Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Browner and I teamed up for this race once again. It didn't take us long to make a route plan with some time checks and a few optional controls if we were ahead of time. There were three control pairs that offered bonus points if we visited them consecutively without any other control in between. We built them all into our plan.
Then we spent an equal amount of time figuring out (or guessing) control descriptions and writing them on the map since they weren't provided. Browner used her magnifying glass to figure out a few. This is a tricky area where up and down aren't always obvious. [Click for larger version.]
Controls 41, 42 and 43 would be removed after the first 15 minutes. They weren't valuable but with a false sense of urgency, we decided to do them first without thinking too hard. This is the only thing I would have changed about our plan. It would have been enough to visit two of them. It was a lot of running at the start!
Nick wasn't sure whether snowshoes would be a help or hindrance. The top overall teams ran without snowshoes but we opted to use them. The cleats were great for climbing the steep hills (dunes) and there were some soft areas where they helped and we didn't need to worry about twisted ankles.
We did 44 (with a bobble), 34 and 35 before crossing Veterans Way.
On the west side, we visited 33, 136, 135, 139, 148, 147, 32, 31, 133. The snowmobile trail network helped to pinpoint our location and the terrain was less hilly than the east side of the road.
We crossed back to the east side of the road and visited 141 before attempting another bonus pair 131-132. It was almost a bust since we passed close to 132 without seeing it then started exploring the area without a good plan. We relocated from a clearing and Browner saved the day by finding it in a location I'd ruled out because we'd previously been almost on top of it without seeing it.
Time was getting a bit tight so we started to run south-ish following snowshoe tracks that seemed to be heading to 38. They weren't. We didn't think we had time to relocate so we just carried on when we realized we'd overshot. Instead, we visited 40 before crossing the road and running across the field to the sports centre.
With a few exceptions, things went pretty well. We followed our plan almost perfectly, adding two of our optional controls and missing one. As always, Browner was a great teammate. We won the female category.
Huge congrats to Bob and Luka who cleared the course in just under 2 hours - wow! No one else cleared it in 2.5 hours although some came close. Congrats also to Timato and Nosnhoj, who were 2nd overall, and to 'Bent and Hammer, who were 3rd overall and won the Masters category. Huge thanks to Nick and the other volunteers!Results
Our finish line photo. Browner had just taken off her snowshoes.
Timato secretly "improving" our photo.