Green course at French Park, in Amberly Village. Set by David Williams.
A really fun course on a perfect, springlike day. I was the last starter, since I arrived with a huge backlog of starters to enter. (I've really, really got to arrive earlier. I know.)
As the last starter, I had heard to avoid the middle green, but there were mixed reports regarding whether or not shorts were advisable. I suspected a slow day, and since it was just so perfect a day, I went with the shorts. Dick thought shorts would be okay since it was 90% trail. I related Dick's comment to Mike, and he said, "Yeah, but the other 10% is like Texas thorns." To which I took a deep breath and thought something like, "It's too late now; I'm going."
I was very surprised how interesting the course was. It was a little too easy, with legs that looked yellowish to my eye. But there was a lot of route choice, and because parts of the woods were thick, I ended up loving how the course used a lot of trails. The best part for me was the medium length legs crossing the slopes. They looked scary to my East Fork trained eyes, crossing like 5 or 8 ditches. But there wasn't really an around option, so I just took off on the line and found out the woods was fast and the ditch crossings mostly quick and painless (mostly).
The woods did turn out to be pretty slow, but not too many thorns. A few. I was going slow enough that I had a few pricks, but nothing more than a speck of blood.
The route gadget
is very cool, especially for the first three places up to about leg 7 or 8 or so, then it becomes more a race of two. Big kudos to David for all the route choices. Even using so much trail, the choices made it interesting and did work to sort the runners.
The climb ended up getting me. The approach to the finish was just single long climb up the main spur of the park, and I was just dead. I felt great, really great, up to 6.
I think David really did a great job setting this. The best part of his course for me was the way he used a lot of the map but with only three major climbs. It would be really easy to just take the runners all over the map but with tons of gratuitous climb. The cross-slope legs, especially in the better forest, were really fun. (It did take me a while to realize the map was 3m.)