Thursday, February 25, 2010


On a perfect for running, cool Sydney evening, Andy Hill and Glenn Horrocks (returning from broken toe) both pencilled the lot to lead the scoring at Smoothey Park last night. Andrew's 570 (down 2.5) shaded the 'Lending Library' (550 after a 4.5 penalty), although the Yellow Tee would have to be pleased with his run after such a long spell playing Patience. GH fans, and coach Graham, thought he might be returning next outing but the bike and the backpack at the assembly area told a different tale - the 'Rock' was amongst us again!

So, a top night for a jog, and lots took the bait - with maybe around 230 giving the old 2B a chew. Course setter Mel Cox had gone for an east/west spread across the top of this excellent area, eschewing the Greenwich Point oil tanks in favour of a little heavy breathing around the old gas works (coke for diesel you might say). As mentioned in my preview, the devil at Wollstonecraft is always the deceptive Gore Cove track and its ability to absorb time. Well low and behold, Mel was thrown a curly one with the council jumping him with a track upgrade the day before. GC was suddenly off limits, changing the dynamics of the middle section of his course. The Island was still a tempter with 50 points, but suddenly you needed a road run and maybe a bit of steep bush track work to regain height. The focus shifted to the far right, and the far left - with the loop to #21 via #1 as one starter, or the pull up to #20 in your martial arts outfit as the other. More seemed to like the west. Those that went east seemed to be equal measures of 1-21 or just straight 21's. All these starts involved the early onset of bodily warmth, with few seeming to take the cool river route directly to #10.

The western pots were easy enough to collect in a nice loop, with the drop to 28 and 18 needing to be measured with the climb back. Many ran 20,9,29,27,17 after checking with their 'climb-o-meter' and saying "I'll leave those 50 for another day". The east was a different story, more of a Jackson Pollock story. Running down 11,3,22,23 etc worked - but how to add #2,4 or 12? Many left them out, although your correspondent heard of one 'in-out' to 22 before carding 12,4,2,3,11 on the way home from below. While on the subject of 'in-out' scoring, many would have used this ploy to secure #5 & 24 in their east or west running. A very worthwhile forty points.

For what it's worth, my 440 (in 44.30) was east first (1,21,11,3,22) and then down to 23,13,14, in-out to 5 and 24, 26,19,10 and down the creek to 30,8,16 and the puff up to 17 - and then a flog home via 27,29,9 and 20 - carefully avoiding the people in white pajamas! Seemed like a good route for an old goat, and not too far behind Warwick.

Plenty of good comments and different route choices, as one expects. Berry Island not quite tempting enough for me - but it may have been a very different story with the Cove track open. Always good views down there of course, a beautiful knob of Sydney sandstone bush.

My guess for the lonely pot would be #2 - I'm sure everything else was well visited in a night where runners were 'everywhere' on this great map. Thanks Mel and the Bennelong crew. Always a big roll up here, adding to the legend 'the harder the parking, the bigger the numbers'.

Now lets run the eye over some more scoring.

Half a head back from Glenn, Richy Green, Boris, Adrian 'The Paint Tube' White and 'Recalled Prius' Kar-Soon posted excellent 540's, shading a great run from Mounty (530) and our Masters leaders (Free and Annetts) going the bonk with 520. Steve Ryan was off script a touch this week (510), but still billed higher than Dan Dohle and Mal Bradley - both with 500's. Fantastic running from Vet Malcolm here, although pillion passenger Wendy pulled another fast one for ten more. The 'Bus' ain't stopping for no one folks!

Mary Fein held 490 in the MW's to pip Open star Lisa Grant's 480. Lisa might have troubled a fetlock, as she headed off to the vet soon after. Hope it's nothing serious. Other excellent scores from our leading women were Robin Cameron and Sue Login posting 420's, from junior Emily Bronte (ooops, Prudhoe) with 410, Carolyn Haupt on 400 and Super Vet gossip columnist Dale Thommo (watch for her article on 'Route' choice in an upcoming edition of WHO Weekly) - also scratching 400 with the Staedler. The 'Em Ruler' must had the afterburners at work, with her 410 landing her the 100, well clear of rising junior Rachel Noble's 350.

