Rogaining race (Wildflower State Champs) 23:34:57  86.98 km (16:16 / km) +2062m 14:33 / km
A great location, if you can handle the rocks of which there were a fair few / endless. The perfect rogaine aside from the rocks underfoot - slow going and tricky nav - thanks to the setters for not shying away from finely placed controls.
Shane and I dropped a goody bag at the top of a hill 3 controls in and that worked really well as we picked it up again about 5 hrs later. We got a little cold when the rain that we saw over most of the course (over Mt Singleton) finally hit us in the WNW part of the course and then we slowly froze for a few hours getting too cold to stop and put thermals on, which when eventually did. Thought about making use of the thermal blanket but Shane thought we'd get too cold stopping for that long which was probably correct. About an hour later we were fine again as the rain eased up.
My feet slowly degraded, the left ball of my foot the worst until there wasn't much joy left. We navved well and moved efficiently. Around 1:34am having hit the bushiest part of the course for about an hour I made the decision to bail on our final SE loop and cut our course a bit shorter. In hindsight this was the wrong decision - since it looks like we had enough time to do the loop - missing out on 70+4x50+90+40=380... enough to win. If we didn't lose an hour getting confused between 91 and 95... trying to find a patrolled road of all places... between 4 and 5am, and if we were still able to get the addition 70 points of control 74... so not certain by any means. Without 74 we would have lost by 30 points. (Actually, since we didn't punch 95, we took 2:30 between 91 and the next punched control 74, when it should have been about 45mins max, so about 1:45 lost... maybe all doable).
We ended getting 74 because at 5am we also failed to punch the water drop control 95, and then decided to change course and go via 74, only to realise we didn't punch 95, so headed back down the hill, got 95 and continued on our original route which cleaned up everything bar 74. Long story short, a bit frustrating sitting here and not having had enough of the mindset to go hard or go home, but not entirely sure we would have done enough to win. Well done to Wil for his 11th title in a row, and Dave as well. Thanks Shane for a good outing, maybe next time.
Learnings... lots of rocks make for hot feet, best to cool them down in water when possible. My new shoes worked ok, perhaps the superfeet insoles would have been a bit better. Perhaps Hoka's would have been better on the rocks. Food wise - better to take more real foods on a slower and colder rogaine.
Thanks Ann, Peter and the vetting team for a really well set rogaine - I think the top 5 teams all had completely different routes - which is awesome. They certainly spent a lot of time up there.