Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 Babler O by Scott Shaw

2015 SLOC Babler O by Scott Shaw 01/25/15

I thought that TeamBOR was going to race this event together and I almost left my compass at home, but something told me to pack it anyway.  Dave C. and I arrived and started debating on whether we would race as a team or race individually.  We heard that Kevin and Reanna were racing together and Neil was running late and had to leave early.  I then thought a huge team would be fun and we found Mickey, SuperKate, Dave B. and Amanda and I suggested a fun big group adventure but smack talk ensued and it ended being pretty much everyone for themself. 

We started about a minute apart and all pretty much had the same plan to get to CP1.  I took off out the door and down the road to follow power lines to a dry ditch.  Kevin and Reanna and Dave B. were close together going downhill and as I went to pass Kevin tried holding me up.  I then zipped Dave B’s pack up so he didn’t lose anything and continued on my way.  I hit a swampy area and made my way around it and to the trail under the power lines.  I started looking for a ditch and started worrying about passing it but I found it relatively quickly.  I then took off towards CP2 but overshot and saw the road in the distance, so I turned around and started back tracking and looking for the fence line.  I found the fence and was trying to back track to the break in the fence and turn to find my cut in, but I didn’t see it.  I see Dave B. across the reentrant and turn back around back to the fence.  I start looking for a ditch or small reentrant and just don’t see it.  I see Mickey and SuperKate heading in the same direction.  I start heading farther down and see Neil punching the CP.  Dave C. is with him and I think how the heck did they get here so fast.  I see that they are going to bushwhack and I remember the road and think I am going to the road and run.  I turn to head to the road and Kevin and Reanna are there.  I think man I lost a lot of time looking for this CP.  I start to get that sinking feeling that my navigation is off and try to shake that from my mind and make it to the road.  Once on the road I try to hammer down and run the road to a trail and take the trail to another road that is near CP3.  I am working hard to get in front of another team that I have notice have accurate navigation skills.  I think I am going to hit the road earlier for more speed, but they bushwhacked and still beat me to the CP.  So from CP3 to CP4 I decide to bushwhack as it is the most direct route.  I now decide to get to a trail and run to the road via the classroom building grove.  I take the road up to where it doubled back on itself and cut in and whacked to CP5.  I stopped before I cut in to make sure I was in the correct position.  I had been shooting bearings at every CP so I didn’t get side tracked and whacked to the road and came out exactly where I wanted.  I was amazed.  I continued my course to CP6.  I whacked to the road and had to make a decision on which way to get to CP7.  A nearby racer is making a right and everything is telling me to go left.  I even yell to him that I didn’t think that was the short way.  He yelled back that he was going to try it.  I took down the road and found the nearest asphalt trail.  I took this back to the road where there were houses and other structures.  At the end of this road was a trail and a structure at which I had planned to cut in on.  I kept looking for this trail and just didn’t see it and then realized it was a mark I had made on the map.  I bushwhacked up to the CP and up to a trail that I took as far as I could to CP8.  Here I was with two other racers and one went on bushwhacking and another went back to the trail.  I first started to go to the trail for speed but noticed the trail was going out of the way so I actually turned around and had to sideway bushwhack back to my bearing and took that to CP9.  I felt like that was a good decision and continued to whack to CP10.  I loved CP10 because I could see it way off in the distance.  I bushwhacked to CP11.  On the way I started worrying about overshooting it, but stayed on my bearing.  I got snapped in the eye by a thorn and I thought it ripped my eye out.  I kinda started freaking out a little as I couldn’t see out of that eye.  I stopped and gently started clearing my eye.  I regretted taking off my glasses again, but the rain made it impossible to see clearly.  My eye was extremely sore but I could see so I carried on.  I finally found the structure I was looking for and turned in to the CP.  I double and triple checked my time here and was out of breath and energy but decided to run to the road.  I cut back into the woods to whack to CP12 and see the structure to my right that I was looking for.  I headed down the ditch to the CP.  I try my best to run to the road and run up the hill to the next road, but I just couldn’t keep up any speed, so I walked to the top and ran to the finish. I cleared the course in 2 hours 13 minutes (I think).  I get back and think, “I bet everyone already finished and went to get margaritas without me,” so I snuck a peak through the finishers punch cards and was happy to know margaritas was still in my future.  I then realized I had to stand around in wet cold clothes for a while.  Neil then called to harass me and tell me he is already home and showered, but he cheated and cut out early.

This race I tried to focus on road and trail running as much as possible.  I also focused on my clue sheet, contours, and I relied heavily on shooting bearings.  The time it took me to shoot a bearing was well worth the extra time.  I noticed my weakness is that I have a difficult time reading contours.  I also get flustered easily and start to freak out, so I have to stop and calm myself and remind myself to stay the course and not to follow or worry about what other racers are doing.  After the race we had a fun dinner at El Maguey.  I can’t wait for another one.  – El Capitan Ahab…margaritas! - Ahab.

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