Sunday, March 9, 2008

Night-O at Lake Johnson

It was probably the coldest evening this week and I think everyone felt it. All three of us (Tanya, Michael and myself) were freezing on the parking lot for quite a while. I was fortunate enough to have an extra coat, but Michael wasn't prepared at all. I ended up giving him my coat just before the start. Tanya and Michael decided to go together on the easy course, while I chose the hard one. I am not running Reds as of lately because of my knee, but Score-O was fine because of the time limit. The knee can handle up to one hour of running, so it was good. Plus I really like Night-O events and usually do good there.

Jumping ahead, I did good this time too and ended up being second, but made several costly "strategy type" mistakes. The first one was right at the start: I didn't look at the points associated with controls and simply assumed that the ones across the road are the only ones important. My strategy was very simple:
1. Take everything across the road
2. Then go along the main paved trail and pick up a few more controls as time allows.

And I did just that.
But if I had looked at the control points I would definitely take 15 pointers 55, 56 right after the start and 18 pointer 58 later on. But I didn't. Too bad...

Anyway, according to my strategy I went down to the parking lot, crossed the road and started to look for #70. I couldn't find it... It was probably the only control which wouldn't reflect the light unless you are 2 meters from it and looking right at it. Yes, it was very close to the trail, but down below the cliff. This control ended up being really bad for me (see below).
OK. I didn't find it, lost 1-2 minutes, but decided to proceed and pick it up on the way back, which was right thing to do. The rest of the controls in that area were good. I divided them into 2 clusters:
1) 72, 71, 73, 75, 74
2) 76, 79, 78, 77
Took one cluster, then another. Because of the initial flaw in the strategy, I was literally alone while taking all of those. I only saw other runners on 78 (Ken and Terese?) but that was it.
All right, after I finished these clusters I went back to my #70. And what do you think? I couldn't find it again! This time I spent 5 minutes there, running back and forth this trail section. That was my second big mistake, I should have just go and forget about #70. But I stayed and paid dearly for that. Not only I lost a lot of time there, but also when I finally found the control, I fell of that cliff and re-injured my bad knee. Ouch... No mapping today in Schenck Forest and a big question mark on the next 2 events...

After #70 I hobbled to the parking lot and stopped there deciding whether to continue or finish right there. I had 24 minutes left, but the knee was kind of loose and in moderate pain. Tried running on the parking lot and it felt OK, so I continued according to my initial plan.

48, 57, 49, 50, 59, 65... all along the main paved trail.

A funny thing happened to me at #57. This is the one which wasn't set correctly. Naturally, I didn't find it, ran by and then started to look around with my flash lite. And bingo, there was a prefect reflection 50-60 meters away. Yay, I ran there only to discover a park post with a reflecting number. LOL. I looked back and saw someone with a flash lite approximately in the area there the control should have been and ran back there. What do you think? It turned out to be Joseph resetting the control.

Anyway, at 65 I had 8 minutes left and decided to turn back toward the finish. Correctly took another route and picked up 54, 53, 52 and 46 along the way. Ended up 2 minutes late and extremely exhausted.

Tanya and Michael had already finished (they did quite good by the way). My knee was loose and hurting, so after a few minutes of rest we left for the car. Along the way we saw people helping Ruth, I am glad she ended up OK (if not counting stitches...) after that fall.

Finally, here is my route (click on it to see the full picture).

1 comment:

Black Russian said...

good stuff!
cross-post it to BOK, or send us a link so that we keep up with your (and your family) adventures...
Artem