Monday, August 11, 2008

O-meet results

The complete Laramie Daze Results will soon be posted, I'm sure.

In the meantime, a summary for me and John:

We ran the Blue course both days. The only category for that course is "Male 21+". Our "standard" course would have been Red. But we can't resist the challenge of running the longest courses available, so that's what we usually do.

Saturday's Blue course was 10 km with 320 m of total climb. It was also pretty technical, with lots of boulders and rock formations to clamber and navigate through. That made things interesting. Even before we got to that part of the course, both John and I flubbed checkpoint 2. Which was a solitary boulder in open woods right next to a field. I think we both managed to slow down and think more clearly from then on, but we still had minor issues on several of the 27 controls and wasted time here and there.

At least twice I stood and stared at a rock pile, wondering why there was no control on top of it. Then I looked at my clue sheet and found out that the control was on the "north side" (always on the other side from our approach) and voila!

My memorable quote to myself on Saturday was "just how many hilltops are there up here?" and then finding the control on the other side of the hilltop I was looking at - "oh, just enough then."

Our final times were 1:35:02 (John) and 1:52:04 (me). I was mostly happy to have finished well under the 3-hour time limit and ahead of 4 people.

Sunday was 50% longer, at 15 km, with 380 m climb. It was billed as "faster and not as hilly." I just had to keep or improve my pace from Saturday to finish within 3 hours.

I started 4 minutes ahead of John (as opposed to 6 minutes behind him on Saturday). The first and last time I saw him, he was running John Beard-like across a wide open field, way ahead of me and disappearing fast.

We both had a much better time finding the controls on day 2. The course alternated between big empty spaces and small tree/boulder clusters, which wasn't as technical (as long as you took a good bearing and didn't lose track of which tree/boulder cluster you were looking at). Plus we didn't have to wade through thick sage brush much at all compared to day 1, so we could move a lot faster.

On the flip side, I had to move a lot faster. I walked parts of the uphills but also managed to run parts of them. A couple of the legs were almost 2 km long, mostly run, run, run, try to keep running. Phew!

Both of us started early enough in the day that many of the faster Blue course guys passed us. We both latched onto people when we could, me not being able to keep up for long and John running with a couple guys to the last few controls together. I'm usually a proponent for running your own course, but when you can see a kilometer across a field and there are guys popping into and out of the control you know is yours, you just can't ignore the data that's in front of you.

I even ended up passing one guy on the Blue course (although it was a slow pass) :) so while the complete results aren't up as of yet, I can state that I beat at least one person on day 2.

My quote-to-myself of the day, heading to control 23 out of 27: "Hey, my shoes are going to hold up!" The perplexing part is why I cleaned them afterwards instead of tossing them directly in a dumpster.

John ran great on Sunday, finishing 3 SECONDS FASTER than on Saturday, for a course that was 5 km longer. Wow. He definitely placed higher overall on Sunday.

I finished in about 2:04 on Sunday, well under the 3-hour time limit. Yay!

We had an excellent time, Mikell Platt is an excellent meet director and course setter (and conversationalist), and now I see contour lines wherever we go.
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