Good to see Bryony 'Frank Sinatra' Cox working the green and orange silks for 270 (no sign of Tim yet), a length clear of Jai 'The Tomatoe' with 250, and Pauline 'Ball' Evans on 240. The same score incidently as Connie McNamee posted, after the 'Con' was escorted on her course by Michael Burton in a rare non-running outing by our Masters leader (a twinge in the foreleg or maybe Pork Pies favourite injury - a groin strain!).

Matthew Hill run strongly for a 460 junior title. Tom 'Westpac' Joss the same. David Bray, Callum Thompson, Mal Roberts and James 'The Headlight' Lucas carded 440's. Larry 'The Lampost' and Ian McKenzie chewed through 430, ahead of a bevy of 420's - including Steve Flick, James 'Volvo' Lithgow and Michael 'The Bandage' Halmy. Shane Henry had his mind on treasury matters and may be disappointed in posting 390, although Selwyn 'Pine Tree Meads' Roper was happy enough with the same score. There was plenty of mid three action - Mal Gledhill leading the Legends with 340 (to Heiko's 300), Steve 'Cross Ply' Dunlop (350), Dan 'All Out, All Change' Redfern (340), James Stuart and David Gatwood holding 330 to Rod 'The Traffic Cop' Parkin and Dave Lotty with 310. Debbie 'In Other Words' Beyers also took home 310.

In the LW's, Janet Morris put 200 up to Anne Stewart's 190 (a close one), with Bev back a bit in the black outfit (130). Some of our groups enjoyed the fun last night, with the 'Normanhurst Map Chiefs' (Robyn and Viv) posting 200, and newbies Angela, Mandy and Sue finding all the hills (and where north lives) for an initial 110. Mick, Robyn and Josh (180) and Jasmine, Jesse and David (160) were also sighted keeping up the goss as they enjoyed the walking and talking category. Long may it continue.

So, a nice cool evening, a big crowd and plenty of running and thinking fun. More, more was the cry! And yes, there is more. Next week sees John Anderson working the magic of Gladesville Hospital. This was the sight of the recent Sprint event, and is always a popular venue. With the suburban stretch on either side of the fantastic old hospital buildings and parks, this river/harbourside map is one of Sydney's most special and hidden spots. Don't miss the views as you jump on a 30 pointer at Banjo Patterson's cottage, or find yourself on the wrong side of the asylum wall at 44.59! Great stuff. and a must run event.

Also note that the Summer Series will be extended, as in previous years, with three Autumn Evening night events into April. We are offering the beach, the bridge and the valley. Details available soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


A beautiful warm Sydney evening at Jubilee Oval saw a good roll up of Summer Series funsters (not sure of numbers 200+ I think) give my course a right old bollicking. This is my third outing on this map, and maybe I erred a touch on the tough side. I had expected it to be too hard for the 600/45 combo, especially when I kept adding the annoying non flow pots (like on the pontoon), but hoped for high 500's. I was very happy to hear then of our two leading runners popping a 560 pill each - great running and a share of the spoils to Richard Green (fresh from setting a magnificent Metrogaine) and Steve 'Private' Ryan.

Funny to be sitting in the organisers/'ask me' chair for a change, but with the blessing of being so busy I didn't record any scores! Well a couple maybe. The other benefit is putting a face to all the names I often write about. And yes, you will all become your nicknames! The evening went in a blurr of course, but true to form, we managed a nice dinner and a couple of Squires at the Nags Head before it got too late. I picked up all the pots this morning from 6am - all still hanging in the breeze.

Andy Hill ran the lot for about six over (I think a 540) losing time running west from #25 up the hill and then down Wigram Road and on to 24 not realising the lower path flowed (we will fix the map). He might have been a third winner without this. Also noted 'The Babysitter' Kar-Soon a tenner or so back - might have been 520? Anyway a top flog from the Doc. I think 'The Flickster' was again outdone by Warwick Selby in SVM, and I saw Jim 'Jim Falls' Merchant work the new orthotics for good effect into the mid fours - and keep Don 'The Boot' Roper wide of the posts after nearly identical west/east routes. Jimmy's attack on #7 the difference.

