Thursday, November 22, 2012


So, on a perfect Sydney evening, a large crowd of 226 invited and formally dressed guests gathered under the marquee to witness the joining of hands (and checkpoints), and the beeping of dibbers. Master of Ceremonies, Duncan Currie (aka 'The Watering Can'), had been in a thrall all week, swooning almost, over the 19 year old Miss (Sylvia) 'Path', and wanted to bring her poetry to all of us, to sprinkle us with poetry, to shower us with poetry - and poetry is what we got. Poetry of the 'puff' at last night's biggie at Hunters Hill.

And what a biggie it was. With 226 entries, and at least another 20 strappers and handlers noted in the mounting yard, this has been our biggest outing to date in season twenty two. And for good reason. The word had been put about that 'The Dunk' would put up something arty-farty, and last night's 'culture-O' was the result. Art and sport! What a combination.

Entry tickets were rewarded with a landscape programme in 1:7,500 scale that featured thirty short works. There was a sense of good scoring available too all patrons, with a chance to see areas not previously visited. It looked 600. But then, as the lights dimmed and Contour Kate made her way to the stage, doubts formed. A big claim might need four wheel drive. Look at effort needed to bag #21/20, #30, 23, 28 etc. Number 19, mmmmm, maybe 'The Can' had created a classic flog that just looked easy!

And so, after canapes and champers on the lawn, the guests finished pouring over their song sheets, and decided a bold recital was in order. Time to put young Dunk to the test. Many liked the Patriotic beginning to #27, and were regularly applauded by those in the front stalls. Others, flew gamely passed the wasp nest gate, and tackled the hill to #7 and points beyond - feeling their lungs heave much like Lisa Gasteen would singing Wagner. Still others, seeking a more modest beginning and a chance to improve their education, slipped quietly away south into the school buildings to #1 and 15. These were, perhaps, the counter tenors - and those in the early stages of their singing careers. All good options of course, and all routes that led from harbourside to harbourside in swooping fashion, down and up, down and up again, rather like the baton of Richard Bonynge conducting Donizetti.

Most liked the look of the westerly grouping of 18,22,19,9 and factored this into plans - with most of the Flash Harry's doing this on the outward journey. Number 18, yes, bus seat, number 22, yep, path junction... now just nip down to #19...and down, and further down, and still further down. This was a classic, and a great viewpoint, but what a slog back up. Such was the sobriety of the ascent, that many plans were rehatched - and thoughts of Chris Brown's flattest route wafted the cortex. Those that subsequently went shy of the dropsey, avoiding #28 for instance, made a mistake however, as the climbs to other road ends were mostly less less severe. For those that began in the west, and had their brains discombobulated, Duncan had played his master card.

The wasp gate start looked like a beginning in two parts. Those that worked up and then stayed up - maybe linking 7,12,11,8,25 and a clockwise claim - and those that flogged hard up to #7 and #12, and then let all the height go on the fifty point slippery dip to #21 and #20. They then reversed engines and reclaimed height, feeling calves and quads, amid new levels of deep breathing - and hoping Wazza or Kate Blanchett would have a lemonade stand available to restore hydration. All these easterly bound starters had yet to experience Miss 19, but those that claimed at #20 would have registered the effort needed, and might have thought "I'll just enjoy the old houses and points along the top streets thank-you very much".

Given the biggies down low, many looked to avoid the distractions that often came in pairs. As with the 21/20 collect, numbers 4 and 17 needed commitment, as did the duo on the other side - #2 and #13 (Burton's 'Ale' left off the latter in his nicely timed 570pt 44.56 run). Number 26 added a nice thirty to the fun around #29,14,5 and had many fans - as did the nice swoop to 23/16. The central spine offered nice lollies, with #24/25 adding to the quality of the reading for those in the cheap seats. All in all, some nice thinking, and some nice scoring combo's. Of interest is all stations guru, Glenny 'The Home Movie' Horrocks, beginning with the education offer (#1,15) and continuing over to 18,22,19 before a anti clockwise circuit and a big screen in/out finish to #27. PP would have thought going Larry to #1 might have been a better ending - and one that might have saved him the fifteen second 'drubbing' he received at the hands of the King!

So in summary, a great course, a classical concert for Oboe, Runners and T shirt, and one that enabled Pork Pie to meander into a fantasy world of art, poetry and the choices one must make when the James Squire runs out. (Perhaps he needs to see a doctor).

Well, how did the audience perform? And did we see any upsets in the dress circle?

Using the opera glasses to scan the results board, we see our stars once again are 'on fire'! Nina 'The Mayor' Sartoretti with 290 in SJW speaking for all the juniors (no JW again), Wendy and Mary (540/530) looking good in OW/MW, Paula's 450 and Karin's 390 taking ribbon in the vets, 'Brian's Knee' and Margaret 'It's My Melancholy Duty' Waugh sharing the Legends with 300 apiece - and Sue Thomson claiming again in the Immortals with the same score. 'The Paving Stone' rounds out our W stars by going ten better in WaW. All great wins, and generally well clear of the next best - 'The Bus' twenty up on Gill in OW for instance.

