Thursday, December 29, 2011


On a fine and warm afternoon at Chatswood Athletic Field, a 'massive' field enjoyed a great outing along the banks of the Lane Cove River and points adjacent, courtesy course setter emeritus Carol Jacobson and her Garingal students. Included in a big field still working off the Christamas pudding, were international stars (and prior SSS regulars) Andrew 'Matisse' Lumsden and Debbie 'The Customers Friend' Byers, over from Wellington and making a rare guest appearance. The lure of Sydney sandstone, bush tracks and a bit of car dodgem material while in full puff-o-meter flog, had no doubt become just too much to bear over in the shakey's - hence the sudden surrender to old habits. Welcome back A/D, however briefly.

Also reported at this well set event, was Veteran stallion, Michael 'The Moon & The Stars' Burton, enjoying a bit of off-course action and blood letting to show for his troubles. Michael's reported 550 points looks like it was well earned, with the (again reported) obscure bush tracks in some parts of the map meaning a bit of lower leg and vegetation canoodling had taken place. The shins in question are now resting in the capable arms of nurse Connie.

Without any results to speak of, I'm not sure of numbers or placings, although Mark Schaefer and 'The Banana' are both reported to have fully swept the carpet sub 45. 'The Pencil Sharpener' in 40 minutes apparently. Things will become apparent soon enough.

On the course setting front, all looked interesting, very interesting - with a good and regular scatter across this area of West Chatswood. I'm not suprised to see the toppies go under. The triangle apex start area meant very definite out and home routes needed to be grasped early (the dash or the puff) - with good pickings along the river (21/22), some looping needed for the higher babies (13/14/15) and a decent group along the southern creek that needed attention (18/29/28/17). Linking all this was the Mowbray glue, and the way you joined the dots here in the up and over, was the clue to a good score. One would usually try for just two crossings of this normally busy road, so it is interesting to note the meandering intentions of one of the Series' favourite sons - in making six crossings!! A good 400 odd score is noted for this competitor, despite his attraction to things tarmac.

Without being there it is hard to get a feel of the lonely pots, although #2 might fit the bill. 25 was well to the east, but probably worked in the grand circle routes of the Flash Harry's, and would have seen a bit of 2B scratching. Number 6 or 5 might have also sat out the dancing as they seem out of loop to some extent.

As with last weeks fun at Chowder, this looks another quality event that I'm ruing I missed. All is not lost on the Porkster however, with the O wagon from The Parkville Piggery heading back to Sydney in time for event 14 and the start of our second half. This sees the action returning to Carlingford and the Hunts Creek map. Chief Big Foot in charge is Michael Roylance who will no doubt have given this nice creek with suburbs attached a good going over. Plenty of grassy running, and nice bush track material with the waterfall an undoubted feature. Competitor numbers have been building nicely, so lets give 'The Queen Mother' a good roll up (and a friendly gin & tonic) as we head into 2012 all guns blazing. Don't miss it.

I should also mention the beginning of The Sydney Sprint Series next Monday at Manly Dam. This series is also on the build and is great fun in the fast and furious cunning running stakes. Sprint Series on Monday's, Summer Series on Wednesday's - what a way to ease into the new year. And that's not too forget the new Western Sydney Summer Series, also beginning soon on Sunday mornings. Lots on folks, yes sireee.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Yikes! Why not a nice seafood chowder the Porkster weakly argued. Speaking of chowder, a remote report on last Wednesdays event at Chowder Bay and environs seems better than no report. And thanks to chief spy Ian 'The Sauce Bottle' Jessup, I have some material to work with, so listen up punters.

