Possum Trot V - Loop B comments
Check out the map at: http://www.geocities.com/okansas.geo/maps/pt01b.html I was feeling pretty good at the end of the first loop. My time was better than expected. I was fairly sure I could finish and realized I had a shot at finishing in under three hours. At the exchange area, I drank two cups of Gatorade and re-filled a water bottle I was carrying during the race. A couple of people at the exchange area (Mike Shifman among them) warned me to be careful and take it easy -- don't get hurt again. On the way to 10, I took a quick look at the map and decided 11 was the best control to skip. Just to be sure, I asked myself, "what would be the next best control to skip?" I thought 13 would be the next best to skip. Skipping 11 looked better than skipping 13, so I stuck with my initial idea and decided to skip 11. I came to the ditch just south of 10 before I came to the control. I felt a bit unsure within the circle. It probably cost me a little bit of time -- maybe 30 seconds? The little bobble reminded me I needed to get my concentration back to what I was doing. On the way to 12 I had to cross the big stream. Going down the steep hill to the stream was not fun. My knee felt unsteady and I didn't feel comfortable. But, I made it. Just before 12, I came to the green blob southwest of the control -- thick, hideous thorns. I went around the green. I'd been out for over an hour and decided I would allow myself 3 minutes of jogging during the next hour. On the way to 13, I jogged about 2 minutes. When I was about 300 meters south of the control, jogging slowly along the path, I saw Fritz heading toward 14. To 15 I used the old ride/trail to skirt the thick vegetation and get to the road. I jogged a little bit on a trail (about one minute) between 17 and 18. As I left 18, I saw Fritz on the road behind me! Yes! He must have boomed and I'd passed him. From 19 to the exchange, I went straight. I couldn't remember how much time the other route took, but straight felt faster. So, I knew I'd take the straight route to the finish after the "C" loop.
-- Michael (email@example.com), December 04, 2001.
To 10. Down trail towards 10 cut across field and into woods at ditch on south side of circle. Straight North to control. To 11. Skip To 12. Back up to field and along edge of field to corner of field down the hill across the road down the steep embankment and across creek just to the West of the rockface on this side of the creek should have run up the creek to whee the big gully to the west of the control comes in but crossed the creek and ran up the other side had to go back down into the gully to the west of the control and back up. Came out right at the little clearing through the gren and out into the clearing with the manmade object, into the woods just north of the manmade object to the control. 1 - 1 1/2 minutes lost by going up across the creek and having to cut back down and up the big gully. To 13. Straight North and up the clearing missed the trail to the West and ran through the rough open for 150 meters before finding the trail. Not exactly sure about which trail I was on. Maybe 30- 45 seconds lost by being confused about which pond I was at and coming at copse from the West along the pond. To 14. Down the trail to the cleared strip with the manmade object and pretty much straight across the creek and into the control. To 15. Up the hill and weave through the green to the big semi-clear area. East through the clear area to the top of the reentrant. Down the reentrant to the road. Straight across the creek up the spur and straght north to the control. To 16. Straight North to the clearing, along the clearing across the clear area in front of the shelter and out to the road. Road to trail and to the control from the trail just after the green area. Route choice on this leg probably cost me 1 1/2 minutes. To 17. Back out to the trail. To road and down road to clearing. Along clearing edge to aabout 75 meters before control where I cut into woods and ran in woods parallel to the edge of the woods. This cost me about a minute because the control was right along the edge of the clearing and I had to drop down into and come back up a big gully not shown on the map that branched off the gully with the control in it that ran parallel to the woods/clearing boundry. To 18. Ran along the clearing boundry for about 50 meters and then cut across to the main road and down the main road to the pond. Nice mowed path going into the pond and the control. To 19. Back out the mowed path, across the semi open area, through the green and paralled the dithc until the control. To finish. Stayed to the right this time instead of hitting the trail. This felt better than hitting the trail. Time lost on this course appx. 5 minutes and slowed down even more on this loop.
-- Snorkel (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 03, 2001.
