Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 Conquer the Crossroads Rogaine

Dave Fischer, Des Garcia, Debi Hutcheson, and I competed together in the 6-hour version of the 2009 Rogaine at Morgan Monroe State Forest over the past weekend. (I personally like the 6-hour because route choice plays a bit of a larger role than the 12-hour. I also couldn't afford any more time devoted to playing that day. Ha.)

It was mostly cloudy and border line cool to warm. (mostly depended upon where we were - and if we were going up hill (warmed up real quick) or stopping and starting on the top of ridges (cooled off even quicker). We had a ball running/hiking together and really all worked very well as a team navigating and making audible calls out in the woods on the fly.

We stumbled right out of the gate just getting our bearings. Good thing we chose an easy one to attack first. We got distracted with some rogue controls that were placed out on the course because of the local boy scout troop that was out playing at the same time we were. We figured it out pretty quickly but needed to make in instant audible and decided to go after CP23 to help us get our heads better into the map.

After running up and back down the spur for CP23, we punched 24, 29 and then had our only other bobble. (It was a bit more costly - 20-30 min. total time.) We got on a jeep trail that wasn't marked on top of a ridge on the way to CP30 and kind of stopped paying attention to the topo and weren't pace counting. As a result, we were in the wrong spot. We found Farr Rd and took it out of the woods. We decided to go after CP31 and come back to 30. That worked very well, and got us back on track.

From there we nailed 41 & 37. We chose to go back up Jack Weddle Rd to the private property line and attack CP20 from the NW. This worked like a charm. It was so much easier just having to go down the steep ridge to the South of 20 than going up and down or all the way around. We jumped onto Beanblossom Rd and took it to the upper branch of Greasy Creek to 39. Worked to perfection.

From there we had a debate and ultimately decided to stay in the creek bed toward CP34. We were going to go up the reentrant to 34 but decided to take the spur just South. This too was a great call. The way 34 was placed, it would have been much more difficult to see it from within the rentrant. From there on to CP22 (another very clever placement) and up to the cemetary for CP10.

We hoofed it back to the TA and had a few minutes to spare, so we decided we wanted a little more and ran up and back to the radio tower to get a few easy bonus points with CP11.

We felt great about our route choice (taking into account our capabilities) - head SW and circle around wide toward the SE and head home. For the most part that held up, however we ended up choosing to go after a few more medium point CP's in the middle instead of the larger values out wide.

Without the bobbles we would have attempted 25, 38, & 40 and would have skipped 23, 22, 34 & 11. (Less by only a total of 13 points.) After looking at the final results, that wouldn't have improved our overall placement - it'd have been a bit closer, but....oh well.

We weren't competing for the title anyway - not with Garrison and Henricks going for broke. The day met our goals as a team training session to focus on our nav skills.

It was great seeing our other team mates and friends (James, Cristal, Paula, Mike, Eric etc.) out there. (Great job guys!) And of course, a great big "job well done" needs to be said to Jerry for putting on the meet - another fantastic job with the course layout.

It's a beautiful piece of property and is always just a ton of fun being able to go play in the woods with your buddies.

ADVICE: Even in the late winter, one should ALWAYS choose to at least wear gaiters when playing in the woods. (My shins look like an etch-a-sketch of scabs.)

posted by Ryan at


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