Sounds like cool conditions prevailed on what I take to be a southerly take on the area - working from Georges Heights to the zoo rather than down to Balmoral. My reports mention contours, and lots of them, in what I take to be a down and back up number orchestrated by chief BNO lash master, Phil 'S Hoist' Harding. Phil looks to have devised a near perfect course with scoring right across the points range and a toppie at 580, but the even bigger news looks like the attendance - with the 233 entries and additional 25 or so group contestants lifting us to over the 250 mark, I think for the first time this season. Whooopy doopy doo - this is great news after many weather effected earlier outings where numbers have been down - and nags have been kept inside the Tuza by concerned coaches. A great Christmas present to the Sydney Summer Series and its many millionaire backers. Ha ha.

So, a great roll up in a great area. This is scenery central, and I imagine the 'Clothes Line' had a few pots with views. Ian mentions sets of stairs and cliffs, in fact the 'Steps of Doom' to be precise with pot #12 as maybe his take on the lonely. I'll work a bit of Ian into my narrative shortly, but need to cover a few scores first.

As mentioned above, the top card on the night was a 580 pointer, from none other than our all stations stallion - Glenn 'The Cough Mixture' Horrocks. Glenn, working in the yellow colours of the Masters stable, managed a full card in 46.26 to pip a couple of his Open fancies Andrew 'The Artist' Hill on 560 and Steve 'Von' Ryan home with 550. King Richard Green was also noted home in 550 to give the tote a nice MM,OM,OM,MM bookend at the top of the field.

Other classes seem to have lined up much as expected, with Wendy astounding yet again with a well clear 500 (VW), 'Bert & Ernie' creaming the VM's with 530, Jimmy & Bryony holding three figures in the Legends, Sue Davis and Barb 'Wire Fencing' Hill claiming a joint in MW from Mary Fein (440/420), and Eoin once again taking the tape from Wazza in the Supers. Rachael Noble and Bethany Halmy notch equal wins in JW with 340, but the real junior news is the outstanding scoring from the Adams Apples in Junior Men. Adam Potter piled on a sensational 490 to outpoint a strong 440 from Adam Halmy and 400 from Duncan 'The Highlander' in this competitive class that consistently sees the top scorers in real Open scoring territory. Well done the JM's.

There were plenty of similar score totals it seems, with nine runners on 400 for instance. Our best result at the 'other end' of the results list goes to Alex 'The President' Kennedy, out having fun with Cuba for 66.40 and a minus 40 in JM. A couple of close ones are noted - Gill taking a blue note over Lisa in OW (480/470), Eoin on 440 to Warwick (430), and line astern to Mel 420 and 'St' Paul's 'Cathedral' on 400 in the Super Vet Men, but unclear why no one didn't fill the vacant 410 gap. Ian and Graeme considered this but pencilled in 390 and then went for a Resches thinking 'enough is enough'.

I should also note the outstanding score from our first group home, 440 points from Lee 'Wild Bill' Coady and 'The Spanish' Amanda Parker. A confusion of guns and galleons here I think Rosscoe, but great scoring all the same from these Group gangsters. Given we now face the prospect of copping a tenner for being one second late with the e-stick scoring, it is hard not to sympathise with Daniel 'In The Lions Den' Smith timing home in 47.01. Ah, the cruelty of it all.

So, lots of good scoring, with most favourites taking more lolly as Santa looms.

Jesso 'The Artists Friend' has some interesting comments on the evenings course setting that I pass on, but without knowing what they actually refer to. Read on as Ian coats the canvass.

"An intriguing batch (15,11,1,2) awaited to the northeast, with a tiny bit of bashing perhaps required to link 11 and 2. Further on, 12, halfway down the steps of doom, looked to be carrying an empty dance card. For those contemplating 400, the big question was weather to go 13,22,21,14 or to go straight west to 14 along the main road, then pick up 6 and 23 before plunging down Bradleys Head Road to 4 and 29. Only the brave scarpered down alongside the eastern edge of the zoo for 129,20 and 30 before rejoining the throng at 8.25. Could you also link 7 and 10 (most likely giving 16 a miss) before bush track 27, the seats at 9 and 17 and across Chowder Bay for 24? Much like the price of everything, this run had to go up at the end."

