Thursday, February 26, 2009

Running Rozelle

A cool evening last night saw a big roll up for a run on the extended Glebe map. Numbers were over the two hundred mark, not counting the dogs or the City of Sydney Rangers. All seemed to go well, with lots of good comments on the course (including relief at the relatively level terrain after Terry's mountain climb last week), although as the organiser/setter stuck fast under the sagging finish banner, the event passed in a blur. Still, good to set something that added a bit of new running along with the excellent views and great old streets hereabouts.

With the extension west to Whites Creek, I had thought that the course would be a bit tougher than last year, but Glenn 'The Tractor' Horrocks, suprised with a brilliant all-point run in just over 47 minutes (for 570 points). Glenn is well and truly holding the crown as our ace runner now Open Champ Andrew 'Hiccup' Hill has gone to London (and Glenn's a Master to boot!). There were other excellent scores, probably including Michael 'The Banjo' Burton, but I didn't get to see them and record my usual scorers notes (sorry everyone). My usual penchant for a good spread of 30's reasonably close seemed popular with all five doing a 'roaring trade' on the control cards.

One score I did note was Ron 'Incontinance Bag' Junghans pipping Ted Mulherin in the Legends. This continues the see-saw battle here that makes the series so fascinating across many divisions. With fellow Legend Heiko off running a marathon up an African volcano and Malcolm lighting the afterburner (same score as Ted last night), all placings are up for grabs. Go the Legends! Also great to see the 'Super Legend', Barry 'The Ointment' Cole, back from injury and giving the legs a whirl. Great to see this Bennelong star on the nibble once again.

Despite my description of 'least attractive' control, #9 the 'Stink Pipe' found favour with plenty and can't be awarded the lonely pot. Maybe the annoyingly placed #3 or the equally remote #14 and 10 might take the lozenge here. It's also worth noting that all pots have been recovered, somewhat amazing when you think how urban the area is. Even #22 was found (stringless) after it's little excursion.

So, all in all, I think it was a goody - and we will be back (things with the Council now sorted).

Next week sees the crowd back on the lower north shore at Burns Bay. The 'Feet' normally give this great area a rattle and we should expect some nice stuff in the bush reserves and around the beautiful grounds and spectacular foreshore of St Ignatius College. BE THERE - and bring granny!

Also note that there is an introduction to bush orienteering proper being offered after your run here (at 7pm) to be followed by free coaching on 28 March. Anyone interested in getting into the 'real cunning running stuff' post SSS, should ring Lyn (9635 0563) or Andrew (9412 3545) to book a place. If you think the Summer Series is fun, wait till you get the adrenalin flowing out on some of the major bush O events. Fantastic stuff, so please join us.

Finally, sorry to have missed reporting on the great event last week at Seaforth (away in NZ). In summary, if you adhered to the 'one third of the time downhill and two thirds uphill' rule you would have done well. That sinking feeling when noting checkpoint #28 with 10 minutes to go was not good. And then we had the fun of finding the dreaded pit (#24) - or in my case, not finding it. My only consolation was not getting stung here, as several competitors apparently did. A really nice area though and well mapped. Next time ... I was heard to mutter!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Burning up the course at The Incinerator

In cool conditions last night, several summer series stars lit the afterburner and joined the 600 club! As well as the guns, many other high scores were recorded as competitors found ways to work the intriguing pot spread on John Anderson's Willoughby wonder. Numbers looked good, with the sales department ringing up over two hundred dings on the SSS till - excellent stuff.

Proving the Porkies crystal ball skills need a rework, John avoided the drop zone to Tunks Park, and instead delivered a tour of St Leonards and Aratarmon. The spread didn't look wide enough at first blush, and so it proved with Glenn 'The Hormone' Horrocks, claiming the lot in 38.40 minutes - a sensational run. Despite the tight spread, and maybe the flatter nature of the area adding to speed, working out a loop kept many scratching their heads before presenting to the green flag. The outer loop, both east and west seemed to flow, but how to link in the tempting points in the middle? One excellent run took off south to #4 and #29 (the Bang & Olufsen route) before working 9, the footbrdge, 13, 27, 7, 16 and then the west before adding 19 and 12 and recrossing the freeway to the eastern loop. A variation doing 13, 12, 19 and 27 as the mid core would have yielded the through route via 24 directly to 18, 26 and the east if you had the legs (as several fancied stallions obviously did).

