Sprint Series Finals course from 2006.
For some reason, in my course setting career, this remains one of my favorites. I was thrilled to have a chance to run it, and I approached it seriously.
Obviously, I was familiar with the course, but I had never run it. And I hadn't looked at it much in the intervening years. So, my familiarity should be discounted somewhat, though not entirely.
I started a minute behind Eddie. I took off very hard and kept it up. I saw Eddie at #4 and achieved close contact my #8 on the first loop. The dynamics of the race had certainly changed.
The second loop was just great. I was ahead going to #5 as he had made a small mistake, but at times we were probably neck and neck, though not exactly at the same place--we took slightly divergent routes.
The race ended a bit disappointingly. We arrived at #7 essentially together, but he punched first, and then a WP guy punched after him. The thick vegetation on the way out meant that delay--the guy between us--provided some spacing. I couldn't get around.
Then, at #8, where there was at least one other control (a night-O control that Sandy had placed) I punched the wrong control. Not only that, but I had to wait for it to wake up, before then punching my own control. And, then I flubbed (to the tune of seconds) the very last control, which has that tricky piece of vegetation.
The denouement to this race was disappointing because my legs were coming online and I was ready to go. It was ironic because I playfully jested with Eddie that this was a chance to redeem himself from his first attempt at this course. And today, I had the punching problems.
[There were at least two other controls that had multiple controls, with stands and epunches at them. It is great that I didn't have any other problems and that no one mispunched.] Still, it is one thing to admonish people to check the codes, that this would be good training, etc., and then find yourself subjected to it.
Anyway, very happy with the run. I thought I had (but just checked and realized I didn't get) the course record. Schirm ran 16:02 and Johnny 16:14.
It was almost a perfect race from an execution perspective. I may not have taken all the optimal route choices, but once I had contact with Eddie, it became more tactical.
Also, I did run part of this race at level 5. Or at least it felt like that level 5 effort, with the feelings in the arms, etc., that I only really get in a cross country race.
[Note] Today, through the map exchange I was 30 seconds faster than Schirm's pace from the Finals. In this run, on #16 and #17 I lose 12 seconds to Eddie, who clocked a total of 51 seconds. I shouldn't have lost those.