Score 2620, 7th overall. Trepidation at my enthusiasm and energy levels at the start but turned out great, very happy with the result and had a blast again.
An interesting combination of 1:33,333 (corrected) scale and 10m contours. Course turned out to be hilly and rocky. We planned for 84km which went to an 87km route choice, with actual about 70 straightline.
The first quarter was the SE and this was one of the harder corners due to the steep high hills and rocky terrain. Over an hour behind time at 6pm, so we estimated we'll need an additional 3hrs to be cut all up which turned out to be good since we came in right on midday.
Saw Rob J a couple of times here. Beautiful country and enjoyed the time in the SE. Realised our first water stop was near 5pm but it became 6pm, so was already out by just after 4pm. Ran into Derek M, world champ for MSV, a couple of times as well and was buoyed to know they were finding it tough as well - in the end they only beat us by 90 points or so.
Drank a bit of my 600ml coke here, my favourite drink for these races. At 7pm we cut a 90 pointer (92), which in hindsight would have been a good one to get. Fairly happy with our route choice and the 3hr trimming we had to inflict. The most unproductive part was the E side coming down from the N - since we did a big clockwise loop. Could have finessed this a bit better.
From 9pm I was following Shane and just looking at the map trying to figure out what shortcut to take. Kept my head down here for a couple of hours not contributing much to the nav but we kept moving at a good pace. By midnight we hit the river crossing and my energy levels hit a low, where before I was pushing the pace, Shane was now leading it and all I could do was keep up and wonder what to eat to get my ship aright again. Climbing the 200m to 85 was the slowest.
Then we hit the high plains so to speak and everything was quite nice - not too rocky and very flat. Speed picked up, saw David and Julie come flying past the opposite direction, a baby wombat and mother, visited 25 at a hut and a track to walk on for about 1.5km. Then up and over the high point to 80 at 2:19am which was down a steep ravine and to the bottom and back up just as a steep on the otherside to 79 at 3:09am. The next one, 90, was down a steep slope again in a shallow gully. We found it at 3:56am, but were extremely lucky as we were unsure of how high we were on the slope or where exactly, and the gully was pretty much unnoticeable. Saw another teams' lights coming up the hill, found them and they asked if we'd found the control. Oh dear, they didn't have a clue where they were either. We discussed where we thought we might be and concluded that we needed to move E along the contour about 200m. About 40m later Shane runs into the control. We call out to our compatiots who are now about 40m above us on the slope that they may want to try down here.
Having dodged a bullet we continue at our 4am pace to 104 reaching it at 4:37am. After 104 we both hit our weakest part mentally. Having navved to 104, I sat back and followed Shane for a bit, until he stops and asks me if I knew where we were. I had to laugh since I was totally following him, and knew that this was the time during the race when we would both be challenged mentally. The path from 104 to 83 was not trivial - a slow descent passing 3 high points on our left, about two saddles and a couple of gullies. Luckily the topo was drammatic enough that we could figure out our position by walking to the next big gully. Just about at 5:28am, in what was the first civil dawn light, I saw what I thought what must have been another baby wombat, but with a tail sticking right up - no, it's a Tas Devil for sure - staring straight up the hill towards Shane. I call out to Shane to take a look, then it finally sees me and takes off running in a big arc and away. Lots of personality. A few minutes later I hear a peculiar cry as well.
Dawn comes and both Shane and I are making massive errors of judgement in distance and nav, but luckily not both at the same time. Get to the N-S river crossing at 7am which was our cutoff for this part of the course - the other option to walk down the road and miss out on lots of points. So having made it, we continue. Legs getting slower and my left knee is complaining about the amount of up and down it's done. Shane leads the ups and I the downs. Still rough and rocky under foot. Come down a hill from 97 to 50 which is in the watercourse and see a team ahead frustrated about not finding the control and starting to go up the watercourse the wrong way, then they see us and turn around to it. We continue to the next one together as well. 73 at 9:18am, 103 at 10:10am with not the most efficient nav, 59 at 10:58 after having made our biggest error - trying to find the right gully again and not having gone low enough for it.
That error cost us b/c we were running close on time. Now up a saddle and out to the road for the final run in.
The dreaded run in became inevitable - hitting the road we had 4km to do in 40mins, got to the last control 49 at 11:41am and you'd think we'd be able to cover the last 1.5km in 19mins but unf it was more like 20mins of running - what happens when you need to cross a paddock and a couple of fences, which ended up being 10 point penalty which cost us a place.
Great rogaine - will be remembered for the fun crowd, good control choices, high hills and rocky terrain.
Some pics https://picasaweb.google.com/andre.mkl/201101TasRo...