Thursday, March 31, 2011


On a perfect autumn Sydney evening, Steve Flick worked a large crowd around the sights, sounds and smells (well, not really smells) of Drummoyne and Five Dock Bay as we bade farewell to season twenty and celebrated our winners. Being a nervous sort of podium person, Pork Pie was adrift in late calculation caucusing, and voice projection classes - and has hardly noted any scores. This valedictory will have to run on course critique and odd bits of goss.

Given the map name is Five Dock, I just had to assume that five runners carded 600 to make the alliteration in my 'five flying' title work. I know that we had four (Glenn, Richard, Steve and Dave), and Steve gets a ton for setting, so that's good enough for me. Five at Five does the trick.

So, how was it?

Pork Pie managed to pull on a feeble cold and walked (walked??!! what's going on Rosscoe!) early, only to arrive back and find Bev 'The Brewer' had tumbled to the old goats birthday, and had laid out the cakes. Fantastic and yum. Thanks BJ, and to all who offered sympathies as 'The Man From Moscow' slides down the age stakes and joins the flying walking frames. I'm in denial though, but enjoyed the knee work in a bit of east and a bit of west - much like everyone I reckon.

Looking at the course, as many did, the potty spread fell into an obvious 'double lung'. The large empty gap between #18 and #17 was the clue to course planning - reflecting 'The Stevedore's' obvious desire to run the punters under Gladesville Bridge, and not do any dodgem stuff along Victoria Road. Let me explain. The eastern 'lung' works like this - 1,5,23,7,14,18, turning back via 10,30,15,25,13,28,22,6,29 and under the bridge to #20. The western 'lung' then comprises 9,19,21 (or 19,21,9) 26,4,27,8 and return via 12,2,17 etc. Pretty neat, with some clear and obvious drops for anyone not on a mission to bag the lot. Cutting out 18 and 10 in the east works well, as does giving lonely pot #8 the flick in the west. You could enjoy an early night with a tighter western loop (26,4,24,16,11 and 3) if the 'Fob' was against you. Many might have dumped #19 as only a marginal 'add', as it was close to 650 meters in and out. You needed speed to convert that one.

There also appeared to be a tighter loop where you had to cross Victoria Road (23 to 11) and go clockwise in the west. Not quite sure how the northern pots worked in here, although there were many sightings of ponies flying Queen Vic and making it back alive. So, even though the spread looked scattered, the only really difficult pot to loop into a run was #9. Everything else flowed - a real 'joining the dots' course that offered interesting real estate, harbour views and some great foreshore running. Pot 26 on the jetty was too perfect for words!

There were a couple of interesting tales to relate. Greg 'Bay Rum' Barbour turned up to spoil Michael's party, and might have if he had gone to #19 - discovering the missing twenty under the folded map at the finish to fall ten shy of the Coogee King (580/590) with MB leaving off the lonely number eight. And Heiko, bless his socks, somehow managed to propel himself eastwards from #17 all the way to a busy road with a sign reading 'Victoria Road', before realising he had gone past the #16 turnoff! Superb stuff from our Antarctic man and Legends star.

As I noted at the presentation, this years series has seen the most number of contests decided at the last event - 11 out of the 14 categories waited on the final run. Simply amazing stuff. I also like to promote the many close contests further down the leader board - where several one and two point leads amongst flashy ponies saw a bit of frantic late whip work as the fancies all chased a sliver of advantage.

All the final scores will get to be posted soon, and we can all ruminate on another great series. Our average entry tops 200 for the first time, with a couple of 250 plus events - also for the first time. There has been good growth in the group and walking categories and more fulsome attendance generally. Raw numbers are up as well, but it's the addict fever that really is noticeable this series. We have had fantastic competition not only in the age categories, but also in the incredible chase for the Summer Series Cup - won this season by another new awardee, Rachael Noble, our first junior winner.

