Bondo in Spring – Saturday 31 October 2015 – registrations open
Spring into Bondo State Forest for the 6 hour or 12 hour rogaine; registrations are now open. It is all in native forest and the local brumbies have made some wonderful tracks for you. The hash house is centrally located and there are plenty of camping spaces. It’s about a 2 hour drive west of Canberra. We would love you to stay overnight. Why not enjoy the campfire and Hartley food, and then help collect controls the next morning? Riding brumbies on the course is allowed, but you must stay with your Bond 00 team mates. Miss Moneypenny at the admin tent will give you extra points if you take the brumby home with you. This is the final ACT 2015 rogaine, so register by Monday 26 October through the ACTRA website.
Help urgently needed for the Spring Rogaine
We urgently need a volunteer to tow the portaloos out and back to the Spring Rogaine. We will of course cover costs and provide a free event entry. Please email Dane if you can help at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registrations for the World Rogaining Championships opening Thursday 23 October
I have been in your ear for a long time about registering for the World Rogaining Championships next year. As you know, David and Julie are weaving their magic, setting a wonderful course. Cop this short but excellent Youtube promo.
In the meantime, keep in touch by 'liking' the WRC 2016 Facebook page.
And one more time, here are the details of the entry process.
2016 starts off with a twilight event
The ACTRA Committee is busy cooking up an exciting 2016 rogaining schedule. We will once again be looking to you all to help run our events, so don’t miss the fun of volunteering. In the meantime, circle Saturday 6 February in your diaries, as that is when we will be running our first event for the year, a short twilight rogaine. We will get the full schedule to you later this year.
An interesting aspect of the course setting of the 2015 World Rogaining Championships was that the controls were placed at an average spacing of about 2.5 km. This was due to the fast and open nature of the terrain. The controls around the Hash House were also placed quite some distance away, and they were worth about 70 points. This contrasts with our usual practice of lower point controls near the Hash House. Having a “ring” of high point controls in close to the start/finish did two things: (1) it allowed teams who don’t travel as far to still score good points; and (2) it changed the tactics of the teams who were travelling further. It was very important to have the finish-of-rogaine planned well so that you had time on the way back to the Hash House to pick up these big points without being too early or late. With the long distances between the controls, it was challenging. David Baldwin and I managed this by stopping at 5 hours to go and replanning our final control visits to make sure we could get all these points. It was obviously a challenge for many teams with lots of people back at the Hash House very early and teams back late too.
Rogaining in the Arctic
Six ACT rogainers were part of the Australian contingent to the World Rogaining Champs in Kiilopaa, northern Finland in late August: Janet Scott, Deb Foggin, Jean Douglass, Ron Simpson, David Baldwin and myself. Here are a few thoughts on the rogaine.
Rogaining with reindeer is actually not that different! They sit in the middle of roads like kangaroos. They scatter like herds of cattle when rogainers’ lights appear in the dark. What is very different to Australian rogaining, though, is the uniformity of the European boreal forests. The pine trees all look very similar and even the undergrowth is more similar than you get in Australian bush. It makes walking a bearing more challenging when the trees you are trying to spot on your bearing all look very similar. A big difference is the bogs, streams, rivers, and marshes everywhere! The world rogaining champs were held in a drier part of the country where there is a moderate number of hills, so there are drier areas, but we also got quite good at picking the different types of grass and reeds for how wet parts of the country were. Managing for wet feet with waterproofing beforehand and changing to dry socks during the event was pretty important.
We were very lucky that we saw the aurora borealis (northern lights) during the short night. Being late August, we had some dark with a few hours where the stars were out, although the horizon never got completely dark during this time.
The map was of a very high quality due to the fact that Finland has superb mapping data, so the contours were very accurate. This didn’t make it any easier in a few areas of the course where there were large rocky boulders and glacial remnants making for very tricky navigation at a 1:40,000 scale. There was one area of the course in particular where we were lucky not to be there in the dark. Generally, the country was very open and, with the exception of the wetter areas, quite runnable. This meant that to be competitive teams had to travel a long way. David and I estimated that we travelled about 117 km during our event.
David and I were very pleased to get second place in the mixed veterans. Congratulations to Jean Douglas and Ron Simpson who came in fifth in the mixed superveterans, and Debra Foggin and Janet Scott who finished 29th in the Women's vets.
