Thursday, November 28, 2013


With a map resembling a lopsided cauliflower, or the generosity of a Kiwi ice cream, runners and readers are invited into the world of lick and chew - as Pork Pie lifts the cone on Sydney Summer Series event #9, 'The M2 Tunnel'.

Firstly, our theme.

Whilst the map does indeed look like one of Ron's cauli's, your vegetarian correspondent was stood 'bolt upright' by one of the many SSS contributing editors who remarked after his run - 'you can go to your right, you can go to your left…'. PP immediately continued with, 'and do the hokey pokey', and suddenly an ice cream image formed - and he reached for the note book and the trusty 2B. Course setter Carol (of In Zid) and her Epping offering all now aligning as we grip the map (much as we grip the cone and its two scoops of Tip Top "It's Creamier"), and grip our dibbers, and enjoy another cracking evening on the lick in the Summer Series.

Six years since we started here, another beautiful evening, another impressive roll up, the guns going 'under' again. Somethings going on Sydney, somethings going ON!!

Plonking down the tenner one received an A4 rainbow treat with vanilla accompaniment. One noted various 'sides' (including one unusual 'inside'), some 'tops', 'ends', 'signs', and a 'pillar' on the vanilla. There was even a 'cricket screen' to excite 'The Sauce Bottle' and other fans of the crease and groin. The frozen ice A4 looked to be 'Bounty' in general tone, with some peppermint edging (for James), a scatter of Mango, but without the expected chocolate dip topping in the north. The raspberry numbering added colour and flavour intensity, especially to the mid zone. Stomachs began to rumble as thoughts of post race burgers and chips were replaced with a child like supplication to the twin saints of the sweet tooth - St Peters and St Streets.

Many liked what they saw. Murmurings of 'all stations' were heard. A scoop to the east looked a mandatory start, with many (most) runners liking the 220 tightly packed points from 11 to 23 they could bag almost before any drips were noted on the sleeve of the Sunday best. And across the oval in droves went the droves. A very popular route choice, for those thinking they would get the bush and the climbing over early. By contrast, our 'single scoop' runners liked the opportunity to avoid any serious climbing, and exited the oval to the north and a 28,8,18,northern point bagging before returning with mild puff and thoughts of a second helping via 24,4,15,20 (or 21,11). The other northern beginners were on very different diets, needing the double cone multi flavoured 'whammmo' pre race taster, before engaging the peppermint flag and looping 28(in-out),20,21,Terrys Creek, the central lick, the north and a westerly return from 8(Larry),29,Devlins,30,2,11 and home for a 600 point bag. A beautiful construction, classic linkages, with the sweep and swerve like flow you get from Mr Whippy.

When comparing routes and scores, it appears the only variations noted after the eastern dip and rise were in the lower 'melon' areas (4,15,5,24) and in doing or not doing the stretch north of the 'mango' scoops to 6-26. This latter forty point bag was definitely worth it, and regretted by several early returnees who should have known better. The better middle seemed to be running 3,4,24 on the outward, and slurping up 5 and 15 on the way back. Dan 'OH&S' Redfern was one-such here, although he reports a certain melting on the climb back from 15 to 28. The Pie Thrower preferred the in-out to 20 on the home run instead of Dan's (chocolate) dip, as it was flat.

Most controls were exceptionally well mounted (big thanks Carol) with the only niggles coming from opposite map extremes - difficulties with #30 for some in the west (in a tunnel I gather), and the addition of tapes in the east (perhaps rendering the tricky navigation to/on the small track overly simple). 'The Cosmos' also reported discombobulation at #29, reporting difficult to chew chocolate chip 'stone piles' in a variety of locations - thereabouts. He was running north here, as opposed to the 'perfect' looping from 'The Last Man' noted above, and would not have seen the flag as clearly as the descending runners did. Your trackside tipster has to hand it to Michael though…running up from #29! Whoa, that's a toughie to be sure.

With a winning time of under 40 minutes, one can think it was a touch underdone, with many missing that anticipated extra scoop of 'pistachio' north of Wood Street Oval that Carol had originally ordered and then cancelled - or maybe, the whale flavoured gelato with Devlin waffle offering. Despite this, runners did get a full fridge of summer delights, and fewer penalty reductions than is often the case with this tasty gastronomic sport. It was another event to lick and savour - as perhaps we will do a bit more of. Let's look more closely as runners unwrap their Icy Poles, Splices and Magnums (and Paddle Pops for the older folk) at the download station, and see how their stats shine forth.

