Thursday, October 25, 2012


Without so much as a nod to the 'soft weather' from the homeland, the Sydney Summer Series caravan found another perfect spring afternoon at which to tarry over a pint or two, and enjoy the calling from the land of poets. The Bennelong crew, masquerading as the Tullamore Orienteering Club, put up a classic evening on the medicine in a magic area of Sydney - mystically transported from Eire, probably by a man with a long beard many moons ago.

Chief BNO harpist, Darren 'Oh Danny Boy' Slattery had the large gathering enthralled as he sang the well known Irish ballad beneath the waving green flags... and collected the dosh. And a large gathering it was too, with 187 entries and around another twenty groupies to nudge us once more over the two tons. Good work Syd er nee. We know how to party.

So, let's go behind the scenes at Killarney Heights, and its recreation of an Irish haven, and analyse event four in the race of the century.

As I mentioned, another nice evening - for which blessings Father. Then, the new Killarney location adjacent to the 'going down of the sun', gave us a fabulous parking/assembly area facility that opened up the north of the map to runners that may not have made it here from the smaller Starkey Street starts of prior years. That winning combo - nice weather, and new territory!

The Banjo bought another well branded BN map in landscape format with nice borders. The War Memorial Park yellow occupied the north west, with the similarly coloured 'Starkers' in the lower centre. The streets of old Ireland weaved around, many declining to join their neighbours and opting for cul-de-sac intimacy. Bate Creek was a horizontal slash in the middle and to the east, where it teamed up with the green fields of Galway before emptying into the Irish Sea, errr, Middle Harbour. All in all a vision splendid, with a full hand sweep of controls across the area and a touch of contour to add sobriety to expectations.

First thoughts went to the attractive sweep to the west and south, where six or seven of the thirty pointers could be bagged in a delicate swan dive with pirouette. Another route involved a touch of Forestville shopping, linking the initial tenner to 12,29,2,28 and the bush track work to 26,13 and 14. Reports are of good running here, although #13 was at the maps lowest point, and probably was for those horses that hadn't argued with Gai Waterhouse that morning.

Beginning then to 11 or 20(11) found many fans, and was probably the route of choice as you beeped your way along from 27 to 15, along Ballyshannon to 24, up Finian to 5, 25 and along Wicklow to16 to a bit of Starkers and clock quandry. The decision at #16 to return high to #18 or to run low there was a nice mini route choice experience. 'The Christmas Tree' went back high, but couldn't be drawn into the cool embrace of #6, despite its proximity to those flying by. This ten pointer was an in-out offering that could work from top or bottom, but probably got ignored by both in favour of the delicious 16,18,21,7,22 collection. Most three and above runners could make it to the 18/21 area, as did Jimmy Merchant (walking 5.2 klms for his tidy 330), before deciding on a return pattern. Those with a few Kilkenny's on board, worked the broad gauge track further east from 21, to bag 17,8,23 before returning to the cricket nets at 22 and the dipsey work to 30/19.

One story I like to relate is from Jeremy 'Long Drop Lodge' Longworth, who had flouro textered a southerly circuit onto his map, but changed his mind at the starting gun and went north! The Summer Series has that effect sometimes, and for Jezza, a tidy 390 resulted for the Veterans decision to go clockwise. I suspect the 'green' pots around Bate Creek would have appealed more to the full bag crew, although more work in the bush and on bush tracks is something we are all hoping to see more of where an area can oblige. Jeremy reports the tracks in the 26/13 area were great running.

Given the northern circuit alluded to, and the large following for the west/south novel by Brendan Behan, I suspect checkpoint #1 might have been our lonely pot, although #9 along Londonderry Drive also fell a little outside the south circuit - unless you were working up from the creek at #14 and were going 14,9,23,8 etc. I think I'll stick with number one.

So, the spread of flags (nice and clear Darren) looked like it might go close to a 600 evening, with maybe the contour work up from the creek being the tick tock factor. Therefore it is pleasing to report that Glenn Horrocks put up a full board in just over 44. A sensational run from the Masters star, and one over his Open rival winners Mark and Steve with their 560's. No one else was close, with scores falling back to the low fives and high fours fairly quickly. Veteran Timmy Rogers 'And Hammerstein', singing Oklahoma for his tidy 540 (in a confusion of US desert and Irish streets) was the best of the other classes.

Perhaps we will have a quick look at other winners, and then delve into a few more scores from PP's random sampling machine.

