Thursday, February 3, 2011


With an arvo that began in hot mid thirty temperatures, over 200 punters - undeterred by such trifles - pulled on the air conditioned silks and proceeded to take Gordon Wilson's intriguing slimming course at west Lindfield last night. The 'Gin Bottle' pitched in as setter, with Dr Judi taking syringe money and the waiting room queue in her stride. Another Bennelong event in the same spot as we drowned several years ago (who remembers getting map ready in the dunny that year!?) - how the weather changes.

Upon arrival, and after a suitable genuflection to the yellow banner (once more deployed after going awol to Towoomba last week), runners saw map with a full board at the 1:10,000 scale, and an almost mid way divide between the bush (south) and the streets (north). The 'two pack' in my title. Mmmmm, this looks interesting was the buzz.

Those old media blokes (like Pork Pie) that got out the twine and abacus, would have also confirmed almost a perfect 300/300 point mix in both sections, clearly meaning for most that you had to add a bit of 'foreign' into your plans to make a good score. The southern bush pots worked well as a loop before ending in a nice bunching (29,28,10,24,30) around Fiddens Wharf oval. The northerns were not so circular, with a bit more of the old Larry about them, and a nice little tickler at 21-11 ('The Lampost' reports scratchy stuff on the uphill option, although MB seemed to crash through in fine style going clockwise). Many did these two as 'in-outs'.

A nice 400 point return was - southern loop to 24/30, flog along to 13 (many emerged up the creek bed from 24 - apparently a goer) and then work 14,15,2,16 and home. Wazza Selby, having breasted pot 30 in 28 (Porkie was 32 at the same place), added the western dress circle before the above and a great 510 for plus two (net 490). Not bad for a sixty year old! Using the same finishing sequence, Michael 'Burtons Ale' took a punt on the high fence at #5 and ran 16-5, with only an unmarked fence along the road slowing the blue bag. The northern mapped fence section was indeed crossable.

There was a bit of apres O talk about a way up from #29, when a runner with a good memory (Dan 'The Hand of God' Redfern) admitted to running 29 to 24 as a direct route!! It seems there was an old track here, missing from the current map edition, but Dan remembered it - and took the punt. Any non-track routes hereabouts looked decidedly thick.

As the scoring indicates, it was a perfect piece of SSS setting, with two stallions bagging 600 just under the allotted. It might have been three if Richy Green had been on hand, but he was a no show. Many 300 scores, a fair few fours, but not too many in the fives. One category was even won in the two's (SVW with Dale's 280 pipping Jai on 260 tomatoes) - probably some sort of record. The heat was a factor of course, especially with the early runners. It cooled as the evening wore on, making the pot collection a more pleasant task than anticipated earlier. While on the subject of the pots (nice yummy big ones), many competitors made complimentary remarks about their locations and visibility. Nothing hidden, all clearly sighted and a delight to run past. As we say, it's not meant to be hide and seek!

I usually try to ping the lonely pot, but am struggling a bit here. Dave 'The Bacon' McKenna used to provide the stats that noted visitation - making this easy-peasy - but Davy is no longer on the job, so its guess work. Maybe 5, as I think everywhere else had punters on the chew en-mass. I wasn't tempted, but subsequently note Michael's more bullish approach rather wistfully. Mmmmmm.

Lets see how the field handled the bump and grind.

At the top of the board (thanks BNO for a high board that enabled your correspondent to note scores without needing his kneeling cushion), Steve Ryan (OM) took the lollies by three seconds from Glenn (MM) (44.31 to 44.34), working the northern roads first and doing 21-11 as an in-out. Three others came close to the six o'clock swill; Andy Hill a ten down, Mounty twenty off, and Mike B 560 after four over. Mark Schaefer and Dave 'Day' Hegarty had the Spitfires in action for 550's, with big gaps then to a couple of low fives (Wendy a 510, Peter 'Pan' Hibberd 520 and Mal with 510 - and how about Matty 'The King Size Mattress' Hill with 520 in the juniors!). Adrian 'The Dentist' White carded a clean 500 with Mw's Barbara 'Raincoat' Hill and Mary Fein a half head back on spectacular 490's and Lisa Grant 'Me Any Wish' and Paula Shingler 480 apiece. Great running from these mares and fillies, and apart from 'Stevo', the best female scores by quite some distance (the next best women for instance, was OW star, Sue 'The Underwater Airport' Davis, on 450).