Australasian Rogaining Championships
This year’s event was held in the Capertee National Park in NSW. A physically challenging course was set with lots of hills and prickly bushes. The national park is exceptionally beautiful with Sydney sandstone cliffs and loads of birds. Lots of ACTRA members took advantage of the location to have an excellent weekend of rogaining. The event attracted quite a few people wanting to make sure they had a 24 hour event completed before the World Rogaine Champs next year, with lots of people staying out all night as well.
Barkley in the land of Santa Claus rogaining with the world's best
On the morning of Saturday 22nd of August we awoke to blue skies and fine weather and the prospect of a forecast top temperature of 25 degrees. Perfect weather for the World Rogaining Championships, which were 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland. I decided to hang out with Deb Foggin and Janet Scott as there was the prospect that I could catch a kip sometime during the night. The start was impressive with over 800 competitors corralled into the official starting area, after making sure we team had the requisite safety equipment and protective clothing with us.
The course was delightful with a mix of open pine and beech forest, fells (mountains for the novices) with low scrubby vegetation, rocky gullies, swamps and marshes, creeks and rivers. Over the 24 hours we explored all of these areas features only hindered by the odd reindeer fence where you had no choice but to crawl under as they were not to be climbed, fortunately there were gates, all of which had interesting designs, here and there which were easy to open. There were also large voracious mosquitoes, which swarmed as soon as you stood still which made map reading a challenge. The highlight for me was the chance to wander with reindeer, and we got to see a few including a beautiful young white reindeer down by the river after leaving control 25.
ACT Rogainers bring back loot from the Australian Rogaining Championships
ACT rogainers brought back loads of loot from the Australian championships last weekend. Rob Walter and Paul Cuthbert were second overall, narrowly edged out by Damon Goerke and Rob Preston. David Baldwin and Julie Quinn were close behind in fourth, winning the mixed vets and coming second in the mixed open. Susie Sprague and Sara Hely claimed second in the women's open; Jean Douglas and Ron Simpson finished second in the mixed supervets and Pat Miethke and Parissa Poulis won the Women's Ultravets and were second in the Women's Supervets.
But wait, there is more. Laure Gauthiez Putallaz and Wendy Emerton won the Intervarsity, bringing the trophy back to the ACT for ANU! In the eight hour event, the Cutfield/Lhuede family were third in the mixed open and second in the family category.
Congratulations to all our over-achievers.
In a strong field, Paul Cuthbert and Rob Walter have won the 2015 ACT Rogaining Championships. Julie Quinn and David Baldwin have backed up shortly after returning from the World Championships to finish second, and win the mixed open and vets. Christine Brown and Karen Pedley won the women's open and vets.
In the 8 hour event, Kieran Macdonell and Kim Gilfillan narrowly beat home Dave Meyer and Steven Timbrell, with vets Hugh Jorgensen and Stephen Goggs third. Scott Morrison and Kate Liesinger won the mixed, while Neets Pluschke and Jessica Thorn took out the women's.
The metrogaine was blessed with delightful weather, allowing some impressive individual and team achievements. Martin Dent cleared the course, followed by Paul Cuthbert and Rob Walters.
Carol Harding dominated the women's categories, winning the open, vets and supervets. Penny McIntosh and Tim Rawling took out the mixed open.
We also saw excellent performance by younger competitors. Ciaran Lane finished sixth and won the Junior category, while Ella Cuthbert and Zoe Melhuish put in a great performance to come second in the women's open.
Metrogaine lost property
If you left any of the following at the metrogaine, please call Wayne Gregson on 62884398:
· a silver tea/coffee mug
· a Nalgene red drink bottle
· a Bobble filtering water bottle
· a child’s blue sweat top.
Stop press: Barkley reports from the Australian Championships
What a lousy event. Jean, my loving and reliable carer, must have had a brain failure when she gave me to that Glenn bloke to take out. And Julie, the President, apparently agreed. They made Glenn promise he’d look after me – but he didn’t. He had two partners with him, Dave and Michael, but they weren’t ACTRA members so they couldn’t help.
It didn’t even start well. It was a warm day, and Glenn roughly shoved me, still in my sleeping bag, down into his pack. Boy, doesn’t he ever think to wash that thing! And with the sun it was hot in there. Other, nicer carriers have let me stick my head out. But not this time.
