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How Rob and Aaron ended up in 2nd place


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Low-resolution map of course (181kb)


How Charlie and Kevin Won the
2003 Snowgaine!

Kevin Teschendorf

We drove in to Mississippi Palisaides Park about 20 minutes before the start of the race, said a few hellos, and picked up our maps. While waiting for the start we quickly chose the order in which we planned to get the controls, and planned out the route we would use. We varied very little from our original plan.

We assumed it would be possible to get all the markers within the time limit, and made no plans to skip any of them. We didn't think it mattered which way we went first, north or south. But if we did have trouble, it seemed the south end offered a nice road for a fast return.

As usual, the start is my least favorite part. You don't want to go fast, since it is a very long race. but you don't want 10 people following you around the course either. But we got lucky. It seemed that most people headed south or skipped the control we headed to. We jogged for a minute, but I only saw two groups walking towards us in the distance. The rest of the day we would see very few people.

We hit 151 first, following the trail til the bend and contouring across to the marker. During this we got a feel for how much detail was not on the map. This would help out during the rest of the course. From 151 we went west to the trail junction, then went down the bluff to the southwest. We curled around the large spur and picked up the trail just east of 122. We followed the trail north to the reentrant and got 122.

Next, it was up to the top of the bluff. we followed the trail around to 144, went down to the road and ran a little up to 265. From there we went to the deadend road to the south and got in the large reentrant that points at 142. We came out at the powerline and trail, got 142, took the trail back around going to the powerline/trail junction just northwest of 272. We followed the powerline to the marker and back up to the trail to the south. We took the trail to 102 and 254.

Then it was down the stream to 253 and the unmapped road to 101 where we made our first 5 minute mistake. Assuming there would be a pond visible, we overshot and ended up at the road junction. it took a minute or two to correct and another minute or two to look in the area for the control. Then it was over the bridge behind the building up the big reentrant, turn right up another big reentrant and up to 202.

From there it was west along the bluff before dropping down to the southeast tip of the looping road and up the large reentrant to 111. That saved us doing any significant climb on that leg.

At 202 we were just under 2 hours. I had figured it would be easy to clean the course in under 6 given how small the park is and with only 22 controls. Earlier, I was figuring around 5 hours, but at this juncture breaking 4 hours became our goal. I figured we had actually already completed the hardest half. And we had hardly done any running up to this point. The plan was to run at the end if we had any energy left. And we did.

From the bridge at 111 we went to the top of the bluff where we picked up another unmarked path and dirt road. We lost a little time at 123 by dropping in early from up above. No troubles though.

Finally saw another person for the first time in about 1.5 hours. From 123 we went straight south up to the road and through the field to the left of the huge reentrant. That pointed us right at the spur with the rocks and 143. We used the road to get up the steep hill on the way to 104, where we saw 2 or 3 teams.

From 104 we went up the bluff almost to the road, and lost a few minutes at 152. Then it was a road run all the way til a little south of 115. We lost about 5 minutes here when I drifted northeast and got in the wrong reentrant. I finally got my compass out! Once again it wasn't a big problem, but we then had only 38 minutes to get in under 4 hours.

We ran the road to 125 and went down the bluff and ran the road to 273. My hamstrings were starting to cramp. Ihad and less than a quart of water since the start of the race, and had eaten very little. I had to take it easy the rest of the way.

More road to the reentrant south of the water tower where we found a very welcome trail to the top of the bluff. With 221 out of the way we took the trail til it bent and then crossed over to the other side of the valley. We ended up in the reentrant east of the one we wanted adjusted and punched 103.

We now had about 15 minutes to get the last control and run in. We sucked it up getting up the hill and then started a slow jog down the road to 121. We followed the footprints in and right back out, caught the road and had about 5 minutes to get in. We didn't check our watches at the start, so we were hoping it was under 4 hours. At this point we didn't care what our place was, we just had to break 4 hours. It had been our battlecry for about 2 hours and was about to become a reality. We joked alot throughout the race and laughed when we finished. It was a lot of fun.

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