orienteering race 2:11:49  *** 11.1 km (11:53 / km) +680m 9:05 / km
2010 Billygoat. My best Billygoat performance to date, but I am kicking myself because a needless 4+ minute error on #2 prevented me from fulfilling both of my outstanding major orienteering goals. I started well enough by avoiding the rush (apparently led by J-J) to head N out of the starting field, but I did fail to avail myself of the better trail option which ran S of my more direct approach. Still I was in good company with Tim and Ben Parson, PG and Alex Jospe among others at the first flag. I then made the ill-fated decision to try to hold on the Parsons at the expense of maintaining contact with the map. This decision would not have been so bad if I had had the patience/wisdom to simply follow PG when my first plan proved impractical, but I forged ahead when PG stumbled and then convinced myself that I recognized a small knoll only 200 m S of the flag. My confidence was further boosted as I saw Ross running up the same reentrant I was. Sadly for both of us, he was also in the process of blowing his chance at glory. In the calm aftermath of the race, it is apparent that I misread the facing of the cliff line S of #2 and should not have been running up any reentrant with the expectation of seeing the flag. In any case, I ultimately relocated with the help of Jeff Saeger on the wall between #2 and #5. From there, I had a very solid race, making up time on both PG and Alex, but sadly not enough to catch them. I felt very good about my navigation and route choices in general, although in retrospect there were I few legs I should have done differently. I became confused leaving # 6 and failed to navigate N to the road as I had planned. I wound up making the very steep and rugged descent along the straight line path before navigating very adroitly across the two broad forked reentrants. Still, I lost over a minute to those who executed the approach I had intended. I also lost a surprising amount of time on #21 where I descended slightly inefficiently down the reentrant to the L of the line before milling around briefly trying to identify the less than prominent thicket. It felt like a 30 second error, but the split analysis suggests closer to 1:15. The only other choices I would have changed were my decision to skip #14 instead of #15 (probably worth 45 seconds), to climb straight from the road bend to #10 rather than run around (maybe only 5-10 seconds lost, but at the cost of a lot of energy), and my decision to descend the ski slope instead of the trail to the L on the way to #19 (maybe worth another 45 seconds). Towards the end, I was clearly losing some time just related to running speed as my splits from #22 to the finish were 30 seconds slower than PG and the Olafsen mother/daughter pair that finished just behind me even though I executed the route without hesitation and at full remaining effort.
orienteering race 28:12  *** 2.5 km (11:17 / km)
Billygoat Gruff. Technically, this was a race, but I certainly did not have much left in the tank, so I just jogged around as best I could. If I were in a more competitive frame of mind, I would have forged across the marsh from #4 to #5 and then gone straight to the R fork at #6 and skipped #7. However, I decided that my tolerance for possible frustration should the marsh prove unpleasant was very low, so I opted instead to skip #5. My navigation was fine, although I did hesitate unnecessisarily at #8 to check near the larger boulders W of the flag as again I did not wish to risk the frustration of climbing back up the reentrant should I have miscalculated my position when I hit the stream.
I thought the course was well constructed, and it would have made for a fine challenge if the original plan for a two-part Billygoat had been kept in place. Still, count me firmly among those who would not enjoy such a significant change from the current format.