Good stuff. Sounds like I have missed a goody - as I will, sadly, next week at Chatswood. This challenge to the Christmas Five Days will no doubt attract a huge crowd because of two excellent factors. Firstly it is being set by 'Christmas' Carol Jacobson, one of the SSS's great course setters, and one who can play with your mind as you find yourself at #20 instead of #30. CJ will set a screamer I've no doubt, aided somewhat by the second point - the location. We have only ever been here once before (and before the Lane Cove tunnel was even contemplated), and it's a great start location at this almost hidden gem - the Chatswood Athletic Field. After a quick 100 metres, or a touch of long jump, you can hit the bush tracks and sandstone of SSS event 13 - and close our first half with a bang. Be there!

So, with Christmas fast approaching, Pork Pie and all the SSS crew for season 21 wish all competitors, friends and families the very best wishes for the festive season. Thanks for being part of the fun in season twenty one. The hat man will be back in town for the Royal Family's outing at Castle Carlingford, where a nice Sherry before the run sounds like the way to open our second half.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Not too many Summer Series flogs have gone sub-five, but last night Marina went wide in her initial SSS deployment, and saw most of the pre-Christmas pud tummies settling for a four, or more likely a three - not a five hundred to be seen. Two also had many fans, as did the ones, with many widely varied scores amongst normally close competitors (try LW's Bryony and Sue - last week a ton each, this week Bryony in the two's and Sue carding only 30), BUT, homage where it is truly due - Sandra Thomas, pulling into the bus stop after a 96.52 minute journey, to record a minus 170! ST, your a star.

So, low scoring was the order of the day in this new area, but at least it was a nice evening, great running weather for a change, and a very pleasant grassy and shaded assembly area - ominously though, at the bottom of the hill! The 'Chinamans Beach' map took in the northern part of the Balmoral map, added a small section of 'The Jugular's' Primrose Park extension, and completed the circle with all of Beauty Point and The Spit. And a nice bit of cartography from Tezza Bluett it was too. However, as foreshadowed, the Contour Queen was hereabouts, and arriving punters took one look and went all quiet. Mmmmm, a bit of puff here mate!

As I mentioned, Marina went for a wide scatter of pots, and included a few classic sites at water level, and many more classy view babies up the top. Stair work and step work loomed, and a nice new water level bush track looked a goer for those that like a touch of eucalyptus under the Volley. Another big factor in route determination was the very busy Spit Road and instructions to only cross at lights or under the Spit Bridge at control #26. Dashing across the (almost non existent) medium strip was not an option. So we have climb, we have a major road divider, we have spread, and we have around 200 ponies on the nibble. Sounds like the Sydney Summer Series to me.

Looking at the course, there appeared to be a major circle to the north and west, and a carbuncle of controls to the east. There were also thirty points out along the Parriwi cliff top. For most, the boil didn't figure, so planners settled for either a quick slog to #2 and the long dash to #26 and back anti clockwise around Beauty, or a blind and punishing puff up to #22 and then the western circle and Spit. Many factored in two climbs, although it is reported Peter 'Mr Punishment' Annetts, found time for three!

A common mid three involved 2,11 back to 21,20 (lights),28,15,19,29,6,30,5,14,13,8,24 (lights), 17 and 22 before flying home. Many pulled out at 13 on this circle, and others on the Spit flogerooney went over at 14/21. Pork Chop, being a contrarian, started along the rocks (tricky stuff) and up to the lighthouse at #11 before working the ribbons of steel back to #2, where Dennis 'The CFO' Sparling was encountered dropping into low range as he felt the finger of Marina lightly entwined in his plans. PC then went 21 and in-out 20 before counting cars and buses to 28. Looking at other sites, pot number 27 needed commitment, or madness, as did 16 and 23 to the east. Hard won height having to be weakly surrendered for these babes. Not sure how many ventured above the sandstone to 18 and 3, probably not many. Seven might have gone the shiver, or maybe ten. But probably I'd nominate one of the thirty pointers (27/23) as LP. Getting either of these two needed Shell X100 motor oil, or should that be 'Clean Burning Europa' for my many Kiwi readers.

