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Discussion: BHT today

in: Charlie; Charlie > 2019-11-24

Nov 24, 2019 11:13 PM # 
not is the decision of a wiser, older man.
Nov 24, 2019 11:30 PM # 
It was pretty epic. I won't say it was fun, but glad I went.
Nov 24, 2019 11:34 PM # 
Nobody who stayed home made a bad choice. It was better than 1993 (that's called damning with faint praise).
Nov 24, 2019 11:35 PM # 
1993 is still fairly fresh in my mind.
Nov 25, 2019 12:35 AM # 
In 1993 I was still able to read the map in the rain (without glasses).
Nov 25, 2019 12:40 AM # 
I had no trouble reading the map today. I just couldn't see anything more than 18" in front of me clearly.... And definitely couldn't read the terrain to figure out where to go. Kudo's to JJ for being my eyes today... (I could see his shirt, blurry, but easy to keep track of). Occasionally I even spotted flags...
Nov 25, 2019 1:17 AM # 
I don't think vision was particularly a problem in 1993, but hypothermia certainly was. At one point I was suffering enough that I tried to find a way to bail out, only to see that the shortest way back was past all the remaining controls. Heat on full blast, didn't warm up until I was almost home.
Nov 25, 2019 1:42 AM # 
It was gloriously miserable.
Nov 25, 2019 3:43 AM # 
One reminder of 1993 was when Clint and I were on a windswept hilltop with the rain coming down, and his shoelace came untied. Took him a bit to retie it, not so much because his hands were cold, but because he was wearing gloves. And unlike when Charlie's came undone way back when, I'm a more civilized guy now, and waited up for him.
Nov 25, 2019 3:03 PM # 

Since Clint says he was pretty much blind out there, it would have been barbaric to have abandoned him :)
Nov 25, 2019 3:11 PM # 
Wanna know how civilized I am? I offered to tie it for him.
Nov 25, 2019 9:53 PM # 
Indeed, he did offer... On a nicer day, I could have toughed it out and just been really slow. But yesterday, going as slow as I would have had to if bumbling solo, it probably would have gotten into hypothermia territory, so I would have just given up and trail run back.
Nov 26, 2019 12:30 AM # 
So, it was '93 when we last had weather this awful, was trying to recall......It seemed to me that either it was a bit warmer this year, or people were dressed better, no one finished in as bad shape Peter Anderson in '93.
Nov 26, 2019 4:55 AM # 
I'd say maybe both. Definitely warmer (5-10 degrees F, I'd guess), and maybe we're all smarter than we used to be. Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.
Nov 26, 2019 7:24 AM # 
You’re getting better. I could read that, but I couldn’t have written it.
Nov 26, 2019 12:27 PM # 
I couldn't write it, either. It's a common maxim that I looked up years ago, and used to have on a post-it on my desk. I'm pleased to have now learned all of the component parts (except for the word "väder").

Funny that the big BHT discussion is on the log of a guy who exercised the wisdom to skip it. :-)
Nov 26, 2019 1:10 PM # 
I didn't know "väder" either, but it was pretty apparent from the context.

And yes, interesting what one has to do to generate a comment thread.
Nov 26, 2019 3:01 PM # 
I wonder if Star Wars seems weird to Swedes, where the big bad guy seems to be named Weather.
Nov 26, 2019 4:05 PM # 
That wouldn´t be the only reason...

(actually 'vader' and 'väder' are two totally different things)

PS. vader = calves
Nov 26, 2019 4:15 PM # 
Yeah, but Darth's name is pronounced like "väder", right? (Or at least, closer than "vader".)
Nov 26, 2019 7:42 PM # 
...generating a comment thread... Close?

The Curtain lowered.
The players made their way home
Limping and chilled
But still quite thrilled
For having survived, some even thrived.

And the Sun returned...
the very next day...
As if to say
'Come out and play
It's just my way'.

I am amazed how well '93 is remembered by some. Honestly don't know if I was there. I certainly remember windy, wet miserable BHTs. I'd need to see the notes on the back of the map to refresh my memory re which was which. Mustn't forget perfect weather BHTs either.
Nov 26, 2019 9:51 PM # 
I'm recalling a first control in a depression that had about 8" or so of water in it. I'm sure J-J would know if that is right. He did remember the shoelace incident, when I stopped to tie my shoe somewhere on Blue Hills East and it took me 3 minutes because my fingers wouldn't work in the cold. He was long gone. I think Start and Finish were both at Houghton's Pond.
Nov 26, 2019 10:48 PM # 
Start was across the highway on the Ponkapoag map, I think, and that's where the first control was in the water, on the golf course. Finish was at Houghton's Pond, where Judy took one look at me and pulled off my wet shirt (I had left a dry sweatshirt there). The aid stop had Powerbars that were essentially frozen. In the home stretch with a few controls to go, I got passed by Tony Federer and Terry Keegan, because I could only shuffle. Quite a death march, but I completed it more than a half-hour faster than this year. (I was in much better shape.)
Nov 27, 2019 5:46 AM # 
Took me two days to discover the main comment thread about the Traverse, as JJ put it, "on the log of a guy who exercised the wisdom to skip it."

