On the upside, I recovered from the cramping quite nicely on the leg.
|I go up ahead of Eddie. I messed up on the top of Steppin Stone Hill in 2000, so I force myself to read the map this time. It, however, turns out to be not quite necessary, as the boundaries of the greens are very distinct. As we get to the rock-free rough open immediately NE of the control, we see a Team shirt on the ridge, closing in ont he bag. It's Greg. The punching order is Greg, me, Eddie, Stefan.
|Eddie goes way left, Greg goes a bit right, I split the difference. Once we get down to the greens, things are clear. Eddie is pulling away. Stefan suddenly comes up with a burst of energy and passes us. I punch #11 last.
|No motivation to really fight it, so I chug along behind Greg.
|See #12. The heart rate ended up very low for the race. Three races in 18 hours, getting to the altitude the morning before, is a bit too much for me.
Total Time Lost - 00:02:20