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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander IX: Highlander


1. (S) Started out in a good position, and had only about three people ahead of me on the road. Then one by one they went past, and there must have been at least 30 ahead of me by the time we got to the maps. I was figuring that I was looking at a final placing around 30th.
2. (1) Jonathan Campbell was just ahead of me, and he turned suddenly left to take the big trail. I figured that straight involved not much more climb, but a lot less distance, and most people seemed to be heading that way. Almost dead on the line except at the very beginning. Daniel Schaublin was generally a few steps ahead, Samantha Saeger, Jim Eagleton, and Adam Rudner close behind, along with a few others. Close to the control, Nadim Ahmed appeared from our left. Nadim and Daniel looked a little hesitant, but I could see the contours and knew right where we were.
3. (2) Nadim (I think) found a compass on the ground as we were leaving, and we tossed it back to the people punching and said to hang it on the control. If you lost one, maybe the HVO crew got it when theu picked up controls. Jonathan was coming in a while after we left, and said, "Well, I guess we know which route was faster!". Just left of the line with a small pack, no problem.
4. (3) Was this control a little higher than indicated? Still with the pack, and we also saw Will Hawkins and Boris here.
5. (4) Last sighting of Will as he left the control.
6. (5) Alan Young, Nadim, and Daniel just ahead, Samantha, Adam, and Jim just behind. We all took different routes through the scattered laurel, and regrouped when we hit the trail. Diagonally up the hill just below a very large cliff, then picked our way through more laurel. I turned a little left at the end to get through some green, and may have been the last one to arrive
7. (6) Daniel says "Over the mountain", and I reply, "Yeah, we're practiacally at the top anyway". The pack is stringing out just a little. Past the fire tower, cut through the open area in front of the cell phone building, and straight in.
8. (7) Downhill! I turn it on in an attempt to lose the folks behind me, which partially works. Nadim disappears up ahead, I keep up with Daniel and Alan, and I don;t see anybody behind us.
9. (8) I speak too soon. Although I never see Jim Eagleton again, on the trail run I find that Adam has caught up. Nice S-shaped route, avoiding the ugly stuff.
10. (9) Adam takes off after Daniel and Alan, but I'm concerned about getting stuck at the Beaver Pond Straits, so I head NW into the campground, and cut W right around the bathroom. Thought about stopping, but decided not to. Popped out at the corner of the parking lot, right by the tollboth, and halfway across lot P3 I looked back over my shoulder and saw that Samantha was behind me. Approaching lot P2, I saw Adam coming into the lot up ahead, and to my surprise, Eddie Bergeron coming in from my left as well. Cut into the woods at the far corner of lot P1, and went straight to it.
11. (map) Notice how I'm putting a comment on every leg, even the unremarkable ones, to keep my participation points up.
12. (10) Eddy heads south back through the underpass, while the O'Keeffe twin who was there remarked "Where is he going?". Drank the 8-10 oz. of sports drink I had sent out there. Consider the road route, but decide that I'd rather take the trail. In retrospect, I think the fastest route might have been through the woods, over the top of Pole Brook Mountain. But I took the trail, with Adam just a few steps behind. Saw a few people, including Leif, on their way to #11.
13. (11) Concerned about having Adam with me. I figured that he had way more speed and endurance than me, and if he was with me at the end, I'd be toast. But if he got behind, he might wind up with some other people moving more slowly, and that would give me a cahnce to pull steadily away. Tried to go pretty fast on the trail to lose him, but that didn't work. Left the trail when we were directly east of the control, and I tried going really hard through the nast stony ground. That seemed to give me a little lead, but he caught back up when I climbed the hill just east of the control and descended to it.
14. (12) Took off fast again, through some more ugly footing. Don't know whether the strategy of going hard in the bumpy stuff is what did it, but that was the last I saw of Adam. Straight, though the saddle, and saw somebody ahead as I was getting close.
15. (13) Very straight. Could now see that it was Alan and Daniel up ahead, and I kept the heat on in hopes of catching them. Nearing the control, I also saw David Onkst.
16. (14) Lost sight of those guys right away, and read my way straight in until the end, when I got off a bit to the right. Checked a couple of rocks, but didn't see the flag. I saw the trio up ahead, and assumed at first that they were on their way to #15, but then realized that they were still looking. I knew they were too high, stopped and looked at my map carefully, and headed down the correct spur, not seeing the control until I was almost on top of it. Alan got there right after me, then the other two.
