Orienteering (Foot) 2:01:06  12.4 km (9:46 / km) +600m 7:52 / km
34th Annual Billygoat hosted by EMPO at Moreau Lake State Park, NY, near Glens Falls, NY. It was a great day for running and we sure did that. Behind at the star as I scanned the map for the first control, others were off fast, I chased Dave Onkst for a while eventually catching him and I think JJ Cote. Rounding the hill, I knew roughly where we were but pinpointed it as we approached under a cliff and crossed a trail. Ernst Linder was leading the way up and I was struggling to keep up. I lost track of where we were but Ernst got us to the control directly. Going to #2, I felt he was going to the left too much. A DVOA runner stayed low and followed the reentrant. When Ernst stopped, I cut right and got to #2.
Dave Onkst suggested taking the trail toward #3 and the DVOA runner had already moved toward it. I angled up getting in line behind the DVOA runner. I saw Clint Morse at one point, down below going through the reentrant. Ernst dropped off the pace. Upon seeing the uncrossable marsh, I was looking for the right trail bend. The DVOA runner went past the bend and paused. I cut right aiming for the longer marsh and converged behind Clint Morse. As we rounded the marsh before #3, I started reading the wrong leag. The bearing to #4 was the same so I got confused not matching-up the terrain. Others found it and I chased again toward #4. Clint and I were more to the right going to #4 and catching-up. Others found it to the left.
Andis Vitolins had come up from behind and took off. Dave Onkst and I conferred that the right fork looked better since there was a trail along the way and there were some better attack points to #6. I struggled to keep up with Andis' pace. He spiked #5. At least I knew it just before we could see it. Going to #6, the pace was hot. Crossing the many ridges was wearing me down. David Onkst was falling off the pace and so was I but less so. I didn't want to leave Dave but figured I'd better stay with the group to #6. Unfortunately we lost Dave.
The pace slowed to something more reasonable. Clint and I set in running more together after that. Somwhere along the way we saw Jon Torrance who'd made a big mistake and was going to #6. In memory, #7 and #8 were a blur but I felt okay assessing where we were along the way. 150m or so after #8, I saw Dave Onkst running the opposite direction. He' missed #6 and was relocating while towing another guy behind him. I misread #9 and seriously misjudged the distance while running through the reentrant. When one other runner cut right to cross the marsh to the control, I was thinking it was further ahead. Clint thought so too so we went off on a 3 minute loop by ourselves. Clint figured out how to get us back on track.
I read my way to #10 well and gained some ground on a DVOA runner. Leaving #10, Ijust wanted to hit the big marsh half way there. I kept getting pulled ot the left by cliffs and vegetation. I was corrcting too so probably doing some zig-zagging. I knew we were getting too far to the left but didn't expect we'd miss the marsh entirely. Continuing on bearing, Clint and I seemed alone. Finally seeing the second marsh, I felt better and cut across the northern end. Once across I was to the left and didn't see the control. I was pretty confused and about to go on when I looked to the right and saw Clint punching. I'd been very luck to basically hit it on a bearing.
Alex Jospe and 1 or 2 other guys were leading at first toward #12. I caught-up and recongnized the 2 marshes before the control. I accelerated to punch. Alex Jospe was leading mostly to #13, #14, and #15. She was seemingly reading the way rather calmly while I was having trouble just scanning and reading along. Clint and I both stayed with her. On the leg to #14, Nathan moved to the left and we got ahead. However, he caught us at #15 again.
Going down the hill to #16, Nathan took off and I was not far behind. We moved well on the trail but at the bend, I paused. Nathan went left. Alex caught up and went more to the right which seemed to make more sense. Hitting the intermittant trail in the rough open, I felt better about falling into the right reentrant and cutting left to the control, still behind Alex. I rushed out toward #17 getting ahead, and cut left at the trail. I paused as the trail flattened-out. I saw the parking lot in the distance but it was hard figuring-out the map there. I cut right and soon enough saw the control to my left when I had expected it to be closer. At the aid station, I quickly debated whether to drink a Gatorade that I had set in the drop box. I decided to drink most of it even though it was feeling like the race was just about over. Upon seeing the length of last loop, I felt better of it.
Earlier, I had been thinking of skipping #16 or #17 but closer examination and being convinced by Alex and Clint, skipping #18 made more sense. We chose to use the road but initially however, Alex turned up the trail that would have had us attack #19 from above. I paused. Both she and Clint backed out and a bit water-logged, I chased them down the road. From the road bend, Alex had planned to just follow the base of where the hill changed steepness, most of the way to the control. This worked pretty easily and I got to the control first. Going ahead, Alex led us right, over the saddle. I would have gone straighter but it made sense to get over the big reentrants. I could see some hikers ahead and knew the trail was coming up. I cut left and accelerated to the field. However when I got there, I didn't see the control initially. I had turned left first. Alex and Clint coming from behind punched ahead of me. As they took off, they were going more to the right as if they were going to the finish. I stayed left. Alex suddenly pulled-up stopping behind us. It turned out that she'd lost her hair band in a branch and couldn't find it. Clint and I didn't know what had happened as we kept running. At the water, we were both too far to the right so I got to the control first.
I debated using the causeway trail and in the meantime, Clint took off going left around the lake. I chased. It seemed that Clint was moving rather strongly and I was several steps behind. After seeing some others finishing-up their race going the other way (Greg Balter and Vadim Maskolkov), I was looking at the map when suddenly Clint was falling down ahead of me. He rolled and got up but remarked that the fall took a lot out of him and understandbly so. I picked-up a small change in the shoreline as an attack point so when I turned still behind, Clint turned at about the same time independently. I saw it first and punched first. I led on the trails mostly to #23. Suddently some leg cramps set in and I commented on the poor timing while slowing. They went away and I went on. I'd stopped when I didn't see the triangular intersection that I expected to. Clint got us to that, whereupon I ran on across the ditch to the control. I didn't read the whole leg and wasn't really seeing the ditch very well on the map goint to #24 so I crossed the ditch again. I realized we'd missed a turn and had to cross it again after the intersection. A big line of horses were coming at us on the trail so Clint and I ran off trail along the ditch to get past them. I was a bit high using the trail and Clint pointed out the control right on the marsh. We got on trails, taking care to use the right ones going to the next control. I climbed when going around might have been quicker. Clint climbed too but left the trail a little earlier than I. Attacking from a trail intersection I was confident and ran faster to the control. Ahead of Clint, I moved out on the trail but Clint caught me quick enough. I hesitated on one intersection and Clint removed the moment of doubt. I was able to get to the Go control first and asked Clint if he wanted to run it out or finish together. I didn't hear it well but it sounded like he wanted to run. I took off but soon realized Clint wasn't running that hard. I slowed a bit, then more in the chute so we could finish toghether After all, we'd run most of the race together already and he was fine company.
I felt better about my run than last year when I overran a late control and lost a lot of places. Wearing Vapro eyeglasses helped me a lot this year. I was also glad that I was in much better shape this year.