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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander: XI


1. Skittered around the left side, off trail, and got ahead of much of the crowd before the maps. That set me up to get passed by a lot of people on the climb. Kept telling myself to take it easy, no sense in burning myself out on an opening leg like this, particularly since it was clear that there was no way I could win KotM.
2. Right behind Peter Gagarin, Stefan Slutsky, and somebody else on the early part of the descent. Managed to work my way up close to the front of this small pack, just behind Peter. Got to the point where the streamers went off the right side of the ridge, and altered Peter, who was reading the map instead of the streamers. The going got really nasty for a bit at that point, which was good for me, and I easily dusted that crowd with little effort. Could see another group up ahead of me when I got to the flat trail, but couldn't gain on them by trail running. Some of the others caught up from behind as well.
3. People were going in a few directions, and I went with Peter, slightly right of the line to the trail. Everybody disappeared up ahead on the trail, though Sam Saeger appeared from the right when I got to the bridge (and vanished as well). Jitka Hostomska overtook me and slowly pulled away. I intended to attack from the water stop, but must have been paying too much attention to the scenery, because I never saw it. Eventually Jitka turned off the trail, and I faced the fact that I must be beyond the water stop (shoudl have been looking for other obvious features to navigate by. Correctly ascertained that I was WNW of the control, and started contouring toward it. Joe Brautigam, Pavlina Brautigam, and Jennifer Shultis were coming up from the proper direction as I approached, and we all got there at about the same time. Shortly after that, Sam and her entourage arrived from a different direction, and Jitka reappeared after apparenly having overrun it.
4. Headed off with Joe, but we were going too far left, heading down toward the swamp. Joe turned right to look for the trail, and I followed. Pafi and Jen were already on it -- pretty tiny trail, no wonder we missed it! Tucked in behind those two, and at some point Joe asked if I had spotted the three boulders. I told him that the only thing I had seen was Pafi, because I assumed that she knew where she was going. When we got close, we encountered a small group that included Jim Eagleton and David Onkst, and they appeared to be not as certain about where they were as Pafi was. She led us all right to the spot.
5. I took the lead, and was just a smidge to the left of the line, easily spotting the control as I crested the spur.
6. I started climbing right away, going just under the end of the big cliff, and taking a route just right of the line, reading well the whole way. The rest of the crowd, led by David, were going more left, staying in the bottom of the big reentrant. I managed to get a ways ahead of them, although I could occasionally hear them off behind me. After I crossed the trail and started climbing, I spotted a CSU suit ahead of me. Yeah! There's no better attack point than Peter Gagarin! I managed to gain on him, and when I got closer, I could see that it was really Ross Smith. Okay, still not bad, and Stefan was with him. I could see them until just before they reached the top, and then they were gone, but I spotted the control no problem when I got up there.
7. Stayed high for a while, thrashing through the blueberries, and was well above the open bench. Finally got down to the trail well past the water stop, and started anticipating all the people who would pass me. Only Sam caught up, and I we managed to get Ross in sight (I think she overtook him).
8. Jeremy Colgan went tearing past me on the climb up to the clearing. I stopped and drank half a bottle of Ethan-All, and dumped the detritus of Silvermine out of my shoes. Started out again just behing Hillary and Jeff Saeger, who had caught up, and we got to the control together.
9. The smart move is surely to go more or less W to the trail, and take it around. For some reason I decided to go through a little bit of laurel and hit the trail farther along. But I really overdid it, and wound up going parallel to the trail, passing to the NE of the top of Nat House Mt. What's weirder is that Jeff and Hill went the same way. Eventually Jeff was saying that we had to go more S to hit the trail, and we did, but it was the small trail running parallel to the stream. I didn't realize this at first and turned left for a few steps, but my compass showed me that I was not doing the right thing. Turned around and got behind Jeff and Hill going up the real trail (saw Jon Torrance and Greg Balter coming the other way) and we cut off to go through the saddle with the words "Grape Swamp Mtn.". Hill was furthest left and got the worst of the laurel, Jeff got a cleaner line to the right, and I was in between. We caught up to Stefan and David who were coming in from our right, I think, and all five of us were running parallel lines toward the control. Stefan got it first, and David was in hot pursuit of him, running right past the control as the rest of us stopped to punch (I turned and shushed them to see how far he'd get). He made it about 20 m before coming back spouting some nonsense about colorblindness.
10. Stefan was a little right, the rest of us were a little left, and he got there first, although we may have gained on him a bit.