I was alone at the exchange. Snorkel must have dropped behind badly. I quickly surmised that 11 was the control to skip. To 10 I decided to skirt around the green bits in the field. I approached the control straight from the south, surprised to come upon it so quickly. I'm a bit befuddled about that. To 12 I ran through the field, downhill to the road, crossed the stream, through the bit of white woods in the flat area, across the next stream, uphill towards the olive green blob of thick thorny vines (the same one that Spike went around). I backed out of there immediately and went around to the right (which was itself not easy going). I was going to avoid that nasty green whenever I could. To 13 is straigh along a dirt road much of the way. To 14 was through fields too, heading towards the man-made object to align myself nicely. Snorkel was nowhere in sight and I felt that I was on my own for this loop (and perhaps the rest of the course if I kept my errors down). I climbed up just NE of the control inside the circle but could tell where I was. To 15 my mission was to avoid the nasty green. I'd looked at the route a bit beforehand and decided to go around it to the left. I didn't actually see the ride (because it, trails, and cliffs look similar on this map). I stumbled upon it and my route never touched the dark green much less the olive green. A little right of the line towards 16. My mind wandered just a bit, but when I saw the reentrants around as I neared 16, I looked them up on the map and zeroed in on the task at hand. Trail to the road, then along the field edge to 17. Out to the roads for the run to 18, stopping momentarily to pull a bunch of those nasty big burrs off of my legs once I'd left the field. There were some beginners at 18. Right around the darkest green to 19, using the press to help guide me in.
-- Mook (email@example.com), December 05, 2001.
I ran the “B” loop first along with Dave Frei and a bunch of the Adventure Racing crowd. Orlyn also headed off in our direction, but Orlyn was just being Orlyn and really should have been running the other way on the “A” loop. We took the trail across the field and then ran along the reentrant to number 10. I couldn’t resist shouting, “I’m winning!” as I was the first to grab the punch. Dave decided to go for 11 (a decision he regretted almost immediately), which left me blazing the trail through the field and across the road towards 12. I dropped down into the streambed and the stream looked quite deep. A few runners behind me decided to work east looking for a better crossing. It looked really deep. I thought about following them, but wanted to cross before the stream forked. It sure did look really deep. I finally jumped in and found that it was really, really deep. And cold. A raised my arms as I realized my map was underwater. Fortunately, it didn’t get too wet. I got to the other side, soaked and stiff from the chest down. I decided to push a bit to get some heat back in my legs. I followed the bank, checking off the large open area and then getting to the smaller clearing just below the control. I ducked into the woods. No control. Bounced back out to the bank again and checked off the small reentrant just beyond the circle. Back into the woods - no control. I panicked wondering what I could use as a relocation site. I sure wasn’t interested in crossing that stream again. About this time it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked my compass even once since the start. I got that sick sort of feeling as I watched the needle settle parallel to the stream bank. I had been moving along the north-south ditch that fed the stream rather than the stream itself. Recovery was easy - I crossed the ditch on the ride and then ran south down the field to 12. But the damage was done - about 7 minutes by my estimate. Normally, I’d get pretty depressed after a mistake like that, but I seemed to bounce back from it OK. It helped that the next leg and a half were fast running through fields. As I left the field to cross the stream again to 14, I took a quick compass bearing and picked out a spot on the other side of the stream bank to use as an attack point. This worked well and I found 14 easily.
There didn’t appear to be any clean route to 15, so I just avoided the whole mess and followed the top of the rock face around to the road. Leaving 15, I met Dave Frei coming the opposite direction. “We’re pathetic,” he yelled as we passed. Although I had to agree, I felt a little better knowing that I wasn’t the only one struggling. I ran directly at 16, staying just right enough to avoid the green patch and had no problems finding the marker. It was nice to have some open woods for a change. I cut into the woods prior to reaching 17, which turned out to be a slow route due to an extra ditch crossing. From 17, I ran NW across the field to the road junction and then blasted down the road. On the road I passed Eric S. and Ian who both seemed a bit surprised to see me. Yes I’d made mistakes, but I think these guys sell themselves short. 10-minute K’s over rough terrain is a pretty stern pace. I took the road from 18 and cut into the woods just before the parking lots. Mary Jones was sitting a few meters from 19 and told me that I was the first of the B runners. I ran a bit left into the exchange and hit the trail bend. There was some thick vegetation between the trail and the clearing, so I decided that I would stay further right on the next two legs. My time for the 4.8K loop was 51 minutes (including the exchange).
-- Eric (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 05, 2001.