I also don't discount the social aspect of our Wednesday 'Flogging the Biscuit'. Many SSS competitors love the interaction both before and after their run, with the pub meal afterwards being a regular feature (did I mention the Reschs??). It's been a great year with much to reflect on. Sportident for instance, and several top new maps. The athleticism of our toppies, and the competition well down the line. Sensational stuff. This is a good time to offer grateful thanks to all our course setters and club organisers. And especial thanks to David Noble for his work in posting events and generally keeping the SSS community up to speed with our doings. A most valuable role I'm sure you will agree.

What a blast for something that started as just a run to keep in touch over the 'quiet' summer months. Believe it or not, Sydney Summer Series 2011/2012 is already on the slate, with one new area already notified. There will again be 26 events, and another good mix of park/street and bush maps. I have a feeling it could be another cracker, and only six months away!

Pork Pie will get around to a season wrap, but for the moment the birthday boy has closed the file and dug out the O gear. Yes folks, the orienteering season proper is upon us big time, so get joined up and get cracking - this time in the bush! And for those that can't bear to think 'it' is over, we have four fantastic Autumn Evening' events coming up - you guessed it, on the next four Wednesdays! This time it's on with the LED for a bit of night time action, as we startle the commuters and the dogs at four favourite venues. Join us.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In a simply staggering run, Steve 'The Noose' Ryan, ran 590 in just over 44" to take the honours at Matt Hackett's Brush Farm murder mystery last night. In an anti-clockwise circle, Steve left off #10 as he swept the board, seemingly untroubled by the 'murderous' hills that had most of 'the rest' frequently engaging very low gear - and hoping for a three, or even a reasonable two.

Returning to 'The Farm' after a couple of years, many remembered to views - and attendant contours. They were not to be disappointed.

Upon arrival as our 20th season's penultimate event, punters were confronted by a wide spread - a very wide spread. They were also confronted by the need to climb. Several ponies were seen looking anxiously uphill to #19, putting off their start time by developing a sudden interest in The Guides and hoping Akela would save them. Couldn't we just do firelighting Matt??

So, when you traded the tenner with Ted, what did you see? A biggie, very much a biggie, that looked like it might only go low fives for the guns. When you understood the contours, it looked impossibly wide, but there was intrigue and good dollops of cunning on the page. How to start, how to attack? There was a nice loading in the centre, a nice 120 in the northwest pocket and a linked run across the bottom. There were also good points to the east, but they seemed far away - especially if the 'Brush' figured. There were also four tens (3,4,6,10) that had been beautifully placed to spoil the 600 club party - number four being particularly delicious if adding it in the east/west direction - 27-4 being a particular fitness tester.

Most runners decided to get the main hill out of the way early and began 19,24 to collect the west and the south, returning via the central core and 16,26. This obvious route had lots of followers, resulting in mass 380 scoring - or tidy 350's if the late climb to #27 missed the cut. It was clearly the best way to 'high three' without doing too much contour tango, and seems a strangely obvious basis for a route a day later. Those with legs worked this starting sequence as noted, and then the 22,10,23,20 'thrust' before dropping to 12 and 7, and working back uphill via 13,30,11,6 and 27 to the finish (and dropping #3 and the 'Mt Everest' pot #4 - probably our two most lonely pots). Most reports were of anti-clockwise activity, with only Rosscoe, being a contrary sort of dude, going the other way - and being well beaten in the process. The poor start trying to find the small track behind the Guide Hall that led to the west and a beginning at #29, and the subsequent 19,4,27,16 see saw not being my finest hour!

So, what initially seemed like an impossible flog, turned out to be perfectly on the money. Pie Face can only wonder at the fitness and strength of the SSS leaders to put on such a display across such a hilly area. And, although 'The Hangman' takes the lolly, there were other sensational results in the mid and high fives. Amazing stuff, wanna take a look?

