Thursday, February 23, 2012


Unbeknown to most Tania Park flogsters last night, a late evening police operation near controls #2/29, had a miraculous outcome for our winning runner, Richard 'The Chain Gang' Green. King Dick's fantastic 570 point win, included taking just two seconds between the two affected controls! Well, we know Richard can get a hurry on when the summer series grass tickles his nostrils, but two seconds! Let me explain.

The King was a reasonably late starter. Enthusiastic Bennelong control collector Phil 'The Dill' Harding was an early starter. Sounds like a good story coming up.

As Porkie understands it, Phil had driven to checkpoint #5 in readiness to commence putting potty's thereabouts to bed at 7.30pm, when he was surrounded with cops staking out something nearby. Although it was before the notional pick up time of 7.30, they advised him to collect the pots and get away from the site asap, so PH did just that, hoping no one was down there. Unfortunately Richard was. Working an anti-clockwise circuit he had the Ferrari running freely and was enjoying the wind in the beard. He dropped through the gears to #25, worked a left/right combination, but couldn't find #2, ran on east, and then couldn't find #29. Shaping new curses and practicing strangling motions, he ripped on up the path to #5, where he came upon 'Hardyards' with controls and flags in hand. Ping, ping goes the Si Stick and the King bags the missing forty in two seconds!

An amazing story, and unique in SSS history. Apparently the Blue were most interested in Phil's map and what we were all up to. A new club perhaps. Blue-O.

So, after all this dramatic stuff, let's get back to the event itself and evaluate the work of Joel 'The Putter' Putnam as he worked a cruel magic on the Crater Cove colts and filly's - not to mention the older horses whose knees go click in the night.

Starting from Tania Park is always a buzz because of the great views on offer. One of our all time best O tourist spots, but one with a sting in the tail. This is because of the inevitable drop to the sea seeking thirty pointers and the accompanying pant and gasp back up the hill to the finish flag. And what hills they are, with about 90 metres to consider from forty baskets to the check out, the puff-O-metre would need to be rinsed and wiped and kept very handy. Joel likes the hum of the hamstring, and came up with a course that could see the legs being punished on not just one down and back climb, but two! Dubbing young Joel 'Mr puff-O-metre' would not be putting too finer point on it.

But let's start at the arrival platform. Busy shunting engines milled about, as card carrying seniors elbowed their way to the registration desk - and another sublime BNO graphics display. Control descriptions with coloured borders anyone? Yes please was the word as bottoms settled on rock and seat and the chew began.

The presentation appeared much like a summer dress, billowing around a small waist 1950's style. It looked tight, with the many track controls (and their slower speeds) suggesting low fives. All the more impressive then, to see Richard post 570, with Steve 'The Sandal' Ryan running the same total but copping minus ten for being three (!!) seconds over. Oh, cruel world.

So, a good spread in all directions was the offer. The dropseys were to the north around Forty Baskets, and to the south west to our crime scene at 29 and 2. Sadly for the runners in nappy's, most of the 30 pointers were scattered around the periphery, with only 23,30 and perhaps 21 being getable for our flat earth friends. As some compensation, there were a goodly scatter of twenty's in flatter territory to make some amends.

There were several exit points, almost to all points of the compass. 9,4,18 was a good start to the east and north, where 13 in-out and dropping to 'togs off' (27,19,24,28) made better sense than the long bus ride via #13 to #1. Going 15,26 (or 15,3,26) worked equally well for the southern stars. Others ran 12,30 to begin, while even the 12,9,4 start had takers. In the south the cop drop (5,29,2) probably only suited the Flash Harry's, with 5,7,25 making more sense, but another thirty being needed in compensation for the delicious but foregone 'between track bends'. Where to secure it was the question, with maybe a loop from 11 to 6,22,14,10,23,30 working. This looked a lot longer and may have sucked time. Especially if involving the trap of #10. A toughie on the brow of a ridge - much like a sun spot on an Roman nose. A few reported difficulties there - and all for a ten pointer. Never a good idea, as Driver Dan found to his regret.

One of the more adventurous routes was from 'The Trouser' (LM John Anderson), who worked the 12,9,4 beginning before taking the 'Yellow' Train down to the road end, going in/out 28, circling to 8,14,22,6, climbing back to 23,30,17, before dropping to 21,25 and climbing (again) home via 20,26,3 for ten over and a 350. Mr T likes to get his money's worth and is running in brutal style. The old Piglet didn't 'see' the yellow route mentioned here, but heard that young Duncan and Dan both caught an uphill cable car here, and found it slow and damp going. Sadly for 'Basketball', against the clock, and contributing to his timing into the early 50's (a period The Piester remembers well, and suddenly has found voice with a loud rendition of 'The Yellow Rose of Texas' startling the neighbours).

