It was indeed one of those extremely hot events we seem to have every year at the end of April and in May. Last year I nearly blacked out on a course, so this time I decided to be extra cautious, walk more and monitor my condition all the time.
Artem offered both regular and Score-O courses and I was in serious doubt which one to choose (Score-O or Green).
Score-O pluses were:
- 1 hour time limit
- possibility to run only short legs
- Though it was unlikely that I could finish it in 1 hour, I would not have to think as much during the run, as I would have to in case of Score-O. In such hot weather simplicity was very desirable.
- The course had several challenging long legs, but not in sequence, which was good for me. And I really liked the way the course was designed.
My strategy for the run was as following:
- I knew I wasn't going to run all the way and would have to switch to a walk sooner or later. I wanted to do it later, so I decided to avoid hills at all cost. Heat was enough to battle through, I didn't need hills to add up to the challenge.
- I was going to walk up every hill I couldn't avoid - no running up, even at the beginning of the course.
- I was going to monitor my condition in order to switch to a walk before it gets too bad.
Here is how I ran:
#1: along the green vegetation to the clearance, then used compass bearing to get to the re-entrant and used a small gully as an attack point
#2: down to the creek and ran along it switching sides till the big creek. Crossed it carefully and walked up hill to the trail. Used the trail to get to the road, crossed the power line. Went down to the re-entrant and used its northern slope to get to the clearance. The problem was that I didn't see this clearance on the map - I thought it was all white around the control. So when I reached the clearance I thought that it was the one north from there and instead of taking the control I went south east looking for it. Naturally, I didn't find it and stopped to assess the situation. And only then I noticed that the control was actually inside a clearance. Ouch... Returned back and took it.
#3: went down to the creek and walked up hill to the control watching re-entrant on my left along the way.
#4: was very difficult to get to. The area between #3 and #4 was so flat that the only choice I had was to take a compass bearing and hope for the best. So I took compass bearing to the top of the big re-entrant and fortunately hit it right where I wanted. From there it was an easy run to the control.
#5: crossed the re-entrant to avoid green and ran down to the creek. Ran along the creek and used its curve as an attack point.
#6: no way I was going up that hill, so I went around. Along the creek, used trail for a short while, then along another creek between two hills. As soon as the left hill ended I tuned west and ran on the same elevation till yet another creek, crossed it and went right to the control.
#7: walked up and across the power line and met Michael there. Together we ran west looking for the re-entrant but saw the control first.
#8: went down to the big creek, crossed it and walked up hill. That was my "switching" point. From that moment I pretty much walked all the way except for the final stretch. Anyway, after I crossed the second trail I went across the hill to the re-entrant with a small creek and swamp and used it as an attack point. Also saw the opening on my left when I was walking to the control.
#9: took compass bearing and walked uphill, then down to the re-entrant with the control
#10: with big difficulties (because of fallen trees and greens) went down to the trail. Used the trail to get closer to the control and cut north from the curve. Counted creeks and took creek #3 to go alongside to the control. Used rocks on the right bank as an attack point.
#11: walked up north and reached the trail. Then used the trail a little bit and went down to the control aiming for the cabins.
#12: ran all the way to the finish spending whatever strength I had left.
Ended up spending 74 minutes on the course - not bad for such weather.
Michael finished Orange and liked it very much. Thank you, Artem! Great courses.
Here is my route. Click on the image to enlarge. Blue - mostly running, yellow-brown - mostly walking.