Lots of other runners took off east to 22 and points south, coming home via the middle grouping - also an excellent way to collect the numbers. Leaving off the east (as I did) proved to be a big mistake. As usual, there were lots of variations and plenty of interest in routes over the subsequent schooners of James Squire at the Bridge View! Good setting, and good fun.

Looking at some of the scores, we celebrate the 600 club - Andy Hill (in his last SSS run before departure to the UK) 40.42 a second behind Mark 'Close Shave' Schafer 40.41 and Richard 'Broom' Green 41.50 keeping the OM flag flying from the outstanding efforts of Glenn and Tim 'Wilko' Rogers (42.06) in the masters category. Pork Pie also notes the 'value for money' award going to recently returned orienteer, Ian 'Singha' Christopher, who enjoyed 79.40 minutes of pure heaven for minus 110 points! Good one Ian, you are a SSS legend in the making.

Other notable scores were the excellent run by Selwyn 'In the Study' Roper (SVM) with a fantastic 470 points. Selwyn has been threatening with the All Black Jumper and must have pulled on a quick Haka to scare the rest of the SV's (apart from Warwicks clean 500 - another excellent run by the singlet) into submission. Good running Mr Togood. Jim Merchant was also clean with a nice 450 under the belt. From the MW camp, Wendy 'Patricks' Stevenson, scored a blinding 580 to lead the women home, 30 points clear of OW star Sue 'Platform Shoes' Davis (550). Alison 'Prime Minister' Curtin also found herself on the left hand magnetic board with a sterling 470, well clear of Sue 'Wood is Good' Login's 340. The SVW's battle continues to fascinate, with Dale on the wander at 210 (must have gone for coffee!), leaving the run home to Carol 'Pasta Bee' Jacobson (380) shading Sue 'Theatre Tickets' Thomson on 340. Sue will be pleased with the point allocation here!

In the Junior men, Huon 'The Axe' Wilson managed to reverse last weeks result, jumping Ben 'Shark Bait' Tuminello 490 to 480 and keeping this series as another 'all the way' contest. Ben certainly is flying recently. Finally, the Legends. This time Ted 'The Teddyboy' Mulherin took the carrots from Ron, 450 to 430, clear of Malcolm (400) and Tim 390. Heiko must be in there somewhere, but not sure of the score. This is a great contest as the retirees flog the walking frames in an all out ding dong race for the badges.

All in all, another great evening of 'navigation on the run'. Next week sees us over at Seaforth / North Balgowlah at a new area mapped by Terry Bluett with course setting by Mike 'Hula' Hooppell. I imagine there might be a bit of the Manly Dam bush reserve at play here, as well as a bit of fun in the creek tracks and hidden parks. Should be a goody with hopefully a big crowd going for the lollies. New map? - always a drawcard! Be there.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A record roll up at 'The Gum'.

A beautiful fine evening bought a record crowd out to play at Lindfield last night - something in the order of 225/230 entries. Always good to see the nags on the nibble of course, especially the young filly's in their bright silks - even Michael 'The Bible' Free managed a dash of blue (which of course helped him pip arch rival Glenn 'The Gourmet' Horrocks at last). The queue's for rego, and especially the start, were a sight to behold - as was starter Michael Burton sitting down and juggling the corn flakes box and the biro. Towards the late starts, runners were leaving in waves, exciting local dogs and frightening the pensioners. Most ripped off to the west and south which was interesting.

Great to see 'masters' guru and previous summer series web site hero Dave Bray back from Singapore and once again on the gallop in the familiar singlet. Dave's relocation back to Sydney is permanent, so it will be good to see him once again amongst the fun in this most competitive class. There also seemed to be lots of new faces on the oval planning and discussing routes - good stuff as the word spreads on this unrivaled way to be late home.

