Hot, hot, hot... And it's only April... I guess I forgot how hard it could be here during the summer heat. Battling cold and not running for the last two weeks didn't help either. As a result I was so exhausted by the end of the run, I could hardly stand. And that after I pretty much walked the last third of the course. My time reflected the struggle: 80 mins of 6.9 km with decent navigation - it should have been 10 mins less...
The course itself wasn't too hard navigation wise, but quite hilly and physically demanding - I usually struggle with such configurations heat or no heat... There were some very nicely designed legs though: 4-5, 5-6, 9-10 and 10-11 to name a few.
Here is how I ran:
#1: used the trail first and then cut straight to the control (and as it turned out through some thorny vines...)
#2: went east and ended up very close to the rangers residence, crossed the road and went down to the re-entrant, ran alongside it on the south slope to the control. The big side re-entrant before the control was an easy catch feature.
#3: crossed the re-entrant diagonally aiming to the top of the rocky line. From there went north-east and then north across the re-entrant. Went up keeping the stone wall on my left and went right to the control.
#4: down to the shore and to the bridge, crossed both bridges and went up a spur between two re-entrants. I thought I would reach the side re-entrant with the control this way, but it wasn't there. Maybe the map is not very accurate there (side re-entrant is smaller than it is on the map) or I got confused, not sure. Anyway, I ended up too far north and had to turn around to get to the control.
#5: to the road and down the slope. Ended up by the first stone wall, crossed the re-entrant there and went over the spur, crossed the other re-entrant and climbed up the hill. Then ran around the big re-entrant on my left (good attack point) and from there went straight to the control.
#6: walked up the hill and ran down to the river/creek junction. Crossed the creek and ran along the other creek between two hills. When I reached the hill to the north, turned left and went to the re-entrant (all that without gaining any elevation!). Walked up the hill to the trails junction. From there went north-west to the other hill and then north to the control.
#7: down the spur, across the re-entrant, then up on the right side of the side re-entrant first, then crossed it to the left side and proceeded up to the control.
#8: I was already very tired at this point and contemplated switching to Green, but decided not too. Went up 10 yards and saw the control in the distance - too easy.
#9: went west watching compass, so not to go astray and hit the re-entrant with the control precisely.
#10: from that point on walked a lot... went south, crossed the re-entrant but ended up west from the control - not east as I planned. Didn't look at the compass and run to the rocks on my right - bad move... There looked at the compass, realized what happened and corrected the mistake.
#11: went south-east, crossed one re-entrant then another, then reached the top of the third one. Went further east and crossed the next re-entrant aiming to the control, but reached wrong set of cairns. From there saw another cairn, ran there - it was also a wrong one. Turned back and saw the control.
#12: went down to the creek and spent a minute or so there splashing water over my head and shirt, then continued east around the hill keeping my elevation all the way until the control.
#13: to the trail, crossed the bridge and ran along the shore until the big re-entrant. CRAWLED up... Had to stop and few times to rest along the way. Evil, evil leg. After the initial climb slowly walked further up to the control.
#14: ran pretty much in a straight line, first to the creek a little south of the trail and then up to the control.
#15: again straight run/walk to the finish.
Here is my route (click to enlarge):
Thank you very much, Ken and Terese for setting the courses and pushing me up to the limits of my endurance! :)