Michael Eglinski Possum Trot III Report

From: Michael W Eglinski

To: Peter Gagarin

Subject: Possum Trot III Date: Monday, December 06, 1999 8:09 PM


I got out of bed at 6:30 Sunday morning. It was still dark outside, but by the orangish-light of the streetlight I could tell it was snowing. I could also tell it must have been right about 32 degrees -- the streets were wet and the snow was just beginning to stick to the trees. I got a big grin on my face....this would be the best weather yet for a Possum Trot!

This year the Trot attracted some of big guns -- Mikell Platt, Mark (aka Mook) Everett, and Sharon C.. Mikell had spent the last couple of months roaming the country and (clearly) preparing for the Trot. Mook, meanwhile, had been laying low in Tucson, AZ. No one had any idea about his preparations.

The Trot was at a place called Blue and Gray Park (which was once known as Black-and-Blue Park). Although it is in Missouri, it is best described as typical Kansas-terrain.

This year we were allowed to skip any two controls. The course was planned so that the choice was not obvious. There were a lot of different decisions about which controls to skip.

The race turned out to be pretty good. A little group of us -- Mikell, Mook, Dan and I -- were together on the way to two. But, Mikell, Mook and Dan all seemed to be running the wrong way. I stopped, figured out where I was and found two (Mook had also quickly figured out what was up and punched just after me). While I shuffled off toward three (happy to be in the lead!), Mook skipped three and took the lead.

I saw Mook again in the middle of the first loop. Then I caught up to Fritz (who'd already skipped two controls).

Mary was at the radio control at the half way point. When I came to the radio control I figured I must be around 5th or 6th. Mary said I was second and that I was not far behind Dan. Dan?! Where were Mook and Mikell?

Mikell caught me soon after the radio. It turns out he'd lost time wandering around in a big flat green area.

Mikell and I stayed together for a bit. His jog was faster than my shuffle. He pulled away. We were still behind Dan...I could see one set of footprints in the snow.

I had one control left to skip and I had decided which control it would be. I pushed my pace (up to a fast shuffle) and hoped that I'd be getting back ahead of Mikell.

It almost worked. But, I bobbled the control and wandered around. It turns out that all four of us were in the same little area within seconds. I saw Dan just after I'd found the marker and he was right behind me on the way to the next control. He told me Mook was not far ahead.

Dan and I stuck together the rest of the course. We never did see Mook, but we saw Mikell motoring up a hill in the distance when we had just two controls left.

Mikell won a minute or two ahead of Mook. Dan and I finished in a dead heat for third/fourth.

So, the Trot keeps up its tradition of miserable weather and a different winner each year. But, the tradition of me finishing second is history. Of course, the tradition of Dan being fourth every other year is still going.

Who will be the first person to win the Trot twice? The preliminary plans call for next year's Trot to be at Knob Noster.

Michael ________________________________________________________________