Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mason goes gold at Browns

Last nights excellent event at South Turramurra on the Browns Waterhole map, saw Rob Mason 'cement' victory with a strong 530 point run. Although correspondent Pork Pie didn't stay till lights out, Rob had ten over Mark Schaefer close to the end and they seemed the only two runners to break the 500 barrier. Many others pushed hard towards it, carding high 400's as they grappled with a much more bushy venue than has been the norm of late in the summer series. Lotty would have loved it!

So, 170 runners fronted the till (and about 200 when you count the group entries) on a beautiful evening at this long underused venue. Stuart McWilliam was in charge of proceedings, and had crafted a 'skirt' course neatly draped across this bushy suburb. With fire trails around three sides and a long slow drop to Browns, runners were always going to do a bit of puff work if they wanted to take home a hundred. Stu was obviously attracted to the perimeters, and organised a perfect U shape to east, south and west with a gaggle of controls across the top holding things together - much like a belt. Much discussion ensued as to the best route. For the Flash Harry's, the full skirt had to be tackled with the big ask being how to tie in 27 and 16 as they passed around the southern ankles. For the more senior competitors, perhaps still feeling a touch of Christmas pud on board, the question was to go east or west, not both, with the west seeming to hold more temptations.

A couple of routes are of interest. Mark Schaefer ran 580 leaving out #7 and 5 as he circled north, west, south and an interesting but perhaps not optimal- 17, 8, road to 16, 27, 18 and resuming the fire trail up the east side. Mark's watch ding donged 45 around #30 kicking in the afterburner for the dash home via 6 and 10 in six minutes over. Mark ruminated that it might have been better to have run 17, 27, 16 and 28 and ignore 18. Great running none the less.

Also of interest was the route of VM Larry 'The Wrestler' Weiss. His strong 450 points began up north with the usual suspects before turning back at #13 and dropping to 23, 14, 25 and the southern pots - up the skirt via 27 and 16 and as noted above (28, 9, 19, 29 and 20) before gliding home via #7, 10 and 5. Nice one Lazza.

Although the majority of runners seemed to go off via 24 to the tennis courts and a nice game of doubles, an alternate route taken by some was the gallop downhill via 10, 7, 16 and 27 before the western return and the uphill slog. This had its fans, especially those runners that would prefer to walk up a steep hill than try and run up a slow one (there are many of us!).

In summary, lots of good routes, with the hole in the middle making life difficult to link east and west. Hard to find the lonely pot, although I suspect not that many went to #6 and 30. Everything else seemed to be getting plenty of 2B twirling though, indicating good setting. And how good to be back running the bush tracks. Great stuff and a nice contrast to recent outings on the bitumen. We will be back!

Looking at some of the early scoring in addition to Rob and Mark, Mary Fein and Shane Henry posted 490's to lead their respective Masters classes in very strong runs. Brendan 'The Mad Hatter' also ran up 490 in OM to be a nose clear of Adrian White (480) and some strong nags across the line for 470 (Bray, Free and Fowler). I didn't notice any 460's, but scribbled in Weiss and Anthony 'The Window' Dowle at 450, from Joel Putnam 'Sandwich' 440, a length back to Steve Ryan, Mal Brad 'All', Lisa Grant and Chris Fielder with 430. I heard that Lisa had popped back from the Christmas 5 Days just to keep her SSS hand in! Good running LG, life IS good.

The Murphy clan were in court with Terry (330) being given ten years by Catherine (340), although he did manage to send Clare down for 40 dings of community service (290). The Legends appeared to be 'men only' with Ken Jacobson posting 310, well ahead of Mal Gledhill's 280, but out of range of a strong 390 from Ron Junghans. Not sure of Heiko's score, but I think Ron might have this one. The Super Vets saw Carol post 220, a modest score but enough to keep Sue Thommo's 190 as an 80 pointer on the progressive tally. The SVM had fun in the absence of Wazza Selby, with yours truly holding 390 ahead of Graeme Hill and Steve Dunlop's 370 odd. Graeme ran 430 but came unstuck with a wrong turn south from #29 (ending up near the river) and had to backtrack losing valuable time. Not sure of Steve's route, but it's a great score and he is running better than ever recently. Also not sure of late finisher Jim Merchants score (out via 24, home via 5) - could have been a goody, but the last pot (5) has the crowd guessing where the Field Marshall actually went to.

In the absence of Warwick, daughter Melissa put aside the truncheon and posted 350 in her first run this season - a touch in front of fellow OW runner, Vicki Stitt with 340. In the same class however, Deb Noble concluded her season with a tidy 380. Younger sister Rachel punted 320 in the juniors with dad on fire in the Vets for 410, a great score from our web miestro. Some other random scores noted, were Dan Redfern with an excellent 380, Matt Hackett with 350, Ernest preparing for new years eve with 300 neat round ones (as did Ian 'Mr IBM' Miller come to think of it!), Julian Ledger handing out 290 fresh towels and Davy 'Crocket' Gatwood working 280 racoons into his pen just to annoy Michael Roylance's 270.

Ex Garingal member Phil Helmore lives on the map and popped along for a refresher course - carding 250 for his troubles. Wiz was seen with 330, a touch in front of Mike Halmy's 320, but well clear of SVM Neil Hawthorn's 280. Neil has posted the odd ton on the faster maps but was bought undone here by a nice excursion between 14 and 23 - arriving by steam train (and somewhat discombobulated) at the dead end lookout many orienteers might remember as a feature of the map in this area. This is called getting value for money! I also note in closing Catherine Cox walking for 190, and a couple of classic tens. Kris Wright and Ruth Jacka both posting ten points to star at the other end of the score board. Great stuff from our juniors. Hopefully they, and the large number of groups and new competitors, enjoyed a great night.

Thanks Stuart it was a ripper.

And with the half way mark now passed, we start to drop the weaker scoring. As Dylan said on his classic track Mississippi, 'Things should start to get interesting right about now'. And interesting they continue to be. Next week sees us back at Primrose Park in Cremorne with orienteering star Michele Dawson working her pot magic. This is another great window on Sydney, with bush paths and harbour view many would not be familiar with. A touch of hill work might be on offer - as will a pint at the Oaks afterwards. Don't miss it!

Finally. Can we make a plea to return your pencil at the end of your run. Last night saw another significant defection as the little blighters ended up in competitors cars, rather than joining their chums in the pencil box. They cost money folks and we seem to be losing heaps. Please bring them back!


Also Ran said...

Catherine Cox? Who's that?

Fly on the Wall said...

Ruth Jacka is no junior - she scored 170 in 60m 30s - obviously enjoying the scenery - for a 160pt penalty. Her son Chris I believe got 380 in OM.
Great course from Stu and good to see some real orienteering for a change - the bush certainly makes the clock tick down faster.
Glad I attacked #14 from below - I saw some people coming from above and it looked a scary drop.

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