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Race Evaluation

Blue Hills Traverse:

pkturner

1. +02:00I've had fun at other traverses by going out fast with the leaders. This time I avoided that, to give my sore left knee a chance of surviving the race. Followed a line of others which got more and more stupid as we struggled through brush at the top of the hill and came out on ledges at the west side of the hill, with no boulder nearby. Resorted to using map! Guessed we were too far south and headed north to control.
2. +02:00Decided to go around on trail to south, but was drawn off by others going to the west. Quickly reached a point at the top of the brutal cliff and followed the others west.
3.
4. +00:15Too much following,, too little reading the map, ended up too far to the right.
5. +01:30Went right. Every year I go through that saddle to the east of Chickatawbut Hill, and come down that trail which looks nice and straight and fast on the map, but is a stony struggle. Finally got away from distracting companionship. At the foot of that path, went left around the green on trails to approach the control from north. Ticked off features but the contours near the control were not distinct and left me uncertain when I saw others ahead and to my right heading west. Thinking they might be going from 5 to 6, I abandoned the correct route to check out where they were coming from.
6. Straight through the brush.
7. +01:00Approaching the control, went 50m too far down the spur.
8. Saw Jeff Schapiro on the trail, on his way to 7. Hit the reentrant high and led a couple of others in to the control.
9. Crossed the trail attempting to be near the direct line but ran into the next trail which saved me from ending up too far east. Charlie DeWeese was behind me.
10. This leg is familiar. For the third time I went low on the trail, but this time cut uphill sooner, at the first 50m-long stone wall.
11. Liz Kotowski cheered for me as I approached the control. "Why did they put a pile of rocks between the control and the food?" I wondered. I was nineteenth at the split, after Bob Dangel.
12. +01:30Includes 2:30 drinking, eating, and grabbing cookies. Crossing the trail, saw Pete Bundschuh running along it and wondered why. Maybe he was on his way to an attack point for 14. On hillside ended up too far right and was confused by having a boulder of the correct size near a correct-looking bend in the trail. Went up the trail and found the boulder. Charlie is still somewhere behind me.
13. +00:30Went left, back to the trail, to avoid helping those behind me find number 12.
14. +02:00I should have looked for an attack point like Pete. Thought I was following the left side of the spur effectively, but missed the control to the right and went too far.
15. +01:30Still pushing to hold onto my 19th place, went straight and found a reentrant. Looked around. No flag. Looked again. No flag to be seen. Continued ahead and everything looked wrong. Then Charlie went by and I headed back and found Sam Levitin and the control. Complained to Sam that I had looked in this reentrant already. Terry Keegan also got by me.
16. +00:20Did not see Charlie again, but caught Sam and Terry on the trail. Contoured around near the control and ended up a little high. Didn't I do the same thing right here last year?
17. Struggle through brushy descent. Approach control from ENE.
18. Slightly left on trails then went back right to the line hoping that the footing would be better on the flat hilltop. Hit the control right on.
19.
20. Looked around a bit on the roads. No sign of Charlie, Sam, or Terry. Cramps slowing me down, I at a Gu hoping the nutrition would help. Got a cramp in the stomach (but it didn't last too long). Approached control via the sandpit.
21. To right on trails.
22.
23. Down below the green, then up the ski slope, then contoured straight.
24. With a mind to add an ascent of Blue Hill to the day's accomplishments, I went over the top. Saw an interesting approach to the control from the west, and took the faint trail going south from the summit. The trail was quite overgrown in places but it had a wonderful view of the countryside to the south including Ponkapaug Pond. The route approaching the control was indeed fine, but when I met Sam Levitin I wasn't certain whether we were in the reentrant E or W of the control's spur. He thought we couldn't be that close to the control, but I went up the next spur and found it.
25. From here on in, I was more or less in the company of Sam, Steve Worthington, and another guy (Sean Deardorf?). I really wasn't dealing well with company today, always feeling too pressured to read the map sufficiently. May have gotten to the flag before the others. Dunno.
26. +01:00Got out ahead of the bunch, but did not follow the map carefully and ended up too low. Steve passed me, giving me some advice about concentrating while exhausted, and the more immediately useful advice that the control was behind him. Pass the information along to Sam, who seems to disbelieve it.
27. Did I say anything about cramps yet? Hadn't been able to manage much of a run even on trails, since about 19. But to 27 I jogged successfully. Saw Steve coming out of the control as I approached.
F.

Total Time Lost - 00:13:35


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