Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flat out at Flat Rock

A great evening and event last night at Killarney Heights, with around 170/80 runners on the puff in the penultimate event of the season. And how about the spectacular lightening display that hurried along the late starters! Fantastic stuff.

Peter Thomason gave us a horizontal take of this enjoyable area with slightly tighter setting than last years 'portrait' course. It was nice to see the housing in hatch this time rather than the inky green of yore - much easier to read on the run. There is always the tantalising moment when you pay up and get the map - and the first glimpse of the course. Last night did not disappoint, with a lot of loops within loops and a bit of bush track running for Dave Lotty - very yummy. It looked good, just outside the 600 on time, and so it proved.

Immediate temptations were to the north and north-west, where #23-29-15 gave access to a nice top crossing and plenty of eastern options on the run home (or if coming up from #12, more of a stagger home!). The south east looked less tempting at first, with #11 the most difficult to loop in (may have been the lonely pot). As scores were posted however, the flatter south east rewarded the runners who did the north and kept out of the #27-19 track and its need of the rack railway home journey. The guns needed both sectors, with Glenn's clean sweep getting underway with a dipsey to the east (17-12-26) before crossing to 8-11-24 and an outer loop via 14-6 etc and the low arc to the top. Interesting planning indeed - and note the weird order of 11 then 24. All to do with the unmapped uncrossable high fence that modified the intended 8-24-11-14 route. There were many others caught by this fence on the flog home - including 'Pork Chop' Barr himself.

So the Glenster did the lot in 46.5 for 580 points, and seemed to have the lollies as far as I could see. Other good scores noted were Adrian 'The Plumber' White with 560 (shared with 'The Republic of' Chad Armstrong), Mark Schaefer and the 'Bendy' with 550 (Jeez Wendy, this is lightening on the move!) and a brace of 540's - including 'The Freemason, and Ryan 'The Hangman' Armstrong. I'm told Michael was in early, no doubt to his frustration.

Lisa Grant pencilled a clean 500, with Jo 'Salvador' Sinclair back from Chile and into it again with 460. Great to see one of our great stars back on the track and enjoying a light work out. There was also some good scoring amongst the blokes, with James Lithgow finally running to potential with a well judged 500 - in sync with Peter 'Paul & Mary' Annetts, although both were shaded on the turn by an absolute bolter in Ian 'I Do' Cameron's 510 (the leading super vet). Ron ran late in the Legends, but probably parked an honest 390 from Ken Jacobson. Ted not sighted here. Dale 'The Bread Loaf' muttered in the car, and then took off for 400, ahead of a trio stars in SVW (Helen, Ange and Sue) who posted 320 each before retiring to the Tuza.

The young guys also flew, with Dave 'Service Fee' Bullbrook carding 430 (no sign of Huon), and Michele working the pins for 370. Brother Aidan decided to have a go, and wrapped a nice 330 for the family dinner. Good to see the Dawson's on the fly. Others of note were Lisa 'The Bayonet Fitting' Lampe and Karin 'Rin Tin Tin' - did you get it! Hefftner marking 420, Gil Fowler chewing on 440, and Gordy and John 'Bus Lane' Anderson leaving their mates for dead with 450's.

Scoring was high in general, with many suprised at their speed in what is notionally a hilly area. The SSS crew are obviously getting fitter!

So, on to the final.

Lloyd has the event under control, and is promising a spectacular finish to the series. The start returns to the harbour edge at Clarkes Point Reserve, where landscaping works are now complete and make this quite a place. Woolwich is always an interesting run with checkpoints on both sides of the peninsular adding a bit of upsey/downsey to the long out and back nature of the area. The bush addicts get a fix in the reserve and there are views galore. What a spectacular part of Sydney!

We will be open for early runners at 4pm, and hope to have most back before the gloom of 7/7.30. The presentations will commence as soon as we have most home and all places are won. This seems to include the SSS cup award which may not be decided until the night!! Great stuff. Please stay around to honour our champs and join us for a post event (and series) dinner in the pub - rather conveniently located!

In every respect, a great way to end another classic series of navigation on the run. Thanks Sydney!

PS. The recently published, and long overdue, Pork Pie Form Guide has become a nick naming puzzle. A clue to help all those that thought a day at the races was simple (turn up, loose money and go home). Most names are straightforward enough, often reflecting an interest (for example: Sue Thomson goes to the theatre often, so she was Sue Thomson 'C' - her initials and the C forming STC, Sydney Theatre Company!) One more that might have alluded most. Sue Login was called 'A Moving' Sue Login. Drop the S and the 'in' of Login and you have 'eulog'. Pronounce the g as gee and you have 'a moving eulogy'!

