Orienteering (Foot) 1:04:56  *** 7.7 km (8:26 / km) +205m 7:27 / km
spiked:28/30c slept:7.4 weight:188.5lbs
QOC: The Beverage (a.k.a. Beer) Chase at Jug Bay. The end of the long season finally came. Peggy set the courses and they were fun. They felt a bit different from some of the earlier races. I'd started the season last fall in pretty good shape and slowly got worse into the winter. I'd been focusing more on mapping then and de-trained a lot. However, since then I felt like I've been on a slow ramp to getting better again. I'm still too heavy and so probably slower than last fall but I've been closing the gap. I set out the day to try to stay ahead of various competitors whom I anticipated running near. I wanted to do that by navigating well and I did end up having the least error as AP computes it, than any other Long course runner had. It certainly helped me stay ahead. Of course with this being a mass start I got a lot of help. This is an fairly flat area with some climbs at steep, but not really deep, stream valleys. One can generally go straight through the flat forests. I ran 5.371 miles for the 7.7K course. It was in the 80s and perhaps 90s F.
S-1 - I got off to a mediocre start; gulping down my first beer since the race the previous year. I followed Ted Good and Dann Quinn on the right side of the fenced area since it was shorter than the road route was going left. Michael Wood, Michael Dickey, and Eugene T. were ahead of Dan and I, with Tom Nolan right behind me.
1-2 - Eugene T. was nearest in front of me and a little left of me. When we hit the reentrant, we had to cut right. I think I got ahead of Eugene briefly and ended up behind Vido.
2-3 - I was already feeling my stomach expand from my first drink, so I was slowing down lumbering back across the larger reentrant at #2. Vido was following the edge of the drop off. He led me down a gentle slope to the control with others behind and to the right a little.
3-4 - We climbed up to the edge of the drop off and hit the trail. Rather than staying high, the group went low on the trail. Others turned up to the control correctly but I got a little past the control before climbing. I may have lost 5 seconds.
4-5 - Ted led a group across the flats to the trail junction. I was behind Vido.
5-6 - Still on Vido's tail, we eventually got onto the trail and off again when we could see the barn. I took time to read ahead for the start of the second loop. As we got to the control, Ted Good was not far ahead, after taking a less than optimal route to #3.
6-7 - The first loop was short--less than 2K. That meant having to drink more without getting to run much of it off. After leaving the barn Jon Torrance and Turner Leigh were already in the narrow gate-like gap and heading the other way on their second loop. In the open ground I got ahead of Vido.
7-8 - My beer split was once again mediocre.
8-9 - I got off to a good start knowing from reading ahead earlier, that I had to go back toward the barn. I could see Ted take the intermittent trail from the barn, with Eugene not far behind. Ted seemed to go off to the right too much. Eugene was more on target but still seemed to me to be to the right. As we got closer to the reentrant I saw Ted and Eugene cutting left. Others were punching from another course and leaving the control.
9-10 - I had to force myself to be a little left with the small rise after the initial exit from the stream valley. I still was a little to the right and felt like I'd lost Eugene and Ted. I came down the broad spur where it was less steep. I think I saw Eugene go near the side reentrant leading toward the control but in any case, that's where I went. I pulled out just right at the vegetation and spiked the dot knoll
10-11 - I stayed high, going around the first side reentrant. Victor Lin was nearby and I think I passed him just barely. I did drop into the next reentrant, since the vegetation pushed me closer to the main reentrant. It was a little down and up but it felt efficient.
11-12 - I crossed the stream and recall Eugene on my right. I could hear someone behind me nearing the next reentrant (VIctor or Vido?). I was just left enough to go up the spur SW of the control.
12-13 - Eugene had gotten to #12 before I had but he mistook it for #13. I got started going the other way almost 180 degrees off. He must have been across the creek when I yelled to him that he was going the wrong way. I'd gotten ahead of Vido, Victor and it seemed that someone else was nearby too. I was on target but when I got to the reentrant, I misread it for one to the left and earlier. Vido says I went right past the control by 2m. As everyone else punched I realized I was just too close to open ground and a house before turning back.
13-14 - I fell in step a little behind Victor who was on my left on the flat ground. Vido was leading Eugene off to the right of me, and using the reentrant as a loose handrail--a slightly longer but safer route. As Victor got to a reentrant, there was some hesitation. I soon realized it was just SE of the control but Victor got there ahead of me and the others.