Firstly our Fiver's worth. Dave 'The Egg' Hegarty boiled a brilliant 580 to be just shy of Steve in the Open Men, with Lisa Grant putting up 510 in OW. Other Open's to spurn a low score were Adrian 'Designer' White (painting 520) and James 'The Quill Pen' with 530. Glenn and Richard both posted 570's in the Masters, Michael 'Calomine Lotion' Burton, Mal Bradley and 'The Coin' all went fives in the VM's (550/530/520), and Wendy put on her work boots for 530 in the Vet Women. The one missing 'five' was our Open leader Andy Hill, recording a 'DNF' after pulling out early with a hammy (might have been something else, but an injury none the less). This makes next weeks final a real doozey - especially if 'The Last Man' can hold off 'The Hedge' and Andy is still out. Mmmmm.

Working down the score board into the fours, we see some excellent running from a couple more categories. Junior star Aidan Dawson carded 440 to give young Dunk (340) a touch up - although realising Duncan is still only ten, his score is still an amazing one. The JW's went to Michele (350), with late running Rachael (320) distracted by a car ding on the way to the event. Nest week will be another classic here. The SVM also made the fours, with Wazza Selby posting 460 to claim from Gordy and Graeme Hill (430's). 'St' Paul Prudhoe rattled the cassock for 380, ahead of Terry Bluett and Ian Miller (350's) and Teddy Woodley - ten back with a tidy 340.

Cath Chalmers looked likely in MW with 410, ahead of Linda 'On The Buses' Sesta with 380 from Lisa Linssen's 360. Although well shy of 'The Bendy Bus' in VW, Robin Cameron posted an excellent silver with her 400, to head a great run from Karin Hefftner (380). Also nice to see Hilary and 'In The' Nick down from Terrigal and forking out bail with 310 and 380 respectively in the V's. Lisa Lampe (300) and Barbara 'Mundi' Dawson (280) complete the VW notes, with Steve 'The Sandal' Shepherd (440), Larry Weiss (430) and Mel 'I'll Have Another Consonant' Cox (380) all looking good in the VM's. Matty Peters is also noted on the paddock with a nice 370 to operate on.

In the Legends, Hieko put his Antarctic run to good use with a strong 380 - and not a fur seal in sight. Malcolm & Lloyd (330/290) worked hard, pointing in front of mapper Baz Hanlon (230,) and a tidy 200 from Barry 'Not Only Milk, Now Beer' Cole. The LW's went to Bryony with 290, and a tie for second between 'The Angle Grinder' and 'The Toastrack Tram' (250 apiece). I note Janet working the 'Morris Ten' for 220 and June Stanley (160) wishing for Ollie. In the SVW's, Dale and Jai both pencilled 350, to continue Dale's slender overall series lead. And back a bit in the opens, Gill Fowler was LBW to Lisa with 480 (thirty shy), but still a length from Tracy Marsh 'Of Ottawa' and Catherine 'Not On Call' Murphy (450's) and Claire Winnick 'Of Time' on 410. Carolyn Haupt carded 390 in the green & gold silks.

I've no doubt missed a few - including Pete Annetts running a great 470, and 'The Joss Stick' flogging to the line in a haze of pungent smoke - and the same score. Forgive me if you have been overlooked, it was the siren call of the West Ryde that's to blame.

So, event 25 is over. Steep stuff, but a good high three claim for many - and an incredible toppy from young Steve. Thanks to Matt and the WHO crew, and the beautiful Sydney evening. Let's hope for something similar for our last run next week at Drummoyne. Steve Flick is in charge and, contrary to my expectations, has us doing a bit in the east as well as in Five Dock Bay. Sounds like a considered and intriguing course to play out our final on. Expect fire works aplenty as several classes and placings are decided on the night. And don't forget the race for the SSS cup!

