Thursday, November 29, 2012


Helen 'Of Troy' created an anatomy lesson at last nights Majors Bay major - where the areas curvy nip and tuck required route choice selection based on the body. Do we go 'the nose', do we do 'the nipple', do we tackle the 'chins'. Can we go the full beer gut straddling the map and do a Russ Hinze? Such were the questions posed by 'Her Majesty' and the Uringa crew at last night's postcode 2137 classic.

History lessons were also a feature, with the whiff of gas, the sniff of mangrove helping to calm the patients as Dr Murphy donned her scrubs - and took up the laser pointer.

Running history is an occasional feature of the Summer Series, with several of our venues rich in historical appeal. Last night's punt at The Punt is one-such, with much of the map's central core once the site of Sydney's largest gas works. The home of the Australian Gaslight Company (AGL). Astute runners on the 19-26 leg, not transfixed by the harbour waterway splendors, passing river cats and strolling puppy handlers, may have noticed one of the few remaining works buildings to their right - now preserved, and built, remarkably, in 1926!

The Sydney Summer Series - for runners who see, where others only look.

And so, under dim and overcast skies, let's see about this little number - number nine on the songsheet, and our first time back at 'Rooted Ron' since December 2008. Many probably had anticipated a little clinic time at Concord Hospital - presenting with sore quads or the side strain so favoured by our cricketers - and maybe a touch of New Guinea mud on the Kokoda Track, only to discover Helen had gone east on us. It turns out that any northern inclinations were thwarted by construction works at the hospital, and so over to a curvy breakfast with gas anaesthesia it was to be.

Arriving at the Uringa encampment, surgeon Ian took the tenner, while theatre nurse Ron warmed up the download paddles (just in case). Doctor Dave hovered in white coat, as Her Maj attended to reception duties. The Zonta tent was also noted accepting large donations from those with XXXX wallets and a penchant for cake.

The patient admittance sheet was of landscape inclination, of bold colouring, and at the strange scale of 1:8,000. Majors Bay had become The Punt, with a full scatter across the distinctive body part like protrusions and intestinal wiggles. The western claim at Yaralla House gave you 70 points and a sense of the 1840's - when men wore hats and large noses came with companion handkerchiefs. The pointy middle offered more rewards and a chance to marvel at the car punt itself. A tweek here for sure was the thinking. Further east, the generous curves of Breakfast Point offered many beeps and a sense of Sprint O material, before drawing in the tum as you flogged off to the eastern lumpus dilecticus. The bottom of the map saw a belt line of points, that runners notched up or down to depending on girth and timing - the curvaceous top being nicely bookended by this lower band.

Upon further study, Doctor Helen's digestive offering looked one in three parts; with the older patients taking one lump with their tea, the vets being bolder and considering two lumps - while the open striplings and fily's in fascinators liking the look of all three.

Yaralla's 70 got fingered by the stringmen, and then generally got the finger. Unless you were of Kingly proportions this didn't match points with time, and with the fleetest taking eight minutes odd to bag them, most turned their bodies to the east side for closer examination (by Dr Warwick wearing newly powdered Ansell surgical grade). Here a sort of circle formed, taking in breakfast and the nipple, and offered a chance for the better fancies to extend to the Cabarita double chin - or at least punt to the temptations of thirty points at #23 (beautifully placed Helen, one of the classic stretch points last night). Clockwise or anti-clockwise was the main decision, with the latter belting off via 9,24,4,30 and 15 before more weighty decisions were needed. Those that like to follow old father time enjoyed a first beep at #14 before a more regular collect via 6,16,29, the punt, 19, the knoll and a bowl of meusli - ending up at 22,3 again before decision time. Checkpoints 15 and 12 got looped in various ways, with the 30,15,12,3,22 circuit signaling less than Betty Cuthbert pace, whereas 30,15,12,7 let the outpatients department know you were after bigger rewards - and might need time on the drip later.

Most runners seemed to have opted for the central and eastern organs, with a steady stream in action both ways across the lower belt. 23,17,28 had fans - including Bobby 'Kennedy' Morgan who so liked #23, he ran 23,17,28 and then back to 23! The Attorney was meant to be heading for #8 in his Cabarita loop, but something in the compass went awry and he had to recalculate - much like Tom Tom does in a Canberra cul de sac.

