Thursday, November 10, 2011


Sydney turned on one of those listless afternoon stinkers yesterday, with the mid thirty degree temperatures just hanging around, and then hanging around some more. A hottie event it was to be and a hilly one too, with the combination keeping the start unit at Summer Series event #6 underwhelmed until quite late in the proceedings - and competitors adjusting their saline drip feeds, and on the chat instead of on the flog. At least the assembly area was a pleasant one with plenty of shelter and tree cover. A delightful spot at which to postpone the pain to come.

And we all knew that this was a different venue to the original Bannockburn Park proposal, but what we didn't know was the course remained as the one set for the Bannockburn start, despite the very different take on things when commencing from Robert Pymble. You can now see the reason for the northerly deployments that had most folding their maps in half and hoping for a two and a half - or a two. Forget about threes and fours, especially given the toasty conditions.

Scanning the A4 revealed a rather awesome scatter across a three kilometer vertical aesthetic. Excellent cartography, although, sadly, no Pymble Golf Course to add meaning to the event title. Hmmmm, this looks a bloomin' tiger thought many, as they neatly folded away the plus fours and ordered orange-aid and terry towling. Runners cowered in their cars, chatted nervously, made numerous dunny visits - all to avoid the pain to come. But, in the end you just had to chuck in your lot with Sydney Water - swig a pint and let battle commence.

As I mentioned, it looked a huge ask to get much further north than Pentecost Avenue (#3), with most of the string twirlers fiddling with the two basic east or west circle options - or the 'up the guts' route via 8 and 29. This latter seems to have been the difference from taking home gold, silver or bronze in many classes, and I think was where the smart money went.

A 250ish circle proposal that many chased went out via 2 (many made use of a non mapped gap between shops exiting this), 30,22,12,23,4,5,28,3 and home via the twenty pointers and either 21 or 29/8. Going east first had the small benefit of being in the shade flogging around the 30-22 loop and up Mona Vale Road, whereas Triangle to #21 (come in Major Tom) meant a very hot beginning up Pymble Hill. At least exhausted starters on this western punisher could take mental (if not physical) comfort from checkpoint #21 being atop a water reservoir!

The middle beginning looks the go in hindsight, with the up, down, up to 8 being followed by a bit of the dreaded 'in-out' to 29, and then a nice run of twenties (14,15,16) before deciding if you needed to return the wrung out body for servicing - or you had a bit more puff in you, like 'The Chip-heater', who popped another pill and added 25,10 and 17 before the twenties and return (Chippy was on an anti clockwise scribble as you might be imagining).

We normally like to identify a lonely pot, but there must have been many checkpoints who only briefly flirted with an electronic tingle last night - such was the stretch in the setting. The 'lonelies' were probably were all in the north, with possibly #26 the outlier. I imagine if you made it to #9 you had to plough on and scoop in 27,20,19 and 18, but 26 might have been just too far off the port beam. Closer in, #13 was out of loop and may have been given a wide berth. Maybe #1, maybe the 7/11 'Fred' couple.

With a winning score of 420 points, this would have to be the lowest scoring SSS event ever held. Only two runners into the fours tells a story, and only 22 more (of the 189 entries) managing to card in the 300's reinforces the stretch between beeps that was 'The Pymble Putter'. A toughie, a hottie, but a great way to loose weight!

Just getting up to Telegraph Road in the heat from old Robby Pymble was enough for most, let alone contemplating working the sand wedge in the north. Glenny probably had his longest run in the series so far, needing 69 minutes to clear the bag and suffering a 250 point penalty into the bargain. Still an amazing time. Another runner who likes the kiss of Volley on asphalt, Graeme 'The Spreadsheet' Hill, went north for 430 points in 62+ and must have wondered if he had entered a half marathon by mistake. Gray copped a 180 for his trouble.

So, even though we have low scoring, we still have competitive behavior - and some excellent results. How about a round of applause for Steve 'The Sandal' Ryan putting up the winning score and keeping several aging but nippy beetroots at bay. OM Steve posts 420 to nip a great run from MM King Dick (410 after suffering a minus twenty, ten of which was a three second over - cruel, cruel this Si stuff) and some great work from Veterans Greg 'Bay Rum' Barbour (390), Mal Bradley (380) and Wendy 'Ive' Stevenson - enjoying her greens for 380. Mal actually finished a touch early, not that common an experience last night, with probably over half the field 'enjoying' the minus maths.

