Thursday, April 22, 2010


After missing the first two Autumn Evening events, it was a pleasure to run 'Luna Park' last night to conclude this small night series. Kelly and Dan Dohle set a top challenge that saw a nice spread from the Prime Minister to Harry Seidler. About 75 punters saddled up it seemed - and on a perfect night. The views of the city along the run to 23 and the Luna Park boardwalk were spectacular indeed, as was the full on vista of the Opera House you got running downhill to #1. Top stuff from first time setters, so congratulations to KD and DD. We loved it.

Not sure of scoring, but no doubt several 500 plus runners out there - including Wendy 'The Stevedore' Stephenson. I managed a tidy 450 with the hand in cast and got back three early. Should have added #7 on the return but thought there might be a bush trap there (Wendy similarly shy of this one). My sweep, for what it's worth, began via 3,15,25 and around the Kirribilli circuit with a few in-out's to 23,14,5,12 and the bay with a little flog up the steps to 8 and 28 and the dash home via 27 and 17. Nice running in one of our favourite venues.

I heard that Sue Thomson (one of our Summer Series legends in every sense) had a fall near #25 and hope she made it back ok. This close up 'getting to know your neighbourhood' stuff is going too far Sue - but we all hope your ok.


Given I'm working the old keyboard with a Reschs in mind, I might just wrap up our 09/10 SSS season and put the Summer Series baby to bed for a few months.

I think everyone would agree we had a cracker season in 09/10 (our 19th). Entries totaled over 5,000 for the first time (5,127) from another record field - 786 individual runners (nearly 20% up from last year). Group entries were also well up (313 from 245) although our walking category didn't seem to fire as we had anticipated (we will do more 'power walking' promotion next year). Dave McKenna did another sterling job with the results, recording amongst a welter of data that runners made 87,237 control site visits this season! Big thanks Dave, and also to Dave Noble - our web site man.

The seasons 'loneliest pot' was #30 at Lake Parramatta (with only 5 visitors), with the least lonely being Larry's #23 at Brickmakers Creek (90 runners giving it the eyeball). Our biggest roll up was also at Brickmakers with 233 entries, and our smallest at Parramatta City with 163. We averaged just under the 200 per event. Not bad huh.

There were some enthralling contests within the series - particularly in OM and OW (Richard Green and Steve Ryan - Gill Fowler and Lisa Grant) and in the Masters Men group. Here they fought to the end with Glenn, Michael, Peter, Tim and Kar-Soon all only seconds apart. Fantastic to watch, as was the Vets with Eoin and Mal chasing 'The Burton', and the Legends with Heiko and Ron wielding the walking frames. Magic. These are only the top placings of course, many more tight ones were played out down the lists. Check the full results to see who was also on the strangle (all on the web site).

Looking forward will see another 26 event programme for our twentieth season, commencing on October 6. There are already hints of new areas and maps to look forward to, and the return of a few more unloved beasties. You can bet the harbour will feature, as will venues with excellent 'apres-O' facilities. I'll be working on the programme in June and will post a teaser as the start date gets closer. In the meantime, consult the Orienteering Association link and get into the real stuff - bush orienteering !!! Lots on most weekends to test and extend the SSS skills, so I hope to see you there.

Finally, big thanks to all setters and club organisers for making 09/10 such a bang. More of the same I'm hearing. Yes indeed, more, more, more. October is just around the corner.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Yes indeed, the experience of two of our 'older' runners came to the fore last night at the Royal Rehab Hospital Summer Series finale, as they claimed top points ahead of the Open class fancies. Glenn Horrocks (Masters) and Michael Burton (Veteran) both posted 500 points at Wazzo Selby's tough stretch from this new assembly venue. The big 5 was looking doubtful early in the evening, as Open star Richard Green posted only 480 after a 'sub optimal', and Steve Ryan also missed a high five. Kar-Soon had the same score in MM after a huge flog, with Pete Annetts a shade further adrift.