At first blush, Peter's course looked very tough - especially with the long plug south to Loyal Henry Park and the 50 points on Valley View Close. Getting there and back looked hard enough in a straight line, let alone trying to impress the scorers with the northern loop. Anyway, hard as it seemed, the cream rose to the top, with 'Handy' Andy Hill going the podium with 550 points after a 590 run and four minutes over (Andrew left out #2 if your wondering). He was in good company, with Richard 'Tom Jones' Green 10 points further back at 540, ahead of excellent 520 point runs from Rob 'Bery Under Arms' Mason and Mike Burton. Back a bit, The Pork noted Pete 'The Farmer' Fallows and Graeme 'Earplugs' McLeod posting 470's and Malcolm Bradley 'Paddles' going one better with 480. Mark and 'The Paint Tube' hit 500 - excellent knee work in anyones language.

There was plenty of awsome mid to high 400 scoring, including Wendy 'Stevo' Stevenson leading the women with 450 (also logged by our young superstar in the making Jess 'Hi Mom' Campbell). Sue Login (440), Sue Davis and Allison 'The Conductor' Lilley (430) and Robin 'Camshaft' Cameron (420) are also noted by the man in the pork pie hat. Fantastic running and great results in a very hilly area.

Good to see Wiz back on the turf after some time away, and the greater Prudhoe family flogging the gatorade (well, didn't see Em, but great to see Alice 'The Enforcer' on the run). Some other notable scores, were Ben 'Tummy Time' Tumminello streaking Huon with a fantastic 430 (to 390) in the junior men, and Ted Mulherin keeping Ron 'Porridge' Junghans at bay in the legends with a tidy 370. Tim must have been distracted with another night at the opera - his 190 being below crowd expectations.

The super veterans once again stood aside for the 'strider' duo of Dale (370) and Warwick (440), although there is talk of a secret 'potion' being developed to administer to these two stars (Dr Judi, where are you?) to slow them down!

As I mentioned, most runners headed south to the bush, preferring to get this 'out of the way' before the flog home - especially if it involved the dreaded pull up from #30. The temptations of 22, 25 and 27 exercised many minds, with the highway loop home also in play. Andy left off #2, and this might also have been our lonely pot. Leaving the start via 7, 17, 30, 18 and up through the Paddy reserves also worked if you had the legs (14 to 24 seemed an awful long way). Lots of options, which is what we like to see. Another top outing in the series in an steep but interesting area. The bush loop adds to the flavour, and gives the old orienteering goats that warm inner glow. We will return!

Next week, sees John Anderson working the money box at The Willoughby Incinerator. This is a good assembly area with plenty of parking, and close by bus stops. Expect some nice park and street stuff from John, but also the bush tracks slowing our speed as we plunge towards Tunks Park and the 'long way home'. There is something about staring up at the Northbridge bridge from below with five minutes to run that sharpens the mind. Mmmm. Should be excellent stuff, and ideal preparation to event 20 at Seaforth (where mapper Terry Bluett has been enjoying the contours!). See you there - of course!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pounding the pedals (instead of the pavement)

For those devoted summer series runners that also have mountain bikes with the little 'thingy's' on the handlebars - Mike 'The Bike' Roylance asked if I'd post a reminder of the Mountain Devils picnic and AGM on the SSS web site. So, here it is! Well, sort of. The date is Sunday 15 February, 11am to 4pm (ie after church), and the venue is Sydney Olympic Park - Wentworth Common. Food and drink provided, although you will be expected to contribute a few readies upon arrival. Check out the details from their web site and make sure you register by Thursday 12 Feb. There... job done!

A warm one for the foot Oers tonight at the sprint event out west. Bring a little Sydney Water and even a hat. Wednesday at Lindfield also looming. Time for Michael 'The Executioner' Free to put on some bright clothing and take the hundred points! Also time to see Selwyn 'Mt Egmont' Roper pull the stallion out wide and overtake Ernest 'Pass' Windschuttel on the run to the photo. Hey, what's all this race gossip! - the Pork must have had too many at the Nags Head and is feeling the heat.

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