In the blokes, Toby Wilson takes a tenner from Aidan (480/470) to take the photo in the subs, while Matty Hill wins with 470 in the regular Juniors. Steve Ryan once again outpaced his rivals, but will regret stopping for coffee in his 600 all stops flog that went three seconds over! The Masters are as mentioned above, and exceptional work from the Garingal stars. 'Bert & Ernie' just held on in the vets, with Greg Barbour only ten behind the Coogee king (570/560). Neil seems out on his own in the supers, as does The Flickster in the legends - their 510/500 flogs invoking awe amongst peers (that hope they might see the need for long Christmas holidays). Heiko's 430 (IM) and Mel's 360 (WaM) round off the table - much as expected.

Looking as we do for other interesting tit bits, you will enjoy - Larry 'The Wet Suit' Weiss visiting #6 twice (...29,6,30,10,6,25...!!), our most popular score being 350 (20 poetry students all in a line), and 'St' Christophe 'Medal' Capel timing his 430 point OM run to perfection - kissing the coin on the finish line as the beepometer registered exactly 45 minutes! No one-second under close calls this time, but Neil Hawthorne managed to drop a tenner in his SVM 45.01 post (cruel, cruel), and Carolyn 'Chocolates' Haupt 'enjoyed the soft centre' of a two second penalty in MW.

In the 600 club, we have the MM/OM stars mentioned, but note also Andy Hill dropping ten and Mark Schaefer twenty after their all stations outings. We also have another trio of music lovers that like to stay through the whole Ring Cycle, so lets hear it for Mike 'Stock Feed' Ridley-Smith (-160 for 440pts), Lee 'Wild Bill' Coady (-170 for 430pts) and 'The Reverend' Andy Goddard with his minus 260 penance and 340 result. Excellent work from these three commuters - riding the Tangara to the end of the line.

No actual minus scores this week, with Angus '& Robertson' & Heidi's 90 holding off from Ben, Celine, 'Titanic', Jos and Carys enjoying an hour in their stretch for a 40 point post and honourable last place. A good bunch of group bookings for the reading this week, with everything from a top post by Mike & Annalisa (470pts) to the generally more modest scorings often a feature of our groupies - the 'Holly Bushes' 210 being a good example.

Others to take the critics eye include Lorenzo 'The Oil' Calabro, down from the Toohey Forest club in Brisbane and posting a respectable 520 in OM, and Sue Clark (sadly without Ceasar) also down from Queensland on a rare visit, and working back into SSS fun with 340 in the Supers - great to see one of our earliest competitors and series supporters back with us again. Jimmy and 'The Glove' both walked for 330 posts, a category in which we also find Kenny 'The Thunderbox' Jacobson (280). Not sure why IM star KJ is on the heel and toe, maybe an injury. In the 'ten past the hour' department, lets seek the autographs from Dennis 'The Kauri Mast' Sparling (210 trees down for Captain Cook's Endeavor), Fawne 'The Bookshop' Berkutow (a 310 page thriller with water stains and lower corner creases), Helen 'Not The Coal Leases' McDonald (410 hectares of prime grazing country), and Graeme 'Play It' McLeod (said Bob Dylan at the famous Manchester concert in 1965) with a net 510 after taking too long to leave the stage. Again, excellent scoring from these beasts from the bush - and stars of the greatest show on earth.

We have seen the above workers slipping into their desks ten minutes late - and hoping the boss wouldn't notice, so let's look at the other end of the day, the ones dashing off early - possibly to attend to a circumcision or the funeral of Aunty Dolcie. Hands together for Michael 'Darling Harbour' Brereton  (290 food outlets in SVM), Lisa 'The Chandelier' Lampe (390 standing on the VW ladder), Anthony 'Armstrong Jones' Petterson (490 shots with the Hassleblad in MM), and Steve 'O' with 590 in OM. Hey, we've already mentioned 'The Hangman'. What's going on!

As I often say, there are many more tales to be told, but Pork Pie is a bit short of breath - and hopes to sneak home during the interval for a little brandy.

Great event Duncan, great fun and our biggest to date. What a blast - and I haven't even mentioned the unique history lesson! I didn't realise the 'Patriots Walk' was actually the 'Three Patriots Walk' in honour of Sir George (obviously the inventor of the SSS scoring 'dibber'), Charles 'The Frenchman' and Angelo Tornaghi (or Torn Hamstring to his mates). Also, fascinating to read about the school and the aluminium buildings, and the recreation ground on the spot in earlier times. Great stuff, and nice to read it survived the threat of demolition. What a spot, and what a place to gather for our poetry reading - and to learn of Miss Path, where, from her large estate, she learned the refinements of course setting and an interest in the arts.

The Sydney Summer Series - brain food for the thinking runner!

Now, next week sees the SSS debut of the Uringa club with a nice flog out west at Concord. Rooted Ron Oval is well remembered, with plenty of parking and nice grassy stuff to help legs and feet ease into their work. The mapped area takes in some upper harbour running where views and the sniff of mangrove add to the experience. Helen 'Ding Library' Murphy will have books for, cakes for sale! as they raise money for the Zonta Club (birthing kit for developing countries project). There will also be raffle tickets and other goodies for sale as our UR cousins support this worthwhile project. Make sure you bring a few spare coppers for the yummies - or consider a very large donation! All this and a great SSS run to boot. Make it a date with a difference as we move smoothly, and with minimal arm movements, from event eight to event nine.

Hard to believe we are having this much fun!    



The Kincumber Kid said...

How come that Pork Pie can spruik his comments with authoritity before correct weight has been declared by the stewards?

the unknown runner said...

Duncan set a great course and another good blog by MR PP

Also Ran said...

He has secret inside information, a bit like Damien Oliver.

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