Thursday, October 25, 2007

Overcast skies, drizzle and rain greeted around 140 mad runners yesterday afternoon for Summer (!) Series event 3. Not to be put off by the conditions, an impressive crowd rolled up to this great harbourside venue to enjoy an excellent and intriguing course set by Steve Flick. Although some of the pathways amongst the apartment developments (a feature of the location) were slippery at high speed, most enjoyed running in the cooler conditions, and the discipline of navigating the complex building areas (except the old farts whose glasses fogged up!). Some excellent harbourside parks, and the classic 'Wickford Island', complimented the street and apartment sections.

The control locations close in meant quite high scoring for most competitors, with checkpoint #16 and #30 there to test the young guns. Open Men's champion Andrew Hill, managed a clean sweep of 600 points in 43 minutes - an excellent run. There were also several 580's, either by leaving out #16, or by being a touch over time. Michael 'Douglas' Burton left off #16 but was back early - an outcome that needed a pint of Guiness afterwards as consolation!

One of the most interesting controls was #18 on the tennis court fence. This proved elusive to many, with the court being behind a high hedge! Keeping a handle on entry and exit directions in these pathways was a nice challenge, with the odd 180 degree error being reported. The mix of cunning and running was good stuff all round in this great SSS area - we will be back.

Next week brings the beginning of daylight saving and more time to see where we are all going! James Lithgow has a great course in store for us at Macquarie Uni, where a bit of bush running might be an interesting contrast to the Uni building complexes and the sculptures. Not to mention confusion in the car park buildings! All excellent material for the SSS addict, and not to be missed (of course).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Summer Series event two at Meadowbank last week was an absolute ripper. Despite the chilly winds, Steve Dunlop set one of the all time puzzlers at this great riverside location. No matter how long the control locations and map were studied, an efficient loop was hard to come by - lots of in-and-out controls being the order of the day (or should I make that evening!) - and a greast variety of competitor routes resulted.

Once again record numbers fronted the starting gun, and maps ran out! With around 180 punters pulling on the running clobber, this is the biggest ever crowd at 'The Bank' - imagine what might be in store once daylight saving ends!

Although the control spread looked very 'do-able' at first glance, 500 or above proved elusive on the night, with Wayne Eliot "Ness" taking the lolly scoring 490 points, and back in 43 minutes! Michael "The Postman" Burton made a broad sweep of the map connecting all but two 10 pointers (#2 and #4 I think) for 580 but lost 100 of these in being ten minutes late. Michael was one of the few that visited the western controls (29,20,30) with most runners feeling the attraction of the eastern points, and the railway overbridge! Dave Lotty, in an effort to run a low score, tried approaching #23 from the bike track above, only to find himself heading over the railway bridge and no way down through the formidable fence. 'Thanks Dave', was the collective word from fellow SVM's. Other runners found the intense apartment development at this location a navigation puzzle, especially when approaching from the east.

All in all a great event, well set, with runners going in all directions - as it should be. Some great contests are looming this season as well. In Open Women, Gil and Rebecca are into the fun, as are Michael "I'm" Free and Peter "The Freight Train" Annetts in Open Men. Also great to see Karin and Josh Blatchford down from Newcastle for the event, with Josh scoring an impressive 440 (and he's still a junior!!).

This week sees the last of the pre-daylight savings events at Abbotsford - the Quarantine Station with Steve Flick at the controls. This map has not been used for a few years, so will be fresh to most of the newer SSS brigade. It's another great harbourside venue of course - this time from the south side. Expect great park and harbour foreshore running and some excellent views. Not to be missed!

Also good to see the results posting now up and running with new webmaster David Noble taking charge. The enquiries about the series continue apace

Thursday, October 11, 2007

11 October 2007

Our first event went off with a bang last night at Kirribilli. The crowds were very impressive, with over two hundred runners enjoying Ron's tough course. This is our biggest opening event roll up yet and augers well for a fantastic and well contested series. With the checkpoint placement being well scattered, scores were generally lower than normal, with anything in the 400's being a real stretch. Andy Hill showed he is in good form with a very creditable 480 points. The lonely 'pot' awards go to #28, and probably to #27, both a long way from home. Equal numbers tackled the 'John Howard' route and the Luna boardwalk, finding excellent water views from both options. Controls 24 and 30 also hit the scenery buttons for those that ventured to the north. The location is worth a special mention, especially as night fell and the city lights provided the most spectacular backdrop to a SSS event we have yet experienced. A great start to the season.

Next week sees us moving west to another favourite venue - Meadowbank beside the Parramatta River. Expect great riverside running and some excellent work across the many parks and (hopefully) the mangroves! Steve Dunlop is in charge and should create another fab challenge. This is a good venue to come by train or rivercat to, although parking is reasonable. Note that we are again starting from Bank Street near the station, not the more traditional spot in Constitution Avenue/Federal Road. Be there!

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