I know, I know - I need help!! But hope you enjoy it anyway. See you all Wednesday at Clarkes Point.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the gallop at James Ruse

A beautiful evening, a great new map and an excellent perfectly set course made round 24 a bottler last night at North Parramatta. Chief WHO man last night, Ian Miller scored on both map and course, providing plenty of fun for the summer series sailors - desperate to notch a few final points on the tote.

After last weeks record 'late-back' tally, James Ruse's Driveway was almost the opposite, with many runners back early. The more gentle contours were a contributing factor, with plenty of good points in close - a contrast to Ron's Cemetery, which everyone wanted to check out, only to realise the late flog back from it could be costly.

Ian set up some intriguing puzzles that had the string and loop brigade scratching their noggins to get an optimal outcome. The big scorers needed to go west, with a northern and middle circle on offer before the multi cemetery return had the team in overdrive. Glenn painted a Pollock-like route, dropping via 4 and 3, before working north again via 19, 7 etc and then the big circle west returning along the bottom and east. Weird to be homeward bound at #26, so close to the early #3 pot - but then, The Glennster likes a swervy course. Another inner loop that worked was #14, 13, 27, 7, 9, 15, 24 and then the west. Generally, you had to do something in the centre to get a bag full. Great fun, and excellent course setting.

An amusing moment last night. Michael Free encountered a man lying down at checkpoint #10, using the pot as a pillow!! - and had to be politely asked to move so 'The Furniture' could record the code. Beautiful stuff. Also of note, was setter Ian's birthday last night (along with fellow club member Janet Morris). Good to see the champers getting a work over.

And now to some of the scoring. Top score looked to be recorded by Rob 'Berry Under Arms' Mason with 570 points. Rob has reappeared recently and is in top form - good to see this prior SSS star back on the nibble. Kar-Soon carded 530 and Richard Green would have been up there (not sure of the G man's score). Glenn ran the lot in 48.09 for 560, the nine seconds a cruel end to his great run, although he was well clear of other masters men rivals (Tim Petterson with 460 and Michael Free with 500). Pete Annetts has been in trouble with the handicapper, and only managed 400 last night. The stewards will be taking a swab me thinks!

In the Open Women, Lisa Grant 'Nest' pulled 460, while 'Masters' Sue 'Chainsaw' Login and Allison Lilley 'Pond' both grabbed 480 - a sensational run from both these great mares. In the juniors Ben 'The Tummy' was in early for an excellent 490, with Huon back in the gloom (but score not recorded). A great battle going on here. Vet Robin Cameron wrote 440 on the board, with Super Vet Dale taking care of 400 big ones - both excellent runs. Carol J didn't appear to be trackside, although Sue 'Cate Blanchett' Thomson was noted with 300, a touch behind Helen Murphy's 310.

In the Super Vet Men, Warwick had too much once again and sprinted in for an outstanding 490, ahead of rival Steve Flick's 460 and Ian 'Car Boot Sale' Camerons 470. Gordy and yours truly were more subdued with 430/420, but enjoyed the fun just the same (and the James Squire at the West Ryde later on!). In the Veterans, Michael Burton pencilled a stunning 540 after running all but #3 and #4 and pulling in two minutes down on the advertised. Another speedy performance by Michael, and probably his last this series - although we may see him at the Woolwich Pier post prese in two weeks to collect another one!

The old dudes continued to intrigue, with Ron 'The Pumpkin' and Ken Jacobson scratching 380 each to shade Ted's 370. Mal couldn't repeat his blitz from last week, carding an honest 360. Tim Cox didn't appear to be there, and may have to surrender to Mal now.

All in all, a great night. Plenty of grassy bits, not too steep, and beautiful and puzzling course setting. Thanks Ian.

Next week we go north again for our second to last outing. The Killarney Heights map has more bush and more contours, so expect some puff of the non Cuban variety here. A great area though, as all that fronted last year for it's revival will testify. Peter Thomason has his hand on the throttle here and won't disappoint. Make it a date punters, there are only two to go!

Lastly, many will have grabbed the long overdue issue #2 of Pork Pies Form Guide - a four pager to make up for lost time. I'll get it posted to the site and bring more hard copies next week for those that would like a read - and like the challenge of working Porkies obscure nick names! Enjoy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Running out of time at the Cemetery

Early showers, doggy school time, Sydney's entire population of motor cars and mild conditions greeted a good roll up of summer series addicts (around 170 or so) at event 23 last night. Ron Junghans was in charge of the fun, and being part of the mapping team, succumbed to the temptation of putting controls on all the yummy bits he had just mapped. The result? - a widespread and daunting course that kept the top scoring well down, and probably the first time the winner was below 500 this season. Despite the quiet time at the top, the number of close-in thirty's meant the main pack managed reasonably healthy scribbling.