Glenny burnt around in a credible 62.42, posting a nice 420 after a start via 22 to 2,11 about-face,21,20,18,3 and then down the cliff side track to Parriwi to the Spit - Beauty Point circle, 46 second delay crossing at 24, and then swabbing the eastern canker (17,10,16,23,4,12) 1 and home. Another top outing from 'The Miracle', but not podium quality I'm afraid. That goes to a dead OM heat with Andy Hill and Steve Ryan on 480's. 'The Waterfront' would have cursed the clock, or the traffic lights, as he worked a 490 but copped ten seconds. Oh cruel world!

Some other nice scoring that found the stub working loosely in the right hand - Patrick 'Peter' Gunnerson and James McQuillan forming a nice rhythm section on 450, a pair of well known veteran and master runners holding up 440's ('The Cotswolds' and 'Over & Out'), Bob Joss and Westpac doing it for all mortgagees on 430 - and Gillbo Fowler posting a strong 420. As with the LW's, Gill and rival OW star Lisa Grant were unusually well separated last night, with 'The White Goods Shop' only finding 310. Strange and stranger.

In the juniors, 14 year old Adam 'Busters' Halmy had his tin legs working at high speed for a sensational 380, well clear of neat and tidy timing from young Duncan's 330 (home exactly on 45!). Rachel Noble looks to be holding the gold with 320 in JW. In the family fun category, Cath Chalmers had a tenner over husband Eoin, with 'The Stocking' also matching Cath, and a welcome ten over his SVM rival. Many other excellent scores to ruminate on, and also some quieter work from the stallions and filly's than perhaps we are used to. Pork Pie is pointing the finger at Contour Carol - cunningly a meter taller than before!

In summary then, a toughie, maybe one of our lowest top scoring outings in memory, but a very pleasant evening all the same. Some absolutely excellent control sites (how about 11,19,29 for starters), and lots to ruminate over at the rubbity dub afterwards - where, shock horror, the Reschs had run out!!! Big thanks to Marina and the BNO team. Great to see 'The Gordon Highlander' back with his mates and putting up a goody. Stick with us Gords, we miss you and your stringless scoring.

Next week sees the Bennelong crew backing up just down the road, at Georges Heights. This is our traditional pre Christmas event in these parts, and will be another cracker. Phil 'The Dill' Harding is in charge of all your subsequent pain, and will no doubt send you off on a late present buying spree with a bit of knee ache. As with this weeks run, expect more great views in this top area - and maybe a little of the old pufferooney beneath the chesty bond. Top country, and bound to be an excellent course from 'The Fillet Steak'. Maybe celebrate afterwards with a light dip in the ocean, or a little shark & tatie down at the beach.

So, event 11 gone, event 12 coming up, and then, hardly a skip and a miss later, Christmas is gone and Carol & Ken will have you crouching for the starters pistol at Chatswood Athletic Field. A rarely used classic awaits!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Although the 'summer' in Sydney Summer Series continues to prove elusive, 170 odd bedraggled and soggy joggers defied the conditions and enjoyed another excellent outing at Kirribilli. To cope with the slippery track (Tim Winton's The Riders comes to mind, 'even the damp was damp'), racing slicks were the order of the evening, with the dry tyres put away till next week. We hope!

So, another wet one, a sorry saturated kind of evening, track work ready horses peering out from the Kara Kar and hoping Gai Waterhouse will overlook them - but as compensation, a great assembly location (that offered its own damp and misty greeting) and a fantastic and testing course from Rod 'The Mustang' Eckles.

Let's look at how Rod worked the V8.

