The hills and rocks just keep coming

This past weekend was the weekend of the West Point NRE, which this year hosted the US WOC Team Trials! This meant that a large number of the senior team members were here, including those from Europe – this is the first time in ages we’ve had them over!

Day one was the middle, and for some also a sprint. The courses were technically demanding right from the start, and physically demanding all the way through.

Favorite controls for the day:

AJ – 1
Alex – 2 on the middle cause I went to it twice
Anton – beer control (aka Bernie’s House) – real answer 7 on the sprint
Sydney D. – 16 on the sprint
Peter – I guess number 1 (when asked for a reason why, Peter said idk, and Alex asked: “because it was before you got tired?”)
Bridget – 8 on the Red was lots of fun because it wasn’t uphill and it also was really nice woods.
Joe – 12 on the middle
Kirsten – 2 on the middle (I don’t remember it but it went fine)
Keegan – the first one. Wait that’s just not true. Favorite control? I really liked eleven (yawning).
Lily – My favorite control was 10 because it was just a broad hill side and I like that more than rock.
Izzy – 8
Mori – 4 to 5 because I wasn’t yet lost and I was able to execute a straight bearing well.
Evalin – 14- it was all downhill
Greg – The first two on the M21 course were pretty cool. Almost felt like a multilevel sprint.
Danny – 9, it forced a hard decision while I was under pressure

Which rock messed you up the most?

Greg – The cliff at 6 messed me up the most and I’m still salty about it

Alex –

Oriana – These rocks. Why was there a control on them and why was it not mine :/

Danny – This cluster, which is significantly larger than it appears and caused me to stop and reread.

AJ – Went to 14 before 13 which cost my race whoops.

Bridget – this stinkin’ stone wall

Lily –

Mori – This rock on leg 5 to 6 where I didn’t have a clear enough plan so confused multiple rock faces leading to a 7+ minute mistake

Keegan – the one under my chair

Middle Maps:


After the races, everyone split off to refuel. A bunch of us headed to the Breton household for a cookout – big thank you to the Bretons for hosting!

Of course the evening also included some card game playing. A couple people got taught Under Ten, there was a game of ERS dominated by Julia once again. Good times.

Then it was Sunday and time for the long!

Greg woke up and wished us all luck with the message “If you don’t return from today, know that you will be dining among the gods in Valhalla!”. Thanks for that, Greg.

The long courses were, well, long. And very hilly. But fun!

Long courses mean lots of gel intake. What are the team member’s favorite gel flavors you ask?

Oriana – I used to love S’mores Gu but Gu makes my tummy hurt so for practical reasons, the standard Gold Honey Stinger
Bridget – I’ve been using some more “natural” gels (I can’t remember the company) but they are more like apple sauce than goo which I really appreciate. The best is definitely the apple one because it’s basically like having apple pie filling, and it doesn’t stick my mouth together.
Sydney D. – salted caramel
AJ – Vanilla GU
Danny – Jet Blackberry. It’s always been there for me.
Alex – not gel because energy chews are far superior and the lemon lime flavor of those is the best.
Lily – strawberry banana
Keegan – all gel tastes bad so the flavor is irrelevant
Kirsten – Birthday cake

Long courses also bring lots of route choices. Best route choice of the day?

Oriana – Best route choice: taking the trail to 3 (blue course) Why rocks when no rocks rock?
Alex – 2 to 3 on the long, but not the way I ran it (Oriana had the better route).
Bridget – I think that the route choice for 2-3 on the blue was a good one. I think that my choice (right trail to contouring under) was a the right choice? But that could be easily debated.

First image is the control, second image is three routes from the guys:

For reference, of these three, Greg (blue) was fastest (13:54), then Danny (15:29), then AJ (16:03). Joe had the second fastest time on the course with a very similar route to Greg (14:03).

AJ – Number 8 was very tricky on Blue-TT and I really got to see how aggressive and tactical racing really gave Danny an advantage on that leg while I lost almost 3 minutes due to purely being slow.
Keegan – Danny’s route 8-9 he found the best route through the green and contours which was impressive

Of this group Danny (red) was fastest (8:56), Joe (blue) was second (9:56), Greg (green) was third (11:17), and AJ (maroon) was fourth (11:21).

Mori – straight between 11 and 12 on the red. I went right and bailed to the trail but I now see that it would have made sense to follow the ridge and go the direct way.

Lily – Alex’s route to 15

something seems a little off there Alex…

Kirsten – Going north out of 5 so I was able to see Anna going straight through the waist deep pond/swamp with a smile

By the end of the long, Greg had received a response from Anton in the group chat about Valhalla… “Is the dinner good there? I’m on my way”



Sunday was also the day that hosted the Junior bake sale! Many of the juniors stayed up late to get some baked goods made. What were the favorite baked goods of the day?

Oriana – my very own vegan banana muffins (so good, you forget they’re vegan)
Bridget – I was too late to get any of the muffins, but it would be the muffins as they were all I could eat. They also made the AirBnB smell amazing.
Sydney D. – brownie cupcakes 🙂
Alex – the vegan banana muffins Oriana made because they sold so well (I didn’t get to try one because I ran too slow).
AJ – The muffins were pretty legit.
Keegan – brownies I made
Lily – banana muffins. So yum!
Kirsten – chocolate chip cookies
Danny – The Gatorade Keegan handed me after I finished the long.

Keegan with the baked goods

Apparently Oriana did a very good job with those muffins… recipe here 😉

And to wrap up the post, the question that must be asked after every meet: what was your favorite part of the weekend?

Anton – Taking part in and winning the game of finding your SI in a staggering new record of 12min 52seconds was definitely the “best” part. Truthfully, it was the best to finally meet everyone in person after so many years of online chatter!
Oriana – running a long that didn’t suck! I actually enjoyed it? Which is? atypical?
Mori – I really enjoyed the brief view from the top of “Big Hill” on Sunday. While the climb up to the top was very long, it made my route choice to control 8 slightly more worthwhile.
Bridget – I think I’m a broken record saying seeing/meeting people, so I am going to say that it was awesome to be running at West Point again after many years! I’ve missed this terrain.
Alex – when we were hanging out between the middle and the sprint.
Keegan – BBQ at Bernie’s/getting to see and interact with so many people
Danny – Being the first trailer through the finishing chute for the long and hearing everyone cheer much louder than expected.

And that’s it for this post! Big thanks to the WP squad for hosting the event! And because of the late post this week, there’s gonna be an extra surprise to make up for it 😉


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