Thursday, November 11, 2010


And what a love-in it was last night. SSS competitors, becoming used to the pavement in recent weeks, couldn't keep the smile off their faces as they ran the grassy pastures of Callan Park. It is always a great run here, and, despite the early rain, well over 200 entrants (and probably around 240/250 nags in toto) put the sauce bottle to work and piled on big scores at Tarzan & Jane's excellent course. And at the top of the board with withering 600 point runs, 'One Day I will Be' Richard Green (42.33) tweaked The Glenn Nursing Home (44.30) by a couple to take the chalk, with Adrian 'The Drain' White nowhere to be seen. The big Mac was heard to say "If only I'd gone for that extra 500 metres!"

So, another great Wednesday event, and as Tim Winton wrote, 'even the damp was damp' as once again Sydney screwed up its skies and gave us a right early soaking. Let's hope this is not a pattern, as next weeks cake run is also from open beginnings. Anyway, the initial wet gave way to a reasonably fine evening with later runners only feeling a trickle in the socks as they engaged in grassy oval splash therapy.

Dave, our previous results guru, has been hiding so far this year (something to do with tax and midnight), so it was great to see him at work with the pots. The course presented a well packed main park section with a bit of stretchy stuff for the guns along the canal. Many thought the 490 around Callan not quite enough and toyed with the siren thirty pointers (24/26) at the north end of the drain. The connection was a modest ten pointer (#3) and not much else, and this excursion south proved the undoing of many - especially when understanding the location of #19, on the other side of the new tram line. Wazza Selby had plenty in hand at 11, and dropped the right boot to sweep up the Haberfield crumbs - only to find Mr Tic Tok giving him ten points in the bin for his trouble. Warwick's SVM compatriots liked it a lot and hope for a repeat performance.

Most runners must have wanted to join the young joggers with jewelery doing the Bay Run, and took off via 2, 14, 22, 27 and the harbour pots, before a circle home around the buildings. This led to a nice final loop via 16, 12 and 8 to the Terry Murphy table, with the OOB fence only providing a minor nuisance. Competitors that failed to see this fine stripy magenta work, and took off in the opposite direction to #8, had to backtrack to pot 12 from above (the Bear Grylls attack as Jesso called it) cursing their eyesight, and consumed by 'bad beginning angst' - a common SSS condition. Both circles involved a bit of loopy stuff, with the almost flat 120 points (29,9,21,13,25) around the big building being particularly delicious. Strangely, many dropped #9, coming home directly from 29 to 25, after maybe adding the tiny doorless dunny control to the western sweep from 4 and 13.

Fewer seemed to start south, although going the 'bird bath' start had adherents, as did the Balmain Road connection from 28 to 25 (I kid you not). How to work in #4? Is #3 worth it? Will Bar Italia have mussels on the menu? Is James Lithgow going to pike out yet again? Things that go through your mind. Sixteen from below bought on an attack of the Bensen & Hedges, ten and twenty dragged runners from their comfort zone (10 specially had 'mug' written all over it) and numero uno (lonely pot by a mile) was created for those that will need future knee surgery. The rest were pure magic. Grass, buildings, paths, roads in a dazzling array of pure score orienteering at its best. What a night - everyone LOVED it!

Looking at some of the early score postings, Velcro was well out in front. No, well, we have already pointed the finger at our winners. But, hey, everyone's a winner at the summer series - including David 'No 10' Blair with minus 60, Hazel 'Not Another Cigar Bob' Bluett with 180 and Helen 'Sodium' McDonald with 140. Good to see these horses on the paddock. Also good to see our power walkers on the stretch, with Mel 'Odey Maker' Cox pencilling 400 and Kathryn a tidy 250. Although the PW's are yet to 'explode' as in the Melbourne series, it is worth reiterating that walkers should only walk, and not run whenever a bit of downhill looms, or the time limit looms. We rely on integrity and honesty here and hope all walkers understand this.

The Juniors put up a few points, with Huon Wilson's 500 just shading Matty Hill's 490. Laurence Jones 'Bay Wharf' had the yacht tied up for 420, Dunk Currie ran up 450 and Sebastian PZ presented an even 200 to the stewards. In the JW's Rachel and Michele filed another close one at the top of the table, while Carla 'I love Paris' Burnett was presidential for 410. The Open classes were missing Andy Hill, but a trio of 540's managed to keep column A smoking (Steve Ryan, Dave 'The Artist' and Jeremy Fowler), closely followed by James 'The Ink Bottle' McQuillan (530), Chris Jacka (520) and a couple of five tens (Tommy Joss and The Slatts). In the filly's, Lisa Grant and Sue Davis put up 530's to shade Tracy Marsh and Catherine 'Stone' Murphy with very fine 520 runs. Marlin Andersson and Kelly Dohle (470), Claire Winnick (460) and Carolyn Haupt (450) also looked sharp, crossing the line clear of Mel Selby, Claire Murphy and Sharon 'No Matter What The Weather' Lambert who had 440's. A couple more Open scores noted - Pete Chippy with 480, David Kricker 'Bat' with 470, Nathan 'Otto' Dix with 360 and Alix 'The Bottle' Sewell with 430. Fun, fun in the young gun classes.