First impressions are always indicative, with the portrait format, even spread of pots and the generous inclusion of the checkpoint clues on the map getting a nod from the 'Just For Funsters'. There was a nice dollop of Luna boardwalk, a good stretch to the north that promised a bit of low gear work, a couple of front row seats at The Ensemble Theatre, a Kirribilli haul that needed a bit of 'Larry', and a scatter across the North Sydney CBD. High fives maybe, but then Caroline the Contour Queen tapped the shoulder, and you started to re-think. High fours. Mmmmm, high fours. Definitely not a six, especially given the rain and ever present danger of the slip and pavement kiss.

Many of the routes demanded effort - and concentration. The northern pots needed careful road and laneway work. Up from 28 to 19 was smarter with the direct south/north approach to 19 than the split road and its down/up demand. Pork Chop went this latter way, only just avoiding the split road dead end and needing the 'puff-o-meter' fully engaged. Working these thirty points from below also saw some head scratching, although the 19,28,17,24 home flog was popular - and after dipping in the dripping at 28, you only had that last climb before a flat to downhill roar home. A flyer indeed.

Sewer vents were a popular feature, as were several of the dreaded 'bottom of steps'! - the down and back to #28 probably being the classiest of these. Not too much discombobulation reported, with many loops being easily arrived at - and attacked with the slight caution that comes from the wet. A great sight was the competitor well into her course near checkpoint 10, running under an umbrella! Classic.

Many began 5,25. Others, liking a spoon of view in their diet, began 1,11. Getting the inner Kirribilli's to work was difficult, although 24,18,3 was a nice earner on the fly home. Many did in/outs at 18 on the run from 23 to 12 and 14 and card work further north before the choice of middle or westerly (highway crossing) return. It appears many runners might have inadvertently run OOB if they made this east/west crossing from the tempting mid map crossing point (17 to 26 or visa versa), with the main highway bridge clearly marked as crossable, but, strangely, not the Pacific tail as has previously been the case here.

I note Andrew Hill ignored #8 (see course comment below) and that could be our 'lonely', although I'm slightly more inclined to nominate #6 - at the top of the steps and on its own-some. No way I'd go up to this baby for only a tenner. I think most of the others got a good going over, although #9 didn't fit the more rewarding higher circle of 19,22,29,13 and may have had a cold night. Probably a measure of a good course is the pot visitation, and the difficulty of nominating a LP. This one scores highly.

So, given the conditions, it's all the more reason to celebrate Andy Hill sguelching to victory with a superb 530 post after racing to 550 in 46.31. Andrew has been used to going three figures most Wednesdays in the past, but this season 'The Paint Tube' and 'The Hangman' have pushed him hard so the win will be very welcome. Adrian 'Chalk' White was only twenty back at 510, and I think the only other nag to top five, with Steve quieter in the rain for a 480. So well done Andrew, a great win.

The 'Hillman Hunter's' route bears noting, with a 24,15,5,25 opening before working the gear lever into third around Lavender to 6,16,26 and North Sydney, before 27,22,29 and a confusion of up/down, in/out work, tea with Quentin (23), city views at eyes left, and an uphill finish from the sculpture (21). Andy's clockwise route seemed in contrast to many others who did a 1,11 or a 5,25,21,1,11 before hunting the beeps in Kirribilli and further north and returning via the popular #24. Glenn did the lot from the 1,11 beginning, but like Andrew, finished up the grassy slope from the sculpture after his broad anti clockwise sweep. 58.04 said the download station, although I thought they should have been kinder given the weather.

Other scoring briefly noted. The Veterans going the biff, with Michael Burton well over time for a 480 pencil, just shading a tidy 470 from Mal Bradley. The Supers pushing up heart rates with 'The Owen Stanley Ranges' once again upsetting Wazza (rather fetching last night in black tights!) 450 to 430, and both in just under time - Eoin 44.44, Warwick 44.34. Sounds like Housie Housie night at a rest home for the bewildered. Lisa ' The General' Grant was in similar scoring territory with 450 after a well timed 16 second over - and I think, our first woman home to a warm bath and slippers. Jimmy 'The Possum' Merchant worked the sopping white T Shirt to hold ten or twenty from arch rival and fellow Amigo 'The Ronson Lighter' Junghans, in the Legends - with Heiko well back after a poor tyre change. Luke 'Lele' Petterson strummed a nice 400 in JM to take a badge, whereas Legendary women, Bryony and Sue couldn't be separated by the photo - each taking a ton for their 270's. This contest is on!