In closing, please note that we have negotiated to use the clubhouse for our presentations, and the dining room will be open for dinner. Please join us as we celebrate another great series and salute our winners. The 20th year has been a classic, so let's go out with a bang!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I forgot to mention the news that there will be an Autumn Evening series after all. Garingal to the rescue with four events following directly on from the last SSS run at Five Dock Bay for the next four Wednesdays in April. Get out the Tilley Lamp, or a few of those old leaky eveready batteries, and fire up the torch as the mad punters that can't say no go for more, more, more. Details and an event flyer are on the way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


On an overcast and damp Sydney evening, Summer Series ponies were suprised to find the commissars had pulled a swifty in testing a 'no-plan' event, where, as in the Sprint Series, you took your map in competition time - and set off in a bewildering fog of discombobulation. Despite not getting any prior warning that they were going to be experimented on, scoring was generally in line with expectations, with the Flash Harry's in most classes making a good go of this one-off event. Even though the Honourable Porkus Pie Face was a late starter (thanks again Qantas), some reactions were noted, and it's fair to say they were mixed at best. Although it does seem unfair to change the rules without warning, everyone still had the same opportunity to perform - with quick adaptation (a valuable orienteering commodity) being the key to success, as the results attest.

Still, please rest assured that this was a one-off, and not part any Summer Series plan for the future. It has been interesting to hear of the enjoyment many competitors attach to the pre planning phase of our 'mini rogaines', perhaps articulated more clearly now that we have thrown a real 'O' score event on the table. Pork Pie may well be eating humble pie after this!

So, let's move on and have a look at the event itself.

'Joey's', 'Villa Maria', 'Tarban Creek' - whatever the title, you know your in for a bit of fun, and last night was no exception. Lisa 'The Baked Dinner' Lampe was in charge of proceedings and had us on a more southerly and easterly track than previous outings here. No access to the school was more than made up for in a whirlpool of beeps in the church grounds, with pots under Gladesville Bridge and in Hunters Hill High adding new sites for the bag men - and a good preparation for the lamb roast and three veg.

Without the benefit of pre planning (and maybe the numbers being in the hundreds adding to the confusion), it was hard to quickly pick a route. The close grouping begged to be bagged, but where were the thirty's? Not sure if any did what I did, but I spied 112 and 126 and just took off, getting some sense of an anti clockwise flog once I'd worked back to the church, found 130 and 111, failed to find 119, and fell over the fence towards the Tarban footbridge and running towards the shy and hiding 114. From there on things fell into a nice lap, although the unmapped track leading east from 117 gave local, Wazza 'The Pluviometer' Selby, an advantage in ripping directly into the danger zone where others did the old in-out tango. Of the few other routes I discussed, Michael 'Not Happy Rosscoe' Burton went clockwise (102,116,124,125, left 106, 117,129 etc) ending with 108,121 and home via the dreaded 113 (which he couldn't find and lost time at, as did many others I gather - note the number, 13!), 126 and 112.

The western balloon looked like it had to be worked from #126, and could be a good add if you had managed the central core and some eastern fun, and the southern pots (123,104 through to 105,110). 115,122 and 107 looked a right nark, but maybe fitted an inner circle of say, 102,116,107 122 and then to the Tarban paddocks for a quick bit of soccer warm up before the church grounds and a small prayer on the way home. Mmmm, not bad now I think of it! Not sure about a lonely pot, maybe 107, or maybe 109 - an easy drop if speeding from 128 to 127 via 114.

The more I look at this, the more possibilities I see - and a course that would have had the stringees tickling the dandruff for many a long minute in normal pre plan mode. Maybe it's just as well we couldn't dwell. As I mentioned, I was a very late starter, going anti-clockwise, and in total darkness approaching #124 across the grass, before I twigged that it was up on the road. The subsequent streetlight proved very helpful to your damp and soggy correspondent!

So, a wet finish to another cracker of a run, but a hoot all the same. Something about running in the rain that is quite invigorating - and mad. That's the Summer Series folks, madness on the run. But catching eh! Hopefully not of the cold variety.

Looks like around 211 punters turned up to lay down a tenner, another great roll up keeping our season averages well over 'two' for the first time ever. And how did they go I hear you ask? Well, being a sportident event, all has been revealed and already 'Mr Score Book' is slumbering in the sun on the website. Perhaps one or two contests are worth a mention.

