Monday, February 28, 2011

Feb 27 in North Umstead

It was a tough one... The courses were beautifully designed and non-man-made feature map made them even more challenging. I liked that, but it didn't go very well for me. I lost a lot of time on two controls: one was caused by the map (I can't put it down as my mistake), but the second one was clearly due to my fault and I lost almost 15 mins there! I think there was another leg where I lost 3-4 mins as well. Plus I was soooo tired after control #11 - at times I could barely walk. Clearly I am not ready for 7.3KM red courses at the moment...

Here is how I ran:

#1: used the trail until the fence and then went straight down to the creek, crossed it, saw the cliff on my left and went up diagonally to the control

#2: walked up to the road, crossed it and proceeded along the re-entrant, saw gullies on my right, went over the hill to the re-entrant with the control

#3: went north, crossed the re-entrant, then proceeded north-east on the north slope of the spur to the control

#4: to the re-entrant, passed the gullies and dry-ditches, went up a bit and proceeded along the slope to the control

#5: north up the hill (but not to the top), then stayed on the same elevation until I saw the re-entrant in front of me, turned right along the slope to the control

#6: crossed the re-entrant, walked up the hill, then down, crossed the creek, up the hill again and proceeded on high ground monitoring re-entrant on my left; after I reached the side re-entrant turned right to the control

#7: down to the main re-entrant, ran along it, passed the big side re-entrant on my left and walked north up the hill there; saw a top of a small side re-entrant on my right, kept going north across the hill, reached the other side, saw another small side re-entrant there, proceeded along the slope, saw the hill curving to the right and cut to the control. Reached the huge pile of rocks and stopped in disbelief. There was supposed to be a control - not rocks! In fact there were no rocks on the map. What was going on?!! Well... As it turned out the control was on the other side of the pile, but I didn't know that, because it never occurred to me to look at the legend, while the rock pile wasn't on the map because it was removed from the "no-man-made features" map I used. Apparently it was marked there as a stone wall (which actually wasn't correct, I think).
Anyway,.. I went further north along the slope, then realized that it didn't look right at all, decided to take another bearing, went down to the creek, walked south, found the dry ditch, went up and found the same huge pile of rocks. There I finally decided to check the legend and realized what was going on... Went around the pile and found the control.

One lesson learned for the future is that we should not put controls on "man-made features" when offering "non-man-made features" maps option.

#8: went north-west up the hill, then (when I reached the top) turned west to the control

#9: west down the slope, watched re-entrant on my left, crossed the road and creek, saw the re-entrant, crossed the trail, went up the slope of the re-entrant to the dry-ditch with the control

#10: went north and actually counted small shallow re-entrants while doing so till I reached one with the control

#11: up and across the hill, saw re-entrant on my left, but continued north and reached the creek near the gully, crossed the creek, noticed small re-entrant on the other side and from there cut to the control, saw rocky ground and the re-entrant (or something that looked like one), but no control. I am not sure why. Maybe I was looking at the control from the side (it was hanging flat), or maybe I was indeed a bit off - not sure. I went down a bit and then west trying to find the control, but no luck. I was getting quite confused at that moment and decided that I better start it all over. So I went down to the creek, reached the creek but wasn't exactly sure where, so I proceeded along the creek with an idea that sooner or later I'll position myself on the map correctly. Ended up walking all the way to the very distinct gully on the left side on the creek, went up and then west to the control. Found it. I think I spent 15 extra mins on this one...

#12: I guess I was quite upset then, so I made another mistake right there. Instead of going north west, I went west-west-south and ended up on the hill way south of the control. I wasn't lost, just way off... Went north along the hill, didn't see the control right away, but then saw the big tree and went there

#13: down the slope, crossed the re-entrant, up and proceeded west along the hill until I saw the big pile of rocks, from there saw the control

#14: south around the re-entrant, then south-west along the hill, saw re-entrant on my right, passed it and went down along the other the re-entrant which lead me south to the creek; there I saw those weird earth formations, went to the other side of the creek and to the cliff with the control.

#15: crawled up the cliff and lost all the strength... Felt terrible and for a while could barely walk. South, around the re-entrant, reached and crossed the trail, went around all the gullies, across the hill and down on the other side, ended up too far to the right, so corrected myself and went left to the control

#16: went around all the re-entrants and across the hill, then down to the road, crossed in and went diagonally to the saddle with the control

#17: back to the road, used it and then used the trail to get to the dry-ditch with the control

#18: down to the creek, ran along it for a bit, then crossed it and reached the road right below the intersection, crossed the road and reached the trail, used it for a bit then went up and proceeded along the slope counting gullies to the control

#19: very tired... just walked further along the slope to the re-entrant and gully with the control

finish: again very tired... tried to avoid big hills, so ignored all the trails and simply walked south west through everything till I reached the paved trail, from there ran to the finish.

It took me: 102 mins 39 secs

Here is my route (blue - mostly running, brown - mostly walking). Click on the image to enlarge.

Huge thanks to Ken and Terese for organizing the event!

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