Orienteering race 1:22:17  12.74 km (6:28 / km) +206m 5:59 / km
Billygoat 2016! A few weeks ago I was looking at my calendar and saw that I wasn't doing anything the weekend of May 7-8, then I happened to see that the fabled Billygoat (AKA the granddaddy of them all) was that weekend, and I tried to think of a good reason why I shouldn't go, and I couldn't, so I went.
My goals were severalfold: 1. See some great people; 2. Have a fun adventure; 3. Run a solid race; 4. Get at least an introductory idea of what a New England forest looks like before Team Trials. As things happened the race fit my purposes almost perfectly; I was able to run completely solo 85-90% of the time, only being accompanied/led by young Isak for the first three controls. Before arriving at 3 I made a very deliberate decision to skip 4 and strike out on my own, regardless of whether 4 was the best skip or not - this on the calculus that holding hands with a Swede for the whole course wouldn't do much for the big picture/goal 4.
I then led the race from 5 to 11, which is exciting because all of the top eight or so had used their skip by then (most skipped 10, which was a substantially better skip than mine to boot), but then I lost ~2:00 minutes on 12 and got passed by Isak. I actually saw him off to my left, but again made a conscious decision to disregard him and figure my own ish out.
After that I was alone in second (though I did catch one more glance of Isak on the way out of 14) until taking a poor line to the trail on the way to 22 and seeing Will Hawkins bust out some 20 yards ahead of me. I had a bit more in the tank than he did, so was able to re-pass and finish ~30s clear.
Other mistakes included ~2:00 on 16 (bad route choice which led me way left of the line smack into the big green hillside near 7, plus hesitation in the circle) and ~2:00 on 20 (dumb route choice through swamps), and the usual assortment of small bobbles. Quite happy with the run overall though - seven top splits and 11 second place splits out of 23 total, successfully stayed ahead of the pack by doing (almost) all my own navigating, and accomplished all of my goals. I also got tantalizingly close to swiping the honorary ugly goat doorstop for the Cascade trophy case, but to no avail. Next year...?
Many thanks to Alex and Ed for organizing and for setting a fantastic course! And great to see and hang with Boris, Ian, Kseniya, and others. Well worth the trip!