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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Zowie . . .

in: hughmac⁴; hughmac⁴ > 2020-02-02

Feb 2, 2020 8:48 PM # 
Way, way, way to go!
Feb 2, 2020 9:34 PM # 
Hi Rocky!! I bet that helped your adrenaline levels! Nice run bro.
Feb 2, 2020 9:37 PM # 
We startled each other pretty good. :) Thanks! Notching up.
Feb 5, 2020 4:39 AM # 
That's a clever compliment to your brother, using the metaphor of Rocky Balboa. Oh wait.
Feb 5, 2020 5:25 AM # 
Unrelatedly, are you familiar with the Algonquin 50km in the Maryland eastern shore? I really haven't paid attention to trail runs in years (not since my son induced me to reprise at Escarpment in 2011, 30 years after my first go) but putting a longer race on my calendar would be a good motivator to train, and such a race itself would be a good trainer for extra-long orienteering (like rogaines). So I've been thinking about committing to one (like maybe FebApple in north Jersey in a couple of weeks) but just haven't pulled the trigger.

So with that background (or lack thereof), I stumbled upon the existence of the Algonquin today, totally coincidentally and by accident. One thing I am doing this year is trying to keep a running streak going. So far, every day in 2020 (plus the last two days of 2019). Which means when on a road trip, such as this current one I have been on since the beginning of the year, that each day we are on the move I gotta stop at some random place along the way and run for at least 15 minutes (my informal threshold for "counting" a day, pace and distance don't matter).

We are on our way home from last weekend's O events on the North Carolina coast, and I like to take the road less traveled (and I like bridges, tunnels, and ferries), so I found myself at midday today halfway between the Chesapeake bridge-tunnel and the Lewes - Cape May ferry, wanting a little longer run. I did some road map scanning and Google'ing on the phone for things like "Delmarva trails" and came up with this nice-sounding Algonquin Trail in/near Pocomoke River State Park.

So I called the state park office number to see if there was a way to get a paper map on a Tuesday in February, instead of relying on a tiny little map on my phone screen. No. And also no to access to the trailheads, those areas of the park are closed this time of year. But she seemed to be assuming I was inquiring about "the race." Which a little more Google'ing determined is this Saturday!

In any event, I was able to do a nice 1.5 hour point-to-point because my beloved and patient Betsy dropped me off at one road crossing and picked me up at another road crossing 8 miles / 13 km. along. Which is close to the limit of what my current training would support, so it was silly of me to contemplate driving from New Hampshire back to Maryland in 3 days. But contemplate it I did, for 1.5 hours.

It's about as easy a trail course as you will find: flat (hardly different than running circles on a track!), smooth and good footing (zero rocks, a few very short muddy spots). And the race markings are already out, and they were very good (pin flags, pink for out and blue for back I deduced, clearly marking any possibly-ambiguous turn or crossing), which I took to be a promising sign for good race organization.

But in the end, I probably *won't* be back this weekend (hmmm, another look shows that the race is fully subscribed, so definitely out of the question) but it's on my radar for the future, and wondered if you had ever done it. Looks like this might be just the 4th year? Besides having too much neglected stuff to do at home after being on the road for about half of the last six months, one thing that dissuades me is a pretty strict time limit (from the point of view of an old slow guy) of 8 hours. To make it 4 times as far as I went today, I'm sure I would have to walk a significant part of it (a third?), and it's very questionable that I could beat the 8-hour deadline that way. By contrast, the FebApple has an 11 hour deadline for their 50km (if my memory is right, didn't check it just now), which even though the course is bit tougher than Algonquin (pretty much any course is tougher than Algonquin), should be well within my capabilities.

Excuse the log / thread hijacking.
Feb 5, 2020 5:12 PM # 
Hi Steve! No problem for the hijack! :) I love the "stop and run no matter what" plan. That should keep you at a superb base of fitness for whatever you throw at your body this year. Nice!

And Betsy is a saint to humor those efforts. But I know she's wisely doing it for her own good, as does my wife. Man consistently running == good relationship. :)

Algonquin: yes! I ran it in 2018, and did pretty well (4:35:20, 8th place). Here's my report:

You are correct: the course is dead flat, and generally fast, except for some longish (~10-20m) stretches of ankle-deep water. For perspective, 8-hours for 31 miles is 15:29s ... so even with a 50/50 walk/jog and you can easily get it done: even at 1/3 running, say 13 min/mi for 10mi, you can walk the rest at 16:40s to 'get it done' in 8. I'd suggest that you can do much better than that! Practice fast walking, too (relaxed, use your arms like when you run), and you can casually do 15s. Mindset is: "I'm walking on purpose, with a purpose", not "oh no, I'm walking" (sob, hanging head, shuffling). :)

It's a pretty good race. Folks are amazing (some of the best!!), aid is fine, good food and atmosphere at the end, great course markings, and an okay race. The main thing missing is the sorta boring location. You can 'Watch' it in Ultrasignup (log in, then on the race page, click Watch, and enter some details) to get notification when it's about to open for 2021 ... it sells out incredibly quickly (like hours).

Uberendurancesports has some great races throughout the year! Never sell out (that I know of). Generally on the easy side, and really a great gang of folks involved. Searching on Ultrasignup can be fruitful, too.

HAT Run 50k on Mar 21st in Havre de Grace, MD is upcoming ... and I'm running it! 24 spots remaining as I write this. It's got a good bit of climb (they say 3%, hmm), but the terrain is quite nice otherwise.
Batona Trail Races -- 33miler Oct 10th in South Jersey Pine Barrens ... is similarly 'easy' to Algonquin ... I'll be doing the 55miler.

I'm excited about this stuff! Keep in touch.

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