Team Stories – Myles To Go

April 19, 2006

Myles to Go (W.Myles, J.Newbery)
4050 points
6/27 teams in PC-24

Controls: 121, 126, 163, 233, 235, 262, 205, 200, 204, 232, 203, 202, 237, 128, 169, 124, 130, 129, 122, 131, 138, 175, 127, 136

Wayne and I got to the registration site shortly after 7:00 am. Better to have too much time than not enough. We drove to the start/finish area just past 10:00 and gosh, what a surprise, it’s overcast and looking wet.

We decided to work our way through the SW quadrant of controls as they were somewhat concentrated there and then we intended to push N to the scout camp for early evening. The intention then was to continue N to 243 and make a decision whether to go S to the start/finish and hunker down for a bit or to head E to the other scout camp, depending on our bodies and how things were progressing.

When the horn sounded, there was a clear difference in fitness; the runners took off and the rest of us began our hike. We headed for 121 and found it easily. At this point, we were already all alone. The others must have gone east I guess. From here, we hiked the road and turned into 126 on the hilltop and met a group there at the same time as us (8 hr. people). We went as far as the bend in the road and took a bearing and pace counted to 163. We came at it a little upstream but found it quite easily. I was starting to feel a little “off”, not a good sign this early in the race. We took a bearing and followed some clear cut back up to the road and hiked to the end of it, taking another bearing and pace counting to 233. This would have not been easy at night as there are a few streams that flow into each other here, not just the one on the map. We punched the control and took a bearing out to the next road. We followed this to the end and then had a good clear cut to go through that lead to 235, under the power line. We followed the power line west and as we did so, Mark Campbell and Jan Trojanowski ran past us. That’s OK, we still appear to be doing well. We topped up our water bottles at the scout camp at the gate and punched 262 and headed N on the main road in. We were only the second team at the scout camp so we must be doing something right. The drizzle is making us wet and it looks like it will get wetter. Hiked in to 205 and then out to the road again and up to 200. Turned west from here to 204. As we were walking in to the control, we were looking for the stream but didn’t see it and got too far along the lake shore. Realized our mistake and backtracked to the control. The stream through the clear cut that we went in on was underground! We stopped for a break and some nutrition and the rain was steady at this point. I really wasn’t feeling well. Was it something I ate or was the pace too hard for me at the start? The break and food seemed to help and we took a bearing and paced through the woods to the bend in the road just south of 232. Walked up to 232 and met a group here. We were beginning to realize that our original plan was much too ambitious.

We followed a bearing and the old trail up and over the hill and hit the road towards 203. Found it easily. From here, we took a bearing to the road near 202 and once at the intersection, dropped down to 202 and came back out the same way. Hiked N to the road junction and moved W and N to 237. Coming out, we made a decision to skip 240. It was a long way to go for the points and could be quite difficult to find the road again on the way out as there are no obvious features in the area. Before stopping at the scout camp, we punched 128 and then went to the fire for a quick rest and change of top. It was now 7:45. The rest helped and we then punched 169 and had to put our lights on. We skipped 197 as it could be difficult at night with no obvious catching feature on the way out. Headed down the road to 124 and then to 130 and 129. Had a nice hike along the trail to 122 and then we went back to the start/finish for a refresher and rest at 12:00. We slept off and on until about 3:30. Got up and had hot chocolate and porridge, left about 4:15 for 131 and then back and up the hill to 138 which was trickier to find then we thought it would be. Took a bearing down the hill to the road and we were now getting some daylight. Hiked the road south to the junction into 175 and back out. Stopped for a rest for a minute, feeling very fatigued at this point. Back north to the bend in the road and took a bearing into 127 and found it quite easily even though we were a little north of the point of land. Headed back to the start/finish and rested for 10 minutes. Wayne convinced me that we should go after 136 since it was so close and we had so much time. We did that and poked along through the clear cut and finished up at about 9:00. Unfortunately, there was lots of time left but because of the setup and what we had picked off so far, there was nothing left to get and still be back in time or that was worth getting.

Overall, we were pleased with how we did. We changed our plans when we got to the scout camp near 128 as we were originally going to go north from there. After looking at it though, the hike north wasn’t going to be worth it for the amount of controls and the time it would take. If we knew this earlier, we would have punched 125 and 201 and maybe even 184. We had left those on purpose. Things to remember for next year: get as much as you can during the day as you never get much at night or in the morning. Good navigation and smart decisions can make up for speed, to an extent.