Sorry not to have to many other scores to report (I did hear that Jesso ran a top loop, consisting of 20/30 pointers and only one 10 (#7!) to record a PB 87% score against Mal 'The Boatman' Bradley. Nice). Most seemed to enjoy the outing - and the nice start location (with dunnies that stayed open for a change). There were also lots of new faces - including the lady who competed in fashionable flowing dress and knee high boots. Apparently bought along with friends, she was overheard to say "I didn't realise it was a sporting event"!!).

Maybe some thoughts about the setting.

I'm always keen to give runners a taste of the nice Glebe foreshore, so had to include something there. Also, the old Glebe streets are perfect for creating a puzzle in denying a flowing loop. Pots 26, 18, 17 and 29 all added score value, but needed to fit the outer points flow. The question was when to loop in, or to ignore altogether. I though many might start via 26 and 'kill the hill' before working around the edges. Some did, although by far the bigger number seemed to take off to 20 or 11. The west was easier to flow but needed extra speed to cover the distances. Starting with 11,1,21,12,23 worked for lots of the top stallions (and ignoring the annoying 'in-out' #2. Indeed, if you looked closely, most of the tens could be dropped with impunity - and many competitors recorded their lowest scribble in the top row for years.

Probably the lonely pot would have to be #4 on the Telstra pole (like Telstra - out of favour!). This was there just to curry up the big scorers in working east from 23 via 4 to 22 or 14 (or the other way around of course). Most ignored my smart arsed ploy. Control #25 was in the new little park way down south. I had to have this one, partly because the park is new, but also because it gave a nice west/east sweep across the map, and drew runners further south than may have been prudent. More went there than I thought.

As you know, summer series setters always like a stink pipe, so you got #7 - and also the magnificent Water Board chimney at #16 with it's eerie moaning sounds. Another fun control was #10 at the entrance to the Chinese temple on the northern dragon - a summer series first I think, although this is the year of the tiger, not the dragon. mmmm. Many enjoyed the remnant of the Burley Griffin incinerator (#28), just as many did not enjoy #15 on the seat at the road end. I should have described this simply as 'road end' to avoid confusion (or 'road end above cliff') and was told by a few runners that there was a seat at the end of the small dead-end track nearby just to add to the confusion. Apologies sports fans - and to Dave 'Legless in Lebanon' Lotty who reasonably assumed the seat was at the foot of the cliff, and lost much time. I will do my penance no doubt.

So Glebe over for another year, and we move back north to Wollstonecraft with Mel Cox at the controls. Despite the crappy parking at 'Smoothey' (you have been warned), this venue always seems to attract a record crowd. It's dead easy to come by train of course, as the start is just below the station. Berry Island brings in the eastern side of the Greenwich map and the time absorbing bush tracks in the area. It's another inverted Y presentation with the western points never enough on their own - as are the eastern ones. Mel will no doubt exploit this thinking to the hilt and deliver that old sinking feeling you get as you skirt the Berry Island pots with only ten minutes to go. Great views though! Make it a date.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Andrew Hill is running back into SSS form with a clean win last night at Vineyard Creek. Andy (OM) began with #24 and worked the south before heading north to the street pots and a crisp 12/4 finish, carding all 600 for four minutes over. Good to see him claim his first 100 points this season, twenty clear of Boris Granovsky's 540 in the same class - also an exceptional run. And how about Michelle White also posting 540. A new runner I think, but what a score! Not to be outshone in all this excitement however, was veteran Mike Burton - also claiming 560 in an amazing run from the old professor. I should have included Michael in the title this week, but was overcome at the clothes line allusion, and have asked 'Burton's Ale' to sit quietly on the sideline (for once). Michael probably ran a more efficient loop than Andrew, leaving out #10 and #1 for his 47 minute outing. Is there no stopping this mad man from Coogee!

Ted Mulherin was our setter last night, in an area reasonably familiar to most SSS addicts, although it's been two years since we amused the neighbours here. Around 180 punters were drawn to the Creek and the challenge of the inverted Y (much like Lake Como in Italy). The street 'cap' north was expected, as were the challenges in the bush track network. The runners can also expect to flog themselves silly with a descent to Kissing Point Road. All was delivered last night. Teddy had us discombobulated in tracks at #16, cursing as we blundered to the boulders at 23, and happy to see the southern car wreck at #6 (last time it was the northern car). The in-out brigade loved the chance to work 4/12 on the level, and everyone loved giving #1 the flick - well just about everyone (this might be my lonely pot).

