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Race Evaluation

Rochester A-Meet, Day 1: Red X


1. +04:000-1 Beautiful weather and colorful woods make for distractions. This should have been easy but I was worried about my past behavior of veering left. I went quickly, went right a bit, saw control and went for it. It wasn't the right one so I looked more to the right, then back up the hill, then more right then more left then... Finally I went to the edge as I should have and found it.
2. +03:301-2 I used the purple trails (streamered) then turned right up the wrong reentrant. I reversed it then saw a kid following the streamers and followed him until I passed him. Not sure where I was, I veered right and ended up at the power lines. Seeing the kid again, I really felt dumb but was able to drop down into the circle and find it.
3. +03:302-3 I countoured around until the top of the second large reentrant then dropped down in it until it leveled out. Countourin over again, I pulled-up short, saw some people including Pavlina Brautigam going up and thought a bit. I decided to go down thinking they were coming from the control. Seeing the trail, I reveresed and went up past where I paused. I found another control for Red Y that wasn't mine. Finally I made sense of it and wen east to the control.
4. +07:003-4 I went west around the marsh at 3. I had underestimated the distance and countours because I thought I had crossed the larger forked marsh west of 3. Going up from the small marsh, I climbed around some green, went east and dropped down some. Retracting my steps somewhat, I saw some other people searching or passing through this area so I wasted more time looking. Frustrated, I bailed-out to the road. Upon arriving, I first thought I was east of the control so I went west a few steps. Figuring it out, I turned around, crossed saddle and dropped down right to the control.
5. +00:454-5 Down to the road on bearing, I crossed near the end of the forked marsh NW of #4. Just still going on bearing but trying to go a little slow, things leveled out a bit so I went west. Probably hitting the intermittant trail, I turned north, then east. Luckily(?) I landed in the right reentrant.
6. 5-6 Deciding a safer route is better for me I went to the road and counted reentrants. I was surprised at the depth of them but it helped me adjust to the map. Climbing to the road probably also helped me avoid repetitive climbs. Dropping down, I hit the very large reentrant just in-time to see others going by. Kenny Walker Sr. and Randy Hall are on different courses. Kenny encourages me with a hello and Randy looks to be moving very fast on the difficult terrain.
7. 6-7 Straight across until the second reentrant, I then turned and followed it up SE until it bent again going east more directly. I attacked from there and hit it w/o trouble. Randy went by chasing another control on a more direct route.
8. 7-8 Up to the road, I was able to get into a good stride. I stopped 30-60 seconds to drink and maybe tie my shoe. Seeing other ahead of my, I set a steady pace and gained on them. Cutting left on the last shallow ridge, I follow it, almost back-tracking a bit to stay near the top of the ridge. I could see others who cut off the road both before and ahead of me converging. I aimed where they were going at the creek, blasting past two older men 50 yards before the control but just after a West Point runner punched.
9. +01:308-9 I chase then pass the West Point runner. Rough compassing but making good time, I pop-out directly in front of the large ponds. Going up and down around the pond to the right I cross the first stream clearing it w/o getting wet. As I aim to cross the second but as I'm picking-up speed, I caught my foot on a beaver eaten stump of a sapling and trip. Shaking myself off, I turn around to get-up enough speed to leap the creek and do it this time w/o falling. The bad news was that my compass got cracked in the fall and began leaking-out liquid. The compass bubble started growing and interferring with the ability to find north. I remember how David Onkst was able to train at a Pohick, VA meet w/o a compass and beat me there, so I focus myself and believe I can do it too get through this. No one else is around. I climb the ridge to the road and turn right for a little way. Leaving the road on the west side of the ridge, I follow it down and spike the control. That was fun! Time Lost for the fall, very slow compass setting and going around the pond: 0:30.
10. +00:459-10 Taking the time to set a bearing w/my broken compass, I carefully head out straight, through the thick green, across the marshy ground, and up into the reentrant. Crossing the trail. I realize I'm a bit to the left so I go right. A Blue course runner is punching 10-15 sec. before I get there. Time Lost for broken slow setting compass: 0:45
11. +00:2010-11 The Blue course runner is wearing a USA O' top and going my direction. He just about is out of sight but I resolve to try to stay w/him since the leg is more technical and my compass is bad. I make-up most of the ground as we run the ridge before he drops right, down the hill. I check to make sure he's still going my way before continuing to follow. We both drop too low but not far off. Peter Gragarin, whose running Green due to an injury, gets there running a clean line and beats us both. Peter and I say hello.
12. +00:1511-12 The Blue runner is going off in a different direction but Peter is. I hit the road north of Peter who is running a more direct line. Not wanting to over-shoot it, I head in a straight line toward the river. Peter is still behind as I get to the trail and turn left. On the trail, I go only a short way before seeing another West Point Runner (whose path I've been crossing a lot this fall) just stopped and looking around, I pass him, see the trail junction and turn around headed down the ramp toward the control. Peter went straight across to punch first and tells me "It's your control." The code is "NA".
13. 12-13 Running well on the trail, I climb the hill and pass Peter again, headed to the road. On the road, I pause at the saddle to see if it's worth it to climb on the road or contour across. Since my compass is just spinning half filled w/oily water and half with air, I stay on the road. I also remember the Horseshoe, PA meet which had a similar choice where the road was faster. Attacking from the just before the car pullout, I just about spike the control. Lucky I didn't need my compass.
14. 13-14 Again, since my compass is broken, I decide to play it safe and take the road. I leave the road at the water stop and follow the trail down until the bend and formline. I follow the formline right into the control.
15. 14-15 Again playing it safe due to the compass, I take the road. Reading the rising ridge, I break-off before it. I've gained on another person whom I had seen around 13 or 14 but whom had gone on the trail. We punch around the same time.
16. +02:3015-16 Going straight across, I chase the the other guy since my compass is useless at this point. We cross the marsh and head right a little. This doesn't feel right so I go left, then see him going more to the right and decide to follow. We both see a control and sprint to it but its the wrong one. Splitting, I backtrack and climb higher, spotting the control in the reentrant. Confused, I expect code 50, not the GO control. Code 50 was for #15 which we just punched but I don't realize it. I go more east, into another reentrant where others are climbing. Perhaps there's a control there too but if there was it wasn't mine. Finally, I go back, and read the codes and punch
F. 16-Finish. It seems like more than 100 meters up down up and up again. I crash through it making good time to the finish. Afterward, I'm surprised that people are congratulating me on a good run since I didn't feel that I did well. I was glad to get through half of it on a broken compass--luckily the last half was easier.

Total Time Lost - 00:24:05

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