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Race Evaluation

Billygoat Run: 27th Annual


1. Ok, so this Billygoat was an interesting one. First of all, I was coming off 2004's dismal performance, where Kenny and I duked it out for the Jockstuffer award, otherwise known as "Dumbass of the year." The most painful thing about it was, after we recovered from our disastrous error on 4, running together with Ernst Linder and Adam Rudner, knowing they had a skip on us and then having Adam beat me out for the last Billygoat point. So this year I wanted revenge. Unfortunately, I was out quite late the night before and was a bit "under the weather" at the start, shall we say. From the start, I just ran with whoever was around - Kenny, Will, others, following J-J's impressive lead for a while. Did not look at the map.
2. Still not looking at the map, pretty much running with Kenny the whole way, Jon T. was around, Will a bit ahead.
3. +00:30First mistake here - thought control was on a hill, so I climbed the hill just short of the flag and stood around scratching my head as Will, Jon, Kenny and others got away a bit.
4. Slowly climbing up the reentrant and surprised to see Alar, Dan Schaublin and some others around. As I passed Alar, he explained that they accidentally skipped early. Slow up the hill, Kenny pulling away.
5. +00:30Slowly and painfull sidehilling along, with who else but Adam Rudner in front of me, John F. around and Kenny off in the distance. Stupidly don't climb on the trail, which allows Wyatt and Co. to catch up a bit. At the control with a bunch of people, including Dan Schaublin, who leads the pack, which includes Kenny again, for a bit.
6. +00:20Nice and fast, with John F. splitting off to the left, and Kenny and me not believing him for a bit. He gets ahead, so at this point I must be 5th or so (Will, Jon, John, Kenny). Sergei takes pictures here.
7. +01:00Feeling pretty good running after Kenny on the trails, though I am doing no navigating at all and am just starting to think of skips. 15 looks good, as does 17. Didn't even see 9. Kenny does almost consecutive face-plants, making me feel guilty for not navigating. I start looking at the map just in time to realize that we are lost, but apparently so are Will and John who are with us again. I stop in the re-entrant SW of the control and think for a bit. At about the same time, Will and I decide we are low and start climbing. I turn to look for Kenny and tell him, but he is nowhere to be found. At the control, a surprised Wyatt/Vadim/Randy, plus Adam Rudner, Steve Gregg, and John F.
8. Will drags a pack around the hill, I go over with a noticeably slower John and Steve. We meet up with the pack again and I pass Steve who is making really strange noises, making me look over at him at least three times as I pass...
9. With Wyatt/Vadim/Randy now, finally pulling away from Steve, John, and Adam as we go up and down over each little ridge. I am only roughly navigating, letting Wyatt lead the way. Surprised to see Will again, but I assume it's for the last time, which it is.
10. +02:30When we hit the trail, I have flashbacks of being lost and in pain here during a Troll Cup a couple of years ago (that was an awful weekend for me!) And yet, we make the same mistake again, going on some ridge that I still can't find on the map. Randy and I split off, I am all sure we are in the right spot, when all we find are Wyatt and Vadim .... We finally find it, surprised to see Jon T. leaving as we come in. I decide we must be 3rd-6th, with Kenny probably lurking behind. At this point my plan is to just run with this pack and then see what happens towards the end - I am certainly not catching Will or Jon and no one behind us, except maybe Kenny, Eddie, or possibly Joe, should be able to catch us.
11. As we trudge along leaving 10, we hear John F. yelling from one of the ridges where we had been looking for 10 and making the same mistake we made. He looks pretty dead. We spike this one at low speed.
12. +00:15Going around the big hill, Wyatt and Vadim split right, Randy and I go left. I thought for a second that they were skipping but then realize that would be crazy. I start navigating and do fine until the circle where I promptly start climbing away from the control, and only Randy's kindness keeps me from losing the race right there. Wyatt and Vadim come in as we leave.
13. +00:30I lead Vadim right to 14, where I see Jon T. for the last time. Eventually the four of us converge on the food control, and I am pissed off that no one wants to take a loger break here.
14. Eating a banana on the run, I consume some sticks along with the yummy fruit.
15. +02:00The goo I ate at 13 seems to kick in, and I am feeling great. Still don't feel the need to pass anyone, so I just hang out behind Wyatt and make snide remarks about his navigation. :) Randy leaves us after the big hill to go for his skip. I tell myself that it's a good skip, but decide it would be wiser to stay with company for now. We screw up this control, going too low and to the right. I am pissed and have to catch up to Wyatt and Vadim up the hill.
16. Slow climb, feeling ok and wondering when we'll finally skip.
17. I let Wyatt and Vadim get ahead a bit and look to see if they'll try to burn me. Looks like Wyatt can't and Vadim doesn't want to. That forms the last piece of strategy - stick with them no matter what and memorize the last leg or two. Specifically, I remember seeing that the route from the last control to the finish wasn't streamered, so if I can memorize where to go, that can give me an edge. So i start reading the map again.
18. Skip!
19. Blast on the trail, when blisters on my left foot suddenly start hurting - I think the heel lift has shifted and created a humongous blister on the sole of my foot. Oh well, the finish is close, just gotta push. Vadim is moving quick, so I have to pass Wyatt to keep up. We see Randy coming in as we punch.
20. Vadim and I encourage each other and take off down the hill. I lead the way, punching through the thorns at the power line, then climbing up to the trail. As we walk on the trail, with Vadim ahead again, I see Wyatt and Randy a couple of contours lower, not looking like they were in much of a hurry. We slowly climb the reentrant up to a smiling Sergei, who tells me that only Will and Jon are ahead.
21. Put away the map, run by memory. The plan: aim off for the clearing, try to catch sight of the finish and then turn right to the flag. It all fails. Don't see the clearing, don't see the finish, just run blindly through the woods, until Vadim and I spot the flag at the same time and race for it. He beats me to the punch and...
F. promptly turn 90 degrees away from the finish. Now I can feel it. I run through some bushes and emerge on the trail, maybe ten steps ahead of Vadim and sprint towards a banner that says "Recreational Finish" on it. I am confused and finish yelling "Is this the real finish??", just steps ahead of Vadim, well behind Will and Jon. An awesome Billygoat, a great course, a gorgeous day, and a solid CSU showing! Thanks Jeff for a great day!!!

Total Time Lost - 00:07:35

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