Wiz walking continues to amaze with 320 heralding another win. Also in the 'amazing' stakes (as the Sydney Summer Series is sometimes referred to), Garingal's Dave 'Ealing Studios' Stitt and Neil 'Dipper' Hawthorne both went 'long' on the night, carding course times around the sixty two minute mark. Although this 'getting your moneys worth' is well demonstrated by these two Goers, Sandra 'The Beach Towel' Thomas leaves them for dead with a sightseeing tour of enviable proportions. Sandy had the bucket and spade at work for 96.05 minutes! On of the greatest 'overs' in SSS history and well worth our celebration. Although Sandra cleans up here, many others mistimed returns, especially the wet glasses brigade who ran blind and on instinct, hoping that Big Ben's cousin (Si) would be kind. Malcolm 'The TF' Gledhill was one-such, uncharacteristically 10.11 over, and heavily penalised on the night.

So, in conclusion. Great course, great location, great turn out, but oh, the weather! Let's hope Chinamans Beach can deliver our middle name. Speaking of Bok Choy... Our next event (SSS#11 at the old China) sees us at a mostly new (75%) location that takes in the northern section of the Balmoral map and adds much new material around The Spit and into Middle Harbour. I hear from mapper Terry Bluett, that the event and tide timing allows some rock platform work which should add to the fun. Terry also mentions the 'S' word, but argues the puff-0-meter work will be well rewarded with spectacular views 'from many of the control sites'!! I'll also pass on some transport tips, and note, while there is plenty of parking at Chinamans Beach, it is metered at $7 for two hours. If driving, access the beach via Cyprian Street, off Parriwi Road. Coming from the south means going all the way to the bottom of Spit Hill lights before the right turn to Parriwi. If by bus, the last three stops before descending Spit Hill are all within walking distance of the assembly area.

If good weather, bring your cossie. There are showers at the beach, and Marina has you in her sights! Don't miss this one folks, the first of our spectacular Christmas double from the boys and girls of Bennelong Northside.

Two final items. Firstly, the lost property department reports a blue Masters Games jumper and white shorts left at the Kirribilli event. Our kind retriever will bring same to Chinamans so make yourself known to assembly people to reclaim. And secondly, Pork Pie would be very remiss to not report the absence at Kirribilli of David 'King George' Noble (SSS devotee, our results posting guru, and all round 'ornament to the sport'). After an unbroken record run of 96 consecutive SSS events (!!!), David finally had to sit one out. We missed him, but he wants it noted that this was a once off, and he expects to recommence another record run at The Peoples Republic of Chinamans Beach. Devotion beyond the call.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


With a landscape format map and a start area in the south eastern corner, most of last night's excellent Summer Series action did indeed involve heading west at east(wood) - a directional contradiction that was too delicious for correspondent Pork Pieface to ignore.

And excellent action it was. Course setter, Janet Morris, had manouvered her control dispensing Mini Cooper in an east/west spread that at first glance looked close to full capture for the guns on pole position - but then caused some frowning as routes were pondered and the Sanctuary itself was fully understood. Maybe mid fives might be more like it, or a high four - and a decent shovel full of threes for the rest of us.