So we know we have an under, and it turns out to be our regular 'all stops' runner Glenn Horrocks, with a sensational 600 gram strawberry confection wolfed down in 39.56. Glenn was one of three MM's and two OM's to go the full monty, his companions (Richard, Steve, Patrik and Andy) all working home in the low forty's - 'The Last Rope Tickle' in 40.48 the best of them. There followed a procession of 590,580,570,560's lining up with their spare change -  but no 550's - apart from Pete Annetts carding the double fives but copping forty and developing an ice cream headache for his trouble. Included in the high fives, was first OW home - Gill Fowler with a very creamy 580 gram Tiramisu cone. Sensational running from 'The Typeface' and 50/70 clear of Claire and Lisa respectively, with Marina continuing this impressive class with a 480 post, and an almond topping reward.

'The Growth Spurt' continues his excellent form in the Subs with 480, this time only a blue banjo clear of a great run from Alastair George. Prelim results are not showing up too many other youngsters on the tongue twirl, although Karla looks good with 410 (JW), but Kaj seems to have gone fifty behind an impressive 450 from Ruariridh MacDonald in the JM's. Kar-soon ran in a fine 570 in MM, with Antoniya an equally well compiled 500 triple scoop (including hundreds and thousands) in MW - AB's score being a winning one of course. Of interest in MW, is the second place tie by Cath Chalmers and Jennifer Newton - both eating into 440's with Zerol Scoops (the original and the best).

The Vets don't tend to admit newcomers to the milk bar queue, and so it appears last night with strong fives and fours from the well known suspects. Excellent running of course, and frozen Tim 'Tam' only thirty adrift of Michael. Getting closer, getting closer! In VW I see Tania Kennedy leading with a tidy 380 - and Megan 'The Pecan' not far behind. Good running ladies.

The Supers are also well rehearsed, with Mel once again taking lolly with a great 500 - and this after working up past #14 eyes glued to the path, and having to descend again to beep. 'The Lassoo' is also showing a clean heel with a 480 coffee blend in a waffle cone to stay clear of Wazza's 460. Neil once again puzzles with a 340 post after going over the hour and having to share his $510.00 triple choc dip tub with Mr Download. A hungry bugger that Mr D. Great to see Sue Clark with us for a second week in SVW, sharing 370's with The Debster, but having to cop 'The Garage' going seventy flavours better.

Teddy takes a close LM, and Heiko finally gets into form with a strong 'rum & raisin' root toot toot in the Immortals - thirty clear of Bruce with 360 points. I think Sue has the IW 'cone or cup' despite sticking with the plain vanilla Tip Top. The walkers looked to the more modest ices on the poster, and fronted the sweets counter bearing 280 (Alain) and 240 (Lesley/Kathryn) cent coins for their respective confections choices. Jimmy was missing, with Bliss duties - and lets go a certain 100 with 'WS' seemingly running most weeks now (no corp cup??). Sir Pumpkin (IM) was another missing his after dinner desert, and would have felt the loss keenly. Ron likes to work the full menu, from soup to sweet, and is often seen within the four walls of a take home Neapolitan pack as the other amigo's affect a 'don't care' doze.

Some other stats?

Good to see Tommy Joss back on the flog (OM and a 600 in 45.36!), Ishka Bless (SJM) blessing us all with a great 330 (first up SSS run??), the tennis team of Dukic, Jovicevic & Jovicecic in matching tunics, and Grandpa Stitt managing to keep Henry well clear of the corner store temptations with their fifty minute 220. There doesn't appear to be any .01's this week, although we have a couple of close calls - none better than SVM Rod Parkin's 44.59 440 point post, although Nick 'Duke Of' Eales, Bob 'The Organ' Morgan and 'The Prawn' would have been pleased they were quick on the lick with 44.57 final pings.

Our most common order was the 300 flavours vac sealed pack - attracting thirteen runners (including last weeks first couple - with Helen leading the Judge home by 44 seconds). Twelve liked 410, but nobody like 520. Funny that. In a welcome back (from Peru) moment, we see Ian McKenzie with us once again, walking to all shops and stops on the map in 91.36 to record an initial 130. We'll call it in the melon/lemon range at present, and hope to see a more 'forest fruits' endeavour as the legs reacquaint to Sydney conditions. In contrast to Ian, our shortest outing was from Brian Cleland, who chewed through 300 pints in 37.06 and then promptly sat down. One does need a rest and a nice cuppa after too much ice cream I grant you.