Several of those adding the western 'Yaralla' points began there (Steve Ryan, Glenn, Andy Hill, Kar-Soon), and as I said, notched eight minutes or so for their troubles - before their generally uniform clockwise circuits to finish via #9. The King (Richard Green) did the opposite, ending via Yaralla, and one of the few who ventured west at the end of their run. Of interest was the temptation, or lack of it, to earlier eastern route finishers, who arriving at #14 with 2/3 minutes to go, pondered the ruin at #5 in an angst ridden 'will I, won't I'. Those that took Helen's bait generally rued the decision, with several reports of discombobulation thereabouts (a second ruin?), and the time taken mostly exceeding the reward. 'The Trouser' was one with a couple up the sleeve at #14, took off to #5 and at the beginning of the track in the green, regretted the decision, and about turned to be cruelly plus three seconds at the red flag. It might have been different if number five was a twenty pointer.

Another small route worth noting was the 22-3 link around the club house. Those that travelled to the west of the buildings stayed level, and enjoyed a 10/15 second advantage to those that joined the two around the eastern side - where Contour Kate forced runners down and back up a few of her dastardly brown lines. The Porkster, running 3-22, was one of those cursing not reversing engines at 3, as he puffed around and up the hill to 22.

Some great checkpoints on the circuit, many with fantastic views. How about the sublime #26 and 18. Twenty eight also was a possie with a mossie, and number 8 held in thrall those that like to gaze towards the Antarctic and ponder global warming. On the nob, #27 was also a winner - one where you could look outwards at the view, or into the grotto, and dream of a long ago kiss and a cuddle. Hard to pick a location that didn't get a visitor. Maybe #13, maybe #7/8? This is probably the least lonely pot bit of setting I have seen. Nothing was off the radar it seems.

So, let's have a look at some scoring and a few other items on the discharge sheet.

187 entries, and probably only just over 190 all up - with the sharp reduction in group entries as a complete contrast to last week. Still, with the earlier rain and rather lowering skies possibly keeping a few patients indoors, it was a great result, and possibly close to, if not, a record attendance for the venue.

Our age class winners were again much as recent form suggests, although a few differences are worth a mention. Georgia 'On My Mind' Jones sang into first place in JW with 310 points, and I think her first post in this modest class of filly's. Mother Margaret, also in debut colours, ran twenty clear of Caroline 'A On My Mind' Davies on the turn and claimed with 410/390 in VW - while Janet Morris also managed a twenty gap (to Sue Thomson) in the Immortal mares, and took home a clean bill of health with 260 points (to 240 for 'Penguin Classics').

Of the other ladies under sash, Ellen ate 270 pappadums in SJ, Gill 'Was Obviously Not' in running the race of the season to hold ten from Catherine 'The Panadol Packet' and Wendy 'On The Waterfront' Stevenson in OW (540/530's), Alison 'Direct Current' Curtin had a similar sparky tenner over Rachael and Carolyn in MW (480/470's), Bryony went well clear in the legends, and the SVW's saw a three way tie - with 'Off Patent', 'Use By Date' and 'Chuck Berry' all recovering from their procedures on 380 points. Michelle Povah rounds out our leader board walking to victory with a tidy 290.

In the gentlemen, we salute Michael 'All' Brannigan taking the JM tonne with 330 - maybe a debut run for the cereal packet. Others include 'The Door' (Aidan Dawson) piling on 490 in SJM, well clear of the Dunk (who has grown at least a foot since last week!). I also note Aidan's 490 was his dads score (Graeme in VM). Steve's 600 in OM was run off in 44.16, Andy's in 46.50, and our two master 600 lads doing it in 42.35 ('The King'), and 44.21 (Glenn 'Gould' at the piano). 'Holst' kept the two other planets (Mal Bradley and David Bray) amidships with his 570 to their 530's in VM, Neil continued with 510 in the supers, Steve is off the planet in the legends (490) and 'The Cucumber Kid' again unstoppable in the immortals with 420. Wazza and Chris 'mas' Brown shared presents in the walkers with 310 apiece - to round off our winners.

Now to some other items of interest. Most popular score? 410 points with twelve runners working their pulsating prodders into Ron's heart attack machine. 380 was next with nine holding hands here. Longest time on course award? Ian 'Europhile' McKenzie, again claiming here with his all points walk in 93.37. Ian's slow reading of German medical history meant his 600 point manuscript was reduced to a mere 110 page essay. We know Ian is capable of a fast finish, and hope to see him doing better in the Christmas lederhosen.

