Thursday, October 11, 2012


In an outstanding performance before a crowd numbering in their thousands, Richard 'The Old Home Town Looks The Same' Green claimed the reddies at last night's Summer Series event at North Harbour. Richard, looking more like Tom Jones every day, monstered the tough offering from Bennelong's Pierre 'The Baguette' Francois, as he flew the upsey/downsey course, singing 550 points (loudly) into the finish microphone to pip Steve 'Canola Shoes' Ryan by a tenner.

These two scores, and those of fellow five hundred card sharps Glenn 'The Hampster' Horrocks (530) and Andy Hill (510) belied the low scoring nature of most other runners, with the white board postings being heavily weighted towards the western side and the 'popular' 200/300 columns. Tough stuff indeed, but a beautiful Sydney evening, a great roll up, and a great and scenic area to dampen the Tee at.

Let's take a closer look at Forty Baskets, and the work of Pierre, over a nice burgundy.

Firstly, great to be back at North Harbour on such a nice evening. Good grassy assembly area with a yummy small cafe adjacent (called Forty Beans I think) - still open for the early arrivals who like a Latte before they run. I also note with amusement the steep rock faces behind the sign in desk where adventurous five year olds teetered and nervous grandmothers mentally practiced old bandaging skills.

So, plonking down the dosh, competitors received a landscape map and vertical clue sheet - which included the words 'Good Luck!' at the foot. Note the exclamation mark. Maybe a portent of things to come, as first impressions were of a very spread offering - in two parts much as correspondent Pork Chop had predicted. It didn't look anything like a 600, with many wondering if they had enough fuel to even get to the halfway mark. Many didn't of course, which highlights even more the magnificent running of our gang of four (who could have been dubbed the Maoists but for the absence of a Madame Mao amongst them).

Pierre had a great spread along to Manly Cove, with a new bit of mapping taking runners almost into the Corso, and a few coldies while you were there. Six of the thirty pointers were scattered along this narrow but contour packed strip, including the tempters at the Aquarium (24) and number 21 at the eastern park. The other side of the equation was the more widely spread offering around to Forty Baskets Beach and points up close to Tania Park and on a loop to the west. This half was much more spread, with perhaps the 100 points around the close in bush/beach the only ones figuring, and most of the rest left for the Roy Orbison's.

Starting patterns were mainly north to #10 and the Manly flog, or south up to the bridge at 14 and the aforementioned bush/beach circle. With the Manly beginnings, several also began their intentions by bagging the nice twenty over the small watercourse at #17. The Manly points could be reasonably well looped with either a high departure or finish on the cards. Competitors chewed their pencils in indecision, with more settling for the low start perhaps. For these lowies, 15 interrupted the flat flog and several called in here on the way back from 22 - some by ignoring the high grouping of 2,26,7, others by the dreaded 'Larry' method of in-out and a bit more contour burning to bag them. Starting high (say 17,7,26,2) got the puff in early and made for a nicer trip home along the sensational foreshore path.

The southerners slapped the Volleys purposefully up to the great little footbridge at #14 before the nice loop on bush tracks to 3,16 and 20 - and up to 25, or for those with more petrol, along the beach and the baskets to a stiff climb to #30 and maybe even #23 and a wide clockwise circuit to the west. Lots of running here, but a nice loop if you ignored #8 - as 'Handy' Andy did.

Glenny began south, going 14,8,3,16,20,25,30,23,1 before working the west and a high attack to the Manly sausage. The lot bagged in 51.45, but this time ceding to King Dick's more disciplined plan. Many runners worked Manly and crossed the finishing paddock with minutes to spare. This explained the considerable numbers who ripped to fourteen to bag a final twenty, hopefully in two deeply puffed minutes, although some reported a three. Those not quite so due, enjoyed the 14,3,16 loop and added the 20,25 bundle after contacting Telstra to be reminded what plan they were on.

