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!

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