I gather that several of the group entries were Epping Scouts, several quickly getting the hang of things and recording good scores. Welcome one and all. Many others have developed a certain flair for the summer series, and would have gone home happy bunnies. It was a good night for a run, and Carol and the ever busy Garingal crew delivered once again.

Next week we can look forward to a return to Loyal Henry Oval and the ministrations of Greg Barbour and The Feet. This is a small but very sweet spot quietly hidden away in Roseville, where leafy streets, the intriguing architecture of UTS, and a bush track tempter will have competitors queuing for the map and some post work pingmanship. Gregory has been known to go wide in the past and one might expect to earn ones download here - as the SSS roller coaster goes north shore for event ten. Expect another sensational outing on the chew, and as Pork Pie is often heard to say "Be There".            


Thursday, November 21, 2013


Although two days early, the cunning allusion to that fateful day in 1963 at last nights Kakoda Killer, was  an excellent additional head scratch for those of us devoted to thinking and running at the same time - and especially appreciated by those of Super Vet, Legend or Immortal status - who remembered the events of November 1963 as happening 'just the other day'! And for our younger readers, we are referring to the day US President John F Kennedy was killed in Dallas Texas (22/11/63), and how last night's two finger flog at Yaralla acknowledged this with control 22 (Parkland - the hospital where JFK was taken to), control 11 (the grassy knoll, thought to be where a shot was fired), and control 63 (#14 renumbered) the school book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired from).

Excellent work from Uringa's first lady Helen 'Jackie' Murphy and attending surgeon Dr Matt 'The Swab' Peters. Subtle, but hey, nice to have a light bulb moment as scores are analysed over that obligatory post race Reschs.

The Sydney Summer Series…the series that delivers on so many levels.

So, lets step back from Dealey Plaza and the open topped Cadillac convoy, as we arrive at event eight in the series that stops a nation. After a nearly ten year gap, the SSS caravan lurched north to the Kokoda Track memorial walk, and our assembly outside the cafe - a new high point in SSS appointments. A full UR encampment was on show, with Secret Service Director Pallas fully wired and tables a'scatter with literature and pencils (!). A more pleasant assembly spot you couldn't wish for.

The Banjo bought a reworked portrait sheet with additional olive street work by the Doc, and almost Sprint-O quality re mapping within The Repat (we believe that an extraction at 1:4,000 here might be 'on' sometime in 2014 - a mouth watering prospect). The whole had a certain visual 'sway' to it, and one imagined grass skirts and a pinacolada at sunset, as various bays beckoned and cool breezes wafted. The scale was 1:7,500 with two metre contours - and you can see the Sprint connection.

Ten years ago it was 'Caroline' (oops, Catherine) as course setter, with the horse paddocks out of bounds. Last night was the turn of the first lady and she put on a generous loop of pearls, including a tempting drape across the (now not OOB) aforementioned paddocks. Very generous in fact, so generous that eight 'Close Protection Detail' members went all stations well within the allotted. Lets have a decko at the offer the lady of Camelot.

The start is towards the north west corner of the area, perhaps compromising a wide spread of beginning routes, although a seventy points stretch further north gave pause to the string twirlers. The main part of the map is a sort of papal two finger salute contained in an olive green street vestment like 'glove'. The Hospital/Great Gadsby 'finger' was packed with points, as was the lower horsey finger, and demanded attention. The newly mapped street section only offered a fifty point link option (and considerable distance/pain for your trouble), not quite enough for the mid score purists that like a loop return over virgin ground, seeing them muttering as they became resigned to planning their out and back through the common pinch point at #4/25. The vast majority looked to have headed off clockwise, with only the connectivity of Rehab points being varied. Of interest is the differing routes taken by Andy Hill and Glenn here, with 'The Peaceful Glade' working 3,13,17,27 and then into the buildings, and 'The Ford Falcon Dealer' going 3,24,15,63,5,13,17 and then an edge sweep around Yaralla Bay. Amazingly, their splits at control #4 were almost exactly the same.

Probably most would have replicated Glenn's approach, enjoying the SprintO quality in the hospital, before contemplating their add-on time and scoring abilities further south. The high three and low four brigade knocked off the main horse stuff, but eschewed the Majors Bay collect (9,19,29,7), and returned via #3. Those with a more developed puff-o-metre worked home via the olive, and nudged into the high fours and the fives for their trouble - and wondering where Pop Eye was with the spinach. All the six hundreds also did this after contemplating baseball and cricket instruction nearer the southern green eagle - and adding the top seventy before beeping off near Lisa 'The Torch' Lampe - Uringa's luminous start/finish control guardian (at least when I puffed into view).

