Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Series Looming

As you can now see, the programme has been published and we have reset the visit counter for the year. Yellow flyers are at the printer and will be in orienteering mail packs shortly. Spares will be bought to events, although you can download a pdf from the site. All looking good, but note especially, the earlier day and start times for event two at Kirribilli. Hopefully we can welcome many orienteering visitors to our great city and to this event, and the opener at Balls Head.

Also note the intention this season to introduce a walkers category. Same 45 minute time limit, same map and scoring system, but open to those who would prefer to walk rather than run. At this stage, we are just going to offer 'walkers women' and 'walkers men' and will run the progressive individual scoring as per the runners - just no age categories. Obviously this category will rely on personal competitor honesty and we hope not to be reporting the walkers breaking into an out of sight run! Note also that groups (either runners or walkers) are noted in the event scoring, but not on any progressive tallies.

The final moonlight madness run is on this Wednesday at Glebe, and will be lots of fun. Dan 'standard gauge' Redfern is in charge of the pots, and promises lots of quality harbourside running. I'll do the usual post-race wrap up, and then begin to sharpen the Pork Pie pencil for the summer series. Lots of good running (and walking) looming.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ghosts by Moonlight!

A good roll up of 'Wednesday 45 minute addicts' last night at Manly enjoyed John Havranek's new map and Moonlight Madness course. A few runners also experienced a damp chill at the cemetery checkpoints and found new speed amongst the 'presences', Sue T amongst them! This was event two in Dave Stitt's three pack for those desparate souls (Porkie amongst them) who are hardly able to wait for the next summer series to begin. Dave has one more headlamp outing planned - the Dan Redfern special over at Glebe. Keep the lamp wick trimmed and watch for the moon. It will be a ripper.

And so, back to last night. This new area at Manly/North Steyne is a contrast of the absolutely flat and a couple of cracker hills. The southern controls needed a bit of puff and required constant map checking to avoid the 'wrong street' syndrome. The grouping looked tight, but many different loops were executed before the fast boys caught the Queenscliff tram and gathered in the northern flatties. Luckily John hadn't applied the usual summer series dose of cruelty in locating #27, #16 and #25 on top of the Queesncliff hill, ensuring a speedy collection around the lagoon (don't be on Ian Jessop being so friendly with his summer series event on this one in early December - he's been known to bring on the dark side).

Many began around the infernal fences to #18 and 8, running past puzzled arriving runners looking for the start. Waz Selby opened his account this way before looping in 10 and 24 and heading north and his encounter with the rock - or was that #28 the 'sculpture'? Given the map title 'Another Old Cemetery', many other runners headed off south west and the fun amongst the headstones. This proved a worthwhile start also and gave a good leg up to the heights further east. One area that deflated a few tyres, was the Manly rugby ground, where #4, 7 and 22 did their best to remain undisturbed. Again fences added running time to those that missed the right path (Warwick sensibly avoided all these controls).

Control #23 was the nights highlight, when you finally found it. A fantastic statue on top of the cliff. Classic, and remembered by many from a recent Metrogaine in the area. Hard to pick a lonely pot, although #30 on the beach was getting a bit off line for many. All in all, a very nice new area with loads of potential. It will be great to run it in the daylight.

I didn't take any scores, although Richard 'The Wheelbarrow' Green was reported posting 570, missing a 20 and a 10 (not sure which ones though). The southern hill offered 350 odd, and there seemed plenty of scoring around that number on the results board. Several groups of younger runners were noted on the nibble, with much urging and anxious commentary noted ("hurry up, we are going to be late"). Beautiful!

As I mentioned, the next Madness is on in a month at Glebe, so watch for that. Regarding the Summer Series, all is now finalised and should be on site in a week or two. Our final venue has been moved to the Kissing Point map, after Ian 'The Stethoscope' Cameron helped secure a building amongst the Rehab Centre grounds for our use. Should be a goodie. Other areas back for action, with additions and augmentations being a feature. Hopefully, our opening 'double' will hook in a few World Masters Games competitors, giving them the ultimate Sydney cunning running challenge.

More SSS news soon.

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