Orienteering race (THE MEGA) 2:27:31  ***** 12.0 km (12:18 / km)
ahr:125 spiked:100/108c shoes: Adidas Response Trail 9
Didn't post under racing since I short cut the full 203 control course. Also didn't take useful splits - I was using my splits to count the blue striped flags, but looking back I don't know which ones they were - only how many I punched.
Went out conservatively - first hour running about 135bpm, clean navigationally only a couple minor bobbles mostly due to incorrectly guessing the flag location from map (too cumbersome to keep referring to descriptions).
Stopped for about 5 minutes or so to assist Mikkel Coenradi who crashed hard right in front of me approaching #29 putting a big gash in his head. Was going to quit and walk out with him but Pat Dunlavey arrived and indicated he hadn't planned on going more than an hour or so anyway. Continued on with George W & Rick D for a while - took a few controls to get back into flow.
Near the top of the map I got a tear and the map started getting pretty nasty from repeated folding, wound up tearing the NE section of map off and jamming it in my pocket - followed George until I was back on a piece of map I could read - probably 6-7 controls past the tear. Stayed with George a little while longer, trading lead with him until the slot - somewhere shortly thereafter I think I got away from him - not really intentionally, just not looking over my shoulder and eventually realized I was running alone except for the occassional fast train to come by that I had no intention of trying to catch.
After that I slowed a bit - jogging slowly to make sure map contact was good and only picking up the pace to race pace when flag was in sight.
Still feeling pretty good around 2 hours nearing the 100 halfway point, but mental focus starting to drift slightly (though no nav problems yet). Hit the water control and drank a lot and looked at rest of course. Continued on through #105, slowly realizing that this was going to be fun for about another 20 controls or so, then it was going to start heading for the big suck... Decided I'd rather do less than the whole course and enjoy it, rather than beat myself up just to say I did the whole thing. Bailed to major trail, stopped off at #138 to grab my Mountain Dew stash, back to trail, road intending to cut back in and finish the final 25 or so. Everything looked good until I turned off the road - got about 20 paces into the woods and both legs cramped right up - hobbled back to finish and called it at 108 controls. Quite glad I opted to cut it short when I did - would not have wanted to cramp way down in the SW corner.