Lots worked around the 12,30,17,11,23 area, but had to add a pleat in the skirt somehow. Going to the lookouts at 15 and 4 were nice adds here, while the more demanding loop of 21,25,7,5,20,26 would have suited those wanting more Tabasco in their LLB than the more widespread eastern track adds. If we have to probe the lonely pot undergarments, I'd guess #1 might have gone home alone. The lower Reefs circuit would have been too tempting, with in/out to 13 being easy peasy here and rendering our solo digit the seat that few sat on.

One point I should make, was how clearly sited were the checkpoints. Nice to see the O flags deployed, and things being where they were meant to be (maybe #11 on the ground was the exception that proves the rule). Good fine scale cartography here as well. Seemingly more detail than we usually get on a 1:10,000.

So, a great evening, a great location, and a course that had many options. I think around 180 ponies fronted the barrier and took home a 570 or a 10, or something in between. No minus scores last night I notice. Mmmmm, where's the editorial fun in that!

We have mentioned our top dogeroonies from Garingal going high fives. Other goodies noted by the man in the silk tie, are; veteran Mike 'Rophone' Burton with 530 after copping a five, The 'Quill' also on 530, Timmy & Tommy going 520, Mal 'The Paddlepop' Bradley and Junior flyer, Matty Hill holding 510's, to a bunch of fives - including Wendy, the 'Dowle Joint', Kar-Soon 'When I Pay Off The Bus' Lim and Simon 'The Duke Of Gloucester' Williams.

Cath 'Port' Chalmers was our first MW home (420), ten up from younger Open class filly's Lisa 'The Napier Earthquake' Grant and 'Point' Claire Winnick. Graeme Hill and Gordon scored 100's with 400 apiece in SVM's, and no doubt enjoying the absence of 'Robert Falcon Scott' Selby and Eoin 'The Rothbury Estate'. Not sure why ER was AWOL. Hilary '& Tensing' piled on 320 to take the SVW prize (CJ in NZ I think), with Bryony still holding the LW trophy (a 270 post and home 7 under) despite being 'chesty'. I think we know what you mean Bryony. Sue Thomson might have gone into 'contour love' mode and regretted it, carding a relatively modest 160.

280 looks like our most popular score with 14 nags posting. We only had one score at the top, and also only one at the bottom (Peter & Isabella out for 57 and a ten point post). Graham 'Sandwich' Horrocks looks like he gets the night out with Jamie Oliver prize for being on the course the longest. Gray enjoyed nearly 63 minutes of innocent fun, pinging the beeping robot multiple times and still putting up 150 marks on the Lunch Specials board. I didn't get to see son Glenn's route, but his full sweep cost him 120, giving currency to my early fears. Many other great scores, good scores and plain old ordinary scores will be found when results are posted. But as they say, it's the thought that counts.

A great night. Thanks Joel and all in Hong Kong. And not to forget the Bennelong crew. We loved it.

Next Wednesday, sees us moving back to Gladesville and the area around Buffalo Creek. Karin 'Off Patent' Hefftner has us trying new medications, and beginning from a new park (Westminster - just near the houses of parliament), that should create a different take on the area. The bush areas below the Field of Mars Cemetery will add to the fun, as will Boronia Park if we get down that far. Karin & Larry's previous outing at Boronia long lives in the memory, so we are eager to see how they have turned the thumb screws this time. Don't miss this, and a very near-by post race dinner at the Hunters Hill Hotel. The Sydney Summer Series - we look after the 'whole' person, not just the athlete.

While I'm also in promo mode, please put down that cold Guiness pie and make a note to come along to next Monday's Sprint event at Macquarie Hospital (North Ryde). This is a brand new map at 1:4,000 scale by the two Amigo's Rosscoe & Jim 'Norths Or Nobody' Merchant. My very own event, and one promising plenty of intricate fun amongst the building mix on this spread out medical campus. Great running, with plenty of cunning. Come and see how Pork Pie plays with the mind as you head north, south, east and west - often all at the same time! Close parking,and undercover shelter in the (rare!) event of inclemency. Make it a date.


Fly on the Wall said...

Another cracking course from Joel Puffnam. Great to see the controls in full view just about everywhere. I went 3-15-26-20-30-23-6-22-14-8-16-28-24-19-27-13-18-4-9-12 for 410 nett in 45m31s. That was 7.2km and about 40 contours. With the bowling club to the south of 30 this year designated as OOB it forced a rethink to my initial plan. Curiously, going 3-15-26-20-5-7-25-21-30-23-10-28 then the rest yielded the same points and the same distance but a few extra contours. Just a beautiful part of the world for a run.

Alonso said...

A brilliant course! Sadly I took a very steep route. I started off 3, 15, 26 then round to 25, 21 then up to 30, 23, 10, and rather stupidly going down to sea level for 28, 24, then uphill getting 1 and 4. I was back 6 minutes late! Still a great course by Joel. I loved the view at 15 and the easy-to-find markers. Looking forward to next week!

Previous News