4-hour Nav-X @Auburn.
Map w/route: http://www.p.fne.com.au/rg/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=...
Map disclaimer here: white forest can mean pretty much anything. About 40% of the time it's nice, runnable oak forest, but about 60% of the time it's ugly medium green or slash that really makes trail running optimal. Also fences aren't mapped. Also vegetation in general is super sketchy. Also about 10% of rocks are mapped. So it's basically a typical rogaining map xD
The beginning was scuffed due to a ton of horses getting in the way and my GPS watch deciding not to buzz at controls, but once I got going, the terrain allowed me to go way faster than I dared to go on a 4-hour. My right hamstring was super tight even before the race, and it never really loosened up even during the race, so I had this annoying feeling of knowing that my leg *could* start to cramp up pretty early. Thankfully it didn't, and except for a minor compass bobble at 54 (due to me not having my compass; I swear I'm gonna start a trend here), I got to 44 with only 40 minutes on the clock. Having a bunch of boring trail legs, I pulled out my earpiece and started bumping ABBA for the rest of the course. I switched up my plan a little (57-76-65 instead of getting 76 from 72), saw a flippin' big coyote midway from 72 (making me run a pinch faster), and enjoyed some seriously boring trail running. The ruins en route to 83 had some beautiful yellow daffodil fields (see Strava), but then 83 was just sheer ugliness due to the "forest" being dark green vegetation... Number 82 was also something of a bingo control; that entire hillside is dark green/slash, so finding the right clearing is... interesting. The rest was mainly just me attempting to ration out my energy efficiently (and helping some lost hikers figure out where to go, only to have them take the wrong turn 30 seconds later; why does this always happen!?). Surprisingly, no cramps showed up, even though my legs were 1% away from cramping up at the end, especially when I crashed and fell headfirst on some old wire detritus at 50. Ran into the finish with "Amazing Grace" playing... quite fitting.
Overall I'm pretty happy with this race. I honestly thought the cramps would get me, but I think that the trail running really helped keep them away (the jerky movements of off-trail running seem to exacerbate them). The map was ehhh, but it didn't cause too many problems. I'm also happy with the time; it's definitely still beatable, but it's a painful time to beat. Next up... the 4-hour at Annadel with 1400+ meters of climb? ehhh we'll see