The subs are on fire, with 'The Jug' putting up 420 (!!) in SJM to outshine his JM counterpart (Jay Seeho with 340). The W's were closer with Nina claiming 330 in JW to 'The Shunters' 310 in SJW. Open Women saw a sensational run by Catherine 'Parr' Murphy for 520 to hold Henry's hand from rivals Wendy (510) and Lisa 'Jane Seymore' Grant and her demure 510. The Masters saw a dead heat with Alison 'In Detention' Curtin and Mary Fein working the peat fields for 450's. Take ten off and whatta ya get... Paula from the Finnish forests with 440 in VW, claiming from Karin's well compiled 370. Dale Thommo put on 360 in the SVW's, Margaret 'Bankstown Oval' Waugh and Gail posted 260's in the Legend Women and Sue went ten better in the Immortals. 'The Paving Stone' completes the ladies stand call with 300 walking. Pretty good stuff Michelle, and not far off Jimmy's 330 in the walking blokes.

The missing men's winners are Neil 'Seven Up' Hawthorne with an excellent 500 in the Supers, Stevie 'Nicks' Flick with 420 in the Legends and a couple of 300's in the Immortal Gents - Heiko copping 100 for being ten minutes late ordering the Guinness, and a top run from Brian 'The Life Of' Cleland with no such time misdemeanors.

I also note last weeks star Lee 'Enfield Rifle' Coady, went one better last night, putting in 63 minutes plus for his full bag - but has to give up the time on course badge to new champion, Ian 'The Holey Dollar' McKenzie, walking 600 in 98.54!! Ian' sensational evening of Irish enjoyment bought a frown from the finish machine however, copping him minus 540 and the sixty left over hardly enough for a pot. Great work Ian, nice to see you working the score sheet from the bottom end.

Now, some other Summer Series stars - perhaps ones yet to receive large contracts from the Downpatrick Football Club - but stars to us all the same. In no particular order, we note Katrin van der Spiegel 'Tent' thrilling the crowd in her brightly costume for 380(OW), Michael 'The Detective' Ridley-Smith teasing and twirling his moustache mid course as he deduced the checkpoint clues in this Blarney murder mystery (430 OM), Kim 'Mt Hotham' Welinski working the powder for 410 (VM), Amy 'Victoria, The Garden State' Harmer going 370 with the trowel in OW, and Louise 'So' Brierty staying on the lemon, lime and bitters in the back bar for 360 (MW).

Pork Pie is warming to his work here, but must note long time SSS superstar, 'Mona' Lisa Lampe, posing for the crowd, enigmatically, for 260 well complied points in a guilt frame. Continuing; how about Lynn 'Don't' Stanway working the elbows and scattering rivals for 330 in the Vets, Jimmy 'President' Carter working 300 rows of peanuts in SVM, 'Heartthrob' Bob Morgan signing autographs as fans (thinking he was Elvis) cried 'more, more, more' (340 VM), Bradley Klose 'Shave' wondering aloud as he lathered up in front of the mirror if he should really be a Crescent (380 OM), and finally, Mark 'The Bible' Hill satisfying the legend with a score that included two fours (440 OM). This is good scoring from The Bible, and Pork Pie will now institute coverage with a 'buy' rating.

All great supporters of the series, and scoring like there is no tomorrow. We salute you all - but offer no solution as to how you explain these strange afternoons betwixt pavement and grass verge to your grannies. I should also note it was great to see Michael 'The Torturer' Halmy helping out at the desk and looking in good shape. Michael has given us some of our toughest assignments over recent years and hopefully might be back on the joggerooney soon. Also, while thinking of other SSS stars, I'd like to say a cheer from the Pork Pie desk to Michael Free 'Dom Furniture' and hope he is well, or getting well. Your many fans join me in this howdy from the commentary position (with chewed pencil and single malt nearby).

So, that's the wrap of SSS event four. A top area and beautifully clear map, a well set flog by 'The Slatts' and his BN support crew, and some excellent scoring amongst the large throng of tourists - keen to sniff the mists of old Ireland and remember the Titanic and her last port of call over a pint. What a beauty, what a night....another round Dan???

Now, next week sees us return to a favourite inner west location - Glebe Point. This is classic inner city stuff with great harbour foreshore running, parks and historic streetscapes - not forgetting the Sydney Tram line, enough reason alone to take the map in hand and wonder (maybe even a drool) at the curving brick arches. Warwick 'The Bathroom Air Freshener' Selby is our partner in crime here and has thrown a wide net across the suburb in his setting plan. I'm sure we can expect some puzzling street/laneway/stairway options as well as the pots with views so characteristic of the area. Wazza will be parked at Jubilee Oval Pavilion, pretending he is opening the batting, and is looking forward to a large turn out as he goes in at first drop. Forget The Don, this might just be your night to crack a boundary. Plenty of pubs and restaurants for post run post mortems - and perhaps a double helping of pudding. Join us as we run the fabulous flat and fast Blackwattle Bay.  



the unknown runner said...

Top of the morning to Darren S,a good course with plenty of route choice. I headed down S to 18&21 then went to 17&23 which was probably a mistake 9-14-30 was probably a better route for a ploder like myself. Another great blog by PP.

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