Post mortem analysis:
Although it seems the top teams went a different direction from us, I think our overall plan was a solid one. There were some issues however. Let's start with control #11 - the first one...
#11 - Left with the crowd, as we approached the road I asked Ernst where the punch card was - in his pocket. He checked his pockets and damn, no punch card... Crap, must have dropped it on bus. Beat a hasty back to the start... buses gone... Grant still there though so we begged a replacement and had to attest that we weren't pulling some sort of scam.. 2 minutes lost before the first control...
#21 - fine but had we noted that #22 was very close by we should have grabbed it here, but being on a different map sheet we didn't pick up on that and the overview didn't show control spacing. Ben's Frankenmap
shows just how close that was - like 200m each way. Oh well, the perils of dealing with multiple maps in differing scales...
#20 - hit it fine, but trails leaving felt wonky - not an issue as we were going XC.
#14 - got off a bit east in the marshy bit between mapped streams, realized the error when we got close enough to stream bend to see it turn W, back down the hill.. 2 minutes
#15 out through fields to road
#23 - snack break
#27 - headed S through open, then woods, hit trail & river, followed along river and felt like we had gone too far - backtracked to find flag strapped tightly to back side of tree, we must have been within 5 feet of the damn thing. 4 minutes gone
#28 - left maybe 90s as we hopped up over hill to get a view of river and verify position, saw distinct bend and continued on.
#51 - even ran up the hill.
#49 - cut in slightly early, minor hunting on unmapped knolls - 2 minutes
*** Should have cut down and grabbed #47 - not sure where the mental lapse was there
#48 - saw Bob L here
*** should have grabbed #41 here, but opted to leave it for the end
#42 - Ian & Ben at Nemo when we were - about 2:20pm? Kneeling down on floor caused a bit of hamstring cramping, but fine once we got going. Refilled water and snacked.
#40 - chilled after being indoors for the Nemo control, but warmed up quick enough.
*** Might have been advantageous to grab #35 here, but also left it for the return leg and turned east instead
#43 - slipping on hill
#45 - Mr Lux again...
#46 - shoreline looked like crap so our line went roughly between the words Upper and Narrows on the map and it was sheer hell in there - all nature of sharp, pointy vegetation, old garbage (glass, rocks, metal). Not a good time at all. Finally got to the powerline which was nasty, but nearly as bad as the white woods. 15 minutes shot
#44 - up powerlines and through fields
#34 - plan to go through to #37, but tall fence in the way so went N up rail trail and around - probably added 3 minutes
#37 upon leaving we hit more fences along highway access road so had to go all the way up to school and Silver street to get around to cloverleaf - +4 minutes
#29 - took a wrong turn on vaguish trails, probably cost 2 minutes
#31 - back along trails in dark now, crossed just before #30 - trails & contours didn't make much sense - hunted along fencelines for a bit - +2 minutes
#33 - on original plan but skipped it due to clock ticking down. back up and over the cloverleaf - hamstrings complaining, but pushing as hard as possible.
#39 - had to bail on this due to the clock as well
#54 - last one - got back up on rail trail with about 7 minutes on Ernst's watch. Opted to skip #41 on the way in just in case our watch wasn't perfectly sync'd with the race clock.
So it looks like we left about 34 minutes in errors & bobbles - but half of that was fighting the incredible crap enroute to #46. Could have saved some additional time (and gotten the point) by grabbing #22 early and a better control sequence late in the game transitioning between the northeast and southeast maps would have gained us some more time.
I think it was quite possible for Ernst & I to have cleared the course in the 5:30 allotted if we didn't get mired in the green and if we had a slightly better sequence in the southeast map.