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.

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