At the junior end, Aidan 'The Electorate Of' Dawson continued his dominance of Matty 'Hair' Hill (460 votes to 410), with young 'Dunk' a whisper off in 3rd with 400. In the JW's, Michele put her orienteering experience to work for a dominant performance over rival Rachael 'Paul Desmond' Noble (410/320). 'Rack & Pinion' just managed to hold out Georgia 'On My Mind' Jones who ran a tidy 310 under the judges eye - and may attract a bit of flash money next season.

Down the (hospital) corridor, the legends saw a major upset, with Bryony going light weight type for 40, and giving three mares (Angela, Maureen and June) a share of the good feed - and 'The Ange' a leg up for a spirited St Patrick's day. The guys bowed to a strong 'pick it up and go' performance from Ted Mulherin - holding a nice thirty points from 'The Greengrocer' and forty from Mal. Great to see Dick in town with his UR mates, but having to go ten under to Dave 'The Tooth Fairy' Lotty must have hurt. Kenny 'Not Dalgleish' also ran 300 like Dick, to post a goodie - and to get a bit of elbow room from Heiko, unhappy with the format and only being a 'miner' with a sixty niner. Great to see Barry Cole 'Slaw' adding too much mayo for his health, but still bagging a tidy 180.

The big scoring happened, suprise, suprise, in the younger age groups, with Andy Hill putting on 550 to clearly take the night in OM from 'The Shoe' (500) and James 'The Fountain Pen' (480). Mark was ten back with 470 and Dave kept Joel company with 450's. Michael Burton (VM) ran another winner with 490 - keeping Eoin (440) and Malcolm (420) at bay in this competitive class. The other biggies were Wendy in VW with 470 (excellent scoring despite the no peeking start), Peter Annetts and Richard Morris 'Major' sharing hundreds with 480's in MM - and Lisa Grant piling on the land claims with 420. Looks like Warwick Selby couldn't resist a good score as well, putting the Six Foot legs to one side and working his spare set for a tidy 430. We now know about the laneway Wazza, so I think we can deduct a few hundred here.

Dale seems to have found new wind to easily win the SVW's - holding sixty points over Carol and Jai. And thank you Penny 'NY,NY' Field for singing a beautiful zero in this class. The SVM's behind the big W are also noted - and include a top of class performance from President Paul, carding 390 as he works into form for the Scottish Six Days. Ian camshafted Gordy and Rosscoe (370 to 360's) with Graeme and Terry ten adrift from a trio of likely lads on 340 (Davy, Jim and Julian). Ross 'The Typesetter' Emslie must have missed the pre plan, as his normal speed is not reflected in his modest 260. Next week Ross, there is always next week.

One other class where interesting time are revealed - Open Women, with Gill down thirty from Lisa with 390, but Katherine Murphy well off the rails with a modest 270. 'The' Clare 'Valley' had fifty bottles of Shiraz on her older sister in a reversal of form. Also an interesting tale from Richard Green. Not sure of the location, 'The King' turned up at Boronia Park, and seeing no one at home, jogged to Buffalo Reserve before jogging back to Joey's sports fields - and eventually the start, at 6.42pm! Like the Pork, Richard had a nice damp and dark outing on his post Six Foot and Corp Cup pins. His 420 sounds pretty good in the circumstances!

So, lots more goodies, some lower down than normal - but most of our leaders held up well. As I said it was a one-off, so back to normal next week at Brush Farm. This is another area that has not smelt James Lithgow's sox for a couple of years, and is ripe for an outing. Memory reminds me of a bit of hill work (views), but a nice chunk of bush in the northwest and some nice park running in the east and west. Another attraction is dinner close by at the 'North Ryde'. Whohooo!