In one sense, it was a procession around the fingers following the relentless sweep of the tick tock with hardly a variation noted. A few went the other way (anticlockwise) by following #3 with 24,4,25 and the south, and 'doing' the hospital towards the end of their outings (Pork Pie amongst these contrarians). Finishing to the north west was too sensible a plan to ignore at Yaralla, as it allowed for the 11,12,21 tempters to be kept in the locker in case time was available. There is something tough about running past the finish like this however - especially as the clock seems to speed up as you pan towards the grassy knoll, gifting a company name to Andrew Denton, and realising that you have gained twenty but lost thirty!

All in all, another wonderful summer series night with another 200 plus crowd lining the route. Every class was represented with many close contests. Good scoring, with fewer late back penalties than on some recent outings - our longest on course being the inimitable Van Schalk's enjoying 64.42 minutes of Texas summer in reducing their well compiled 190 to zero! Strangely, Neil Hawthorne (SVM) seems to have also played his long game last night - looking for gunpowder traces for over sixty one minutes - and letting rivals sniff the hundreds that he has been regularly collecting. Not sure if 'The Moon' suffered an injury to account for this??

Another great aspect of last nights flog, was the firmly taped control units (well most of them anyway) that allowed such quick recording. Thanks UR, thanks Helen and Dr Matt, another race in the bag, and with many puzzled old people being given twenty more, departing Texans were noted with a spring in their step.

Perhaps a look at some of the action is in order.

As we said, another 200 plus night - with good scoring throughout the classes, and most runners close to time. Our 'unders' are led by SJM 'Neil' Finn MacKay at 30 minutes exactly and a 170 point post (maybe Finn was taking the 1993 thirty minute SSS option!), with our over leaders noted above. In the 'close shaves' department, Michael Kuzma 'Told Me' (OM) stepped from the Pontiac in 44.58 to take the award from 'Justice of the Peace' Jo Parr's (VW) 44.55. The 'Phew's' include the Kiwi pop star noted above and another seven students of american history - and the Swiss watch industry. Loud applause for 'The Venetian Blind' (OM 43.00), 'The Dive Bomber, (MM 46.00), 'Market Slavery' (VM 48.00), 'The Mallow Puff' (SVM 46.00), 'The Woodpecker' and 'The Padded Dashboard' (both LM and both 47.00!!) - and our stand out runner on the night, Stephen 'The Prawn' Vaughan tucking into the mixed seafood plate, after carding 45" exactly!

As the 'phews' retire to the back bar, spare a thought for those who copped the 'O Cruel World' award. A four pack last night, the same number of secret servicemen riding in the car behind Kennedy. Commiserations to the following '01's': Tom 'The' Brennan 'Gun' (MM 49.01), John 'I'm Praying' Brayan (VM 47.01), Ronan 'I'm Not In A' Hurrell (SJM 48.01) and 'The Rev' Bev Johnson (IW) going apple green with steam and 38.01. There were a few 02's, but let's not get too excited. Rather, lets have a look at some more general scoring.

In the Opens, Andy, Steve and Mark all went 600 point gold in OM, and showed a clean break to fourth place getter, Anthony Dowle with 550. Further down the two Ben's (Ben 'The Circus' Cirulis and Ben 'Hong' Kong) take the eye with 450's from Jeremy 'The Hammond Organ's' 430. Big Foot's Thut Ho takes home a 170 at the rear of the pack. The OW's saw Claire Winnick 'Post Chocolates' and Lisa share 530's behind Catherine (550) and Gill with ten more. Hannah 'The Shoe Shop' Watts dropped fifty in her 220 post, while Crystal 'Osso Bucco' Ossolinski sacrificed twenty, and then regained them - courtesy Ron of the computer.

A trio of 600's was also found in the Masters Men, although the MW's could only manage 510 after Antoniya came home in 53.52 and copped a ticket. AB was still well clear of Carolyn Haupt however, her 440 being the most common score on the night - and again a big break from the next runner - 'Gwen' Meredith Dodds with 350 episodes to go. Pork Pie is rather taken by this class, and notes the race names that would do well at Victoria's Oaks Day. Keryn, Kristy and Kristan take a bow. Back in the blokes, Porkie notes nothing below the half way mark (Shaun 'The Key' Locke), and all but four of the 28 on or over 400. So young, so brave! Richard Morris and Kar-Soon both had crackers (590's), with 'The Rail Motor's' score being accomplished in only 43.06. One can only regret that tenner left off somewhere along the way, as there looks like time in the bank. Laurent 'The Pillow' Billot seemed to be out the longest here with 57.05 on the Swatch - and copping 130 for his mid run nap.