Other notes. Nobody scored 200 points, Garingal put 75 patients into theatre - well clear of the next claimant group, Bennelong with 25 in need of attention, and Emily sat for Lucian 'Freud' at the tail of the field - with minus 70 points after sixty one minutes on the dias. She was fully draped if your wondering.

Some other runners that have begged to be mentioned, and have slipped Pork Pie a lazy tenner to facilitate this, are the 100 point brigade. From the top we have mentioned our 600 club, but there were two with a 500 waistline, David 'Africa' Stanley in pith helmut, and Darren 'Jolly' Slattery (working down from the Swans to the Summer Series). Our 400's include Matty 'The Evidence' Hackett, Steve 'The Retread' Dunlop and Ian 'Nose & Throat' Miller (all WHO stalwarts and favourite sons of the series), The Trouser was there, Peter 'The Butcher' Day also, and Louise 'Sir Ron' Brierty - re-entering the market and creating nervousness amongst company's with lazy balance sheets. In the 300's, Julia 'Sign Here' Prudhoe and Kerry 'The Ruler' Emslie, are joining with Kenny J and Johnny 'O'Keefe' Pettersen in a little gentle rock and roll - while in the 200's, we find no one at all! Tearaway Ted was twenty clear in WaM, with 'The Governor General ten shy in VW. Nobody like the two it seems. All that is left now is the two member 100 club, and here we find Connie speaking Gaelic for 62.56 minutes in Baccus Marsh (don't ask), and Louise Brooks, wearing her Nike's but being somewhat troubled by the branding dilemma - rounding out this tight circle with an enjoyable 37.22 outing.

Lesley and Gail managed 220 point penalties, Ulf 'Rod' Stigen disembarked from a Norwegian tramp steamer and accepted a minor movie part after his debut SSS 280 point showing, and Annette 'Dragon Tattoo' Larsson found her brothers fourth book under a 320 point pile up - and has gone looking for a publisher. Good to see another Queensland orienteer down having a Summer Series run - this time Mathieu 'Toby' McGuire from Ugly Gully club in Brisbane, putting on 530 points - just before the director called 'cut'.

There were plenty of patients who wanted more, but found the standard appointment cut them short. 'The Sauce Bottle' punted 470, but dropped twenty, as the niggling knee (or was it the hip?) slowed the Manly star. John Brayan went ten further than Ian, but was shown the door before he could fully explain his nervousness around elderly beer drinkers - and dropped thirty to equal Ian's 450. Bryon 'Bay' Merzeo was in holiday mode in OM, when pulled up by the medical staff for singing in the wrong key. His 350 might have been a 450 if he had hit that high C.

Let's find a 250 and then retire to the back bar. How about a couple of them? Why not three! Waiting in post op we find Barbara 'Thirty Thousand Feet and Holding' Dawson, Melissa 'Legoland' Legovic, and Sonia 'Lady McMahon' Clark - all 250 point postees and women wonders one and all. Actually, quite a few punted 250's, so I'm being a bit selective. Digby, Rosie and Adrienne are also noted, with Bennelong's 'Telephone Before You Dig' the only male patient. Digs, we're headed your way!

Many more on deck of course, including more first timers. It was a great evening for a dance, and Pork Pie presumes everyone enjoyed themselves. The old gent certainly did, especially after dinner at the great local pub. Thank you Uringa, we love the mini flags! And thanks Helen (& Dave?) for the course. Next week sees Western & Hills O Club make their SSS debut, with Dmitry 'The Dive Bomber' Stukov giving us a different perspective on Janet's 'Sanctuary' map in Epping. The Boronia Park start area is at the opposite end to last years initial outing, and should provide an interesting challenge. The Sanctuary itself is a must see, and the old brick pit stuff adds to the fun. Plenty of puzzled workers walking home will be on hand as we run Epping into a frenzy of ...'what the'.

Join us as we race towards Christmas, and loosen the belt another notch.  



Fly on the Wall said...

450 was a pretty good grab for me - 7.95km in 46m 51s. I don't think I can go any faster or farther. Thought about doing everything east but realised I'd be well over time. So it was 14-6-16-29-1-11-25-21-19-26-18-23-17-28-8-13-12-15-30-4-24-9... and lots of squats at all those controls at ground level ! No tricky pots and lovey harbourside running - and yummy cakes afterwards.

The Kincumber Kid said...

Is it just me or are the Pie Man's tales from the mixed zone becoming more convoluted as his advancing years start to have an inverse effect on his point scores?
Go the Pork Chop :-)

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