Peter Gagarin adds the following thoughts on my entry of a few days
ago about leg 17 at the Valley Goat.
I would add the following thoughts to your analysis of leg 16
to 17 at the Valley Goat --
1. One route may be faster if the leg is viewed in isolation, but not if
viewed as part of a course. Your faster route approaches #17 from below,
leaving you more tired for the climb out of 17.
2. One route may be faster if both routes are executed perfectly. I think
you need to make an allowance (and sometimes a substantial allowance) for
the probability that a route will (or will not) be executed perfectly. 17
looks slightly easier to approach from above.
3. Some routes allow more chances to plan ahead with little risk of making
an error. This may help on a subsequent leg.
4. All other things be (almost) equal, I would chose an approach that was in
sight of the logical exit route, increasing the odds of getting help from a
departing runner. This would be especially true in a mass start event, but
also in a regular event where you knew there was another runner just ahead