The Vets see our biggest class, with 34 nags on course, a couple of 600's and book ended by Reverend Father Chris Higgins (120 points noted in the margin of his battered King James). No 440's here but many other pairings, including John, Rod and Bob on 410, and 'The Sauce', 'Cathy' and 'The Californian Govenor' on 400. Tight work from our vet men not replicated by our VW's - who could only manage one pairing, Stacey and Megan on 270's. A spread of other scores from Robin taking gold with 420 to CT 'Scan's' forty two minute 160 pointer. The SV's see Wazza coming back to form (480, but still thirty adrift of 'The Cox Plate'), James at pace (460), and an excellent run from Nick Dent (430). 'The Station Master' was off his oats and well behind the advertised (330), but still a rare claim from The Hawk for Dan. More three's here than should be methinks.

The SVW's also only had one double - Debbie and Julia with 360. Connie had a toppie in the bag, but lost direction leaving 24 and ended up heading towards 23 instead of #3 in a moment of Sprint O discombobulation. The 'Queen of Spencer' will exact revenge next week! What else? The Legends might need a tickle, with Margaret and Carol podium'ing' together with 300's, to shade 'The Bride''s 280. Rosscoe made a boo boo with his 'anti-clockwise' route, working 28-27-17-5 towards the end instead of the planned 28-5-27-17-13 cleaner option. His minus five seconds finish is in there somewhere - but he still had ten over Ted with Terry a further ten back, 'The Pantaloony' another tenner in arrears. Jimmy walked to victory, again, as did Cheryl 'Ray & Dave' Davies in WaW, but hats off to young Duncan in SJM with his sensational 520 in forty four minutes! Great racing from the Balmain Bandit and a cool ninety points clear of 'The Toby Jug'. An amazing result. Cho Eunchae looks like winning SJW with 230 from an IKO combo (190) that might need relocating to the Group lists. Pork Pie is working from a very preliminary listing here - one noting Nerise McQuillan (the real power behind 'The Ink Bottle') with 190 in OM. mmmmm.

Ken took IM from Ted with Sir Ronald no where to be seen. Great to see Barry 'The Coalminer' Cole thinking his way to 250 shovel fulls, a score he shared with fellow Bennelong clubman, Bruce 'Go Swans' Dawkins. In IW, June took ten from Sue in another enthralling contest - Janet a further thirty back (300,280,250). I've forgotten our (3) juniors it seems! Kaj gets JM with his solo class 380, while Karla and Michele shared 440 equal wins in JW after putting in a bit more than 'The Bowling Ball'. Aidan not on scene it seems.

Aaah, enough, enough cry the two fingers (the right one doing twice the work of the left one), let's take the oath of office and move forward with President Johnson - and Lady Bird! Actually, I should move on from this myself, and mention our next event! Yes indeed, we have had eight rippers, and now look forward to revisiting Epping Oval and SSS event nine - 'The M2 Tunnel'. Carol 'Jacob's Creek' Jacobson will be on the bottle here and is known how to extract a confession from the most sober of runners. She is advising a touch of hillock, and possibly a touch of paddock as we get to grips with middle Australia up here on the main north line. One might get a touch of Terrys Creek, some bush track stuff, and even a stretch to Whale Rock - with shady streets along the way. It's been a while since we began here, and well worth another look see. Make it a date.        



Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Looks like a goodie last week with 'The Hills Hoist' firing 580, and giving 'And Three Veg' a perfect endorsement for his excellent course setting at Beacon Hill. As hinted at in a prior post, correspondent Pork Pie was across the Ditch attending to matters in the Barr stable, and missed this reprise of one of last years classics. Out of sight maybe, but thanks to a 'bevy' of spies, the old gent (back in Oz) can now offer a brief analysis from the comfort of the chesterfield - tea and a milk arrowroot at hand.

