Friday, November 19, 2010


After early showers, the weather cleared for a perfect evening of cunning running as we celebrated our 20th anniversary bash at Balls Head. Great to see a terrific crowd on the lawn, eyeing Porkies large, celebratory 1:5,000 scale map with its mysterious 'tunnel', and also Bryony's yummy cake stand. In what might be a record attendance, the stewards counted 248 cards and 280 riders all saddled up, flanks glistening and itching to join the fray.

As was very appropriate, original course setter Bill MacLean was in attendance and manned the starters gun in between signing autographs from adoring fans. Great to see Bill out amongst us again. Even more amazing, was to see our original winner, Eric Morris, up from Canberra and joining us for an anniversary run. Eric put up a very credible 500 points in the NSW Stingers colours - a top performance from our original star.

As everyone discovered, the Balls Head map had been given a make over by Jim and Rosscoe, and now sported an exceptional new addition - the old coal loader area and its tunnel. This gives us the ability to set a circular route here instead of the old out/back along the same entry road. Although we had field worked the coal area buildings, construction workers turned up a week ago to begin the final make over (coffee shop etc) and this area had to be, sadly, made out of bounds. When all is finally open, this will add even more to the enjoyment of this great location - and will be great for one of Terry's sprint courses.

So, a big limited edition map just to be different, and to make it special for our anniversary. But did you notice that Pork Pie (now known as Pork 'OPSM' Pie) delivered a rather small clue sheet! This seemed to be set in some strange future milenium, with a date of '20120', in a land where 8pt type is probably mandatory, and where bend and end are no longer confused. Apologies for this squinting exercise from the old bloke, who was so obsessed with getting things 'six up' that he didn't notice the size. Also apologies for not noting the fence corner at #26 as 'above' as I meant to. Most runners got this with the old in/out on the way via 7 and 8, although a few found the steps from below and worked it into the lower route.

Bit hard to comment on your own course, although I think I might have been a bit hard and probably should have dropped #21 and #11 and redeployed them closer in. Most seemed to enjoy the Balls Head component and the tunnel, with the smart runners ignoring the spectacular outlook from the bare rock at #9. This only worked for the speedsters, and those that cracked it straight up. Timmy Cox 'Less Fours' lost time here and there were tales of others discombobulated - probably on the higher grey area. The clue was the small track and boulder cluster, but it was a bit of a trap. The rest were a sweep, with Peter Hibberd 'In The Hand' dropping to #20 on his counter clockwise run, and the climbing back to go 10, 30 and 8 etc. One finisher was overheard to say he couldn't find #10 and its spectacular view from the lower track! I suspect the 20 metre cliff between the two spots might have had something to do with this.

Of interest in picking up the pots yesterday, I found the cave dweller at #30 in residence! He had his bedding stretched out just below the pot, which he thought was some sort of insect trapping device. Summer Series Pest Services, mmmm!

Of the mainland pots, many runners managed 24 and 22, and many more were sucked southeast to Sawmillers Reserve and its yummy rusty ship. Good points there, especially if you added #25, but you needed the Ventolin to work the uphill sections and not drop behind Big Ben. The bamboo thicket at #14 was another line ball decision, and at about 400 metres, probably not on most menu's. Inexplicably, Glenn left off #3 just over the rail bridge in his plus six run for 530 points, and second place behind a great 540 win from OM star Dave 'Thirroul' Hegarty. Not sure if Glenn forgot 3, as he normally 'does' the lot, and rather more quickly than in the manner Paul Keating was going to 'do' John Hewson in a previous age. At least young Glenny popped in for tea and scones at #21 (the lonely pot award for sure), one of the very few who visited this northern outpost, although I note young Adam 'Busters' Halmy also roared past this tranquil spot in his excellent JM outing for 380 points. Adam's card is quite something to see, stretching all the way from 21 to 29(!) with a western bias. Pot 29 must have been tackled on an in/out basis, because he ignored all else at Balls itself. Adam is obviously a fan of the Tunnel!

Apart from noting Wendy pulling 510, Greg Barbour back in town - and running up 450 tries in the All Black colours, Julian 'History Will Show' Ledger penciling 350, and first timer Monique 'I'm Not' Unger taking home a minus ten, Porky seems to have gone all 'thing' about the results at his own event, and has been helped from the track by the officials and told to rest the pencil and take a restorative powder (older readers will know what I mean). Apologies for not noting more race scores this week, but our man at the tote promises to return to form as the 'reporters reporter' after next week's outing at Epping. Speaking of which, we should note that our setter next week, Michael 'Cid' Halmy (Adam's dad), was the setter here last year at the event with the most ever number of 'late backs'. Over 80% as I recall. Michael has moved the start to Forest Park, but don't be fooled - the siren song of Terrys Creek is waiting. So get your ration pack out and prepare for more fun in the burbs as we look forward to SSS event #8. Easy to get to by train if your inclined, but no matter how you travel, it will be a blast and not to be missed - especially for all the Vets who are enjoying a Michael Burton free Indian summer. Be there!

A couple of small tasks before closing. The Pork got rather ahead of himself last week, as the final results showed Adrian 'Oil Paints' White did in fact have a late run and posted a top score. I was thinking of a revised title - something like, 'Green over Yellow as White emerges from Black'. Also, regarding the 20 question quiz, you can have a go at this at your leisure over the next few weeks, as long as I get the entries by week 11 at Blackman Park. I didn't mean it to be filled out on Wednesday, although I have one entry already. The questions will be posted to the web site and I'll also file the answers there in the new year. Have a go - as they used to yell from The Hill. The prizes will be awesome!


the Outsider said...

Here is my view on all this:

Fly on the Wall said...

Well done, outsider. MapMyRun measures your course at 6.5km with 85m of climb. A neat 400 points. I made a complete hash of things, doing the Balls Heap loop first but losing 5mins and 30pts trying fruitlessly to find 8 and 20, then deciding to go to Sawmillers for some extras. A min late and nett 320, what a comedown after ripping it up at Callan Park! I knew this was a hilly map but even the Balls Head bit was full of up-and-downs. Normally my orange standard bush nav is fine but not this week, although I thought 8 was unfair.
All good prep for Terry's Creek.
I hope Mr Burton is having a wonderful long holiday - the % have been higher than usual with him away!

Chris Brown said...

Unofficial event solutions at:

Engine said...

The TriHards report is finally up here. Some nice pics too!

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