First, to the new map. "The Cemetery" is a great addition to the summer series stocks with lots of connecting roads and plenty of parks. It's great feature is the cemetery itself which was excellent fun to run through, and would be fantastic for a sprint event. Most runners would have been drawn west to #29/30 via #25 and probably enjoyed the varied landscape here as much as I did. And how about the gigantic crypt's on the way to #19!!! The three/four story building must be catering for a very large family indeed.

To the south, there appeared to be an ominous draping of brown lines! This steep terrain would be fun on the way down, but a slog uphill - as any late returners from the 27, 17, 5 Tango must have felt. Also checkpoint #26 figured in many early plans until the cliff blocking n/s access was pointed out. Michael Burton was one competitor who dropped in, and then slogged back out the same way from this pot.

Contenders for the lonely pot would have to be checkpoint #4 in its 'not up, not down' position, or maybe #10 outside Ron's son Sandy's place (number 10 of course!). The creek that would have directly looped this pot to a 21-10-22 run didn't look a goer as I flashed (all right, staggered) by, but Sandy did report a few visitations.

Looking at the leader board, admittedly before all were back, saw Mark 'The Biro' Schaefer holding the cup and Open Men's crown with 460 points. Get 'em all guru Glenn 'Dash' Horrocks must have run a marathon, grabbing the thirty in 63 minutes for 420 points. This course was set up for Michael Free to claim, only for our favourite early arriver, to be pipped 440/430 by Tim 'The Biscuit' Petterson! Good running all round from the Masters group, with Andy 'I' Simpson (420) and Steve 'Ning' Craig (410), outrunning Peter Annetts and Graeme 'Turn it Down' McLeod (360/370). Peter is a close 4th in the point score and would normally be nudging Michael - must have been caught below the contours!

Veteran Michael Burton pencilled 420, leaving out the eastern clutch of twenty's, but not too many others entertained the big 4.
The super vet men challenged the power of deodorant with some high 300 scoring. Warwick 'Suture' Selby looks like he led them home with 390, although Graeme Hill hadn't appeared before the Porkster was called away (to an early pork dinner!). Steve Flick carded 370, a nose in front of Gordon 'Mt' Wilson (360, and just back from running the bogs in the British O Champs) and Ian 'Digital' Cameron's 350.

The Legends were not to be outdone, and with things hotting up in the overall point tally here (The Ted and Ron Show), Malcolm 'X' Gledhills 320 looked a spoiler to Ted's 300. Ronny gets the course setter 100 of course, so this is getting very interesting indeed. Tim 'The Toastrack Tram' Cox was in the depot with 260, and not spoiling the party here.

Dale 'The Bread Loaf' Thompson eased up a notch in SVW with 310 to leave the rest of her field well behind (Angela and Janet on 230, and Sue 220). In the Open Women, Melissa Selby clamped the handcuffs on 340 points, a breath test in front of Vicki 'Throat Drop' Stitt (330). There were probably other good scores here (Lisa, Rachael, Deborah???), as there would have been in other classes not fully noted by your correspondent (Ben 'The Tummy' Tuminello posting 290 in the junior men for instance).

All in all, a great new area. Numbers are always down a touch for the outlying maps, but they add good variety and we will be back for more fun amongst the crypts (and maybe the downhill dash to the pipeline) next season. And great to see Stewart 'DMZ' McWilliam back in town and lending a hand on the Garingal till - and enjoying a run. Welcome back Stu, a great competitor and course setter in the summer series over many years.

Next week sees us again on unfamiliar terrain. Ian 'Oil Tanker' Miller has the starters pistol in the newly mapped James Ruse area in North Parramatta, and will no doubt set us a great run. Expect green grassy parks with interesting street connections as the WHO team play with our minds (and legs). Don't miss yet another opportunity to chase glory that is the Sydney Summer Series!