Lots of route choice action to report, with many beginning into the bush to #13 and south. 13 and north west was also a nice beginning loop, and the start to 24 also had friends (including Andrew). Few seemed to begin directly north. Once in the bush, reality set in, and for many street runners, speeds slowed and directions were not as simple as they seemed back at the car (how many of us see runners stopping after a pot to reset themselves). Once you got the hang of it, it was then a simple eastern side/western side run with the big decision being when to pull out of the nose dive and return. This is where the tempters of 27 and 28 came so cunningly into play - drawing you ever onwards. Those that strayed past #9 to #30 before the return certainly felt the legs burning climbing away from the latter pot. Testing stuff indeed.

Some excellent scoring by the Flash Harry's. The Masters seem to be in all out war with Peter Annetts taking home the ton (520) from Michael 'Jackson' Free (510), Anthony Petterson (500), Chris 'Please Re' Frain (490) and Graham 'The Bible' McLeod with 480. Very musical and in such neat order. Thank you Masters! Mixing into this elite, are SV interlopers - with Graeme 'Doh' Hill pulling the 100 from Wazza 490 to 480. Neil 'And Say Your Prayers' Hawthorn and Pork Pie stayed in touch with 450's in the same elderly men category, clear, for once, of the Ian's (Cameron and McKenzie with 440 apiece). In the living Legends, Heiko had a fall in the creek and twisted his knee for twenty minutes over, Kenny Jacobson took home 370 toilet rolls, with Mal Gledhill also carding the same score. This might be the hundred here with LM threat Ron Junghans currently lost in Africa, Eric 'Clapton' Smith only playing Layla for 330 minutes and Peter 'Saint' Stevens holding the good book open at page 100. Barry 'The Railway Scrapyard' Cole was not sighted.

In the LW category, Janet Morris ran well clear of Anne Stewart (260/160) to claim another win. The juniors saw Aidan Dawson hold onto a strong 390 lead in the men (young Chris Hinds enjoyed 150), with sister Michele blasting past for 420 in JW - a great score from the 'Four String'. Rachel 'On Wheels' Noble was off pace with 280, and will probably go 'light font' this week. Emily 'Burdened By Her Family' Prudhoe also scored 'something' in JW, but at the time of going to press didn't know what it was - "I went down, and came back up". Classic!

Our Open Girls seemed to enjoy themselves, with Vicki Stitt and Rachel 'The Apartment King' Merton both staying amidships for 300, Clare Murphy having more fun with 390, Carolyn Haupt flying for 430, Lisa Grant in the clubhouse with 460 - but all seemingly parked at the Coke machine as Gill Fowler roared past, piling on an incredible 520. A great run from Gilbo, who had many of the fancied blokes well below her on the magnetic board. I'm guessing she loves 'The Y'. The OM's also had some top scoring with Tom Joss 'Stick' carding 410, Chris Brown moving up a gear for 440 and Dave Hegarty tucking in twenty more for 460. As has been apparent recently, the Masters Men seem to be giving the score board a rattle more than the Open blokes, although there may be more open scoring that 'The Pork' missed in his early dash to the West Ryde.

Cath Chalmers (MW) ran well for 320, but was well beaten by star orienteer Mary Fein with 480. Mr Cath (Eoin Rothery) is also finding his feet in Sydney, posting a strong 470 in the vets, just behind the man on the BSA Mal Bradley, who ran all except #1 for nine over (500). Bigger gaps in veteran women, with Wendy jotting down a sensational 520, and giving little comfort to Lisa 'Bedside' Lampe (260) or the normally competitive Robin Cameron (380) and Karin Hefftner (420 - still a great run from the sports car, and not far behind mate Larry 'The Brake Pedal' Weiss's 460).

In the Super Vets, I also note Jim Merchant holding the calf for 370, but clear of club mates Ernest 'Wind Song' (320) and David 'The Bird' Bowerman (360), and Dave Lotty's 340, but doffing their caps to Selwyn 'The House of Usher' Roper (400) - and a top run from the Queen Mother, Michael 'Gordons For Me' Roylance with 420 - one of his best outing this series. Steve 'The Hollow Log' Holloway is in need of better feed after posting 260 and retiring to the calculator. Always next time Steve!