As we go up to the Masters, the tension rises. Kar-Soon put on 570, Shane Henry 'The Eighth' had 540 wives, and boasting rights over Pete Annetts and Timmy 'The Toolman' Austin with 530's. Davy Bray was a 540 man, Graeme Mac did 480 on the slow grill and Anthony Petterson sat with Shane and 540. Willy Night worked the crowd for 370, and had to sleep in. In the mares, another trio had the old members reaching for their G&T's - Sue Login, Cath Chalmers and Rachel Merton 'The Home Unit' all put up 480, to nose out Margaret 'Oh Rhet' Jones and Linda 'Dinner Ale' Sesta (460/440). We won't mention Mike Free, who ran against doctors advice, but with cheeks together for a passable 480. This stallion wont lie down!

The Vets saw more fun, with 'The Door' and 'Esso Besso' creating havoc with 500's. Larry was clean with 480, Wiz toyed with 460 and Eoin pushed the pram for 220. Pete Marshall wrote in 470 while Danny Redfern went wide on the rail for 450 (as did Colin 'T Chocolate' Burnett. Wendy rattled off a stunning 550 (!!) to well and truly jump the field. karin's 470 looked the best of the rest with Robin and Airdrie in mid four territory and Jai a few tomatoes back in the high threes. As competitive as the Vets are, the Supers are really going the throat. How about Ian Cameron kicking 530 goals, to push Stevo Flick (530) and Gordy (500) off the podium. Ian has found exceptional pace and is sure to push Wazza throughout the series.

Julia Prudhoe put up a tidy 420, forty on from Helen Murphy 'Pearl'. Ted Woodley 'Harvey Oswald' and Dave Stitt had 400's to claim from Judge Murphy (360), but were no match for Selwyn and Steve, the WHO maestro's and their 460's. Warwick, as noted, worked the singlet for a 570 minus ten minutes, and was seen to leave early - again! The apres O police will be taking names at Balls Head Wazza.

In the Legends, Barry Cole 'Ic' patted the baby for 270, while the rest did battle up the board. Tearaway Ted is beginning to fire with a great 470, a touch behind another good run from Ronny (480). Heiko and Mal put up 450's, Dave Lotty (470) was surprisingly beaten on his home ground, but had too much for Chippy (440) and Tim 'WS' Cox (420). Bryony, on the other hand, looks liked winning again with 410 from Sue 'Ted This Distance' Thomson's 360. Ange's score was not noted unfortunately.

As always, there were many fine runs the the Porkie failed to note, but hopefully this gives a snapshot of the night and the form of some of the better known nags. Place your bets ladies and gentlemen, as we race on till Christmas - and till Michael Burton returns!

Next week, see The Porkster in charge of the evening, with our 20th anniversary run at Balls Head. We meet in the usual place, but because of a morbid fear of rain, we may set up under the bowling club deck, where deploying the tarps will be easier. Let's hope for a fine one, so we can celebrate the run, and twenty years of Summer Series fun. Of interest in that first outing (set by Garingal's Bill MacLean and won by Eric Morris), were that 30 and 45 minute times were on offer, with a mass start option for those that wanted to 'test their speed'! Total points were 98 from 23 controls (flags with punches). Much has changed, but not the spirit. Expect a few suprises in one of our favourite areas.


Also Ran said...

Here's my sequence for 400 points walking: 2 14 22 4 13 21 18 27 23 15 7 6 20 10 30 29 25 5 28. Rosscoe calls 10 the mug control and he may be right - I had 35s in hand at the end and omitting 10 might have seen me finish via 11 and 16.

Never mind! A throughly enjoyable outing in one of our best SS areas, in my opinion.

Fly on the Wall said...

How lovely to rock up to a great orienteering area and find loads of points on offer for us plodders. 490 in Callan Park alone! I followed Also Ran's footsteps, but left out 10 and - being ahead of time - added 11, 3, 26, 16, 12 and 8 for a PB of 500. Still no sign of Michael Burton so likely to go over 90% for the first time, too. And 3 minutes early to boot. Did the Bear Grylls from the aquatic centre car park down the embankment to 12, picking up a few grazes along the way and surprising the Wests Tigers ensconced in bog snorkelling training. This drop had a few heart-in-mouth moments but saved heaps of time and much farther to drop than the grass slide at #21 Putney last week. Plenty of people running Callan Park for the first time commented on how tricky the navigation is - and were a little taken aback to be told that this was a very easy Callan outing compared to some previous SSS and sprint runs here.

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