Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fun at Forty Baskets? You betcha!

Over 220 sports fans rolled up last night to Terry Bluett's excellent and challenging scramble at North Harbour. Early runners (including the Opera bound Tim 'Tam' Cox had to contend with hot conditions, but the fine evening was welcome after the stormy displays last week. Terry always sets a good run, and didn't let us down last night. A stretch east to Delwood Beach or tackling the contours to Tania Park was the puzzle - with the top scorers getting all of one and a bit of the other. Perhaps more bit the bullet and headed uphill to #29/28 than to #21/22, perhaps hoping the downhill run home from the south would act like a natural air conditioner.

Another factor was the low tide, giving many, including the speedy Andy 'Simo' Simpson, a flying start across the flat to #19. The loop then to Forty Baskets and the cool bush tracks of the Dobroyd Reserve made a good attack route to the top, although a few runners (including Mike 'Treat me Gently' Burton) feared slow times here and headed up via 7 and 27. Those that ran via 25 and 6 would have agreed it was easy-peasey.

Pots were generally nicely placed although there was some time lost by a Garingal stalwart at #12. The single letter code was another suprise by Bennelong - did you note they were detachable, so probably will be modified for the clubs next gig at Seaforth.

Glenn, as usual, ran the lot in 53 and a bit minutes - an excellent dig that yielded the 'yellow man' the top points on the night. The aforementioned, and returning Mexican, Mike Burton, was a short half head away with 500, again a neck from Adrian 'Paint Tube' White on 480. There were plenty of mid fours, with Andy Graham's 440 a stand out in the veteran men. Sue 'Li' Login was our top woman with 420, sharing a magnificent pant by junior Jess Campbell, also for 420. Huon (400) and Matt 'Ress' Hill (390) also suprised the tote with excellent outings in the junior men. The VW's (or the Porsche's as they like to be referred to) once again saw Karin and Robyn going the eye gouge, with Robyn a lipstick smear in front - 350 to 340. Good racing that will last all season.

In the older classes, Steve Flick had too much for the rest with 420, and Ron led the Legends home with 370. Dale was also noted back from Europe with a quiet 230 - no doubt an early jog to get the cold from the joints. Expect more as she warms up.

All in all, a great evening with plenty of good running and an excellent crowd. Hard to find the lonely pot, although I suspect that #14 might have been off the songsheet for many puffing 'south first'-ers as they stared uphill from the assembly area with five minutes to go. Number 8 didn't work for me, but would have been included in most southern loops. Fun eh!!

Next week sees us return up the North Shore Line (come by train) to Lindfield and Primula Oval. This is where Paddy Pallin lived, and features a nice mix of street and bush track running. The Little Blue Gum stuff is great fun, as are the 'easements' in this well treed 'burb. Peter Marshall will no doubt give careful thought to making this a run old Paddy would be proud of. Don't miss it.

Finally, a small snippet from last week. Glenn 'Hold Me, I'm Yours' Horrocks tells of divine intervention. As he was searching for a control in the Killara bush at Alan Tilley's damp dash last Wednesday, puzzling if he should go up or down, a lightening flash illuminated the gloomy and wet scene, revealing the pot in front of him and enabling a speedy finish!! Now Michael "Fed Up' Free can see what he is up against - the 'Hand of God'!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Normal service resumes!

Fans of the Porkster will no doubt be relieved that the "shivering white legs" entry is now behind us and Summer Series race comments and goss are about to return.

Last week, Alan Tilley handled a large roll up in rainy and thundering conditions at East Killara. The tighter course gave a few of our top runners the incentive to 'do a Glenn' and go for the lot. Several 600's resulted, despite the bushy stuff bringing a few undone (mainly those that didn't read about the 'marked routes'!!). Despite the rain, most seem to enjoy the event, with several stars confirming their pedigree. One missing from the leader board was Warwick 'This won't hurt a bit' Selby, sidelined with another ankle (although Waz was noted last night giving the undercarriage a try out at a damp Callan Park).

If I had to pick a 'lonely pot' at Killara, it would have to be #1, although #29 needed commitment. Actually, nothing was too far away as the scoring proved. A beauty despite the weather.

Tomorrow sees us return after five years to North Harbour and Terry Bluett on the till. Terry will no doubt get us working uphill to Tania Park and stretching along the fabulous foreshores (to Fairlight and to Forty Baskets). Should fine up by tomorrow for a great event. Can't wait!!! Note there is also a special map for the small kids that Tracy has prepared. Should be fun.

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