Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18 at South Umstead (Whispering Pines)

What can I say? The course was awesome. Very difficult area, very challenging controls, no easy legs. The weather was accommodating, cold, but not very cold, so I could run is a T-Shirt, and, fortunately, no rain. Also almost no spiders - finally!

I was choosing between Red and Green. With green having remote finish, the actual distance seemed almost identical, plus I had a chance to win Red while many hard runners were going on Blue ;-) So I went on Red (and indeed won). Having said all that, my run wasn't 100% clean. While I avoided making big mistakes, there were 3-4 controls where I lost time. Some of them were very well hidden and I missed them, some were result of me not approaching them in optimal way.

Here is how I ran:

#1: along the saddle, then instead of going further uphill, I kept my elevation, crossed the re-entrant and kept on on the same elevation will the control.

#2: walked up the hill and ended up by the north spur of the re-entrant; went to the other side of the re-entrant and then downhill; crossed the creek and walked up the re-entrant on the other side (I wasn't entirely sure if it re-entrant with or without the control, I thought it wasn't the one though); after I made sure that control is not there, went over the hill to the proper re-entrant and took the control.

#3: went down from the hill and ran to the control using the lower ground

#4: kept my elevation, then crossed the creek to the trail; used trail until I reached the top of the hill and went north there (the forest was very open there); used the hill as far as I could without risk of getting past the control and went down; then continued along the slope till the control.

#5: I liked that open hill very much, so returned to the trail using the same route; used the trail, then a little bit of the road, then cut down through the re-entrant; saw Mihai running down from the control (not sure why).

#6: continued up, then down and then went east to the lake shore and trail. Used the trail to go around the lake; walked over the hill, across the re-entrant and up the slope, but didn't see the control. Got confused for a moment, then decided to take another bearing and went to the trail, from there returned back and this time got the control.

#7: to the trail, then used the trail till the bend; from there went across the creek and north-east aiming for the re-entrant just before the control; apparently was going too south, so didn't see that re-entrant and hit the next one; from there continued looking for the control, but instead saw the trail; realized what happened and returned back to the control.

#8: to the trail, over the hill and down to the control looking at the power line on my left so I could judge distance from it. The control was down on the ground, so I put it back up.

#9: down to the lake and crossed the power line there, which was easier at that place; run on the elevation line, then crossed some unmapped trail and went up the re-entrant on the other side to the control.

#10: checked my decision to keep going in Red - I still felt good, so I went for #10. Simply went along the creek counting re-entrant on the right and then going around the cliff. Then used the opening to get to the control. Again saw Mihai running from it ;-) As the whole way was slightly down, I actually felt refreshed after this leg.

#11: not sure I made a good decision there. I decided to avoid the big hill and returned back to the creek via the opening, then used the side creek to get to the power line and further. The problem was that right after the power line the creek became hard to go along due to green area, so I lost some time there. Passed one re-entrant on my right and caught up with Roman. Followed Roman to #11. Or to be more exact crawled behind Roman to #11 - that steep re-entrant almost killed me.

#12: to the trail watching re-entrant on my left, then straight down to the control

#13: up the hill, then west, crossed the re-entrant and turned south keeping slope on my right, ran right by the control without seeing it... Continued till another re-entrant, realized that I was too far, turned back and saw the control.

#14: straight across the re-entrant, reached the dry ditch, looked left, looked right, didn't see the control (duh!); thought maybe it is not the ditch on the map as it was very shallow and went further, didn't see another dicth, so turned back; saw Roman running toward me and he pointed me back to that ditch where people were clustering around the control. Went there, it was very well hidden: not only down in this little ditch but also behind log, so no surprise I didn't see it from 3 meters...

#15: to the road and used the road; cut to the trail from the opening and used the trail until it started to bend down; left the trail and went toward the control, keeping re-entrant on my right, but went too far south and hit a set of gullies; found them on the map and used them as an attack point.

#16: to the trail's bend, across the creek and up the re-entrant

#17 (or #18): was looking at #17 from green/brown and choosing between two possible routes there; fortunately decided to use the trail, so when I finally realized that I should not go to that control, I was on the right path to my #17 (18). So I used the trail all the way, then passed the saddle by the start and turned to the control.

#18 (or #22): aimed to the bridge, from there went north along the creek counting re-entrants on the left, then went up the one with control (again my legs were giving up there...)

And then down to the creek and up to the finish aiming for buildings.
total time: 1:35:59

Huge thanks to Joseph, Ruth and Josef for making this event.

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


rkraus said...

Great Course. Controls were low and many were well hidden. Some underground!!

Made the same mistake on #7, must have run right by it.

Took Powerlines to #10. Very tough slog. Waist high grass. Gave up and cut into forest along creek. Wonder if trail to east was a better way to go?

#11 was a very steep rentrant. Would have been nice to have water or a chair waiting on that one.

Took trail to #22. Seemed easier than crawling up the creek. Used top of hill as attack point to rock pile. Then rolled down and up the hill to the finish.

Great Course!!!

Vaskor said...

The power line is not good for running on, or walking on for that matter :-) Even when it wasn't as bushy as it is now it would take all the strength because it crosses so many steep hills. IMHO, pretty much any way around is better. But I liked my run along the creek there - it was very easy and straight.