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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander:


1. I'd been clued in that the first leg was super long. Jogged to the start triangle and was amused to see so many people (mostly adventure racers, but Peter G & other "real" orienteers, too) standing there studying their map. I got out a few steps ahead of Peter and told him he could follow me if he'd like. He passed me several meters later and I never saw him again. Around the hillside to the stream valley and up it -- I crossed to the other side where the running was better, but eventually I looked right and realized people were running on a I headed up that way and was in a loooong train of people on the trail. We were on trails most of the rest of the way. Single track, hard to pass, and I was frustrated! Finally, above the big rocky reentrant SE of the control, I headed down a small reentrant while the others stuck to the trail. Looking back, I saw several others (mostly orienteers, as opposed to adventure racers) following me. Spiked the control; suprised to see John F. sitting there taking splits.
2. Headed to the big trail to the left of the marsh. I think George W. was right behind me. After crossing the stream, I saw Eddie and Scott P heading west (at first I thought they were going to #2 as well and I really wondered; later I realized they were heading to #5). Up to the control, no problem.
3. Right over the top of the hill, very straight-line.
4. Crossed the stream kind of low on some rocks -- not too easy -- and a bunch of people followed me. Saw Joe B & his adventure racer shadow leaving #4; Joe tried to psych me out by yelling "Way to go, Sharon!" George thought he had mistook me for Sharon, while I knew exactly what he was doing. Just made me laugh.
5. Dogleg; passed others heading in, including a woman I didn't know. Again crossed a bit too low while George and others apparently had an easier stream crossing higher up. On the trail just SE of #2 I saw Sharon on the trail from #1, taking a different route from ours. On the big trail east of the large uncrossable marshes, we came across an unmapped trail leading up the hill. Took it; it eventually turned into a piece of mapped trail. Nearing the top, I misread a nice open reentrant for the rocky one leading to the control. So I took it and my small train (George, Glen Tryson, a few others, Tim Good at the back) followed me. No control, and nothing was matching up. Then I realized what I had done and headed southeast. Saw Bernie heading NE and I asked him if he was going to #5 or leaving. He said leaving, so we headed the other way and saw the control.
6. I continued to lead my train but I overshot a bit, then went too far east to the reentrant one over. Realized it quickly when there was no control and nothing else matched up. Headed west to the control. Doug Gosling and his group beat us there.
7. Back to the narrow cliff-sided reentrant and down to the marsh. Had to dip through some wet stuff and a bit of green; George asked where I was taking them. Just trying to lose the adventure racers, I told him! Up to the stream to the marsh east of Surebridge Mine. We decided to take the trail up to the top of the hill NNW of the control, but somehow we lost the trail. Nevermind; we got to the top, hopped over to the next hilltop, then to the next, around a spur, and along the hillside. From a few hundred meters away we could see Doug & his group punching in at the control. (They'd gone around I guess.) Drat.
8. Down to the big trail & across the stream and up the marshy valley. Doug & crew ahead; my train was George, Glen, and Tim. I led us a bit more to the east of the control so that we hit it from the north, while Doug's group, which arrived seconds before, came more from the NW.
9. Initially I wanted to go down the reentrant -- until I saw how nasty it was and I had to turn to go across to the more gentle side. George took a spill on the muddy hill but was okay. Down to the indistinct trail and across, then I kind of turned off my brain a bit until we were close to the control. Saw Doug heading slowly west -- thought initially he was still looking for it -- then saw a cadet standing and looking at his map; I realized we were too high and we headed down & found the control in a very shallow reentrant.
10. Ran right past the cairn on the way to the control. Hard to miss with the streamers leading out of it.
11. Time is from last control to food drop.
12. Time includes time spent at food drop, run to start triangle, and time to control #11. Doug's group was ahead of ours trudging up the trail; they cut off well below the control but George and I decided to stay on the trail. We could see the control and the guys punching in.
13. #12. Careful map reading, careful footing, spiked the control. Caught a whole bunch of people who had missed it and had to go back, including Doug & his group, some cadets, Rick DeWitt and Bernie Breton.
14. Careful to #13. Tim right behind me, George not far behind him, and the folks we'd caught at #12 making up time.
15. #14. Careful through the rocks, came from below.
16. #15. Doug and other person went ahead of me and arrived at the control just before me. Yellow in the control circle simplified the control location.
