2018 Frozen Beaver w/ BNM as Wonderful Adventure Racers Presented by Nitrogaine
After some interesting sleeping (I, in the top bunk, sweating to death in shorts and a T shirt, while immediately below, my roommates freezing to death), we got out maps for a much more confounding arrangement of checkpoints than last year.
Last year, it seemed really easy to stay low or stay high and minimize transitions, and link with redundant travel or orphans.
This year was much more devious - several controls confounded us - no idea how to easily integrate them.
I did ~13 miles of scales last year, so we used that as our planning baseline. I didn't quite nail the ending - we had about 2.7 miles to go against the rest of the day at 2.2 miles - we'd need to be at least 15 minutes head (4:45 versus 5 hr) at that point to have a good finish.
I donned my ski o map holder, so I could pilot our team and still use walking sticks. It was awesome! Despite many concerned participants throughout the day warning of imminent injury from a potential faceplant (it collapses, risk is low), it was super convenient and I'll use it at future rogaines - it so easy to work it, read the map, and use trekking poles.
We started well. We went CCW this year (I went CW last year). Huge herd through the first two, then a bunch of teams overshot 81's correct reentrant, so BNM and I snuck in and got out of there.
Our first real climb was at 65 - oof. Which we immediately repeated at 55, thanks to trying to make the layout work.
We were moving well, about 5-10 minutes ahead for the first two hours.
We were unfortunately right on time at 3 hrs - not good! Where did our cushion go?! We were really thinking that we had no choice on the planned three drops - we had to let them go and stick to the baseline.
We were confused to see so many people in the 74/61 area - for us, that was a beeline back with just the points on a straight line, yet others were headed further into Lake Hope. How would they make it back?!
We did well, but were not quite snappy enough. I was fading a bit after the 4 hr mark (and two tough climbs at 74/61). While BNM found Kevin's compass, we had lost the cushion we briefly had, and hit the 5 hr mark on the nose. But, it was mostly flat - maybe we could get it!
And then two nav bobbles. I didn't quickly get to 82's correct peninsula, slowing short. Not a huge time lose, mostly just slower looking around a bit.
45....I knew I (slightly leading BNM) had gone to the wrong spur, but she was on the correct spur, and I figured, between the two of us, we'd see it. I should have asked BNM to go onto the spur's high part (instead of side hill), but didn't and she missed seeing it on the backside of a rootstock (hardest to spot flag on our route). So we lost a couple minutes there. Maybe we can still make it! We tried to get up to 56, but that was a baller climb, and thick at the end...slow going.
We had three c left. If we got to 60 in ten minutes, we could continue to 70 and then finish with only three dropped. BNM correctly raised an eyebrow. IT took fully 15 minutes to get to 60, and that was even putting the finish in jeopardy - we were so spent.
We ran a single pack for the day, so on the way to 30, I took the pack and voted for BNM to sprint in, hoping she could make the buzzer and I'd be within 100'. We barely got up the hill, she checked in about 30 seconds to spare, and I waddled up with about 10 seconds left. PHEW!
We were awarded 3rd in teams, although by my math, I think they missed one of our punches because I count 1420 points, versus our credited 1350, which tied a ten-minute faster 1350 pt team.
Either 2nd or 3rd, an entirely solid effort that maximized our potential points about as good as could be done, I think. (Short of knowing you'd be slow and trading 43 for 70 or something).
Congrats to all of the Michigan or alum performances - U of M's Team Kiwi with the overall win and first in teams, us with 2nd or 3rd, Syd with 2nd solo, and Tony Misovski with 3rd solo. Fully 67% of prizes to SMOC or SMOC friends, woo woo!
Thanks to BNM for hauling all of the junk almost the entire time, I need to tip for that bag service!!! Also we should carry less stuff....