14-15 - I lost track of Victor as he went more left and straight. I started leading Vido around to the right of the green, and onto the road, but Vido got ahead of me. We attacked from the trail intersection but ended up left of straight at the stream. We both knew to go right after crossing and I think Vido stayed ahead. Victor apparently made a slight error and got behind.
15-16 - Vido lead me around the right side to the trail. He left the trail after the bend. I thought to stay high but upon inspection, the lower route looked more open. I followed Vido across and we climbed up the other side right at the control.
16-17 - Vido and I went straight. On the gentle down slope, I got ahead and kept going. I recognized the marsh at the road and went right/left briefly. Continuing straight I was concerned about missing. I came in a little to the north. Unseen for a while, Eugene had gotten well ahead but he was wandering back. We crossed paths. I realized the reentrant was too shallow so I cut south. Eugene had decided to do so too and got there just ahead of me. Vido had dropped off but wasn't far behind.
17-18 - I ran a straight route, checking my bearing regularly. Eugene was ahead but seemed to be off bearing (left or right?). I hit the open field along the fence a little further north than desired. I didn't want to run too hard on the grass; I didn't want to be out of breath too much before drinking the next beer. Eugene came in a little while later.
18-19 - My beer split was again mediocre. I couldn't down it in one breath.
19-20 - I was confused looking at the loop. The typical Beer Chase final loop has more often than not been around the large field. I went to control #27 first--this was actually the Go control (excluding the beer splits). I straightened myself out and got on the road. I could hear steps behind me. Going into the forest I cut in where Sid Sachs and others were exiting. It was just green enough that I couldn't go straight and I hadn't left from a good attack point. I got very slightly to the left. Eugene had a straighter route and got there ahead of me.
20-21 - I chased Eugene. He seemed stronger. Rather than go straight through the green we went around the edge of the medium green. We hit the ditch east of the control and went in.
21-22 - Still behind Eugene, we ran fairly straight. Eugene ran to the end of the reentrant and I made up a little time coming more directly to the lower part of it.
22-23 - As we left 22, Eugene ran a bit to the right. He was going faster. I had to try to make up for it by running straighter so I was on his left. Vegetation pushed me to the right a bit, back closer to Eugene. He got to the road first but ran straight across. I recalled seeing the control as I'd driven into the park and thought it might have been a Yellow control. The road bends told me to go left. I got ahead of Eugene on the road while he wandered through the greener bits. He popped out behind me onto the road but I got to the control first.
23-24 - With a sliver of hope of finishing ahead of Eugene, I pushed on. It was like two fast sloths at this point but it was a race. I kept a good bearing. I thought I'd hit the reentrant north of the ditch but fortunately I looked right too and saw it before passing it.
24-25 - I ran straight and into the dry marsh. At the control, a couple was debating where to go.
25-26 - Expecting Eugene to catch me, I hit the road and ran past the barn. Into the deep grass I went. Half-way across I got into an elephant track. I hit the root stock from there easily but almost too hard. Dashing to keep ahead of Eugene, I jumped ahead of Virginia Debons and Rae Ann Hicks. In the process, I stumbled on thorny vines and yelled just before catching myself and punching. I felt bad about disturbing them but it wasn't a yell at the woman.
27-27 - I angled out of the forest onto the grass. The control was visible far off but I'd been there earlier anyway.
27-28 - This part of the map was very cluttered and I wasn't sure if I could go around Peggy Bronsan's and Dave Linthicum's house by going through their driveway, but I did anyway.
28-29 - I had to pause to breath on this attempt to gulp my last beer.
29-F - After the beer, I thought I was done. Someone (Dave?) told me to run down the chute. I'd already stopped my watch so I started it again and finished. Eugene was coming in from control #27 and got there ahead of me. I told him he needed to drink again so he went along the chute to the drinking.
I was happy to hold up in the running and be able to navigate when tired. I'll need to try to stay calm at the US Champs as that will be very different from this mass start stuff. The whole family seemed to have a good day. People seemed to like Peggy's courses. Max won the Yellow course, and even Samantha got to go out on White with Peggy. Max even commented afterward on what a good (fun) day it had been--winning and playing in the river may have had some to do with that.