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Race Evaluation

Hudson Highlander X:


1. Uh-oh... we're off. Where the hell is #1? The purple lines are hard to see just like the earlier A-meet and as Charlie commented aloud. Just paralleling the lake on the trail w/everyone else and going at a brisk pace. Tom Carr, Daniel Schaublin and some West Pointers were nearby. All of us speeding up and slowing down creating little traffic jams while the leaders made mistakes missing trails and going right too soon. I wanted to go right as we hit the last ridge but w/debris in the way, it made sense to drop down the crest before the final climb chasing Greg Balter and Wyatt Riley.
2. My head was already out of it. I started out thinking I was headed to #3, a relatively short leg across a reentrant. Wyatt and Greg dropping down quickly to the road ahead cleared that up. I passed someone on the road and just tried to keep my pace rather than catch-up to Wyatt and Greg. Angling up, I slowed but still could see Wyatt and Greg punching ahead.
3. Tom catches up and we run parallel fairly straight. I see Greg shooting off to the right just when Tom yells control to my left.
4. +00:20Tom moves ahead having punched first as I hesitate. I chase after him and we drifted farther right than I thought we were, into some greenish stuff. I expected we'd hit the uncrossable marsh a little to the left side but actually went clear of it to the right. I mistook the smaller one there for it and don't realize it. Tom clues me in by pointing out the stone walls but I don't see them on the map with the fold hiding some of it and not expecting to be there. I'm still looking right where I see Greg going off at a fast pace and am ready to cross the stream thinking it was edge of the uncrossable marsh still--the green slash seemed like it was blue on the run. I also had interpreted the contour ups and downs incorrectly. Tom saves me again as I see him and others going left.
5. I punched at #4, then took my time drinking and eating a Gu. Seeing Tom and Daniel off ahead, I chase and close in on them while going up the hill. A group ahead heads straightish toward the rocks, left of the line while Daniel heads for a broad spur right of the line. Tom and I acknowledge that this is a better way. Eventually I passed both. Mihai appears ahead and I kept a steady walk, jog as needed, climbing the last bit right on the line.
6. +00:15Going down, I was indecisive about whether or not to go left or right. Eventually, I decided right as staying with the pack was safer. Tom and Daniel caught-up during this. Crossing the ridge going almost due N, I see the cliffs from above and think the control is more to the left. It was more to the right.
7. I remembered this area from the last loop last year. I knew there was something funny with the trail but also that it turned out to be a faster way for most people. I stuck to it. Tom and Mihai were nearby. As we got close, I thought to stay low until the end as Mihai was going. It looked like it might not be good ahead so I backed out as Tom and others had already gone high. Staying low would have been better. I lacked confidence.
8. Going out on the edge of the marsh and reentrant about 1/4 of the way out, I'm surprised to see Samantha Seager coming from the other direction headed to #7. Up a narrow reentrant with several others, the over the top right to it in a line of people.
9. Nice run down the grass. I tried to keep from going too fast for hidden stones. Cutting right near the bottom, we passed between the cliff and the pond to the map exchange.
10. #9-Rest Stop. Again I punch first and take my time drinking and eating a Gu. Daniel who was behind admonishes Tom and I for taking our time at the water stop. He takes off and I catch him a little way ahead. He had forgotten to punch so he had to go most of a minute back to control #9. I went on. The B&W copied small scale map looked more like a road map and I didn't feel like I knew any of the roads. I kept going straight after the streamers stopped appearing but did so more slowly thinking I might have to run back. The left turn sign was great but going up the hill, the trail seemed to disappear again. Eventually seeing a blaze, I yelled something out being glad to see the blaze, looked behind and below to see Tom. It was pretty up top. Passing the hiker smoking a cigar, I got to the rest area and think I was told that I was in 3rd with the leaders only about 2 minutes ahead. When I had started the trail run I expected that there were several ahead besides Wyatt and Greg. I hadn't passed anyone except Daniel.
11. +00:20Rest Stop to #10. I hadn't looked forward to running this map from the time I heard we were headed there, before registering. I was intimidated. The disappointment of the morning was to find that we'd be using the 1:15,000 scale version instead of 1:10,000. As I ate a bannana, 3/4 of a Cliff bar, some H20 and most of a 32 oz Gatorade at the rest stop, Tom and Daniel had caught up from the trail run and were doing the same. I took off first but slowed immediately w/Tom right behind. I had done okay in this immediate area during the Team Trials a few years back but inched forward this time with much too much trepidation. Following the ridge, going through the 3 big cliffs SW of the control, I got to the circle and saw the boulder but saw something else to my left too. I dropped over there, realized my error and headed back up to see Tom and Daniel both leaving it. The sad part about it was that this was the one w/my initials from my 10th place finish from last year.
