Perhaps it was timing: hosting the Bubba-Goat the weekend immediately following the US Championships in Virginia…..
Perhaps it was fear: the prospect of facing off with the prior (5th) Florida Bubba Goat Champion himself, Ron Eaglin, on his home turf…..
Perhaps it was the too-vivid memory: the sweet agony of a 4 hour run in the Florida heat….
Perhaps we will never know, but in any case the field was completely and disappointingly devoid of non-Floridians. Absolutely no one from outside Florida attended – if we don’t count Nick Watkins and Martin Dimitrov, whose accents betray them as recent arrivals. We were so looking forward to having at least the “semi-local” contingent from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina enjoying the Bubba-Goat with us. But alas, it was not to be. An all FLO event it was, but they all had a blast.
Congratulations to the newly crowned “JOINT-BUBBA” Champions Ron Eaglin and Nick Makris. I’ll try to get them to add their comments to this Report. They finished the 17 kilometer Bib-Bubba in an orchestrated dead-heat, by mutual consent, fulfilling the best ethic of Adventure Racers everywhere. And did so in under 4 hours.
Congratulations also to Nick Watkins, the winner of the Lil’-Bubba in a fabulous time of 81 minutes. If he’d kept anything close to that pace for the Big Bubba he’d have won that handily.
Thanks go to Steve & Donna Fluegel who vetted these courses last Spring and whose advisories were all taken to heart. Thanks too to Jonathan Linforth for his secondary vetting, required because our Wekiwa Springs-mandated biodegradable ribbons performed beautifully by fully bio-degrading in the intervening 7 months. More thanks to Jonathan for showing up early Sunday to “EC” the event for me. I left early so as to nurse flu-bug-trodden wife Janet for the day. Additional thanks go to Dave Brault and Greg Owens who retrieved all Bubba controls plus most of yje Wekiwa controls from the previous day’s event. I’ve not yet heard how they did that before dark. But others can certainly follow their lead by using control retrieval as a training opportunity at future meets.
I had promised commemorative T-shirts to anyone finishing in under 3 ½ hours but never mind that. Everyone who started this landmark event deserves a shirt and so it shall be. I will award a shirt on the basis of Style points alone to Martin Dimitrov (who lost his control card) and Dillon Ralston who gave it his best shot, so what the heck. Jamie Sheriff gets a shirt because she talked her parents into coming out to hike the Short Bubba course, but then she had to retire early to go to another engagement.
The unofficial, but highly coveted, Bubba Goat STYLE award is presented to the club whose representatives display the most original, most outrageous, most deserving Style while competing or retiring or failing to show up. It doesn’t actually exist, of course, but it’s out there, in the ether, and all who read this will now know – it goes to FLO! Once Again!
This is the kind of orienteering that the lunatic fringe thinks is just about the finest abuse we can inflict on ourselves. I had the time of my life just setting the controls, imagining how much fun it would be for the participants, looking over all the wildlife encountered, wondering how in Heaven’s name that much dog fennel grows in the middle of the forest near #7, and feeling absolutely bushed because I ran it all myself while setting.
For those you attending: Thanks for coming. To those unlucky millions who couldn’t make it: Seriously consider joining us the next time FLO hosts the Bubba – say, about 2012.
Nick Makris adds:
Thank you to Bob and to everyone at FLO who made the event possible. It was a spectacular day and I always wanted the title of BUBBA!! I especially need to thank Dr. Ron, without whose assistance, I would have been severely delayed (and in serious trouble with my wife who was waiting patiently at the finish area). Dr. Ron basically let me tag along and gave me a tutorial on how a pro runs the course. It was an eye-opener (literally) on how to read vegetation & contours and everything else a good orienteer looks for when reading the course. I basically was just along for the ride, so thanks again Ron.
|Lou Ellen Brown||176:00||11|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|LCC||Lost Control Card|
The coveted "Bubba" T-Shirt