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Race Evaluation

Blue Hills Traverse: Traverse

pkturner

1. Behind half of the crowd, I followed it to the left.
2. In the midst of a steady stream moving up to the control, I began to get anxious to know where I was on the map. Looking around, there was the control 3 meters behind me! I had gone right past it while it was shielded by the bodies in front of me.
3. Contoured right of the line. A number of people went farther right and lost a little time getting to the top of the ridge sooner than necessary.
4. Right of the line via the trail junction.
5. Straight, leaving the trail about 200m from the control, going right of the first stony patch.
6.
7. My pace count ran out, with no sign of a 4m boulder anywhere near. Just a number of orienteers in my field of view, apparently dealing with a similar failure to sight a control, looking on the north side of every 1-2m boulder in the vicinity. I began to do some exploring of my own to try to get the map to match the terrain, when along came Tony on a beeline. Following him is a sure fire way to relocate.
What had thrown off my pace count turned out to be a mismeasurement of the distance from trail to control.
8. Around the hill to the right, passing Rich Nietupski.
9. Went to the road quickly and followed it. Then cut across nice woods to the trail before it got much above the road. Along came Sam Levitin with some blood down from left eye along the nose, asking how bad it was. While I was describing the visible cut, then came Bob Lux who took far less time than I, and directly declared the eye OK. Then we all got going again.
10. Contoured around the hill with Tony a little lower than me. His approach to the control was better than mine, and we arrived at the same time.
11. I got ahead of Tony on the road. Knowing this area has subtle contours, I brought out my magnifying eyeglasses which helped me find the control quite effectively. I was pretty far ahead of Tony. Near the control I passed another guy whom I would be with for several upcoming controls, and who I later learned is named Hugh.
12. Should have used my eyeglasses more carefully. Contoured southwest then headed straight west to the control without paying enough attention to the contours on the map and approached the road so far to the right of the line that I couldn't see any sign of the control. Took a moment to figure out that I needed to go left.
13. Upper route along the trail. Hugh followed me to the control.
14. Hugh is faster than me on the uphill. He got to the upper trail junction faster, followed me to the vicinity of the control, and then he spotted it.
15. Leaving the control Hugh took longer to think about the route. I decided quickly to go all the way around on the lower trail. He was behind me a few meters from 14 when a coyote ran right-to-left across our path and the stream. It was a new and impressive event for him.

With a number of Traverses under my belt, this control has a very familiar look to it, and I think it's the third time I've contoured around the hill and approached this one through the woods. When you get on that wooded slope, you realize it would be much better to take a little lower approach on the trail and ski slope, and then climb a contour or two during the last few steps.
16. Slogged up to near the top of Great Blue Hill, skirting the summit to the right on the dirt road, then gingerly down the little rocky trail toward the control. Lost a minute or two when uncertain of my position nearing the control.
17. Contoured east and then down, crossing the large trail at the bend, about 100m from the control.
18. Southeast to large trail, then from trail junction east on trail, then south to the control.
19. Contoured south of the green.
20. Saw a route on the map which involved going east from the east corner of the parking lot, and foolishly chose it. On the terrain, there was no gap between uncrossable pond and thick brambles. Recovered by running past the finish line just when J-J was finishing. Met Hugh near the control.
21. To the right of the line, below the green and the rocky area.
22. Along the trail until 100m from the control, then followed the map in.
23. Heading west from 22, after a few seconds I passed Hugh still on his way to 22. Hit the paved road not far from the bend and went north on it until I was sure of my position then cut northwest to the control.
24. Went farther left than intended, to left of the cliff. That was not necessarily bad because it gave me an approach to 24 which was similar to my route from 19 to 20, during which I had seen 24.
F. Happy the finish run was downhill.

Total Time Lost - 00:00:00


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