Spring Mill O-Meet
September 21, 2013
Meet Directors: Jens Christiansen & Barbara Niess-May
Igor noted that neither Highland nor Pontiac were yet covered on the fall schedule, so Jens said, "Why not?" and quickly figured out why. Spring Mill is challenging, which he should have remembered after his last Red run here ended in a DNF. Challenges included finding white runnable woods, bike trails that blurred together, horse trails that didn't drain, and an embarrassing incident where Jens walked off the map while streamering Yellow.
Ominous clouds threatened early, but the skies cleared and sixty-nine people tackled the five courses.
Taking advantage of the confusing trails and terrain, Red was able to feature a ~1450 meter leg from 2-3. Many chose to work south and pick up a southwesterly trail until the final quarter mile. Cooper Green instead went wide to the road, which worked well and saved his brain for later in the race. (Hear Ali and Cooper discuss options). Cooper also finished absolutely soaked, thanks to running early while the woods were still wet from recent rain. Ali Crocker ultimately won in 71:44, ahead of Igor Guskov and Phil Shrader, separated in 2nd and 3rd by just three minutes.
Michelle Green also prepared another route choice video on Red's 8-9 (Green's 5-6). Please let us know if you like the videos, and comment on any legs you like on SMOC's Facebook page.
Al Newman, fresh off a massive bike ride out east, ran down from his usual Red and cleaned up mistake-free on Green, trading fastest splits with Elena Yudovina, who finished 2nd. The Somervilles took 3rd, aided by solid execution of the 1000 meter 1-2 leg and the "it looked easier on paper" 2-3.
Orange runners had the most difficulty. The same confusing trails used to trip up Red and Green also stood between Orange controls. Ali's visiting run club friends Rachael and Zach from Toledo had the speed to take the win, but Jason Pasinetti whittled away by faring better on the two longest legs, 4-5 and 6-7, finishing four minutes ahead after 76 minutes. Mike Chmutov was not far behind Rachael and Zach, just 3.5 minutes away in third.
Yellow plays out harder at Spring Mill. Trails twist so much that you have to decide, "Well, on average I'm going about...north?". Yellow included a trail jump between the equestrian and mountain bike trails, which was assisted by a few pink streamers leading away from a control. Wyatt thought this was too generous, and Jens welcomed Wyatt to call if he needed any help out there. John Jones displayed the perfect growth mindset by destroying the Yellow course after an unsuccessful start on Green. Klara wore out Chris Schmidt as they took 2nd; Klara was ready to jog out a cool down while Chris thought leaning against a tree would do the trick. Wyatt and Barbra were third.
White could be a little rugged this week, and was, because rugged is fun. White course teams had a stream to hop between 3 and 4, and some rolling hills led to a big climb on the sometimes rocky trail back to the finish. The Wolf Pack moved quickly to take first, but not without giving up the final split to the hard kicking Green Crew.
Immeasurable thanks are owed to Barbara Niess-May and Maria Maslanka for working registration. A superb control clean up crew let Jens relax at the start to..."coordinate" or whatever it's called when you eat a half bag of tortilla chips while sipping on Gatorade. Phil Shrader, Hilary Witbrodt, Igor Guskov, Elena Gouskova, Ali Crocker, Tom Allen, Alex Izzo, Joe Burkhead, Pat Zabawa, and Barbara Niess-May picked up flags faster than we could load Jess and Karl for Silver Lake.
Full split results available
See you next week!