2017 Nitrogaine III

The weekend before last (June 24-25), my brother and I drove up to Michigan for an 8 hour overnight rogaine. The course was similar to last year’s raceĀ (link), but slightly more compact and with some interesting new flag locations.

My brother and I were both pretty exhausted before the race even started – he was coming off a 24 hour EMS shift, and I had just finished a week in the ICU and was getting ready to start another 80-90 hour work week on Monday. So we ended up doing a lot more hiking than jogging.

Getting ready to start

Maps were distributed at 8pm, so we spent the next couple hours planning our route before the race started at 10pm.

Course map

We started with a short loop, hitting #43, #40, and #31 before making our way to the southeast section of the map – a newly added area since last year. We found #35 easily enough after plowing through chest-high grass under some power lines.

Searching for #35

Our first of two big blunders came when we missed the turnoff for #57. We considered doubling back when we realized the mistake, but decided to just skip it. We continued on to #54 and #68 with no more problems, then started making our way westward along the southern edge of the map. This area was pretty rich in points, and the trail network allowed for quick movement. We picked off #59, #65, #77, #75, #32, and #34, then jogged down the road to another trail, which we followed to #47, #37, #64, #35, #76, #39, #66, and #44…each requiring only a short ~2-10 minute detour off trail.

We were tempted to go for three high-value controls along a peninsula on the southwest edge of the course, which would have required a more extended off-trail bushwhack…but I had some bad memories of getting tangled up in briars in that section last year, so we instead doubled back along one of the main roads toward the center of the map. Along the way we went for #71, but managed to miss it completely (our second major blunder of the night, costing us 70 points and at least 10-15 minutes). Looking back at the GPS track after the race, it looks like we overshot it and ended up making a large circle around #71. Oh well.

Tagging one of the controls…I think maybe #76?

The central section of the map was also pretty densely packed with controls, but unfortunately we were starting to feel a little pressed for time, and wanted to leave ourselves enough flexibility to get the handful of high-value controls near the start/finish area. So instead of clearing this entire area, we made a short loop of #33, #67, #52, and #81 (skipping #42, #56, and #74). This left us enough time to clear most of the rest of the controls near the start/finish area. We finished the race by hitting #63, #60, #80 (which we nearly missed…it was tough to spot on a small island in the middle of a swamp, accessible only by a small wooden plank, or by swimming), #79, #78 (we were running, by this point), and finally #46.

Outline of our route

GPS track

We finished with a few minutes to spare, and ended up placing 9th out of 21 teams. Had it not been for those two dumb mistakes, we’d have finished 6th, so overall not too bad.

Our total distance for the night was 19.5 miles, with 2,060 feet of elevation gain. By the time I drove home, took the boys to the Dayton Air show the following day, and finally made it to bed, I’d been awake for more than 32 hours…so my memory of this race is unfortunately kind of hazy.

Published in: on July 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm  Comments (1)