As I have mentioned, some beautiful scenery on offer. The views from #11 and all the way round to Manly past Fairlight and Delwood beaches was top stuff, with perhaps a highlight, the vista as you burst out of the path from #12 and gazed at the full glory of this part of Sydney Harbour. Stunning stuff. And how about the gratis entry to the Sydney Dog Show! More puppies and (especially) poodles here than on any previous Summer Series event. Correspondent Pie Face can also report our new Open Class challenger, Wendy 'St Bernard' Stevenson, was attacked by a Chihuahua as she flew between the poopsters and their handlers. Fairlight/Manly must be the doggie capital of the country.

So then, a good night for a run, a tough and spread offering from Pierre, but some great views in compensation. Looks like a good roll up in the 170/180 area, with President Paul working the hire stick booth to good effect, and O brochures and the famous 'yellow' SSS programme sheet finding new homes.

Although not noting too many scores, it looked like a log jam in the high 200's and low 300's, with a pile up (reported by Vic Laruso) also at 360 (I'm toying with 'coming full circle', but I wont). I didn't see The bus's score, but note Lisa 'Sprint The Bays' Grant was on fire for 440 in OW, and Mary Fein not far behind with an excellent 420. Our nuns, Catherine & Clare, put up 410's to give punters that like a wager at good odds something to back this carnival. Malcolm pushed the BSA past 440, 'The Ink Bottle' went ten better, and 'The Gunner' another ten. It was raining ten's at the pointy end until Tom 'The Joss Stick' Joss lit a sandalwood number and burst on by twenty - to a rather yummy 480.

Wazza Selby put on 360, but at some cost - with a knee injury flaring badly. Not good to see, but we hope regular application of a suitable balm whilst holding the knee in the pike position might help restore things for one of the Series's favourite sons. Captain Jamie 'Ask Not...' Kennedy was a 360, as was Larry - no doubt in such good form because his Boags courier had delivered! Mel 'George' Cox was noted running uphill to #14, and found 330 more; whilst Karen cleared 330, but no more. This 330 area was well populated, with another beautiful bit of blue marker on white board work at this score by Clare Murphy. Helen was noted in the UR colours, but 'Uneven Ground' was missing north - watch house keys in hand.

Another couple of reports: 'Watering' Duncan Currie had the hose running on the vegie patch (supervised by Uncle Ronnie), but was called in for tea at exactly one minute and one second over! Dunk's 290 was still a credible post in the Sub's, but one second! - one second. The cruelty of the dibber and the reminder of that lost moment contained, glaringly, in the print out. Nightmares are made of this. From the other end of the age spectrum, it's good to see Mal 'Dives' Gledhill back from his travels and mixing things with brother Lloyd, and Heiko 'The Clock' Schaefer in the new Immortals category.  Not sure of the Gled routes or scoring, but The Clock ran a 380 loop to have competitors lost in admiration - before revealing no watch (or was it a bung watch?) and a plus nine return (net 290). Still a goodie and it could result in a nice ton on the barbie for HS.

All will be revealed shortly, as we chase the score tallies at Be patient my pretty's.

Now next week sees us back to another favourite area, Kirribilli, but this time with a twist - your summer series event comes cheek-by-jowl to the Ensemble Theatre - so you can enjoy the double whammy! A run and a show. What could be better! - well maybe better parking. Be warned, this assembly point is almost a parking free zone, so please if at all possible come by public transport. The Milsons Point train station is very close. Anyway, the real come on with the McDougal Street start is that it has given setter Dan 'The Beast' Dohle an opportunity to punt a few potterooonies around to Kurraba Point - not normally reachable from our more usual bridge pylon starts. Expect to see the Lions Den exploit this extension, and I suspect, to also deploy a bit of fun in the confusing street alignments in this great area. Fantastic views once again as we puff up the pecks and flog the hairpiece at event three in season 22. As well as the theatre option apres O, also note the great array of restaurants and cafe's close by - not forgetting The Kirribilli Hotel, where a simple man might find some comfort with 'Miss' Carlton. Don't miss race three folks. It will be a cracker. 


1 comment:

the unknown runner said...

I agree with PP a good course but hard. If your a shuffler ,like me, low 300s were the order of the day.Most people I spoke to just ran the north half of the map.

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