Morehead St. Univ, KY. U.S. Sprint Champs. Brown 1.9km, 40m climb, 15 controls. 2nd in M65, :30 behind Walter, 5th of 71 overall on the course. Temp in the low 40's with a cold, biting wind.
Two copies of the course, one with my route and one without, are here
Got in to the lodge at Carter Caves at 2pm this morning. Not much sleep.
Ran very well with one exception: on #8, there were several tempting narrow passageways that, even with glasses and magnifier, I had a hard time seeing well. I dithered for about :45, eliminating a couple of choices but unsure whether two others would work (they would have) and finally decided to run all the way around the W building, costing me another minute. Eliminate #8 and I was only :11 behind PG.
Also lost :15 - :20 total over #1 and #2 because of incorrect mapping (and control description) of the feature for #1.
It was an excellent venue and a very good course, and it was really fun despite the disappointment of flubbing #8.
Warmed up for about 10 minutes on the model area map. Legs felt good, mind was mostly on what to wear in the cold. Despite the cold, wore just a short-sleeve O-top, no gloves, and that was fine. Got very chilly afterwards hanging around the results.
Wore my rubber-cleated Speedcrosses. Course was mostly pavement, some lawn; shoes were fine.
Forgot to start the Garmin until about 1.5 mins before the start, and it never got the signal.
1. Hesitant as I got near #1 because the clue said paved area but the circle was next to a big parking lot but I could see nothing on the map in the circle that looked like a paved area. Turns out there was a tiny brown square in the center of the circle. And when I got to the edge of the lawn where the circle was, all I saw was some sort of vent: 5’x5’, low concrete walls, metal grating on top. Went behind it and there was the bag. Clearly mis-mapped: should have been a black X. Seems that most people didn’t even look at the clue - just went to the center of the circle - but George Walker was also thrown off a bit. Lost about :10 on this leg but also another :05 on the next leg because I couldn’t do any advanced planning.
2. Around to the right or left looked about the same, but chose left because I still needed to evaluate the possibility of going through the gate. Determined that there was no way out, but maybe I was running a little slowly. No problem with the rest of the leg. As I rounded the SW corner of the field and spotted the control exactly where I expected, felt like I settled down and ready to do well. My next three splits ranked 1st, 2nd and 1st.
3. Headed immediately NNW up the street (cutting W on the N side of the fenced in out of bounds area would’ve been slightly better, but never saw that), turned left, avoided cutting across the out-of-bounds lawn. Had planned initially to go around the final building to the right, but then thought the walls and maybe hill might be slow plus going left would create a dogleg, so went left. Started to skirt around the depression in front of the building to avoid climb (1 meter!), realized that was ridiculous and cut across the W part. Nailed it from there. Fastest split.
4. Had planned the first part of the leg in advance, so quickly headed along the red line. Found it hard to pick out the details around #4; actually came to a stop to make sure there wasn’t a trap. Still wasn’t completely sure I could get through as I approached, but wound up with the best route - along the N side of the final building - whipped around the final corner and knew exactly where the control would be. 2nd fastest split, though Peter was :08 ahead.
5. Though I’d looked for an exit route on the map before getting to #4, I wasn’t sure, but as I left #4 could see in the terrain how to get out. Picked up the pace crossing the street, ran on the grass on the other side of the street, hugged the corner, ran hard to the building. Clue said SE corner, though center of circle seems a little further SW; surprised when I turned the corner that the bag wasn’t right there, but spotted it immediately on the next building corner (clue is definitely wrong, or the bag placement is) and didn’t lose any time. Fastest split.
6. Don’t recall whether I went NW or W then NW, but knew I had to get out in the street and turn left, and did that quickly. Passed Sharon C here (she’d started 2 mins ahead). Had a hard time reconciling the clue with the map; clue is definitely wrong - should have been building/wall junction (junction was missing), S side (clue had inside N corner). Must’ve slowed trying to work this out, and had some trepidation as I turned the corner that the bag would be on the other side of the wall, but there it was. Lost :04.
7. Because I was busy puzzling out the clue for #6, didn’t plan 7 carefully, but it looked about the same going around either side, so without heistation went up the stairs. By the time I got to the top, knew the lower route would have been better, but too late to turn back. Nailed it from there. Lost :05.
8. Lost the race here. Headed immediately for the gap between the buildings SW of 8. At first thought I saw a path through there but then realized it was blocked off. Came to a complete stop. The gaps to the left all had stuff in them I couldn’t make out clearly. Thought I’d play it safe and go through the courtyard SW of #9 and headed that way. But then couldn’t see on the map whether I could get into that courtyard or out, so stopped again. Looking back, saw Sharon headed into a gap, so thought I’d chase after her. But when I ran for a bit, thought she went up the gap that I knew wouldn’t work, so didn’t go that way (she actually had gone up the correct gap further SW). Flustered, I just ran all the way to the left around the building. Lost close to a minute dithering around and another minute running so far out of the way, approximately 1:50 all together (though Paul Clatterbuck was 2:08 ahead, :14 better than 2nd place PG). Had I stayed with going through the courtyard towards #9, probably would have been about :45 faster.
9. Still not sure I could get between the buildings N of #9, but had to chance it. There was a stairway I hadn’t been able to see on the map, so no problem. Sharon was coming up as I headed down. Looked left at the bottom, there was a bag a little further away than I expected, but that had to be it, and it was. Didn’t think I lost time on this short leg, but Peter was :06 faster.
10. Probably because I’d seen Sharon going up the stairs and because I’d already seen that one could get to #10 from the top of the stairs, went that way with no hesitation, never looking to see that going around the SE side of the building was a better route. Did not see until later in the weekend that there was an even better route: between the wall and the NW side of the building - wonder if anyone had the nerve to go that way. Spotted the bag well before I got to it, and started working out #11. Lost :10, though a couple of those seconds might be because I slowed at the end while examining the next leg.
11. By the time I punched #10, realized that the initial plan to #11 would have left me on the wrong side of the wall and had identified the correct route. So executed the route to #11 perfectly, pushing the pace some. Saw Sharon punching as I got close, so kept pushing hoping to keep her in sight.
12. Knew I had to go around the round building, but wasn’t sure I could get between the next two buildings: the red line was covering a key space. Thought about going all the way around to the left, but then I saw Sharon heading for the gap with the red line so went that way (correctly). As I jumped off the stairs on the long, was trying to work out exactly where the bag was going to be. Noticed the “upper” part of the clue, and looking up towards the building, realized that the bag would be on the covered terrace and that Sharon was heading the wrong way. Put on the brakes, veered sharply right to the ramp entrance, 40m away. Nailed it from there. Lost about :20, 10 for the extra distance, 6 or 7 hesitating early in the leg, 3 or 4 hesitating while working out the bag location.
13. When I arrived at #12, wasn’t completely sure I could get of the balcony on the E side of the building, but glanced over there and saw the stairs, so off I went. Left turn, confirmed who the rest of the leg, tried to run harder.Approaching the bag, having already planned the next leg, stayed a little left of the direct line to the bag so that I could make (the mirror image of) a turn like a baseball player rounding first and trying for a double. Think I punched without coming to a full stop. Had fastest split.
14. Totally nailed this, second fastest split. Maybe I slowed a bit looking at the next leg, because the clue was puzzling.
15. Between the cars in the parking lot, nailed it, fastest split. But the clue is wrong: NW end of the wall? There’s no wall near the center of the circle.
F. Push it. Second fastest split.