So let's set the scene. This is a new area for the Summer Series, although there are many close relatives. Getting right up 'Terry' appealed to WHO's mapping guru's Janet and Baz 'Luhrman' Hanlon, who promptly set to work with the 2B and Mr & Mrs O-Cad, and produced a work of quality and clarity. Running from near Eastwood station across Midson Road almost to Carlingford, we got an old brick pit, the headwaters of the mighty Terrys Creek, the hidden and delightful Edna May Hunt Sanctuary, and the old Network 7 site. There were also decent dollops of grassy park connections in a generally suburban house/road setting. Not bad, not bad at all. Especially appealing was the start location with good undercover options and play equipment for the kids. However, early arrivals found parking at a premium as the area is park & ride territory. President Paul was seen circling several times! This would be one of the few SSS areas where the later you came, the easier it was to park.

Anyway, what greeted the ten buck plonkers? An western spread that offered good circular options, a bit of in/out add-on fun, and came with three start/finish routes. 23 and 24 were the obvious starting biggies, with most opting to begin with the latter. This gave flattish access to the Terry Creek pots where routes further north west beckoned. The two northern beginnings to #23 also offered temptations, especially to those that like a little hill punishment early in their campaigns. The direct route via #2 was a tidy kilometer of climbing for a lousy tenner, whereas the 12/11 option added half a k more, but rewarded with forty in the bag. In hindsight, these routes were better on the return, as many sector winners would subsequently attest.

Glenn 'Miracle Margarine' Horrocks worked an anti clockwise course, beginning 12,11,23, the Sanctuary (15,22),21 and then west to a V formation (9,30,20,26,10) before the west and another 'tummy tuck' around 7,28,30,8 before finishing 19,24,2 and home in fifty four odd and a cool 500 points. Sensational running from our Masters star, who confessed to living in, not one, but two different houses on the map! Could prior knowledge be a factor in the speed of the yellow Tee? Steve Ryan worked 570 beeps but copped fifty for a net 520, with 'The King' still to report when the Pork departed. Michael 'Out Of Bounds' Burton went the opposite way to Glenny, but became trapped in a discombobulation of out-of-bounds cross hatching on the dead end road southwest of #10 and had to be revived with a quiet sherry. Although 'Burt & Ernie's' score is yet to be revealed, he did omit 8, the brickpit (3,18), 6,1 and 2 in his dash for cash. Maybe not one of Michael's great nights, but we expect better things of 'The Clovelly Ganster' when Conny returns to the series shortly. Another runner coming unstuck thereabouts was 'The Ronald' who misread the urban housing colour at #27 and ran up and down looking for a track to the cemetery - that turned out to be a fence. Not your time for the afterlife quite yet it seems Ron.

I heard that running up the creek was possible in several locations, and may have saved time between 19 and 29. I presume wet feet would result though, maybe very wet. Other than that, all else was classic SSS flog work, with enough grassy verges to save the knees of the Vets - and the ankles of 'The Grey Ghost'. The lonely pot looks to me like checkpoint #1, where sober souls emerging from the Sanctuary, and having to bag #21, declared god was at 14 and number one could get stuffed. Those working home from the west (via 5,4,14) could bail to 23 or take the hot towels at the Sanctuary if they had time. Number one didn't figure here either. The only other 'outlier' might have been #6, with all others getting their fair share of 'insert and ye shall prosper'.

The weather began warmly with storms threatening, but nothing other than a few spots eventuated. Later runners enjoyed a cooler outing as well as closer parking. All seemed to work as it should, with another excellent WHO team effort on show. The roll up looked reasonable in the 170/180 area, and a contrast to a suprisingly low turn out at Ian's Manly event the week before (weather a factor?). I guess we will see a return to record territory next week as we get back harbourside at Kirribilli. Let's hope so, as this is always a cracker - and a great draw card for any visiting runners to this great city (spread the word). 'Hot' Rod Eckles will have the stove pipes on at Bradfield Park and promises an event that 'will stop the nation'!! Well, we know what you mean Rod. Sydney on show, dinner with Quentin Bryce, Luna Park just for fun, Harry's Park - all to be enjoyed at one of the greatest and most scenic SSS venues. Join Rod (and Elvis) as we go all funny in our runners at Luna. It's bound to be a sensation.

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