|Turned the map over and couldn't find the start triangle. No matter: just go, better not to be left behind. Ended up slogging up the hill behind Peter, then behind Kristin, but when the running started they quickly left me behind. By the time I got to the control, only a guy in an orange shirt (not an orienteer?) was with me.
|We headed straight for 2, using the stone wall halfway for guidance. I could see Jeff Schapiro up ahead, but he was soon out of sight.
|Contoured to the stream, then across and between it and the stone wall, across the trail and followed the stone wall in. A girl in a black shirt (Kat?) and Bernie are there.
|Never saw the fork, just went towards the right control (wondering why Bernie was drifting left). Kat was higher but then came in ahead of me and got there first. Ksenya was coming up behind me.
|The three of us, maybe joined by a cadet (I would see a couple of times), with Kat in front.
|Straight to it, in a group.
|Kat pulls away, Ksenya I think is behind me. Right between some cairns, but it's hard to know if we're on line: we spike it.
|Noone in front now, I skirt the right sight of the big marsh, then stop short because I hit another marsh I wasn't expecting. Ksenya says: "I think we're at the marsh before the circle." "What marsh before the circle? Ah." Didn't see it at first on the map because it was obscured by the "dark" green. We continue on and come in a bit left.
|Hilary S. passes us on the trail, and I start to fall back a bit.
|Running hard along the open field. When we head right, I never see the trail and thrash through crap to get to the stone wall. Hilary missed left, so we're together again.
|Go past this a bit to the left with Ksenya, following an unmapped trickle instead of the main stream. I spot the flag first, about 30 meters away.
|At the back, hanging on.
|Still hanging on.
|30 second gatorade refreshment, then off. I'd been too busy trying to stay with the young kids to think about skips until now (and lucky I didn't miss an obvious best early skip). On the road, I chat with Ksenya about possible skips. She mentions 23 and 25. 25 looks best to me. Once we leave the trail, I begin to fall back.
|By the marsh, I've lost contact. I stay above the marsh to the right and contour around. Two walkers get to the control before me, but are disspointed that it wasn't what they were looking for. I grab the punch and move on.
|Straight, along the stream, passing Kat heading back the other way. Then I somehow missed way right. Should have immediately known to cut to the left, but instead I diddled away time looking around and thinking too much.
|Through an unmapped marsh on the way to the trail. Kat goes by off to the right. Then Joe M goes by, looking fresh. I stay on the trail a bit longer than Joe, but come in to 18 close behind.
|Jim Eagleton catches me here, and maybe that cadet too, and then soon I see JJ, so about six of us are heading in a scattered group to 19. Jim E. and I are a bit left.
|I head up the hill a bit right of line behind J-J with the plan of avoiding some of the climb. J-J quickly (impressively) disappears, as I move slowly along the side hill. The cadet and then Joe M. are nearby. Maybe I should have climbed another line or two for better running, but when I hit a patch of mapped rocky ground I know I'm just one line above the control and I contour right to the nose and drop to it. As I approach it, Jeff S. and one or two others come in from the other side.
|Take a compass bearing and head down the hillside, behind Jeff who spikes it.
|Jeff is moving much faster, and seems to be heading straight at it. I veer a bit right of line up to the trail where I see the cadet up ahead (for the last time, but I think I finished ahead of him). I cut the corner, then leave the trail a bit early and head towards the barberry. I skirt the edge of it, and cut to the right along the hillside right to it. Catch a glimpse of Bob Lux heading in as I leave.
|Perfectly straight, right by the boulder on the top, then down. Slight hesitation as I look down and decide, correctly, it's a bit to my right. Look back after punching but no sign of Bob.
|Couldn't face any climb (toes had started cramping) so I contoured to the trail. Not real fast due to a lot of downed trees. When I hit the trail I knew about where I was, but needed an attack point. But then Bob Lux came by on the trail and lead me right to it.
|Skip. Glad to see Bob had already skipped.
|So on my own down the hillside (carefully), then finding a path through the barberry, dropping to the stone wall and following it to the control. As I was punching, I saw Jim E. coming in from above.
|Didn't know if Jim would make this a race to the finish, but when I looked back at the field he wasn't in sight.
Total Time Lost - 00:02:30