Thursday, March 17, 2011

QUALITY SHINES IN GLOOM AS NO-PLAN PLANNERS RIDE THE TARBAN TIGER

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 (www.bennelong.nsw.orienteering.asn.au).

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

3 comments:

High Horse said...

It would seem that the runners who took the shortest route between #25 and #17 via the unmapped pathway must have gone through the intersection mapped as OOB. Shouldn't these runners therefore be DQed in the same manner that others have been DQed previously? Some runners also went through the OOB area between #9 and #14, which is also sign-posted on the ground as private property. That should stir up the pot a bit.

Whinger said...

Is if OK to give praise for "ripping directly into the danger zone"? - Which is generally regarded as 'going out of bounds'.
Where's the consistency? Whilst some are penalised - one at the same event for going out of bounds directly south of the start - others go unpunished.
Forgive me if I'm mis-informed, but in general orienteering terms the red cross depicts a "forbidden route"

warwicks said...

As a short cutter, it was quite easy to bypass the danger zone by running along the footpath to the non-danger area, thereby avoiding the dangerous crossing on the corner.

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