Thursday, April 2, 2009

Damp conditions at 'The Dock'

Should I be drawing the metaphor between us all weeping at the end of the series and the heavens opening??! Ok, ok. Let's stick to the reporting Mr Pork Chop - you know, all that stuff that happened between arriving at Clarkes Point last night and the pie and peas at the Woolwich Pier ( a whopper post presentation roll up had the kitchen and bar staff in a frenzy).

The 08/09 series went out with a bang last night at Woolwich as a large crowd of dedicated SSS addicts gathered for a final flog around the magnificent sandstone houses and water views of this sublime location. Lloyd Gledhill had the start button in hand, and produced a deceptive ripperdoodle - avoiding the time consuming eastern sector for a little more fun to the west and north. Lloyd deployed several thirty pointers where it hurt the most, drawing runners off the flat peninsular top to cunning dead ends with harbour vista's - #29 being the most excruciating blend of reward and punishment (it might also have been our 'lonely pot'). He also gave us a touch of Kelly's Bush, a sea wall, a monument and a scary spider (#14).

Many fanged off west to #12, only to be confronted with the high fence. The old open gate was locked, forcing many around the fence end, although fence squeezing was also practised (the Gail, Viv, Robyn team managed it standing up, while Mal 'The Wombat' Gledhill found it more fun on all fours). This beginning led to a loop via the bush, #16, 8, 25 etc, and a pull back north to take in a church service @ #27 and the lofty views at #24. Working in #6 and 11 was a puzzle, especially if you had time to do the 50 points north of the pub. Those with a little more petrol ran further west via 13 and 30 before a relaxing dinner with Kate at Jaspers, and then collecting #28 and the 18/19 lollipops on their return. Although most began towards 12, some tried #1 and 21 as their entree, and one competitor was noted heading off straight uphill towards the pub!

The scoring was on the money, with two stallions posting 600 and many more a half head back. Mark Schaefer in Open Men and Glenn 'The Locomotive' Horrocks in MM did the lot (Glenn in 44.36), with Richard 'Calamine Lotion' Green a nose hair back with 590. Brilliant running. Other 500's noted were Rob Mason with 540, Tim 'Bucktoo' Austin 550, Joel 'Golf Ball' Putman 520, Peter 'Of Cleves' Annetts 520, veteran Larry Weiss 'Squad' with an awesome 540 and super veteran Warwick The Oilskin' Selby carding 530. Wazzo's great run put paid to the only likely place change last night, with second placed SVM Steve 'Peron' Flick needing to park His Selbyships by a couple to pull the lead back. Alas for Steve, it wasn't to be.

Looking at other results, our two junior runners kept up high standards, with Dave 'The Emir' Bullbrook pencilling 430 and Rebecca D'Arcy 360. In Open Women, Lisa and Rachel were both there but the Pork didn't record times - Carolyn 'T Remover' Haupt carded 420, just behind Vicki 'Soap' Stitt's 440, although both showed respect to Melissa 'The Handcuffs' Selby's sensational 490 in the green and gold hoops. Sue 'The Queen Mother 'Login managed to suprise Wendy Stevenson (510/490) in the Masters Women class, with Veteran Women Karin 'For Service' Hefftner (440) being caught on the turn by Robin 'Health Fund' Cameron's 450. Some good running in the older blokes, with Ron and Ted dead heating in the Legends with 420, shading fence man Mal 'Content' Gledhill's 360, and Gordon 'Dy' Wilson's 440 keeping Selwyn 'Not Town Hall' Roper and 'Windy' Ernest (both 410) away from the glare of publicity in the Super Veteran Men.

Sue 'Miss Kirribilli' Thomson collected 280 in SVW, rounding out a great season on the pant for this Garingal star. Dale's score was not noted, but would have been impressive- as was her season, winning the series and the badge in a canter. There were many other good scores with the early competitors having the best of conditions. Our chief stats men, Graeme Hill and Dave McKenna, both started late - finishing soaking wet and several kilo's heavier for their sins.

Gordy reported excited locals bailing him up mid course to complain about the red and white pot controls that 'could be terrorist bombs'!! We have often seen pots pinched over the years, but never deferred to like this. A unique reaction. The citizens of Hunters Hill/Woolwich are obviously of a more cautious calibre than the rest of SSS Sydney - bless them.

As last night was the last event, the prizes were awarded to the winners and suitably acknowledged by those hardy souls that stayed (big thank you's). Most of the contests had already been decided except the SVM, as mentioned above, but it is always good to cheer on our stars and ruminate over a few stats. The tarp shelter erected to keep the rain at bay was mysteriously taken down just before it started to rain !! - a classic bit of timing from the Garingal crew (who have booked meteorological lessons and been sent to the 'naughty corner').

It has been another great series. Big thanks firstly, to all the course setters and orienteering clubs that continue to make the SSS such a success, and secondly, and importantly, to all the competitors. Thanks a million for being part of the fun. We will be back in October for our 20th season!!

The Autumn Evening series is on again, beginning with a great run at Meadowbank next Wednesday. Janet Morris has this one in hand and is hoping for a big roll up. Get out those LED's and be there. The night time dimension adds a new challenge and is great fun. I will report on these events here before doing a final season wrap and going 'bush' for the winter. Please also make a point of entering the Night Orienteering Champs later this month. This is being held on a new map in western Sydney with courses by SSS star Warwick 'The Sock Man' Selby - an absolute 'must attend' event. We are even offering a SSS style option for those entering on the night that find they can't bear to relinquish their 45 minute running fix. Talk about competitor friendly!

That's it from Porkie for the moment. A brief hibernation and then the next series. New maps, more fun and more friends - and let's not forget the post race Resches. Only six months to go!!

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