12. #10 to #11. Daniel led toward #11 followed by Tom, then I. I made up some ground on Tom and Daniel as we went a bit right of the line to #11.
13. +00:30#11 to #12. As we left #11, Tom and I moved ahead a little. I was thinking to go down along the stream to the junction, then follow the next stream up and to the knoll. Instead, Tom and I got a bit high, then just went with it. Eventually, we could see Daniel about 80ft. below and south of us. Tom and I crossed the high ground quickly. I almost confused the stream west of the control with a reentrant which we crossed. The recent spell of dry weather had kept streams from flowing much. Greg punched first, followed by Daniel, then I.
14. #12-#13 Greg led as Daniel pursued not far back. Tom and then I followed further back. Greg took us a little left then right up the big hill. We went straight for a while dropping into and gradually crossing a reentrant. Hooking right around a hill, Greg and Daniel were out of sight. I had passed Tom. The cliff with the split in it stood out real well. As I passed through it to the other side, I was a bit surprised to see Daniel and Greg almost coming back at me. They had already punched. I saw it a few steps later.
15. #13-#14 Greg started to pull away as we crossed the streams going mostly straight, just a little left of the line. Greg was still visible as we followed the line of cliffs from the SW, into the control.
16. #14-#15 Down, down down going straightish. I think this was the control leg that Daniel fell on. He got up slowly probably having the wind knocked out of him a bit. As we crossed the first stream and climbed up a rock reentrant, Greg moved out of sight a bit to the right. I got to the top ahead of Daniel and Tom. I thought we were further ahead than we were when we hit a road-like trail. I thought it was a trail that was further ahead which would eventually bend to westward toward the marsh. I looked back a moment and indicated it to Tom and Daniel and went up. As I did it I was doubtful whether or not they were following so it wasn't completely being "Onkst'd." I passed some hikers and just past them I could see the trail bending NE, not W. I looked back confirming that Dan and Tom were gone. The hikers pointed the direction they went which was further down the hill. I felt nervous but decided it was better to go a different route. I kept decent contact with the map but had to climb uphill more than the route Tom and Dan were headed off in. I dropped down through the cliffs NW of the big marsh and got on the trail there a short way S. I rounded the rocky hill with lots of slow to cross downed trees. In the circle I had gotten just a bit past the control when I saw it a little more S. I was fairly sure Tom and Daniel had been to #15 already but no one was in sight.
17. +00:40#15-#16 I climbed the hill comfortably and hit the trail to the N. After about 200m, I could see Tom and Daniel together on the trail too. I didn't think they'd go that way but was glad to see them. I picked-up the pace a bit and caught them (Is this "Nadiming" them back?) shortly after leaving the trail to pass between the green areas of Pine Swamp. The acceleration triggered the start of cramping. I started to drop back but their pace wasn't quick with the terrain being slow. As we left the green areas, I figured we should begin climbing and angling up the hill to the control. We stayed too low and hit the two boulders NW of the control, where we paused. We were well outside of the circle. Daniel and Tom figured it out as we climbed higher to the control and I got there last.
18. #16-#17 I drank and ate a Gu before setting off NW toward the trail. I got a little confused at the first intersection as things didn't seem to line up but Daniel ran through it and got us on the trail to Time Square. My map contact was poor due to the footing but I recognized the bends going to Times Square. I didn't see on the map the first trail on the left that Tom pointed out first. Daniel had alluded to it earlier. As we turned up it, the footing kept me from reading well so I pretty much was in tow. I finally recognized things as we left it turning SW going through the big saddle and then down to the big marsh 500m E of the control. We cross the two trails which I would have stayed on longer and probably should have. I lost count of the reentrants we crossed as we side-hilled right to it with both Daniel's and Tom's navigation. The sidehilling with shoes that I'd only worn once the week before was cutting into my foot at the top of the shoe.
19. +01:00#17-#18 My first inclination was to use the trails as much as possible but Daniel convinced both Tom and I that the low route along the marsh could be faster than going up and down. Getting down the hill was slow. We climbed over one ridge before getting to the long valley leading to the marshes S of the control. All of it was slow. The map hadn't reflected the greening of the area. We finally hit the trail, staying on it perhaps 100m before angling up the hill. The rocky steep climb was slow and it was hard to tell where we really were. As the hill leveled, we came to a stop. I ran a little loop NW to some visible reentrants near what appeared to be cliffs with bare rock before coming back. Daniel led 60m more right to it.