17. #16. Doug's group now ahead again, I let them navigate but when we got to the marshy area just east of the control and they kept going SW into the cliffs, I stopped and said to George, that isn't right. We need to go up this way, and though not everything was making sense, enough of it was that I headed NW into the cliffs, George right with me, and then he said, there it is. Yay! Got ahead of the group again.
18. #17. We tried to put some distance between us. Down to the indistinct trail then through the flattish area and read my way right in. Spike. We looked around, saw Tim in his bright yellow top in the distance.
19. #18. Spike. No one in sight (yet).
20. #19. Got a bit sloppy and dropped too low. Doug et al caught us; Doug ran like he knew exactly where he was. I led George into some green but we quickly decided that wasn't right and I realized we were in the green NW of the control. I headed back towards the control, saw an orange streamer and hoped that was it. It was. Rick DeWitt was there and he said something like "there are the infidels!" Ha ha!.
21. #20. On this leg Rick lead off with Bernie, me, George, Tim and Doug's group behind. I'm not sure when Glen dropped off the pace, don't remember if he was with us or not. Phil Bricker had been in the mix for these controls, too, and was probably just behind me. Rick spiked the control.
22. #21. Headed off along the hill with Rick and Bernie. Nice run up various reentrants; could see the control from 200 meters.
23. #22. We stayed in the white rocky woods west of the marsh. Rick and Bernie were ahead of me; I was leading the rest of the train. I decided to stay on the west when they headed a bit more east. George trusted me and stayed with me; I think the others went off with Bernie & Rick. We came together a bit later. Came to an unpleasant-looking cliffy knoll, and Bernie and I said, well we have to go up, here's as good as any place. He was leading; we got to the top and I said we had to go left. We turned left and almost immediately saw the control. Yay! (I thought we were not that close, but okay, this works even better.)
24. #23. I led out. I thought low along the marsh would be best, then up between the big yellow areas. We came to a stream, headed up, and Bernie said he'd hit the trail. We followed Bernie on the trail up to Bald Rocks. I said we should go through the saddle to the hillside on the line. Bernie agreed, so we got the turnoff and headed down. The white on the map was absolutely not white -- it was thick bush, sometimes over my head. For some reason, with Bernie, Rick, and George, I was leading & breaking the trail. Luckily, I found some bare rock areas and it didn't last too long. Drifted too far to the north, with the yellow above the control just to our right. We corrected, & Rick & Bernie led us in.
25. #24. I wanted to go right below the line of cliffs just off the straight line; we all agreed but we immediately started dropping. We realized it and corrected, we thought, but then we found ourselves dropping again. Rick said, we've dropped too low, and I said, okay, let's correct, and immediately turned uphill. George followed me, and Tim, who was a bit behind us and thus benefiting from our mistakes (ie, he didn't have to make them & he caught us), was right there too. I saw the yellow cliffy areas just NW of control #25 but at least I knew where I was; read the reentrants and cliffs and right in. First of our larger group, with Tim and then George right behind.
26. #25. Thought I was being careful heading down the hill but I drifted WAY left; heard a stream and thought it was the tiny one by the control; kept seeing boulders and tried to make them fit the map; finally I saw a trail & remnants of a stone wall and figured it out. Headed SSW; Tim was heading downhill and he said it's behind me. Thanks. Up the hill to the control, to find Doug & his group at the control (but Doug doesn't see the control because he didn't realize it was on the other side). I punch last but want to catch my group so I scream down the hill.
27. #26. Catch Tim at the road and George on the powerline (where he leads us through thorny crap...but not much choice).
28. From control #26 to the food drop. Here we're told by Paul B. that J-J is only about 15 minutes ahead and walking, and that the CSU guys should be finishing in 10-20 minutes. Elapsed time is not quite 3:45, so the estimation is pretty good.
29. Includes time at the drop to the start triangle to control #27. At the drop, Bernie asks how I'm feeling, and I say Good. He is anxious to get going and says, who's with me? Rick and I both say we're ready, then I call around for George, who's changing his shoes. We get on the trail and start off, but walking/jogging, so George can catch up with us. Easy route to the control, where we find out it's the start of the King of the Mountain.
30. #28. King/Queen of the Mountain. No real enthusiasm for this "competition" but I try to at least keep going at a steady rate. We all agree to head NW to th big trail, up around the uncrossable marsh, then just crawl up the hill. Bernie and I lead, jogging up the trail. Both Bernie and Rick get cramps on the uphill but recover. I lead us up right to the wrong boulder. I was pretty sure of myself, too, so it was a shock. The guys say the real control is behind us. Ack. So much for the King of the Mountain! (Not that I figured I had a chance, anyway, but I didn't want to not try my best.)