A couple of others noted in HB with a shakey hand were Sandra Thomas for a perfect zero, Rose Todd (OW) 210 (next week 297 for the A4 award Rose?), Nicole Sellin (also OW) a ton more with 310 (as did Debbie Byers). Dale Thompson scored 310 after a nine minute late penalty, but kept Jai DT (260) in the waiting room in the same Super Vet category. Jai probably slipped back a touch last night getting the hang of the bush tracks - tricky most maps, and particularly so here west of the creek. Time Jai, it just takes time.

So, event #19 behind us (big thanks to Ted and the WHO crew) and on we plunge to Glebe. I have cast the knucklebones far and wide and found a few more choice spots to rest while doing the pottery tango. Expect to get the scenic stuff around the foreshore (including a wharf), a 'new' park (naturally a 30 pointer), a boulder, a fantastic big brick chimney and, best of all, the 'northern dragon'. The start is in the Jubilee Oval 'grandstand' with good cover. Come by light rail, come by bus - even come by car! But make sure you come. The competition is really hotting up and this might be your night to fly. Lots of apres run dining spots and pubs to factor in around Glebe and Annandale (I heard a whisper of the Nags Head). It's going to be a biggie!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


A massive turn out last night witnessed Brendan 'Panama' Hatton go close with a brilliant 580 pointer. The 'Hat' had a touch more in hand at the photo to finish a half head from 'Private' Ryan and Richard 'Rough Open' Green (both 570), and a brace of 550's (Adrian 'The Plug' White and recently returned Andy Hill) on this demanding and fantastic course. Trackside reporter Pork Pie, is not sure if 'The Canal' ran the lot for plus twenty, or judiciously left out a twenty pointer. Richy Green left off #3 and #11 for an on-timer, and I wouldn't be suprised if others did the same - #11 was a hot candidate for the 'loopsters flick' (a well known tango step amongst thinking runners).

Course setter Larry Weiss created another SSS masterpiece on an area we have not used for some years (mores the pity). The Lassoo added a bit of new material (#13,20,22 area) to the old map and went for a wide spread. There was almost a halo effect with close groupings around the east and to the north. The middle streets looked pointy, but involved much scratching the bean to get the in-out optimal. This area, although easy running and pot locating, needed a bit of speed to cover the deceptive distances involved. Competitors starting west (not many looking at later proceedings), had the legs burning at #22 with only 70 points to show for the flog.

The majority felt the lure of the bush and dashed off to #27 where running speed dropped in proportion to thinking speed. Although 4, 7 and 28 fell easily enough, the tracks to 27 needed concentration. The map in these parts needs an update as much has altered, including a 'track' between 28-6 that has disappeared. Still, those that concentrated soon emerged to cuddle #30 before the roll of the dice. This was the decision to take the water route or to bend back to the street stuff. Many old hands avoided the mangrove track, remembering lost time here on past outings, or bit the bullet and plunged down via #10 hoping for clean sites (which they were). Although maybe a bit slow, it is very pleasant running and offered 70 bikkies - and a nice way to get to the north west tempters. Many took the bait.

Of interest is Michael Burton's route. Sweeping all on the east and north, he left off #17 (running 18-23-22 and then curving back north to 13-20-21-9 etc) and also planned to drop #11 from the homeward trip, when spare (!) minutes rendered the two ones within reach. Strangely the new twenty point claim took two minutes over for no net benefit. Nice run though. Ronny 'The Pumpkin' Junghans modest but very effective route is also of interest, eschewing many biggies but posting 410. Ronaldo went east then 6-30-11-14-15-2-24-16-18-17-21-9-25-12-1 home. Very tidy. Pork Pie ran further for ten less! Drinks on the soccer star after he returns from planting Christmas trees in Africa methinks.

Lots of good mid course options this week, always a good thing. Thanks Larry! As to a lonely pot, really hard to pick one. Maybe #8, maybe #23? Number three might have also sat out the dance, although you missed the map naming point if you avoided this one (and enjoyed Larry's 'brick' in the creek!)