I was inside for about 3 hours. The first bit seemed to be mainly along the level, but then the going got really slow as my carrier negotiated the first bit of ‘thick stuff’ and then climbed the first serious spur – almost 14 contours up to control 97 from the North. Boy, you should have heard Glenn puff – and complain about how the organisers had talked about ‘the occasional hill’ in the pre-event description. But we got there in the end. By this time, it was really hot in his pack.
Then we did a couple of fairly easy controls, before getting to the water stop near control 68. This was the first time I got a breath of air. Glenn had no idea what to do next, so Michael tried to get me to help by asking me to look at his map, but he’s a Victorian so I wouldn’t do it. And it’s a good thing that Koalas don’t drink much. There were about 350 people on the course, and there were only two by 20 litre drums of water there – and they were almost empty. Teams who arrived only a little after us missed out.
Anyway, Michael felt sorry for me, so he took me for a while. It was better in his pack, not so crowded with junk. But it started to rain a bit, so he kept me inside too. I’d been inside for almost another two hours when I felt that I was being put on the ground. My carrier(s) were, I heard, doing an out-and-back along a track to control 101 – one of the many scenic ones – and they were dropping packs. And I missed it.
Anyway, Glenn was annoyed at Michael for forgetting me (boy, does he get annoyed easily), saying if we have to carry that silly Koala we need to get some pictures or Jean and Julie will get mad, So he took me back but it didn’t help – he only took another couple anyway. But only two controls later they were at control 94, where there were some nice views so they let me out again. Dave put me in a tree (the wrong sort) and let me look around for a couple of minutes before it was pack time again.
There was only one good thing about being inside one of their packs – I was protected from all the prickly bushes. Apparently there were lots of them. Glenn spent lots of time complaining that the course setters notes about ‘some spurs containing thicker bushes’, and ‘dropping down into the watercourses to avoid this’ wasn’t a lot of help. And when he was in the thick prickly bushes he also kept repeating a few words over and over – but I’m a well-brought-up Koala, so I didn’t know what they meant. But I’m sure that Jean wouldn’t want me to use them around at her place.
Anyway, it was dark by this time, and we got to the All Night Cafe about 9 pm. It was nice there, but the people seemed to be running out of food. There was only a little soup, and the nice Park Ranger had to go back to the main Hash House for more cheese and bread for toasties. Because my carriers were tired we stayed there for about an hour- I was ready to go long before they were.
Anyway, when we left it wasn’t too bad for a while. Glenn found a new radiator hose on a ‘dozer track he was walking on, and insisted on shoving it into his pack, down on top of me. He claimed it was from a Toyota, and he might buy one some day. But then they all made a big boo-boo trying to get to control 98. Glenn started to complain about ‘unmapped watercourses’, but he’s not a good navigator so the others ignored him. But I found it for them in the end. By this time it was well after midnight, so I thought that I’d get some shut-eye. Was I surprised to wake up about three-quarters of an hour later to find I was back at #98 – my stupid team had got so lost in trying to get to control 60 that they’d stumbled on control 98 again. This time I helped them, so they got there OK – even though they still couldn’t work out the contours to the East of #98.
By this time Glenn was very tired. On their way down from #60, Glenn fell a few times – once onto his back and crushed me against his stupid radiator hose. There was, apparently, lots of loose rock – mixed up with more prickly bushes. What a lousy route choice! Those few words from before were getting a real work-out now. Michael was going really well, but Dave said his knee was sore – it wasn’t really, but he said it so Glenn wouldn’t feel so bad. Anyway, they decided to go back to the All Nigh Cafe. Wimps!
When they got there (about 4 am), they discovered that the cooks had disappeared (gone to bed?) and it was fend for yourself. The hotplate was on, and there was bread, cheese and eggs, but little else. There was NO water - hot or cold! At an All Night Cafe! A few teams came in and grumbled, and Glenn had a few unkind words to say about NSWRA organisers.
Glenn was still saying he was tired and sick of the hills and prickly bushes, and Dave said that his knee was no better, so they decided to call it a night (day?) and head back along the main track to the Hash House, getting only two more controls on the way. All in all a pretty lousy event. And, to cap it all off, Glenn blames me for his lack of fitness – says that I’m too fat, and he’s not taking me in his pack again. He said that he’ll make sure of this by taking a photo of me sitting on a cactus bush, next to control 80.
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ACTRA website: http://act.rogaine.asn.au
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