Chattahoochee classic day 1 - blue
9.7 k, 18c, 250m
This was mostly really fun terrain and covered a lot of different stuff- vegetation, boulders, bare rocks, gullies, cliffs, contours. I was feeling the map and staying focused really well. Ultimately this was one of my better classic days ever, so I am super happy about that. I think improved fitness and mindset both play a role.
The first 7 controls was a test of vegetation. I went more straight on some than I probably should have, fighting through some thorns, but I did a good job holding my line and reading the underlying contours. 3 and 4 would have been easy and faster to go around the green. 5 I took the trail around, which was probably unnecessary as it was white woods, but the ride was beautiful.
First mistake was on 7. I climbed a big hill unnecessarily, but didn’t realize It
Until I was half way up. Then I had a long way to go through thorny green and ended up drifting high. I was pacing so I knew when I was near the right distance, but spent some time examining reentrants before realizing my mistake and heading downhill. Luckily I saw the control on my way down without having to re-attack.
8 I approached from the trail and kind of lost track of where I was on it, but I looked over and saw a flag on a knoll, which turned out was mine. 9-11 were some welcome short legs! 12 was my longest leg which I broke down well through the first 2/3. I must have lost focus and ended up drifting high. I realized the terrain didn’t make sense and then spotted a flag, which turned out to be 13, so I corrected quickly.
I was pretty beat so I started relying more on bearings and pace counting for the last few, which actually worked pretty well. I was able to check terrain based on how far I had gone. I picked up a huge deer antler on the way to 14 but it got too heavy to carry so I left it at the flag at 15. Didn’t have a lot of energy to push through the last few, but I was still jogging.
Only two smallish mistakes and about 11:30 per straight line k. Super happy overall.