Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dampness fails to deter summer series fans

Despite a damp and wet evening last night at North Sydney, 46 runners (a record) fronted for the 2009 Winter Solstice event. Bryony and Tim Cox had the lights and tea pot on and had engineered a brilliant reworking of the Lavender Bay and Cremorne maps to deliver 'Ridge to Rangers' - a landscape map with checkpoints across the higher parts of this fantastic area.

A first glance it looked an easy bag, although the keener runners would need to stretch it to grab #29 - and everyone needed to factor in the leg burn if pressed for time returning uphill from 20, 19, 7 and 24 over the freeway. As it turned out, it was almost a perfect deployment - with our two stars on the night (Michael 'Fats Domino' Free and Richard 'Pea' Green) posting 570's after doing three minutes over on their 600 point runs. Of interest is the daylight difference. Michael ran before sunset, and Richard made his mark after dark - a fantastic performance.

There were some other great scores. Matthew Hill was on fire for 560, Barbara 'Mum' Hill poured on the Cessnock coal for 520, David Bray nibbled 550 and the top woman was Lisa 'Wish' Grant 'Ed' with a sterling 540. Somehow 'Pork Pie' pulled out 480 to shade Amigo Ron (360) and coffee correspondent James 'Church of England' Lithgow (400). James might be pleading late arrival from interstate, but we know he was really saving himself for Sunday!

Looking at the course, runners took off in three distinct directions. Some began with a quick bag of #16 (Ted 'The Rooster' Mulherin was one), others started with the northern park quartet including the splendid 'gun' control (my option), but the majority surrendered to the downhill start to #24. Bryony and Tim gave runners a high or low option, with lots of in/out work needed to grab the middle if doing both. Probably #10 was the least attractive for the circle line group - although it was easy to flick #5 and 29 if you were a super veteran taking heart pills.

As everyone that ran found out, the many alleyways and small parky bits make this map a most attractive summer series style area. Lots of control site options, and I'm sure B&T could have put out 30 more without any problems. Finding the way back via #7 was a beauty - especially trying to understand the roads, paths and cliffs here. All in all a great evening, and a firm fixture for those poor souls that can't wait till the 7th of October (for the '09/'10 SSS season to begin).

But wait, there's more! Dave 'Madness' Stitt has got three more Wednesday evening runs up before the SSS. Pencil 8 July, 5 August and 2 September for more of this fun with the headlight. Details from the Garingal website -

As to the 09/10 summer series, planning is well underway with another 26 event programme on offer. I'll post early glimpses here as we get closer to locking in the events.

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