31st Annual Billygoat at Nottingcook Forest (Bow, NH)
PG posted the map (with his route) here
Sprained toe made for tough going in the terrain - I had to make sure my left foot landed flat each step. This showed up most noticeably when I was passed fairly steadily in the stretch parallel to the marsh before the trail run from 3 to 4. I went right of the Saeger ladies' route leaving C4 (I thought they must have been going to the left option), but almost caught them at C5. I couldn't bear the thought of more terrain running at that point, so I went way around to the right on trails to C6.
I missed C7 to the right and took some time to recover (did not see the vegetation difference). C9 and C13 were also much slower than they needed to be, due to the toe.
I didn't consider skipping in the first half, because I wanted a reason to look forward, so C15 seemed like the only logical choice. I missed the trail that angled best toward 16, so when I eventually made it around to the clearing east of 17, I had to take a moment to relocate.
Skipping C15 is good, if you actually skip it, instead of just doing it out of order. I tried to go just left of west out of C17, but apparently I went right of west, and when I hit the trails at the power line, I made the trails match what I wanted them to be, not what they were. It had me confused, for sure, but there were others coming by and they looked confident, so I left the power line with them and spiked C15. Oops. Instead of taking the trail to recover, I tried to shortcut along the ride and paid the price in time and blood. And then went thru the muck, missing C18 to the north.
C19 was a whole lot closer to the trail than mapped. I missed C20 to the right (sounds like a lot of people did), saw a clearing to my right and went there before realizing there was more uphill to my left. At the time I thought I was in an unmapped clearing, but not there appears to be a clearing kind of under the "2" in 20. And that makes sense because there was a trail there.
I was hating C21, and in hindsight, I definitely should have gone trails all the way, to protect my toe. As it was, I drifted way right looking for an easy way to get thru to the road, and came out on the road just west of the trail junction, with Phil coming up the road behind me. I got to C21 just a little bit behind two others and caught them (and sat on them) halfway to C22. I climbed a small hill that made me realize we were to the right of the line, so I got to C22 first and didn't have to worry about out-sprinting the other three, which I didn't want to do, since they were all a fair amount older than me. I did almost lose it in the field, when I wanted to go straight, but the compass (and woods line) told me to go left-ish.
So, it was a fun event, although I spent too much time alone. I do need my toe to heel, and I am not in good enough shape to race on back-to-back days (at least when the second day is over 2 hours).
After the race, JJ let us know that we were the first family to have 5 official Billygoat finishers in a race. We went from 2 to 5 in the last 5 minutes.