Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29 at Whispering Pines (advanced event)

This time we got a sunny event, though the forest was wet after several days of raining. Slopes were slippery and trails muddy. I expected the big creek to be swollen too, but, surprisingly, it wasn't. I had more troubles getting across smaller creeks with exceptionally steep banks on this course.

The course, yes, the course was very hard. I ended up doing Green and it was probably the most difficult Green course I've ran (or rather walk) so far. Not a single easy control, tough crossings and crazy elevation. And all that in seemingly very well known area at Whispering Pines. What can I say, Josef designed a magnificent course.

Right at the start I knew that I'd be in trouble because of the elevation profile of the course and the first two legs confirmed it. I consciously slowed down and walked a majority of the course, preserving strength. I think it worked out well: I was able to do Green with a decent time, didn't die and even finished with a short run :-)

Here is how I ran/walked.

#1: used the trail as much as I could, then went down to the creek and crossed it not far away from the trail (thus avoiding an extra hill). Walked up the trail till I passed a re-entrant on the right and cut south to the control.

#2: went south south east to the creek and crossed it close to the re-entrant on the other side, then walked on the slope to the control.

#3: crossed the creek and walked up to the green area - it was very distinct, used the green area boundary as a trailing feature to get to the re-entrant (also avoided loosing any elevation by doing it), Went down the re-entrain using the north slope, walked through the area with fallen trees, across the creek and used the big gully on the other side as an attack point.

#4: thought about going all the way around that big hill, but chosen not to and walked up the hill, around the re-entrant so not to loose elevation and north to the control.

#5: used the trail as much as I could, then ran along the creek until the curve, crossed smaller creek and followed the big gully up the hill, used the man made feature as an attack point.

#6: didn't like the look of the steep hill on the right, so decided to go left. Crossed the big creek, then had big troubles crossing the smaller creek, as it had banks about two yards high. Finally crossed it, walked up the hill and north to the control.

#7: thought about finishing on Brown, but I still had some strength left and the Green circle looked very interesting, so I continued on Green. Went down to the big creek and ran along it until I reached the proper re-entrant, then walked up the re-entrant on the left slope. It was very difficult, I was afraid I would get injured there, but the only alternative was to go all the way up that hill, so I somehow managed to get to the control just navigating that slope.

#8: that dangerous slope exhausted me, so I ended up walking all the way to #8. Up the hill, then north north west, noticed a shallow re-entrant on the left, then saw the gully and turned up to the control.

#9: went around the gully, across the re-entrant, then navigated around the green area and turned west to the re-entrant with the control.

#10: decided that I don't need any more slopes, so went straight up the hill and ran down south east noticing green areas till I reached the control.

#11: tried to avoid the steep hill by the big creek and as a result made costly mistake (5 mins or so). Went down to the creek, crossed it with difficulties, walked over the hill and crossed the second creek just a bit north from the spot I thought I was. So when I reached the trail I thought that I am further south and went even more north, then cut east looking for the re-entrant with the control. I found a re-entrant all right, but it was too shallow, so I stopped and re-assessed the situation. Realized what happened and went south to the control (had to go around green area too).

#12: crossed the creek and went up to the control.

And then I RAN to the finish :-)
Total: 74:25 (not bad for mostly walking, I think)

Thanks to Ken and Terese for running the event and thanks to Josef for designing such an awesome course!

Here is my route. Click on the image to enlarge. Blue - mostly running, yellow-brown - mostly walking.

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