NAOC Middle, 2nd North American. Timo won in 31 minutes.
Spectacular middle terrain. I was running fast and clean for most of the course and then lost the win on #10. Things stopped looking as I expected them to and I got into a depression that I didn't know existed. I thought I could have been south of the control, but wasn't confident enough to start running north. I decided to go back, relocate, and attack again. Lost a lot of time in the process.
I think attacking through 13 followed by the depression would have been better. A bit more distance, but more confidence and better running.
NAOC Long. 3rd North American. Timo burned through the course in 70 minutes.
I had two big mistakes on 1 and 2.
For 1 I decided to go straight after seeing how the green slash was mapped on the model map. It was very runnable on the model. It was not here. I should have taken the long way around.
For 2, I read the depression as a hill. I just didn't see the slope tags at 1:15,000 and was careless. I climbed the spur that had a similar orientation and after running for too long I realized something was off.
After that I just tried to maintain a decent pace and being reasonably clean. I knew I could pick up places in the final loop. And that's just what happened. I navigated well through the final section and picked up time and places.
S-1: Not much to this leg, just stuck to my compass and recognized the marsh and small hill in front of 1.
1-2: Decided to go around since I preferred the entry from the left. I was also unsure of how runnable a marsh with solid blue lines would be. There was no marsh like this on any of the training maps. So it was completely new to me. Bingo? Perhaps I should have risked it, but I was also concerned about throwing myself into a swamp and getting stuck, losing a minute or two and lots of energy pulling myself out.
I also stopped at the intersection of the ride and the reentrant as I hadn't seen the ride on the map. I considered the possibility of having overran the control, but the reentrant was so clear in the terrain that overrunning it didn't make sense.
2-3: Stuck to my compass until I crossed the dirt road and could see the field on my left. Was able to judge the entry into the point from there.
3-4: This is where I began to question how aggressive I should be in the forest here. I maintained a solid, comfortably hard pace, but also messed up the entry, stopping about 40 meters early as I hadn't seen a boulder but was entering some green. Now I see that there was a very small patch of green that I hadn't noticed.
4-5: Stuck high to avoid climbing up and down reentrants. There also tended to be branches in the bottoms of the reentrants, so I figured a bit of distance to avoid that was worth it. I also recognized that this was the trickiest control up to this point (a small marsh in thick green in a small reentrant) so I opted for a safer attackpoint from the trail and hilltop.
5-6: Exited in the right direction, cross the stream, compass to the trail intersection, then compass to the small hill south of 6. Saw the video crew before the control.
6-7: Once again, being uncertain about the runnability of the marsh, I opted to go around. This was a mistake. It seems that the runnability was fine. Still frustrated by this as I had no way to prepare for this. In my experience, solid blue lined marshes can't be crossed. And in my training camp in Latvia, I would have liked the chance to test running in marshes like this. But there weren't any on the training maps.
7-8: This is where my conservative routes really started to hurt me. I decided to avoid the green based on previous bad experiences with it on other maps. But it seems it wasn't too bad here. I was also too high on my entry to the control.
8-9: I saw the left route choice along the river, but wasn't sure I wanted to do that much forest running early in the course. So I decided on the road. But since my Achilles limited my top-end speed, I ended up not running as fast as I should have on this leg. I exited the leg with the Hungarian Aron Bako, but didn't like the route choice he was making so I went right. I lost time going with him for a bit.
9-10: Worked my way through the reentrant over and under trees as fast as possible.
10-11: Once again, concerned about pushing hard through the forest this early. And as others had apparently gained time on me by going straight through the swamp from 7-8, I thought the swamp east of 11 wouldn't be that bad. But it was pretty crappy. One of those swamps you could go chest-deep into. Messed up on the entry into 11.
11-12: I was tempted by the trail around, but this time it seemed like it was too far. Plus the open field was mostly decent running. The trail going into 12 had been recently widened with some machine.
12-13: I saw the route around to the right through the spectator passage, but again it seemed like too far around to make it worth it. But these hills are steep and the ups and downs took a lot of speed out of my legs. Matt Ogden caught me going into 13.
13-14: Had Ogden in front of me and was surprised at how slow he was running. Saw the Lithuanian Vilius Aleniunas also, he was also running surprisingly slow. Realized that my strategy of going around had at least gotten me to the final loop in better shape than these two.
14-15: Field to trail, trail through forest to reentrant.
15-16: I knew I wanted to hit the reentrant southwest of 16. So the only question was how to get there fastest.
16-17: After my last experience in a marsh on the way to 11, I said no thank you to going straight. Caught Aleniunas here.
17-18: Aleniunas took a really strange bearing out of this control and I was about to go with him, but I was still thinking clearly enough to realize he was going the wrong way. Beat him to 18.
18-19: Left hamstring started to cramp a bit here. Avoided the green to not go over any more trees.
19-20: I really liked the entry off the fence northwest of 20. And I knew I could run decently through the field, but I did get stuck in a bit of green in the ravine north of the field.
20-21: Climb up the super steep hill, run across the kinda steep hillside, go into the really obvious reentrant.
21-22: Hamstrings continued to cramp. The last thing I wanted was to be on one of those hillsides and hit the wall with countless trees to climb over. So I went for the trail and tried to hold a solid pace.
22-23: I really liked the trail leading into 23 since it was only one contour below 23. Climbing up to the field to go back down was not very appealing at this stage. Saw Will Critchley punch just before me.
23-24: Legs don't fail me now!
24-F: Does it really have to be uphill?
Running45:01  6.9 km (6:31 / km) +198m5:42 / km ahr:140 max:171