North American Champs long, M65, Brown X, Burnt Mtn, Hanover, N.H., USA
After being soundly beaten by Jeff S and two Brits yesterday, went to the start intending to run hard and take my chances, but the incredibly complex map and terrain quickly dashed that idea. Instead of pushing my physical limits (except for 5 to 6) it turned out to be a matter of pushing my navigational limits, and very nearly (or actually did) lose control a few times but managed to recover each time without major time loss.
1) Considered staying on trail longer but figured I could follow the chain of knolls; briefly lost track of them but the one with two boulders got me back on track.
2) Used bits of trails more for nav than running; never did quite figure out all that's going on in the circle but the big rock and long cliff got me close enough.
3) Might have continued running past the hill with the control knolls, but saved by someone dropping down as I passed.
4) Using marsh handrail was safe but would have been a little faster and not particularly riskier to go over the hill that turns into a spur leading to the control.
5) Intended to use marsh near #2 as first big catching feature to enable faster rough navigation rather than reading every detail for the whole leg, but very shortly after leaving #4, I had no idea where I was; pushed myself to keep going NW rather than go into relocation mode (or panic mode), figuring I had a full km to figure it out; continued totally blind until I caught the NW-trending trail where the map finally clicked again; a bit more carefully from there on in, mainly using the marshes.
6) Saw Walter S a couple of times 4-5, didn't see him after 5 but the knowledge of his proximity helped me flog myself up the hill at near max heartrate (i.e. a steady walk); the two long cliffs did the trick for nav.
7) Followed the compass / high ground / bit of trail, keeping the major rocks and slope on my right, then lower down slid to the right into the linear marsh and followed it to the control.
8) Compass mainly (was able read the first couple of rocks but didn't pick up the subsequent rocks in spite of where I drew the line) with the hope that some evidence of the ride would eventually show up on my left and it did, confirmed by the cluster of boulders 50m before the control.
9) As hard as I could run on compass and ignoring all features; hesitated very briefly upon breaking into the open due to oxygen deprivation and the relocated finish.
Wonderful terrain, map and course! Thanks to all who made this fantastic event possible.