Rogaine race 7:46:39  *** 27.94 mi (16:42 / mi) +486m 15:51 / mi
27c shoes: Salomon SpeedCross 4 - BLACK
Legend of the Dogman 8 hr
1st place OA!
27/30 c, 570/600 pts.
I was signed up for the 18 hr with syd, and really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I stayed home from work on Thursday with some kind of stomach bug/food poisoning that kept me on the couch all day. I was feeling slightly better Friday, but definitely not healed, and starting an 18 hr race on 2 day calorie deficit and the risk of frequent nature calls seemed like a recipe for disaster. I figured I'd get another night sleep Friday night and hope I'd feel good enough to at least run around on the 8 hr map for a little bit. It was a tough call to make but in the end it was the right choice. Sat around during the 18 hr map planning period and the course looked daunting but also really fun. Then I got a solid 9 hours of sleep in the bunk house and woke up Saturday feeling decent.
Made a McD trip for breakfast and then returned in time to get maps at 8:30. Although I had packed stuff in case I went for the 18 hr, I had packed my race day bag as if I was doing the 8, so I was set to go. It was very weird planning without either discussing or hiding from syd. I planned to hit the S map first in hopes of coming up behind syd and getting to do a few points with her. Otherwise I probably would have chosen E first because it looked like nicer woods and less dead distance. The maps were well balanced though, so it wasn't a huge difference.
At 10 am the air horn blew and I headed south with probably slightly less than half the group. The first control had a few people at it, the second was just Rick W and me, and after that I barely saw anyone (8 hr) the entire race. My route for the S map was 143-173-145-169-178-168-171-161-175-165-148-141-179-149-163. Nav went well with only my second control causing me any problems. I didnt skirt the marsh long enough and climbed the first hill instead of the second, and took a few minutes to figure it out. Rick also looked confused. I had planned a long trail run from 145 to 178, but soon after I started I hit a road that had blended in with the N-S lines, which cut a good bit of distance and made 165 an easier grab. At 165 I started seeing 18 hr racers, and hoped my plan to intersect syd would work. I ran into W4J near 178 and they informed me syd had made it to the TA and was winning! Go syd! My first signs of trouble happened as I left 171 with a very sudden vomitting spree. It passed and I felt ok. 2 controls later at 175 nature called from the other end and I was quite sure I was not fully healed. Not fun. This happened 2 more times over the next 4 controls. I slowed down and decided on a strategy of eating nothing, because then I couldn't lose anything... I knew it was a stupid plan, but I was feeling pretty good and at least it wasn't hot like two weeks ago. At 163 a crazy wind hit bringing with it hail and at least a 10F temp drop!
As I transitioned to the E map I spent some time pondering if I should give up (due to illness and crapy weather), figuring I'd still place decently having half the points, but I was less than halfway in time wise, and altogether not feeling too bad, so I figured I would pick up the next 3 points and could bail at that point. On the E map I went 142-162-172-166-164-167-176-174-177-170-160-140. I arrived at 162 at 2:20, whereas my goal had been 2:00 (halfway point). I again considered bailing but was starting to feel better again and figured i was only 20 minutes behind schedule and had another good bail option coming up. Picked up 172, 166, 164 and then again considered my options. Heading N and then back W to the finish was my bail option, but I quickly realized that left A LOT of points on the W-most side. Feeling good, and counting miles, I decided I had plenty of time to just skip 146 (a large out and back for 10 pts) and do the rest of the loop. I started to pick up the pace a little and knocking out the high pointers, things were going well. Around 174 I did another time calc to make sure things were going well, and counted the same number of miles as I had 3 controls earlier.... Oh No! I had missed one of my segments. This was going to be interesting - farthest point on the map with 6 miles and 2 hours left. Should be doable, but not as cushy as I had hoped.
As i turned back W the rain picked up again and I got really cold. I couldnt run fast enough to generate the body heat to warm me up. My R foot and knee were both bothering me (knee pain fairly normal when I go this far, food pain not normal and really painful). That was coupled with the fact that I hadn't eaten a single thing in 3 hours, so I didnt have any calories to burn to generate heat either. I told myself if I just got the remaining high pointers, 170 and 160, I could hightail it back and only have left 4 controls and 40 points on the table. Then 160 threw me for a loop (syd and I have gotten confused in this area at 2 Nitrogains - the map is not accurate and really should get revised) and I started to worry about time. I was hobble-running and SO COLD. I abandoned any plans to get 144 and 147 even though I went right by them, and I did eat a little bit. This was a long, slow, cold slog, but I kept the pace high enough that I wasnt too worried about time as long as I kept it above a walk. By the time i got to 140 I knew I would get back on time, so i picked it up and relished in the uphill because it warmed me a tad. Hightailed it back to the finish and got into dry warm clothes as quick as I could.
Overall I felt really good - I have come to the conclusion that I just cannot handle the heat. I went faster, longer, harder, started with a calorie deficit, and barely ate and drank anything, and still felt better than Python two weeks ago -_- . My navigation was solid except for 1 bobble. My pace was by far my highest for a solo rogaine. Knee and foot are still not happy the day after, but I am not too worried about either of them, i think they are temporary pains.
This was my first solo win, which is pretty cool. I know all the real competition did the 18 hr, but I'll take it. The race was well organized, the flags were perfectly placed, venue and food was great and I had a lot of fun. Swag and awards were good too. I know its probably in jeopardy for next year, but I for one really appreciated the cheap heated lodging at the start/finish. Showers were nice too, but could have been warmer!