Looking deeply through the schooner glass (Resches of course), we can see some excellent scoring amongst the Summer Series ponies. How about a couple more 500's - Tim 'The Boat' Rogers and Tim Austin '7' both taking ten from Michael Free in the Masters (540/530), Kar-Soon gowning up for 520 and Boris Granovski 'Yoghurt' spooning a tidy 510. Good scoring that had the fans collecting. Down in the high fours, the elbows were flying as Lisa Grant led a phalanx of 490's (Dave Heggarty, Shane Henry, Warwick Selby), a slip of the pencil from Eoin Rothert (vets) and Gill Fowler (open) on 480 and a further spoon full of sugar to Mary Fein 'Ted', Glenn Meyer and Anthony 'I Shrunk The Kids' Dowle (470's). Vets Michael Halmy and Jim McLean (450/460) had a tenner over their Super rivals Ian 'The Gladstone Bag' Cameron and Steve Flick (yet to post a ton this programme), while a trio of Open nags kicked 410 into the kitty (Vicki Stitt, Nils 'By Mouth' Bown and Stephen 'The Corset' Cossell).

In the juniors, Michele Dawson worked a loose rein for 350 to take the points from rising star Rachel Noble (320). I didn't get too many other junior scores, but did enjoy Clare Winnick 'winning' with 80. Go Clare! At the other end of the draw, Janet (230) had too many beans for Bev (140) and Anne Stewart (150) in VW, while Carol Jacobson was seen back from her recent Routeburn Track diversion and took the SVW points. Angela Murray posted 250 ahead of Sue Thomson's 200 in the same class. The Legendary blokes had the loose underware flying as well, with Ron's 410 taking the cake in LM after Heiko managed to becalm himself - and was dockside twenty minutes late! Mal Gledhill spent too long looking at the map and was off pace for 330, Kenny Jacobson had 290 South Island sandflies, as did Chippy (290 that is) to touch out David 'Woodgrain' Dash and Tim 'The Toolman' Cox. Barry 'The Locomotive' Cole enjoyed his usual early run for a neat 200 in the same group.

Some good 300 mid filed scoring worth noting if you've got a tick. Rod 'The Interview' Parkin had 320 on the note pad, as did Ian 'Focacia' Miller. Other SVM's had a touch more over Ian however, with 'Pope' Paul Prudhoe and Selwyn 'Yard' Roper posting 390 and an unlikely trio 'of deserts' sharing 350 (Lotty, Forbes and Gatwood). Michael Roylance had only 250 to his credit for some reason, unusual for His Lordship to let mate Davy Gat take a ton from him. Might have been something he ate for afternoon tea. In another mixed bunch, Helen Murphy, Dave Stitt (both SV's) and Debbie Byers (V) joined hands for 270, but were shaded by Bryony (in a rare but welcome appearance) who had ten more. Jai Detomasso carded a PB (340), and is getting a strong handle on the series. Robin Cameron (390) had more petrol than Dale (350), although The Dee is up a class of course.

Malcolm and Wendy flew, as did Peter 'Not In' Hibberd, although exact points didn't get the biro. James 'I Love Art' Lithgow was disappointed for 400. After a great early loop, The Groom had a flash of late course madness (probably distracted by thinking of the pie and peas at The Woolwich Pier to come), and worked a direct route from 28-26 via the cliff line! The light green shading is apparently not a true vegetation representation here, as James battled on - losing much time. A true son of orienteering.

It looks like it might have been our biggest roll up to date with 2 maps left from 240. No matter what the exact 'entry' figure, it was a great turn out, and an outstanding event. Great to have the mix of street, park and bush running so well embraced. We will be back.

Next week sees a return to Vineyard Creek at Telopea and Ted Mulherin working his usual magic on this top venue. The bush tracks are great running, as are the parks and streets, in what is a classic 'out and back' venue. Be there to catch more of the action as things hot up in this great season. The week following I get to turn the thumbscrews at Glebe. As usual, lots of great views and history - and a new park to boot!

Also, while I'm in plugging mode, don't forget my sprint event next Monday (8th) at Gladesville Hospital - the sixth in this great series. All Sportident units and lots of route choice as you work the 1:5000 detail. Yes!

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