The answer to the start triangle question, as I could see perfectly well, was that it was at the end of the tape that ran from the start box, around the corner and down a set of stairs. The stairs made it difficult to read the map at speed but the first leg appeared to consist of one major route choice - left or right around the building ahead. I went right, mostly because I mis-interpreted the uncrossable fence ahead as blocking the entire space between the buildings but also because it gave me a few more seconds of running to read ahead and make some decisions before I had to concentrate fully on the next set of steps. I punched the first control and returned the way I had come back towards control 2. Here I had the advantage of seeing Gergo, who appeared to have mucked up the first control, some 20 or 30 metres ahead of me, a relative position that we would both maintain for another 10 or so controls.
Leaving 2 there was another route choice at the end of the buildings. I chose to continue straight along the footpath, having only one turn at the road junction on my way to 3. Gergo turned left and went up the steps, running through the carpark area to the west of control 21. Neither of us gained any advantage. Controls 4 and 5 were about reading the gaps in the fence and leaving 5 I ran down the left hand side of the building while Jonty, who missed that gap in the fence returned past 4 and down the right hand side.
From 6 we ran down through the lower car park and onto the grassy slopes surrounding the pond. From previous experience on this map and particularly after Blockhouse Bay last week I was expecting this to be slippery and muddy. And so it was but it wasn't of the epic proportions of last week's event. I ran gingerly down to Control 7, slowly making sure that I got it first time and avoiding the fate of others who overran it and then had to make their way back up the grass to punch. The track from 7 to 8 was in good condition and there was then another slippery grass slope to be negotiated back up to the car park from where Control 9 could be seen from some distance.
From 9 to 10 there were a number of options available. It was possible to run up through the buildings either back past the start or past Control 15 or you could run out through the gate by 14, up the road and back in the gate by 10. Another option staying inside the campus grounds but going around the side of the building by 14 was also possible but I didn't come across anyone who admitted to this as a route choice. I chose the road, as did Gergo still 20m ahead of me, and the straight path running allowed me to plan a few legs ahead. Comparing splits later, it appears that this was perhaps 10 seconds faster than the direct route up through the buildings.
The grass up this end of the campus was not as slippery so we kept up a decent speed on the way to 11. By this time I was right behind Gergo and when, after passing through the narrow gap between the buildings on the way to 12, he unexpectedly turned left when the control was in sight and required a right hand turn, I was able to get in front of him for the first time. My route choice from 12 to 13 was left about around the building. This doesn't seem defensible now that I look at it, right about would seem to be the better route choice, but it didn't cost me a great deal of time.
Running back down to Control 14, the obvious route choice and the one most people took was to run past the finish and then down the left of the leftmost building. This is direct but has another grassy slope to descend and a bit of a jump down a wall. I chose to go the longer but firmer route back out the gate by 10 and down the road. And this is where the late start caught me out. Between running past 14 on my way up to 10 and now the gate by 14 had decided to automatically close, it now being 4:30pm. I got down to the control and punched but then couldn't get through the gate or over the fence. Gergo came down the direct route and, while unable to get through the gate to the control, he was able to reach through and punch it. If the control had been placed a metre further out it would have been him with the problem and not me. So what to do? Well, firstly I indulged in a short bit of jumping up and down in frustration while insisting that the universe rearrange itself for my benefit. This didn't seem to have any practical effect so I scanned up and down the map and realised that I would have to return to the gate near 10 as the closest open entry to the campus. Luckily this gate hadn't closed and I was able to run through a mystified crowd at registration on my way to approach Control 15 from what seemed to them a most unlikely direction.
Jonty was just punching at 15 when I got there and he let out a cry of delight knowing that he had made up the minute he was behind me and thus should beat me easily. He had approached 14 from between the building and the fence and had also found his arm to be sufficiently long to not have problems with the control. My problem with the gate ended up costing me one minute and fifteen seconds. We ran past control 2 on our way to 16. This was perhaps a slightly longer route than going south about the building but did mean that there was a good flow through at the control without needing to stop and reverse direction. After following Gergo for most of the race, I would now be 20 to 30m behind Jonty for the rest of it.
The leg from 16 to 17 turned out to be a repeat of the one from 2 to 3 with me repeating my original route and Jonty opting for the route Gergo had earlier taken. Perhaps both were slightly longer than the route back past 15 but I didn't speak with anyone who took that option so can't compare splits. The next couple of controls were fairly straight forward with the next major route choice being 20 to 21. I didn't pay much attention to this, being content to follow Jonty back past 3 but in retrospect it appears that the route past 15 and then down the steps near 16 would probably have been quicker.
Across the road to the last control and then there was one last run up through the buildings to the finish. Alistair was despatched down to the closed gate with a key and it looks like only Roger and I had been caught out by it. But if the control had been placed a metre further away . . .