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.


Fly on the Wall said...

Some tricky spots on this map and they certainly tripped me up, reducing a likely 410 to 350. The high fence on the S side of the cemetery is not easy to read when in full cry (cutting off a short route from 27-6), and the creek flowing meant no 29-19 shortcut either. All added time and meant I was 3 mins late. Went 2-23-14-4-5-25-26-10-16-27-6-20-9-30-28-7-8-29-24 for 380 gross. Intended to go 7-8-3-29-19-24 but should have gone 7-18-19-24 with time running out and minimised losses. That was 8km which is pretty much my upper limit. Had a bizarre experience midway from 26 to 10. Two mean-looking dogs - a staffy and a kelpie - raced out of a labourer's yard and ran with me, wrestling each other continually, until I crossed the N-S road just before 20. Then, just as quickly, they were gone - perhaps sniffing out Mr Burton's incursion into the red zone ! All good preparation for the hills that will butcher us in the next 3 weeks.

High Horse said...

Just wondering if more can be done to improve SI device placement. For example, it would be good if devices were secured tightly to their attachment points, with the SI insertion slot facing outwards, at a level somewhere between waist and chest height. This would allow for easy, on-the-run dipping of the SI stick and minimise fumbling and delays. The best example so far this season (where the placements were consistently perfect) was the Uringa event at Canada Bay.

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