Sprint Finals, Heat 2 Round 2 - Hickory Run, Sand Spring Lake
Still comfortable (mid 60s?) and sunny.
Short Course: 2.32km, 14c, 55m
Second sprint (A-Bracket, Section 1). This time my group mates include Greg Ahlswede, Michael Eglinski, Jeff and Patrick.
I was pretty tired already after the first sprint. My inexperience in strategizing for this type of race may have been the culprit for my downfall in this sprint. The good results from earlier gave my confidence a boost, but I didn’t really put in the time to think about my plan of attack for sprint #2. As a result, I made several dumb mistakes, failed to recover in time, and went from best to worst sprint race to-date.
The group started well together. We all had comparable speed so nobody was able to break away in the early going. Then things started falling apart at #5. Michael, Greg, and Jeff ran by the control while Patrick spotted it. I observed this peculiar development, checked the description (marsh, north edge), determined that said control wasn’t quite on the northern edge of the marsh, and decided to keep on running with the group rather than stop to check the code (stupid idea!). I suppose the “alarm bell” was dysfunctional at the time because I kept on rounding the marsh some 100m N of the control. Michael saw his catching feature and turned back for it while Greg, Jeff, and I continued on the wrong way (both fooled by me, no doubt). Eventually, we made the correction and located the control, but the damage was already done – Patrick was nowhere to be seen (en-route to #7 already) and Michael some 80s ahead. Internally, I was kicking myself for not running those extra 10 steps over to check the code. Back on the course, the chase for Michael began. This was perhaps my second big mistake (trying to speed up when I should have slowed down and be careful). Greg pushed the pace up ahead, leading me into #6 & #7, but then disaster struck once again on the way to #8. In my haste to catch up, the map-reading/navigation part of my brain went to shut-off mode. I saw Greg making a mistake of getting off the wrong side of the trail and way over-running #8, yet was slow to react and adjust. Consequently, I went from #7 to #9 via trail, confirmed where I was, and then headed to #8 on a bearing. Problem was, my bearing was way off to the L. I also got turned around a bit in the green, and unknowingly wandered over to #11 in the process. At this point, I crossed path with Michael (which he later admitted gave him a scare that I had somehow caught up to him), relocated, and ran the road back to #8. Then I met Jeff at #9, only to lose him quickly at #10. I wasn’t reading the map correctly and WAY overran the control, in fact all the way to #12!!! After this last mistake, my brain seemed to have woken up finally, as I finished the rest of the course without another glitch. I came in last in the group, of course.
It was very disappointing to have done so poorly. The L groin was hurting some during the run, but it wasn’t the reason I sucked. The course was more of a forest-sprint, with some long legs and more technically challenging compared to the first. I just didn’t make the adjustment well and lost my chance to advance onto the A-Final.
| leg comments