20. #18-Rest Stop Inclined to drop downward to the road, my lack of confidence got me going in the direction that Daniel started off in. Tom started to drop back quickly and before we knew it, we'd left him. I figured going straight wasn't very risky with the road funneling and the ridge pinpointing the way to the rest stop. I didn't want to climb at the end even though I knew there'd be some climb going straight. It was also safer to be close to Daneil than risk letting him get away on a route choice. I tried to move ahead but cramping kept me from getting very far away. Nearing the end, we passed Tracy Olafsen who was going the other way. Daniel picked up the pace and passed me near the end.
21. Rest Stop-#19 I guzzled most of another 32oz Gatorade, shoved a bannan quarter in my mouth and replenished my Gu supply. By this time Daniel had already taken off but was not very far ahead. As I was about to enter the woods again I finally remembered to take a split. It was at least a full minute later than when I got to the rest stop. The volunteers said it'd be 500m to the first control which was shown on the edge of the map, on the trail and near a stream. I caught Daniel, passed him and after what I thought must be 500m, paused. I feared I had missed it and asked Daniel who was silent. Going on, cramps kept me slow but I got a bit more of a lead on Daniel. The blue streamers were better placed than the pink ones on the first trail run.
22. #19-#20 I looked at the map a bit before going. Daniel caught up but I left first. He got a little ahead rounding the reentrant lower than I but I passed and gradually climbed. I roughly followed above a line of cliffs. Hitting just above the distinct horseshoe shaped reentrant, confidence was good. I kept above the big uncrossable cliff and rounded the corner. Expecting to see it there, it was--happiness.
23. #20-#21 Going down the steep hill, I wanted to avoid unecessary climb on the trail and take a shorter distance. It was rocky. Daniel had been going downhill all through Surebridge faster than I and here was no exception. He dropped straight down onto the trail and was ahead a bit as I angled across and down to the trail bend. I caught and passed him on the next curve, following trails to the road. I cut in to cross the hill rather than attack from below. Stepping across the above the knee blueberry bushes, I saw Daniel on a parallel but higher track. I got out of the mess first and read rocks into the control, cutting SW at the end.
24. #21-22 Straight down, right of the building and following the sidewalk to the control.
25. +01:30#22-23 I drank and ate another Gu before leaving. I should have used the time to read more carefully. With #22 and the finish so close together, my eye followed the wrong line on the map out to #26 instead of #23. This was just what Greg Balter had done on Surebridge though his error was more costly. I spike my way to #26 only to read the code and realize what I'd done. I must have drawn Daniel that way too. As I corrected, he was on the trail ahead, rounding the hill toward #23. He cut up the hill and I passed him soon after. At the first big cluster of boulders, I dropped down. Following the next big cluster to a dry marsh, I stopped. Daniel caught up and stopped too. He then indicated we were at the lower marsh. I concurred and adjusted course leftwared up a little to the control.
26. #23-#24 I didn't feel going straight over the hill was worth it at the end of 4 hours. Going north, I was surprised to get so close to the power lines so quickly. I started climbing when paralleling the power lines closely took me to a green area. Rounding some cliffs and the ridge line, I cut W up toward the big cliffs before the spur. I figured where the control would be correctly but I didn't see it at first and went past it just a bit. Daniel wasn't far behind.
27. #24-#25 Going straight seemed safest even though there was climbing involved. I contoured around the very top and followed the green down. I pretty much spiked it.
28. #25-#26 Initially, I wanted to avoid getting tangled-up in the green areas. I often make errors in such places. I went a bit out of the way to go around but did cut through some of it. I was both concerned about the stoney area on the straight route below and encouraged as it was an obvious attack point. The concern came from Daniel having all day run better than I had in stoney downhill areas. I was slow but tried to get across it quickly, whereupon I turned left a bit to get to the control that I'd already been to. As I got there, I heard Daniel approaching but didn't look back.
F. #26-F Still concerned about Daniel's downhill running speed, I figured I'd be faster on the flat. I just had to not make a silly error. I quickened the pace and crossed a reentrant before getting to the swing sets in the open, almost right on the line. I put it into full gear but still wasn't sure if I'd have to go to the control #22 to finish or the table before it. Fortunately, Paul B. and someone else were creating a finish line with their hands. I was happy to finish though I would have been happier being more confident about running on my own more. I felt relatively good about navigating the last map even though it was easier and I was forced to go slower then. I was glad about my endurance too. It was fun running with Daniel and Tom a lot. I hadn't imagined finishing in second place (even though many were not competing this year) and did not necessarily expect to get top ten again.

Total Time Lost - 00:04:35

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