I've run a lot fewer Traverses than Billygoats (even though there have been more Traverses than Billygoats, half a dozen more?) but still I've run enough that they all blend together in my degrading memory. Except 1993. I couldn't have told you that it was 1993, but I certainly remember starting on the Ponkapoag map by the golf course. And wading into shin-deep 30-something-degree water (we'll call it 2° for the lurking Swedes) to punch the very first control. And having more and more difficulty squeezing those quaint old pin punches with my ever-colder hands as the course went on. And crossing that long-closed bridge that we used again in the 2018 Traverse (I imagine for the first time since 1993?). Though I have no memory of who I might have been running behind / with / in front of or their shoelaces.

That a certain above-mentioned orienteer was pretty deep into hypothermia in 1993 might have as much to do with a lack of common sense regarding his "dåliga kläder" as with the weather. This is the same orienteer who, at a local New Hampshire meet, when presented with a route choice of around left on a bridge over the interstate highway, or around right under another bridge the interstate uses to cross a river, instead chose straight across the interstate, dodging cars on foot. As a course setter who has long preached, "don't tempt people with a route choice you don't want them to take," it had never occurred to me that anyone would be tempted to run across the interstate. I had nightmares for a long time about a dead mangled body and permanently losing permission to orienteer anywhere in New Hampshire.

Excuse me, I digress. And maybe I shouldn't be taking pot shots at anyone's common sense re clothing for a long, cold, rainy course, since my own attire on Sunday was questionable. In fact, Jeff questioned it at the start. My answer was, "I have a buff in my pocket just in case." Well I certainly needed that buff and still finished somewhat down into the hole of hypothermia. Not quite as deep as Mr. 1993, but I think I was shivering in Jim's truck all the way to New Hampshire (and not for any lack of heat in his truck).

So well done, Charlie! Yet, like Clint, I'm still glad I did it.
Nov 27, 2019 12:55 PM # 
Another factor may be that some of us are noticeably fatter than we were in 1993.
Nov 27, 2019 3:32 PM # 
My memories of the1993 Traverse are similar to mentioned above. Temps at most about 35, trails flooded, first control in a depression on the golf course in knee-deep water (that's equivalent to shin-deep for Steve), basically staying warm by just keeping running, trying not to think about the consequences of getting hurt. I seem to remember finishing second behind Peter Anderson, don't know if that's true or not. Course was 15.5 km, my time was 2:06:57. Don't know if there are any results on my map, but it's at home.

As Bill Rogers used to say when people would ask him how hard it was to run a marathon in a little over two hours, he thought the folks who took four hours had it much harder. Seems that would hold true for the Traverse too.

Had I been meet director this year, I sure wouldn't have been happy when 4 pm passed and there were still three folks not in. If the start was on time at 11:00, finishing at 4:13 as they did, sunset about 4:20, not much daylight left.
Nov 27, 2019 3:46 PM # 
I will say I was astounded when I saw that people toughed it out for over five hours (though I wasn't impressed by their judgment). I'm wondering if they missed the start, since the splits show them losing over nine minutes on the first control, which was short and easy.

I don't know how many people started, but I know there were a number of DNFs. At the aid station, there was a gap of over 30 minutes between the previous person who continued to complete the course and those three (maybe some DNFs in between). I would have considered it entirely reasonable for them to have been told, that's enough, let's get you back to safety. (Or maybe there was a 2.5 hour cutoff, in which case I guess they managed to sneak in by less than a minute.)
Nov 27, 2019 4:11 PM # 
They started almost an hour early, so they came in around the same time as the other last finishers.
Nov 27, 2019 4:37 PM # 
OK, that's actually a very good way to manage things. And now I think I know who we encountered at control #8, it must have been those three.
Nov 27, 2019 8:53 PM # 
Actually, the reason they started early was to go around with Hans Bengtson. But then Hans didn't end up doing it, I presume because of the the weather.
Nov 27, 2019 9:00 PM # 
No, Hans didn't do it because he arrived and started throwing up. When I was checking in at registration, Jeff and Judy were discussing the logistics of getting him to the hospital. Getting sick seemed to me like a smart move on Hans's part, though I hope he's doing okay. (Smarter still would have been to stay home, given the forecast.)
Nov 27, 2019 10:49 PM # 
Not to mention his driving distance.
Nov 28, 2019 1:34 AM # 
PG's remark about Bill Rodgers is exactly what I told someone or someones while waiting for the start. The discussion Rodgers had with the citizen marathoner was about running in moderate conditions, as far as I know, not in extenuating weather/temperature circumstances.
Nov 28, 2019 3:03 AM # 
I do remember a PG maxim about days such as Sunday making the best stories.
Some notes on the day at my log now.

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