Plenty of good action in the masters and vet men categories, with Pete Annetts and Greg 'The Razor' Barbour holding fives, and the only blokes with beards doing so. More jostling amongst the balding hordes in the four hundreds, with Roger 'Sir Will See You Now' Butler (still OM) on 490, as was Kar-Soon, Eoin Rothery and Warwick 'Mr Pebble Beach' Selby. Tony Hill (MM) climbed unaided for a nice 450, as did 'The Strangler' Mike Halmy in the vets. Jamie Lithgow was on fire in the supers for 440 to go the silver from Ian Cameron (420) and the bronze double on 400 (Rosscoe and Steve 'On Assignment in Cairo' Flick). Other super veterans than enjoyed a decent placing on the velcroe were Teddy Woodley with 360, President Paul, a touch shy with 340 and Ian Miller 'Pede' and Dave Lotty on the same score. Steve Dunlop had a tenner over his WHO mate, taking home 350 for his troubles - a good run from 'Bob Jayne'.

In the legends, we saw the return to running form last night of Lloyd Gledhill. Lloyd 'George' had been warming up in the WM group after a bit of ticker maintenance, but launched off after brother Mal last night and equalled the Legend star with his 310 points. Despite this showing of brotherly love (great to see Lloydee on the run again), they were both run down by Ted Mulherin with 330, and in turn all taken by the Chicago bluesman, Ron 'I Got My Mojo Workin' Junghans with a tidy 370. Looks like Uncle Ronny is back in town after a string of (Frank) lowies. The Tedsters turn to take up the challenge again. Not sure about Heiko's score. With his mind on the upcoming Antarctic marathon (the last continent to fall under the feet and knees of this great marathon runner and Summer Series star) Heiko would not have appreciated the acclimatisation technique being trialed at Lindfield!

Other Legends noted were Eric 'Doctor' Smith (260) and Dave Stitt with 310, and Bryony's 330 once again taking the biscuit. Sue Thomson was well back after an early hot run for 250, although, in turn, claiming from June Stanley (fogging up the glasses on 200) and Bev working the All Black colours for a neat 100.

At the Junior end, Michele Dawson held her nerve to take a twenty from rival Rachael Noble ((420 to 400). Ellen is noted with 160 curry puffs in the same age grouping, and, although brother Dunk 'Cyclone Yasa' put on a 280, he was well short of the older juniors (Matty noted with 520 (!!) and Huon Wilson 'Parking' with 450). We need to understand that young Duncan is only twelve (I think this is right Col?) to give this proper context. Imagine as he grows into his teen years - a great O talent will emerge.

I think I've missed quite a few good scores. The Murphy sisters were in form with Katherine's 430 taking home the chocolates from Clare's 350. Kelly Dohle packed a punch with 360, but copped one on the chin from Deb 'The Potatoe' Noble who ran a tidy 380. Deb is fast returning to form and chasing down junior sister Rach. I have just noticed Carolyn Haupt ran a top class 400 in the opens, so she was up there last night, and well clear of Hannah 'The Steam Engine' Watts (320) and Emily Prudhoe (340) in the same open category. A few more OM's are noteworthy. Joel took home 470, Tommy 'The Tee Shirt' Joss 460 and Andrew 'In Pen & Ink' Graham 450. The 'Hat' worked the sly grog store for 440 bottles.

Some other vets are also worth a little exposure to the glare of the press. How about Robin Cameron's 370, Airdrie's 320 going down by ten to Lisa 'Not The Chief Of Staff' Lampe (330) and Sue 'I'm Not A' Froude with a neat 240. Good to see Sue and Ian running the Summer Series. Dave 'Interest Rates' Noble posted 340 basis points, Jimmy 'Carter' McLean worked the peanuts for 410 and Wiz was there for you all on 390. Stu in the supers was seen enjoying the bush sector for 320, the same score as fellow SV Ross Emslie. Martin Conway 'Twitty' rocked for 400 in the masters, shading Wayne 'The Batmobile' Pepper's 390 in the same youthful grouping. Dmitry was off a further ten with 380.

Kathryn and Mel Cox both walked last night, with the 'K' earning with 220, but Mel 'Ody Maker' being upstaged by Jimmy 'The Cartographer' Merchant 320 to 280. Jim's 320 is an excellent running score, on the heal and toe, it's spectacular. Not many groups noted by the roving and bloodshot eye - except Sylvia & Eugene posting 'tooth hurtie' and the radio station call sign group (Jake, Jodie & Toby) on the air for 170. Good to see them enjoying another evening of map sport.

Before closing, it was bought to the attention of organisers that one runner had gone directly from 19 to 23 via private property. We all should note that out of bounds housing as shown on our maps should mean just that. No short cuts please, as we rely on lots of goodwill from councils and residents to respect property boundaries.

So, next week it's off west again as we revisit Dundas Valley. Note the small change in assembly venue previously alluded to (now starting at Curtis Oval / Dundas Park). This area rises to the north and east forming a bowl, so expect a bit of puff puff as Dave Stitt gets to pull a few clever ones up near Carlingford. The run home on the other hand can be at speed in this area of linear parks and bush tracks. The smell of the mown lawn and the sting of competition. Yes, yes, yes punters, this is what the Summer Series is all about! See you on the paddock next week.

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