31. #29. Bernie suggests we go fairly straight; he's camped in the white forest between the Pine Swamps, and he says it's great runablitly. We trust him and follow. Getting down the mountain is a bit hairy; at one point we have a controled drop from a cliff to a boulder, but we all manage fine. Got a bit wet crossing the marsh but from there it is easy to run and read our way in.
32. #30. I suggest up and then down the reentrant. We proceed that way and suddenly we see a control (#8) and agree we never would have realized we were in the same place if we hadn't seen the control! So we remember to go to the west side of the reentrant. I see the knoll beyond the control from a long way off.
33. #31. Trail, to past the bare rock/cliffy spur SE of the control. Up the reentrants and read our way in, but none of us can even see the control feature on our map. We get right up near it and are scratching our heads a bit when George spots it just behind us.
34. #31. I suggest high around the rocky reentrant then lefr around the green. Bernie leads, and at the marsh before the control he heads a bit too far and we go north around the bare rock knoll to the NNE of the control. I know we need to go left, didn't realize how much; Rick sees the control first.
35. #33. Easy control, a dogleg but there's no one just ahead of us to help us. Doesn't matter.
36. #34. Over to the trail through the green. Rick (or George?) wonders if the trail is better than gling along the cliffs leading to the control, and we agree that the trail is probably easier. We're able to run the trail. Bernie leads us across the knoll but drifts a bit east and we hit the reentrant on the edge of the circle. We correct west; Rick and I both thought the control would be on the huge cliff but Bernie heads right to the smaller, correct cliff. And, of course, there are streamers from the control to the food drop.
37. Time from the last control to the food drop.
38. From food drop to start triangle to #35. George Hawes (I think it was him, may be remembering wrong) tells us the last loop can be done almost entirely on trails, and Bernie, studying his map, excitedly says this is true, and we agree to take trails. When we finally are ready to leave (no one else having come in from Loop 3 while we were there) Bernie asks what happened to our "1 minute transition" he called for when we arrived. We took 3:35 for our transition. Trail to the edge of the circle, down to control.
39. #36. George says why not go up the stream valley, but we vote to go back to the trail and all the way around -- the trail again comes almost to the edge of the circle. Trail junction before the control virtually gone.
40. #37. Back to the trail, up & over Hogencamp Mtn. We marvel at the beauty. The "white" woods near the control are a bit bushy; I find some nice woods but Bernie is a bit lower in the bushes. But he sees the control first and we all head over.
41. #38. Back out to the trail and along the ridge top. I wonder if we will be able to see the control from the trail; we can! I see it first and sprint down to it, eliciting comments from my group about my burst of speed. It's my last burst for this race.
42. #39. Trail.
43. #40. Trail. I'm behind Bernie & Rick and I see the knoll our control is on and say we might be able to see the control. Then I see it and we pick our way down and find a nice elephant track to & from the control.
44. #41. We all agree to stay on the trail all the way to the road, adding a bit of distance but for us it's probably faster at this point. Bernie is raphsodizing about the beauty of this area for sunset viewing, and he leads us off the trail (which has been rerouted and is streamered) briefly, but at least we're rewarded with lovely views. We head back to the streamered route, which joins up with the old trail. Going through the narrow green area near the road, we pass some hikers who step aside to let us past. One woman initially calls out to her companions, "here's another group!" and then, seeing me, says "you're the first woman I've seen!" We all yell back that the first woman finished long ago, but I'm probably 2nd. Down the road then we cut across & I see the control from a ways off.
45. #42. Back to the road. We try to jog at a steady pace. The road and my spikes aren't really friends and my knee, which has been pretty good, does start to hurt. As we approach, I suggest we go through the field but Bernie says, no, the road. But he's overruled when the field -- which we ran through at the beginning of the second loop --proves to be quite nice. In and out.
46. #43. Rick, Bernie, and I get out to the road quickly, but we want to wait for George so we walk until he catches up. We agree to finish together. We start jogging, and a few hundred meters from the finish George picks it up! Ack! We all manage to pick up the pace and cruise into the control, to the cheers of the folks who have already finished or quit and are enjoying the food.
F. Not too obvious where the finish is but we manage to find the table and finish together. We're asked if we did the whole thing (cuz I guess many have come through without finishing, not surprisingly) and we proudly say yes. Another Highlander behind me. George's first; I was so impressed with him, and so happy to have his, and Rick's and Bernie's, company. Great fun.

Total Time Lost - 00:00:00

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