17. (15) I took the lead on this one, over the top and down through the saddle, keeping the laurel to my right, turning at the last moment to come in cleanly.
18. (16) David's turn to lead, whci he did nicely past the first marsh, and between the next two, but then he went too far right while the rest of us cut left to the control.
19. (17) Alan in the lead, straight, but then he was running down the left side of the reentrant, but the boulder was on the right. I went down the middle, with a boulder in my sight, but as I went past the boulder before it, I turned, saw the flag, and put on the brakes.
20. (18) A little left to stay out of the marsh. I led early, Alan at the end. Going through the reentrant, there was water pooled behing a big pile of stones, and I said, "Ah, the habitat of the rock beavers!"
21. (19) David led down through the crud, but Alan was more on top of things and got to the flag first.
22. +02:30(20) Through the woods, along the south edge of the two marshes. Daniel suddenly accelerated like crazy, as if being pursued by bees. I dropped into fourth position in the pack, then about halfway there, I decided that the time had come, and I had to make a pit stop. Probably spent about 2-3 minutes and never saw those guys again. Was concerned that as I was loitering in the bushes, hordes of people would stream by, and kept thinking I heard footsteps. After I got moving, I finally saw someone just as I got to the control. Didn't recognize him, but it turned out to be Florin Tencariu, who I knew only by name.
23. (21) Somewhat to the right, nice smooth running. Streamers helped me find the flag.
24. (22) I knew that this area had been mapped in painstaking detail for the end of the WOC93 Short Course final. Nevertheless, I couldn't make any sense of it. I think that some additional water has pooled up in there, among other things. Didn't actualy waste too much time, but found it kind of by luck.
25. (23) Out to the field, then avoided the rough open because I figured it would probably be overgrown with barberry by now. Wound up curling way around to the right, and come into the control by the north. Maybe not such a bad thing.
26. (aid) Had to do kind of a slalom through the cars in the parking lot.
27. (map) Walked, not particularly fast, while drinking my second bottle of sports drink.
28. (24) First impression is that this is an epic leg. Second glance, before I cross the stream, reveals that it's just a trail run, with a couple of choices as to whcih trail to take. Quickly decided to take the trail by the lake, which I remember from the spring A-meet as being pretty sketchy, butI figure it will al least be pretty flat. Shortly after leaving the lake, Florin showed up again, and lurked like a submarine at a varying distance behind me for the next few legs. Halfway between the place where I left the lake and the control, I took the right-hand turn and climbed about 10 lines on a smaller trail. Fromn there it was straight in, including going down some big cliffs, which took a moment of thought. I think Florin took a different route for the last part, but he showed up right behind me.
29. (25) Just to the right of the line, though the rough open and the patch of green. Popped over the ridge just a few meters too far south and spotted the flag by looking around. Saw a cup on the ground as I was leaving, and realized this was a water stop. A couple of moments' hunting revealed the water hidden under a rock.
30. (26) No sign of Florin, so I figure I might have ditched him on the previous tricky control. Dead straight, came out in exactly the right spot, and dropped over the cliff line with the flag about 3 meters in front of me. But it was faded, and I didn't see it, so I took a peek around the boulders to the north before looking at the cluesheet and going back to it.
31. (27) That delay was all it took for Florin to catch up, and he was coming in as I left. But I never saw him again (don't know whether he could still see me). Through the yellow above the cliffs, then hopped on the trail. There was a place where I could have saved myself a smidgen of climb by going left around a cliff, but by staying on the trail, I got to run past what I think is Claudius Smith's Cave, which I had never managed to get to before. Read my way in between the marshes and through the knolls no problem.
32. (28) Followed the line to the top of the long white reentrant, and had a fine time running down it. Elephant tracks though the ferns revealed that I wasn't the first. Between the two small uncrossable marshes to pick up the trail, and settled in for a long jog. Ran where I could, walked the uphills. Didn't take the small trail NW of Black Ash Swamp, but did take the small shortcut SSW of Parker Swamp, which was pretty skanky. Around this point I also pulled out a packet of energy goop, which I probably should have done earlier. No problem going up through the white to the control, and pounded the broken punch against the granite to get it through the card.
33. (29) Pretty straight and smooth route, but apparently not moving too fast by this point.
34. (30) Nobody in my vicinity, so I ran aross the parking lot, but didn't have to push.
F. (F) Beautiful day, fast course. Thanks again to Paul and company.

Total Time Lost - 00:02:30

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