Before signing off, a couple of reminders. The Browns Waterhole Minigaine this Sunday arvo, is worth a go, and a great way to work off steam after the mornings Metroleague event. Check the rogaining website. I've also been asked to mention the NOSH foot race. Although still some way off (June 5), new organisers Joel 'The Golf Ball' Putnam and 'The Slatts' are creating momentum and keen for new runners to have a go. Now in its 37th year, the NOSH is mostly a bush track and fire trail run of 15 relaxing km's. Think of it as a great way to avoid mowing the lawn - or getting out of visiting great Aunt Eunice. But mainly don't think, just enter and enjoy. Details from the Bennelong website (

That might just do it for the old bloke. Time for a quick Squire and a dry biscuit (I told you, humble pie!).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Chief boatman Jimmy Merchant put up a cracker at Croydon Park tonight. Not only did we enjoy a new map and new area, the Garingal baritone composed an operatic aria in 1:10,000 time, at A4 scale, that had the guns surrendering to low/mid five hundred scores - defeated by the sheer cunning of the M65 champ. James always likes to tickle up a course in the 'over time' category, and tonight was no exception, with a couple of pots almost 'off stage' - and only to be bagged between scene changes when no-one was looking. A classic Merchant 'Marine' outing, with fast running, great grassy parks and canal tracks - and several elderly knees in need of a quick post race Reschs rub down to restore equilibrium.

On arrival at Flockhart Park, the GO forces were well deployed, with Sue Chippy and John Le Chippy ready to take the dosh and send you on your way. While Ronny whistled up the dunny man, Jim settled in at the finish table for the returnee tales. Much like a day in the trench's. First glimpse on the landscape offering revealed a wide spread, a very wide spread. With the start in the centre, and a good group of thirty's in the middle, thoughts turned to which direction to begin. Many hived off to #16 and then turned left for an easterly flog. 16,17,18 and then the twin 30's (26/28) proved very tempting to these runners. Going west also had fans with equal numbers doing 16-6 or 15-6. The outliers that Jim had carefully planned were 5, 1, 14 and 19 - sixty points that came with a big price tag. If working a westerly loop, #1 didn't compute, nor did the inner twenty pointer #14 when you linked 2,22,13,to 4 and 24. Five was probably not on anyones menu, and will be declared the Lonely Pot, as I think several runners did make it to #19 (young Selby for instance).

The area was a complete contrast to last weeks hill climb at Clontarf, and suited the track runners with its sheer speed. Major road crossings were busy (Greg 'The' Barbour could have had time for a crew cut while waiting at one set of lights), but not overly a problem, and of course, the grassy parks and bike tracks were a pleasure to float over (Pork Pie must have run too far, as he is still away with the fairies!). As predicted by your weekly correspondent, the course had a ripple on the pond effect, with just one more pot a bit further away, tempting many from their out and back plans. Get to 8, had to go to 28, get to 12, might as well extend to #11. Good stuff, where planning discipline was rewarded, and the area had good cut off crossings to use when Big Ben started chiming.

Of great interest tonight was Michael 'Dr Who' Burton going down by ten to Greg 'Waiting For The Green' Barbour (520/510), and spoiling Mike's hundred home runs. He will probably still take the candy, but at least we have a contest. Michael weaved an interesting course - here described for those showered and watered runners, easing back in the recliner with a pipe and a sweet sherry. The Doc left off Jimmy's four pack, going 16,17 then crossing to 27,9,20,30,10,29,28,8,18,26,15,23 the western loop minus 1 and 14, and home via 25 and 6. Lots of river crossings in a skein of wool type of run from our 'Man on the Ground in Coogee'.

Because 'The Man's Drink' is off early in the morning to the Shakies, PP has not done his usual call of the card, in recording the scoring. A few postings did engage the bloodshot none the less, with Steve 'Peron' Ryan leading early with a tasty 550 after being a couple over. A great run, although King Dicky and 'The Hillsong Church' were noted in the mounting yard - and may have outpointed 'The Stevedore'. Another few wont go astray. Eoin popped in a 460, 'Billy' Joel recorded 470, and Lisa was granted 450 acres. Great runs all. The 'Pluviometer' made 440 by going slowly, again leaving his mates behind him despite the 'tapering'. Aidan probably took home the JM with 410, and sister Michele might have done the same in JW with a well composed 380. Not sure if this was enough to beat Adolf Sax, but we will see. Ted Mulherin put up a nice 350 in the legends, although Ron and his left shoulder and Chippy had late runs and may have run 'Education with a T' to a placing.