Was 480 going to be it? No it seemed. The crowd was in enthused thrall, as first Glennbo worked the yellow T shirt hard to claim the lot for ten over, and then, Michael 'Bert & Earnie' Burton swept in for the same. The runs were different of course, with Michael missing a few pots in his outing, and admitting Glenn to be 'about 5% faster'. Obviously, no big toe probs here. Great running from two of the Series most favourite sons.

The contest last night also ended with an amazing three way tie for second in the Masters Men category - with Michael Free, Pete Annetts and Kar-Soon all chasing an angle over each other, but in the end, all ending the season on the same points. Tim Rogers didn't show, allowing this trio of likely lads to slip through on the rails in one of the greatest SSS contests of all time. Anthony 'The Termite' Petterson was only a speckarooney behind them. Top stuff from the MM's.

Most other classes were already decided, although the Open Women saw Gill Fowler sneak a wide ball through to the keeper to take the choc's in the absence of Lisa Grant (still out injured). Steve Flick had no worries to hold 3rd in SVM when Pork Pie pulled on a knee tanty - and walked!! Embarrassing to say, my 190 points was twenty adrift of old Normanhurst neighbours Robyn & Viv. Cripes, this walking is a bit trickier than I imagined.

Anyway, our 19th season has come to a conclusion, and what a great way to go out. Warwick produced a very fitting finale, with plenty of work needed if you wanted to scratch a few thirty pointers on the card. The good Doc seemed to be in circular mode, with most of the biggies right around the edge! Runners with prior here always try to work the low areas and the east side, hoping to avoid 'Mt' Rehab and it's walking pace only approaches (uphill from #12 was no laughing matter). Not to be last night with plenty resigning to a fair bit of 'le pant, le puff' on their routes. The top left was probably the worst of it, and many seemed to avoid this siren tempter - instead beginning at 19-6-14-12-23 and then pouring off downhill or eastwards. Number 2 probably got a bit cold and lonely, being the most 'non-loopy' pot, although #30 might have been 'off radar' as well.

Several runners had problems with #29, which probably should have been more tightly described. Rumours are that Angela Selby was bamboozled here, with the result that Warwick is on bread and dripping for a week. The only other tricks were the temporary fencing in the school that required a longer run to get past, and the mapped (non) opening in the fence near the finish that had many a finisher, buggered and overtime, cursing the map (which is otherwise pretty good). Sorry is all we can say!

Because I was distracted with the prize giving duties, I didn't note many scores or even the roll up count (170/180 maybe?). Noted however, were Ron being knocked off by Heiko 'Mr Antarctic' Schaefer in LM, Selwyn 'The Candlestick' Roper pulling off a top score in SVM and Ian 'Big Blue' Miller cementing relations with IBM by taking his US colleague out on a run. I think Wendy and Malcolm were up there again - and I heard Sue Login and Pete 'Old Mother' Hibberd were getting in some early Autumn Evening training starting in the pre 7 gloom. I also like the runner who bowled up at ten to seven on the motorbike, stripped off and ran almost without looking at the map. He had a headlight! But then, he needed a headlight.

So that's it for another season. 26 fantastic events, over 5,000 entries for the first time, over 1,000 individuals on the nosebag (also for the first time), over 87,000 control site visits! What a series. Big thanks to all organising clubs and course setters for a year of very high standards. Big, big thanks also to Dave McKenna for his sensational scoring services, and to Dave Noble for posting all to our web site. And big thanks for everyone that attended the events and made for another great series of competition and 'navigating on the run' in this great city. Once the final results are posted, I'll probably put up a season wrap 'Pork Pie' style. Easter orienteering in Canberra is the first call however, so it might have to wait a week or so.

Next seasons series (our 20th) will commence on the 6th of October - and will also feature 26 events. There will be new maps, modified areas, the return of favourites and also a few we haven't seen for a while. Bush, parks, harbour views, real estate and plenty of wonderful post race dinners. Lots to look forward to, and only six months to go!

Previous News