O Log - Final Race of Colorado 5 Day

[14-Jul-03] 

    Here is the Day 5 with my routes.

    My results were mixed out west. 2 good days in Idaho, 2 bad, 2 mediocre days in CO, then the final day, which, statistically, may have been my best race ever. Statistics lie, but I would still say it was a top 10. Was a flat 7min/k, not bad if the 600m climb figure is accurate, and not bad considering I was sick and tired (my typical altitude blahs).

    I had wobbles on 5, 6, 9 and 15, and a route execution wobble en route to 8, but I imagine it adds up to less than 30 seconds total.

    It was another race against Ted Good. This time Ted started 8 seconds behind me. I was determined not to lose by 1 second as in South Carolina. I was also determined to use this as a training exercise of orienteering under pressure and orienteering with distraction of another runner. I was happy that I excelled at both, for the most part.

    I was sick in the start triangle. Ted easily caught me en route to 1, and was out of sight when I hit the road at the beginning of 3. I had absolutely no energy, so decided on a straight, up and down slog, rather than a perhaps faster, more roundabout route that minimized the up and down. I would have to hope Ted would boom, or he would easily kick my butt. The good news as he went out of sight was that we were both racing to win, and not content to lop around the course together.

    I executed 3 on my own until I picked up Follower 200m before the control. He seemed to be doing little more than standing there. Follower and I into the control, where I am surprised to see Ted coming in from below. Either he slowed down, or my route was better. In any case, it inspired me to run harder, I think.

    We take somewhat different routes to 4 and 5, but are mostly in sight. We both try to gain advantage, but Follower seems content to hang behind. Why isn't this guy trying to race? On 5, Ted is way low, but he pulls me off a bit, and I boom somewhat low. I gain about a 15 second lead, Follower is content to boom further low with Ted.

    I can't hold the lead as I bumble around in the rocks at 6. Lured by a streamer, but no bag. Figure it out quickly using the reentrant to the left, but Ted takes advantage of the mistake and takes the lead. So I failed somewhat here, worrying about racing fast rather than being careful, but the streamer caught me off guard. Look for features, not streamers ...

    I think I have a good route to 8, ridge then road, but mistake first road intersection for the one I am looking for, and drop down. Ted is ahead, taking what looks like a lower (and inferior, IMO), route, but its only seconds. I pass on water, and Ted drinks, so I gain the lead at 8. I think Follower is content to stay with Ted.

    Ted out orienteers me to 9, but on the way to 10, he goes right and down the wrong spur, while I read that nice hill into the correct spur. I think this costs him 30 or so sec, so I have that sort of lead at 10. Follower goes with Ted down the wrong spur. Not my problem anymore -- I guess that's how much respect Follower has for my orienteering.

    I figure its now or never. I resolve not to let Ted catch up, with now my biggest lead of the race. 11 fast with no problems. I look over 12 and figure this is the race, a fast, clean, straight execution will get it done. I figure Ted may take a safer, higher, but slower route. I made a 4 minute error on a similar leg yesterday, and know to be careful to find the right features en route this time. I think familiarity with the terrain helps. I make sure I find amoeba shaped clearing, then banana shaped clearing, then rocks, then gully in the clear, then rocks at end of spur, then trail. I did not find this stuff yesterday. I do not look back, but give it a kick on the uphill trail in case Ted is behind and can still see me. Then I count reentrants, find the bare rock, and spike the bag. No sign of Ted or Follower, my race now.

    Brian Moore ahead and running strong. This is good luck as it forces me to run strong. The rest of the course is easy and all I think about is trying to catch Brian. I don't but it forces me to keep a decent pace. I ended up gaining 3-4 minutes on Ted since 10. It was alot of fun to be in a real head to head race.

    But I was a little peeved at Follower. This was not a goat. He followed Ted around the course from 3 to finish, and took Ted in the chute. In my mind that seems to be blatant cheating, 'cause I know its against the rules. People follow of course once in a while for a few hundred meters or use others when they are lost, but never that blatantly to that extent, that I have seen before, anyway. At least Ted and I were racing and trying to gain advantage. He never made an effort to race, even to the point of following Ted's parallel error on 10. Why do that, what is the point of even racing?

    I thought about protesting, but what are you going to do? It was really Ted's problem, I guess. The consolation is that if he followed me instead of Ted, he would have had a better time by 4 minutes. I don't get no respect. Perhaps we should make people draw routes after the race to prove they were not following. I guess it bothers because I know it will hurt some amount in rankings -- I have a pretty good work ethic, if nothing else, and don't want people sponging on it. If I drag someone around the course, I should get a percentage of their ranking score for that race. I'm not going to even rant about what happened in the race the day before.

    Well, it was one of the more fun races of my O career. These Colorado and Laramie meets really would rank up there with the best if it weren't for the d**m altitude. Its not so much that I feel like I have no energy, it would just be more fun if I wasn't always sick for the first week.

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