Sorry to be so brief this post, but bags need to be packed, and a list of things that wont fit in compiled. The return flight gets into Mascot at 5pm (you guessed it) next Wednesday, so hopefully I'll be at the 'Lampost' Special just in time. Speaking of which - please note that this will be another sportident e-stick scoring event, so bring yours, or note the $2 hiring charge. Lisa has asked me to point out that the assembly area is in the park opposite the school gates in Gladesville Street, not in the school grounds itself.

And as I usually do, I'll give this one a big rave. The narrow streets in this part of Hunters Hill have a good sprinkling of yummy sandstone houses, giving way to the idyllic Tarban Creek tracks and bay park. Round 24 then, is one of our goodies, and always a great location for a bit of Summer Series action. Be there to experience something exciting, something different, and something to get the tongues wagging at the post race dinner at the Hunters Hill Hotel (on the map!). Don't miss it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


A fine and cool evening saw Summer Series fans out in force at this beautiful harbourside venue - the peaceful surounds belying an interesting bit of Sydney history as Prince Alfred copped one here from that mad bugger O'Farrell. Course setter Robert 'I' Spry ignored the monument and went landscape on us, producing a good handspread that included a fair dollop of the Spit to Manly walking track. Results on the night went the full gamut, with another zero on show (young Gail this time), and scoring all the way to the top - with our 'H' men Andrew 'Yabba's' Hill and Dave 'Dinner Ale' Hegarty, posting 600's in an outstanding evening of racing. Dave took the schooner in 42.12 to Andy's 43.15, although Richard 'Tom Jones' Green was a late starter and might have sung his way to another win. There were plenty of other high scores - Mark Schaefer for instance, going down ten for 590 in another sensational run.

The course looked a beauty, especially if you had recently had your eyes checked and could see the tracks! This looked one for Sherlock Holmes, with many competitors new to the venue not able to easily discern the paths on the map, setting off in a fog of trust and muttering the Rosary. Although the tracks were hard to see, the contours immediately engaged the eye, and had competitors reaching for the puff-o-meter. There was going to be some heavy breathing required on the outward journey before hitting one of the 'snakes' on the return to the serenity of the assembly area. After only a brief scratch of the head with the question 'when do we engage low gear', punters poured it on - running at the impending slope much as the P class charged up to Valley Heights.

So, looking at Rob's offer, we see a northern beginning with the escalator from 9 to 29/19 being tempting, and we also see the southern circuit with it's greater variety of upsey options being hard to ignore. I suspect the south had the greater number of adherents, with good points on the full track run for the flash types (23,13,14,5), but also good scoring for the mid pack runners by exiting from 22 and then either working up to 25 and swimming lessons with Tania, or the easier loop via 7,8,20 and some western bagging. There didn't seem to be any central temptation as I recall here from previous outings (converting #10 to a 30 for instance). North & South it was, much like the Kiwi magazine.

Despite the contour 'prow', once you were up the top (and you had to get to the top to really score), there was quite fast and flat running around the eighty point central core (20,8,18,28). Tania Park added another seventy, with #24 a beautiful distraction in the north east. The easy babies to drop were 7 and 10, and this is probably reflected in the number of 580 scores noted on the velcroe. Probably our lonely pot would be one of these two. Of interest is Dave Hegarty's route. 'The Art School' had planned to go 580, dropping 7 and 10, but looped them back in from the top when timing began to look in his favour. Dave worked 1,11,21 and the Spit track pots to 5,25 and Tania, 24,18,28,8,7,10,20, the north west circuit and home via 27.