Four other classes had winners in the threes, with the most stunning being Matthew 'The Last Supper' Hill chewing an amazing 330 and 90 points clear of the next JM (Dave 'Up The Creek' Bulbrook). 'Sir Edmund' also scaled 330 in the SVM's (shading Eoin by the slimmest of margins, although 'The Copper Miner' was in the dismount yard two minutes early for some reason), Lisa Grant went a tenner better at 340 in Open Women and Mary Fein holding ten over Sue Davis in Masters Women. Excellent scoring from all these fleet foxes - and good listening.

Down a bit, Legend star, Heiko 'The Shaver', reprised last weeks flattie at Concord with another excellent coffee. A brew titled 270, and one not to be sneezed at, given the numbers nipping at the Kincumber Kids heals. Jimmy and Terry worked well for ten back (260's), while Chippy and Pork Pie were well done on 250's. Kenny had the cubicle door open for 240, as did 'The Tedster' - showing a clean shoe to Ronald on 230, and Malcolm, well back last night but sharing a singular 190 with brother Lloyd.

LW star Bryony 'Roy Orbison' Cox, somehow managed to pop the ton pill again despite much pre race protestation and coming home in 35 minutes!!. Bryony's 170 was still well clear of rivals June 'January Jones' Stanley and Janet Morris' 150's and Sue Thomson's 140. The walkers might have been onto something given the heat, with Wiz putting up 200 in the WaM and Alison 'You Are Passing Another Fox' Pearce 150 in the WaW's. The best group looked to be the 'Mack Trucks', with Fergus and Amanda using plenty of diesel for an outstanding 240 points. I also like to check the tail end charlies, and award a million points to Cheryl Bluett - enjoying the steamy heat and the north shore real estate for minus 130. Excellent stuff. There were also several 'miss-punche's but not sure why/how. No Si??

Anyway, despite the heat which usually kills the attendance, we had a whopper at The Putter. When you add the groups and the kids course, we are looking at over 200 on a scorcher. Great work The Feet, and Gill for working us like the Titanic on four boilers. We will not forget you.

And so, we move closer to the city next week for Sydney Summer Series #7 with a reasonably rare visit to Tunks Park and Cammeray/Northbridge. Ted 'Not That One' Woodley has worked up something from nothing at 'The Suspension Bridge', and shouldn't disappoint. For those that will be first time at 'The Tummy Tuck' (I mean Tunks!), you are in for a treat - especially the bits when you run downhill to the finish. The big park and the actual bridge above is kinda a fun place to move one foot in front of the other, so mark the date - and be there! One thing to note is the parking - not a lot in the grounds itself, so be prepared to use the streets close by if things get chokka. There is a touch footy booking adjacent to us, and I suspect a few of them might come by GTHO. Well they used to in my day said Pork Pie!

Before closing, and chasing a nice Shiraz, I should also mention Souther Series #3 next Tuesday at Clovelly (should be a cracker along the coast with all the joggers with jewelry to watch) and mention the twin tempters next Sunday (20/11) - and they are of course, the Socialgaine being set by our very own Wazza and Neil, and the initial Central Coast Series event at Chittaway (now, now James) Bay.

Like President 'Wobbly Legs' Paul last night, Pie Face has collapsed from post race exhaustion, and has retired for a good lie down.


Fly on the Wall said...

To rant and rave? Or try to behave? A bit of both perhaps is merited. 7.1km for a mere 14 controls takes a lot of the fun out of SSS, especially on a hilly course. And the fact that only 20-odd runners went above 300 means half the pots were never in the reckoning. Mmmmm. Rosscoe summed it up accurately, as I went 2-30-22-12 (can't imagine I've ever taken 6:43 between SSS controls without stopping or making an error)-23-4-5-28-3-16-14-29-21-1 in 44m3s. Huge effort, 5th in my class, but only a lousy 74%. I SSS is a mini rogaine, but really...

Phish Phart said...

The Putter? More like a Puffer!!!

High Horse said...

Mmmm. Twas a tad too long. Although it still wasn’t quite as long or as low scoring as last season’s infamous Gore Cove outing where the highest score was 370!

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