Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shivering white legs seen jogging in London!

Hard to believe, but 'Pork Pie', the summer series bookie with all the goss, is about to go missing in action on a trip to Europe. Fans of the Porkster will note his devotion to the series however, by departing tomorrow (to get in Ian's 'Putney Charge' tonight) and arriving back on a Wednesday morning - just in time for a religious conversion at St Josephs (event 15). Still, it is a hard to be a no show for the next four, and to be missing the traditional Chrissie fun at Balmoral and our new experiment - the family fun day at Echo Point. Ah well...

I thought I would leave a small prequel to keep SSS fans on the drool.

Tonight, under grey skies but hopefully a dry evening, Ian 'The Gladstone Bag' Cameron is once again to be found directing traffic at Morrisons Bay. Ian put on a stiff outing here two years ago, that included increasing temptations of an uphill kind! We are hoping the old Doc is going an east/west stretch this time, with the decisions on when to turn back a new challenge. We will soon see I guess, but whatever we get, the riverside running and parks here are good stuff and it should be a top outing on a dry track (the rail is out wide).

Event 11 next week is a return to setting for Barry 'The Pinestar' Hanlon. Baz's oil painting with 'The Brush' at Eastwood will no doubt offer the nice bushy bit in the north west and some top views for the puff fans. If Baz spreads his pots wide enough, train fans might get to tickle the pencil while the 6.10 to Gosford sails up (down actually, but that's another story) the main northern line next to Darvall Park - imagine the fun! Be good to be back at Brush Farm, and it's delectable 'Apres O' pub, the West Ryde - the perfect venue for post racegoss and dinner

Event 12 is the traditional Christmas 'fish and chip' flog at Balmoral (with it's tram line fun and the infamous Awaba Street hill). Rob Spry is our setter and is sure to render unto us some Summer O Christmas perfection. This map has always asked competitors the question - when do we go up the hill? The shy mares like to get their bridles itchy with a bit of fashion work along the prominade first, while the young stallions hit the hill with six packs pumping. The Pork has tended to be a hill first man, although the 'six pack' might be something for afterwards in his case. Always good running here, with some of the best views in Sydney. A highlight on the summer series calendar and not to be missed. Say hi to Santa for me!

If they can run between Christmas and New Year in Melbourne, the so can we! Yes folks, Andrew 'The Blood Donor' Lumsden has persuaded Malcolm and The Bendy Bus to put on the Big Foot family fun outing at Roseville so you don't have to get holiday season withdrawal. Mal has got us starting down the bottom again at Echo Point Park, so you can guess the early direction - uphill and in low gear! But, what the heck, just focus on the run home. A flyer on what hopefully will e a great afternoon and evening. And the perfect way to work off a bit of Christmas pud!

We open 2009 with the Dawson's on the rego desk at West Charswood. It has been some years since we began in this top spot, and I'm sure there will be rewards aplenty as the second half of the season kicks in. Graeme is sure to have devised loads of fun for all on the fantastic bush tracks around the golf course on this map and may even get us into a little local history with a touch of Bogle/Chandler - (bring your running shoes, but leave the carpet behind)!! Will be a goodie, and I'm sad to be AWOL here.

Looking at the scoring, we are going to see some changes to the leader board with Andrew Hill going off to Wales. This throws open the OM class, especially if Mounty is only an occasional starter. Adrian 'The Drain' White, Kar-Soon, Richard Green, Mark 'Ing Time' Schaefer - all should be excited. I think we might be also seeing Wayne Eliott working the legs at long last.

At the other end of the age groupings, SVW early star Bryony Cox, is out to pasture on veterinary advice, and will let other mares run on. And with Dale off talking to the Italians, expect to see Carol 'The Spark Plug' Jacobson and Sue Thomson ginger up for a touch of the sponge cake hundreds.