Nice big pots again from Bennelong, and some fantastic views and pot locations. All the Spit track stuff was just a buzz, and how about #30 on the cliff top. Simply sublime potty work Rob. Great setting and good running, and nice to be back after five years.

As many runners might have seen last night, 'Pork Pie' has produced a 'Call of the Card' flyer that analyses the many exciting contests within each age category as we count down to the final event. In case you missed the paper copy, it will be posted on the website - hopefully sometime today. It might be a trend! Given this then, and last night scoring - has anything been revealed!? Let's look at some of the scoring.

I've mentioned Mark's 590, and also the 580 brigade. This included Wendy 'The Bendy Bus', Mike 'Bert & Ernie' Burton, Steve 'The Last Man' Ryan, 'Eric' Gill Fowler and, outstandingly, Pete 'The Key' Annetts. Incredible running. Back a half head we find a quartet of tasty stallions (Kar-Soon, Mal Bradley 'Harvey Oswald', Pete Fallows and Tommy Joss 'Stick') all with 570's, Cath 'Eter' Chalmers working the saline line to pip her pet patient Eoin 550 to 540 and Warwick Selby using the Six Foot Track singlet as a sail for 550 also. Huh? 550 Wazza, when all your competitors were a hundred adrift. I think we might check what's under his skirt.

Young Aidan ripped along with 490,and probably held the junior gold. Claire Winnick also put on 490 in OW, Dale belted out 'Chest Fever' by the Band for 390, Bruce 'Juice' Stanley squeezed 290 and I'm sure someone got 190. Gail became discombobulated looking for the corner shop 'Kiosk' at 29, and came home late for naught, where 'In' Bev had the brew foaming for 120. Jo & baby walked 220 steps, Georgia 'On My Mind' Jones sang for 320, and Dan 'DHL' Redfern had the saddlebags full for 420. There were plenty of players in the fours and plenty happy to take home a three. Bryony carded 340 to claim from Sue, although Angela 'Fitzgerald' might have come through like the Irish cricket team and gone gold. Ted looked to have worked the Mulherin 'Mullet' to hold Ron to another week of vegetables (420/390), with 'Kettle Chips' back ten.

Ernest 'The Dingo' Windschuttle ran 360, Chris 'Freight' Frain didn't stop as required for 460 and Robyn & Viv enjoyed the evening for 260. Other random scoring to catch the 2B stub were Tim 'Opening Night' Cox enjoying twenty over Ken 'The Viking' Jacobson (340/320), Lisa Lampe switching on for 380, Sharon 'The Roast' Lambert asking for more spuds with 430, and Clare 'Valley' Hanna paying $340.00 for a rare riesling. I also note Ian 'The Spaniard' McKenzie walking a 240 tango, and maybe taking the walking points as I didn't see Jim 'The Trouser' Merchant or Melvin 'Tage Brut' Cox on the paddock.

Lots of excellent scores, with many suprises - including Ian 'The Sauce Bottle' Jessup, covering the Big Ben with an incredible 500. Must be one of Ian's best outings. Thanks Robert and the BNO crew - and the weatherman for some relief from recent steam engine impersonations. Good to be out in the cool of a Sydney summer evening as the SSS blurb used to say.

Next week sees another new area and map, as Jim Merchant has us lined up in front of the firing squad at Croydon Park. The 'Canals' map features the western meanderings of the Cooks River, west of Canterbury Racecourse, and will be a very different outing to Clontarf. Not too many brown lines, but lots of riverside park and track running. Could be an out-and-back sort of flog, with Jimmy working the pots to draw you just that one further away than sense dictates. Should be fast and fantastic - and what's best, it's all new! Another notch in the belt for SSS addicts, and another opportunity to point up the leader board. Don't miss it!

I'd also like to mention the Minigaine that summer series setter Ted 'If He Couldly' Woodley is in charge of on Sunday arvo March 20th. This is a three hour number with a rolling start window set around Browns Waterholes and using a bunch of O maps. Check out the Rogaining website for more details of what should be an enjoyable event.

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