Also note that the Autumn Evening series has now been confirmed and posted. The season is smaller this year with only three events leading up to the fantastic Night Champs out west at Kingswood. Despite the smaller programme, all events will be excellent fun (of course!) and needed to be factored into diaries of those that can't bear the thought of the Wednesday running coming to an end - sob!. Back to Shrimptons, back to Balls Head (Michael Free working a cruel revenge on Glenn here) and a riverside run at 'The Meadow'. Fantastic.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Burning Uphill at Burns Bay

Yep, plenty of 'legs burning' for those runners tackling the southern exit from Summer Series event 22 at Riverview. But there was also the more gentle exit to the Linley Point pots that offered a slower climb north to complete a loop. And all this fun on a beautifully cool evening with things well handled by the Big Foot crew.

Numbers looked good, maybe around the double ton, with plenty of pause for thought when studying the course. Linley Point was almost a 'must do' with its 130 points quite closely packed - in contrast to the east where pots were more widespread and required a bit of ducking in and out various roads to secure them. Still, for most Linley was not enough on its own and a return loop needed to be figured. Most took in 14,5,21 and 11 before the delicious bush controls (20 & 26), and then roared home via 13,25 and 18. The stronger runners chewed on the fat Havanna, and went further east. Many wisely avoided the Tambourine pair of 6 and 24, and the (very) vague track mentioned in the cs notes.

There were reports of lost time at 29, and although the 'steps' were not quite as mapped, runners were probably lost in waterside reverie at this great spot - and making plans to move in! There were some great views on the course that's for sure. Everything else seemed right, although a couple of pots went astray (#4 was one as I recall). One highlight from Dale 'Sford' Thompson was encountering the 'camper' as she crashed uphill from #26 through the green. Dale was not to be deterred by his private property claim.

Looking at the course, and the results, we probably were too spread with the winning score of only 500, but, it is often hard to plan when steep hills are involved. The 'lonely pot' would have to be #1, all on it's own, and no temptation to returning competitors when 25,18 and 29 offered a homeward run for 80 points as against 10!

Glenn collected all in 55 minutes for his 500, and Michael Burton 'your shirt' made the five leaving out the Tambo's and a couple of 'non flow' pots to the east (12, 8 and of course #1). One out and one back was Richard 'Pea' Green on a very respectable 480 closely followed home by Kar Soon's 470 - another excellent run by the Doc. Continuing to amaze the Members Stand, is Wendy 'Plumb Bob' Stevenson with a sprightly 470, and with Malcolm 'X' in tow in full bikers kit! Amazing running from these Masters.

Sue 'The Queen Mother' Login looked next female home with a great 440, and in the open class, and Sue Davis not running, Carolyn 'Headbutt' Haupt looks the goods with 400, a nose bag of feed clear of Rachael 'The Rocket' Best on 390. Other notable scoring was the three way tie in SVM with Steve 'Door' Flick, Warwick 'Ice Pack' Selby and Ian 'The World Game' Cameron all pencilling 430. Graeme Hill thought he had pipped them with 440, but might have forgotten to write one down! Dave 'The Mustache' McKenna will have the final say of course.

Robin Cameron 'Ramp' kept the veteran women at bay with 410, and the two Pettersons (Anthony and Tim) had the family vibe going, each scoring 410. Michael Free was seen muttering, and it looked like another one got away. Other scoring to catch the bloodshot eye of 'Pork Pie' was an excellent 370 from SV David 'Shopping Centre' Gatwood, and another 370 from 'Amigo' number two, Jim 'Lee Enfield' Merchant. Ron appears to have nudged Ted by ten points again in the Legends, and Melvyn (post corporate cup) walked for a tidy 240. At the other end of the board, Super Vet Cheryl 'Number 10' Bluett booked a modest 30 points, just behind Junior Aidan Dawson's 40. Great to see them enjoying the fun.

Also last night saw the presentation of the winners badge to Sue 'Blahnik' Davis in Open Women. As many know Sue is leaving for a year in Europe but has already comprehensively won the OW class - hence the early pressie. Good luck overseas Sue, we will miss you.

Next week sees the caravan rolling north to Belrose and a new map from the Amigo's. Interesting street and park running with a bush edge, including the pipeline track and rock features. The cemetery is also a central feature which should add to the fun. Plenty of parking and plenty of points up for grabs - and where no one has prior form. Don't miss it.

Finally, note that we do have an Autumn Evening programme coming up - at least three events before the night champs in western Sydney, and including a fast run at Meadowbank and some dark fun at Waverton. There should be a flyer ready next week and details posted to this site. Time to get out the LED!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bring the kids!

A note for late SSS 'News' readers. Andy Simpson advises that the Big Foot crew for Wednesday's event at Burns Bay have devised a special extra course for the young ones - like the one Tracy Bluett engineered recently at North Harbour. Great fun for the wee ones, and as Andy said, "All smalls welcome".

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