There are other great contests taking shape across all fields, including the long awaited 'miss' by Glenn in MM last week. Michael Free must be cursing his no show, to see the Glenster finally beaten at Yaralla. It could have been him (maybe tonight!). In Vet Men, Michael Burton has been unsighted, allowing some fun from the following pack. Andy Graham 'Greene' seized the moment last week, but The Pork expects to see Melvyn and Larry go harder tonight, and is aware of some big money on Graeme Dawson to also feature.

Lots of gripping stuff, and plenty of editorial fodder for Pork Pie and his Form Guide in the new year.

To all SSS competitors and helpers, very best wishes for Christmas and the holiday break. The second half beckons, with new maps, more great competition - and hopefully some summer weather!! Cheers from The Pencil'

Friday, December 5, 2008

Major roll up at Majors Bay

A warm evening (for a change!) saw around 200 punters slip on the volleys as they fronted Dave McKenna's excellent offering at Yaralla last Wednesday evening. Last year 'results guru' Dave had us on the jog from Cabarita Park stretching west to Yaralla, but this time he fell under the spell of Concord Hospital and had the mob heading north (to Alaska) leaving the 'Cab' and its rapidly developing apartment mazes for next season.

It's been a few years since we have circled the bays here, and those that thought they had seen it all were found wanting in this deceptively challenging course. First glance looked an easy 45 the lot, perhaps forgetting that we were in 1:10,000 scale territory, and maybe forgetting the thinking time needed at the Hospital. Anyway, what looked a runner proved to be a tough cookie, with Andrew 'Cardiff Here I Come' Hill falling short by just over four minutes for the lot, and 550 points. The cruel 'flog' by master torturer McKenna to checkpoints #6, 26 and 16 bringing the fast men undone.

Looking at strategies, most runners seemed content to begin north to the Yaralla and Concord points before giving way to a long run home on the road via #9 - more than two thirds seemed to begin this way, and were rewarded with good scoring. A bolder plan was to begin south via #30 and then sweep the west and north points before the 'brassiere' run home - ignoring the danger of #5 and spending lots of time in deciding when to pull out of the northern temptations (19,8,12 or the bolder 19,23,15,12). Ten and 29 was only for the premium fuel brigade.

Everyone enjoyed the cunning stuff in the Hospital itself, thankfully well mapped and rewarding to those orienteers who could read this beautiful work on the fly. South from #22 to #20 for instance was great stuff, demanding concentration all the way - even to the actual control path and its false neighbour. This area would be great for a 1:5,000 sprint course.

As I said, some great scoring. Beside Andy, a trio of 'open' 530's were noted - Kar-Soon, Mark Schaefer and Adrian White. Down an age group, Peter 'Paul & Mary' Annetts pulled off 510, and Andy Graham '& Eggs' and Mike Wainwright 'Or Left' tickled 500 with the HB - all excellent runs. The Bendy Bus was not far adrift with a brilliant 490, a nose from an even more impressive 480 from junior speedster Jessica 'Thunderbolt' Campbell. What a score!

In the older classes, Barry 'The Coal Miners Daughter' Cole snuck up a couple with 180, but gave the nod to Tim Cox with an excellent 340 rails run. Tearaway Ted and Ron ran in late and missed the Porky 's pencil (but probably scored well). Dale 'Carnegie' Thompson once again pulled the points with a well oiled 310 in SVW but will give her class mates a go as she tries the damp tracks in Europe for the next five weeks or so.

All in all, a great evening. Good course, well set, and enjoyable running with plenty for the 'grass men' (that's you DL). Good to see the numbers building back to previous expectations, as the crowd yells 'show us a fine day Sydney!'.

Next week we move across the water to Putney and rogaining champion Ian Cameron's much anticipated event at Morrisons Bay. This area features plenty of delectable riverside running and lots of nice parks (ok and a few streets). The question is will Ian give us the uphill stuff to the pool, or stretch the carry on to the east and west. Find out more as you join Pork Pie and thousands of other mad SSS maniacs in running event #10 in the series of the century (bets on Barry Cole hitting 200 are attracting serious money - better get in quick!).

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