Orienteering 1:48:08  *** 10.8 km (10:01 / km) +305m 8:46 / km
23c shoes: 200811 NB MT800
Billygoat. Commentary and analysis to come.
I finished 24th out of the 78 who finished in under the 3.5 hour limit. The winning time (essentially all by Erik Nystrom, Will Hawkins, and Jon Torrance) was 80:19, which puts my run at around 75 points. While I am not displeased, I am disappointed that I did not have a better run; twenty fourth is not acceptable, even given the competitiveness of the field.
Positive observations: I was able to hold a steady though hardly aggressive pace throughout the run without assistance from energy gels or food. I have benefited from energy gels on all my previous long races (Blue Hills Traverse, any A-meet Long). I navigated essentially alone for most of the race (6-10, 13 to the end); while my plan was to shamelessly follow the Saegers the entire way, I'm pleased that I was able to navigate without major difficulties.
I was reading ahead on the way to 1 and 2; I followed Alexei to 1 and Joe Brautigam (who was following Will) to 2. I started reading en route to 3, and elected to run to the left of the marsh en route to 4. While running to 4, I was passed by Sergei Zhyk, Eric Nystrom, and Clem McGrath; I stuck with Clem to four, but lost him immediately afterwards. I decided not to actively try to stay with any of them. I didn't actually notice the fork, so I ran to the right control 5 through relatively unpleasant and impenetrable vegetation before the trail; Andrew Childs passed me in the vegetation just after the stream.
I traveled solo to 6 to the north of the swamp. In hindsight, traveling south of the swamp was a better route. I heard the Saegers leaving 6 as I approached, and though I frantically tried to punch and catch them, I didn't catch sight of them again. I had elected to skip 7 en route to 4, so I booked it to 8 alone. My plan to get to 9 was to go due south and hit the small trail, follow it to the road, and so on, but I had difficulty finding the trail. I probably lost a full minute meandering through vegetation with poor contact, though it was a safe route sticking to my compass.
Andrew Childs and Nate Lyons caught me on the way to eleven, and I followed them (also with David Onkst, I think) to 12, where I ran into Clem (who seemed surprised to see me). I set out from 12 before Clem did, and I failed to see him again - I'm curious how he got to 13 without me seeing him at all. I took what I considered a good, though somewhat unplanned route to 13; I went south of the northern uncrossable swamp, south of the long marsh, connected to the trail, then cut northeast until I linked up with the trail that hit the eastern edge of the rough open. I caught up to Andrew Childs on the trail, and moved parallel and behind him to 13 and 14. It was clear he was skipping 15, so I moved almost due north up the reentrant to 15.
I ran into Tim Parson and David Onkst at the powerlines on my way to 15. I led the way to 16 and 17, fell back on the way to 18, and led again to 19. I made another (:30) mistake to 20, and Tim Parson seized the opportunity to break away. I led to 21 (on which both David and I made a mistake) and 22. My instinct was to sprint to the end (and I may have been able to catch Audun, whom I saw while I was coming to 23), but I decided to wait for David to finish together, though he encouraged me to sprint to the finish at the go control.