11. Stefan was gone, looking to be too far left, and I headed directly for the control. Spotted the mine ahead of me as he crossed my field of view, heading for the pit to the right. I went directly to the crack and got a few steps ahead of everybody.
12. No sense in slowing myself down with detailed vegetation reading, I just hammered off to the west, contouring and looking for open spots in the laurel. Stefan was close behind, as was Hill. Got to the big trail and turned right. Stefan cut the corner a little getting on the small trail, but I went all the way to the junction. Then he did something weird, leaving the trail to the right before the bend. Never saw him again. Hill caught up and we got to the control together, with Jeff just behind.
13. Jeff said something about the control being an "in and out", but I didn't see the trail very well, and opted to go through a little green and get out to the white woods. Turned out to be pretty heavy blueberry. Saved a little climb, I suppose. Nadim Ahmed caught up about 80% of the way along, and when we got to the control, Jeff and Hill were there. Guess my route was okay.
14. Thrashing through laurel behing Jeff and Hill. Got to a little marshy-looking spot (depression?) before the real marsh, which confused me a Jeff, but Hill spotted the real marsh. But the two of them sailed past the bare rock hill while I turned right, and they were coming at the control from behind after I punched.
15. Nadim took the lead here, as I slowed down a bit to eat a ClifShot. Andrew Komm caught up as well, and David was back.
16. Nadim leading the crowd.
17. Nadim and Andrew out in front.
18. Andrew and I were leading, with me a little higher to the right. We hit a trail, which was hard to see on the map, and Andrew and Hill stopped to scrutinize it, but I could see that it was going my way and just kept following it. Left it in the right place, got through the laurel cleanly, and spotted the hill, although Nadim just behind me spotted the flag first.
19. I led the way on the straight line, thrashing and bashing through laurel and steep nasty rocks. Andrew and I were in front when we got to the marsh, and I realized that it might be hard to get to the control from the marsh side. We went around the deepest part of the marsh to the north, and I worked my way along the edge toward teh control, while the crowd behind me apparently did something unproductive. As I climbed the hill to to the flag, I could see only Nadim behind me.
20. Very nasty laurel getting out of there (directly E), and when I hit the white I was yelling at my legs not to cramp. Andrew appeared and asked "Where are you going?". I said "Number 20", and he tucked in behind me. I asked if he had been to #19, and he looked at his map headed back. Kept going E, crossed the N-S powerline, and went diagonally down the hill. Hit a wall of gunk when I reached the camp, and cut down (going under a building!) to the camp road. Nadim found a higher line and popped out on the camp road ahead of me. The asphalt was very painful to my feet, and Nadim vanished into the distance; I figured that was the last I would see of him. Had to get off of the pavement, so I cut E when the camp road made its last turn to go the big road, and picked up the trail to get to the control.
21. Drank the rest of my Ethan-All, picked up my map, and headed down the trail into the woods to... um... get a haircut. As I finished, Jeff and Hill appeared, and I tucked in behind them. We left the trail to climb the ridge, and I said, "Umm, maybe we should have gone around on the road?". Jeff's reply was something along the lines of "Doh!". We climbed just a little, saw a nice waterfall, and hit the valley across from the rectangular clearing, and up from there, with Hill out front.
22. Jeff asked Hill whether she was going to A or B, and she said B. I observed that it woudl be a good choice if the vegetation wasn't too bad, but I had also made that choice. Pretty easy going to get there (though I was worried that I might cramp), and I was able to read the edge of the marsh to the narrow spot, where it was trivial to get through and the control was right there. Sweet.
23. Drifted a little too far right, and had to pause to made a clothing adjustment. Jeff and Hill got ahead, and Andrew cam up from behind. He passed me on the faint trail, and I was all alone when I got to the final woods section. I decided to go above the green, whcih worked pretty well, because I got there a couple of steps after Andrew, and a couple of steps ahead of Jeff and Hill. And although I didbn't know it at the time, Nadim was reportedly a few steps behind them.
24. Oops. Much too far right, reading the contours badly and worried about dropping too much. Andrew seemed to be influenced by me, and I eventually decided that I just had to go north, but Andrew seemed to go off behhind me in some other direction. I was S of the marsh by now, and crossed it, reaching the trail where the faint trail branches off. I could see Jeff and Hill up ahead heading for the saddle, but they were out of sight by the time I got through it.
25. Moving fast in case Andrew was breathing down my neck, and I could see Nadim, Hill, and Jeff reaching the finish. Diagonally through the field to get to the building.
F. Another fine Highlander! Thanks, Daniel and company!

Total Time Lost - 00:00:00

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