As a change from Jimmy's more pan focussed flog last season (Jim is a noted pan man - especially when the Amigo's are waiting to depart), Sir Ronald of Duffy's included the Governor Phillip Lookout reserve in his spread - therefore giving the 150 plus students of indecision an east/west conundrum. Ron's 160 points east of Willandra Road was only twenty more than Jim's 12/13 season offering here, but probably held greater appeal because of the (previously hidden) Beacon Hill Reserve yumminess. Things looked like falling to a neat anti clockwise circuit after a 17,9,6,28,30,5,16 beginning - with the view from #28 probably being rather a good one.

Of course, this didn't look like enough pointeroonies, so The Eastenders had also to focus on the ceramic ware. In actual fact, I would guess more did this than went east, so maybe I should refocus the pinz nez in this arm chair dissertation.

So, looking west and to the Pan. An abbreviated offering in the north is evident, but not without interest to the fancies in tights. I see the maze included (#22), 13 remembering last outing's #17, something on the large bare rock area (#23), and another nibble at the stripy stuff in #21. RonaldO also included a reprise of control 15 - confusing last time, and I gather, confusing this time, with several experienced map handlers copping a few seconds on the scratch hereabouts.

The western circuit looked fairly straightforward, with an exit 'Larry' at 29 and then a 7,8,27,20 bagging before you went Irish. A good finish from the Pan area looked like 12,26,18, and then home, or a wider claim working, say, 26,11,10,19,18, and then triangle practice. 'Platform One' reports a western circle and ending with the 26,18 option and a tidy 370 after giving back a tenner for his malingering at #26. This latter control would have proved a late run tempter for exhausted runners, eye on the clock and hopping for a simple finish, as the thirty points on offer there gave the finger to control #1, and almost demanded a right turn. Number one might have been our 'Roy Orbison', with #2 and #8 also in the mix.

Last seasons course saw the vast majority running only the western/north western offering, with the 140 east just for Glenn, Andrew and Steve. This time I would have thought more crossed over the busy central road, working scores into the fours - as indeed many did. I see a pair of tights on the SVM's, with 'Orange Peel' holding ten over a very strong showing from Mel Cox (470/460). The Vets also liked the fours, with Smith and Rogers sharing three figures on 490, and another four for Mary Fein in MW (450). The lesser bank accounts went even better of course, with Aidan piling on 530 (JM), Patrik holding a tenner over Glenn (MM 560/550) and the Open's showing off their class in light weight clothing (Andy takes the cake with twenty over Steve, and Catherine and Lisa 'STB' Grant holding identical awards in OW with 470's).

Good to see 'The Stanley Steamer' take lolly in IM, as did Sue of Sydney Theatre. Jim walked to victory (probably knowing every inch of it), and Terry Bluett took gold in LM - with John Anderson down a peg with a touch of discombobulation on course. Only three groups noted, which is a shame as the group entries had been building nicely. Maybe its a location thing when your going Buddy Holly.

Apparently it was a beaut day for a run, and a good day for frogs - with arriving (and west starting) runners remembering their school days as they sniffed the grass and narrated Banjo's "The chorus frogs in the big lagoon would sing their songs to the silvery moon". I'm a bit narked to have missed it.

So, a goodie by all accounts, and the Pan legends lives on. No doubt we will be back - hopefully in bigger numbers next time. Speaking of bigger numbers, the Uringa Undertakers are preparing for just that - tomorrow!! Yes folks, tomorrow we dine again, this time at Concord West on the fantastic Kokoda Track map. This more northern start point of recent Concord offerings yields some excellent harbour park and track running, the Kokoda memorial intrigues, with the sprint like features of Concord Hospital adding puzzle and variation. Helen and Terry are calling the shots, and are sure to work us over big time. Expect no mercy from the Judge, but be sure to make it a date, as you run scenes from The Great Gadsby and help keep old father time at bay. Be there!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


A week ago, Sydney Summer Series aficionados' skipped home humming, and slightly aflutter, after Graeme 'Rack 'em, Stack 'em and Pack 'em' Dawson delivered a points bonanza at The Pid. Last night, by way of contrast, punters were on the receiving end of an old world political partnership putting the boot right squarely up the colonials. Nominated setter Pierre, out injured, called in Mel to complete his dastardly plan - in a trans channel partnership unthinkable in the days of Wellington and Napoleon. Mr Francois (of Paris) scattered the circles, and Mr Cox (of London) allocated the points, in what proved one of the toughest of SSS chain gang floggings in recent memory. They went north, they went east and west, they embraced John Howard, they went bush track, they liked the squeal of Tangara flange, they played with our minds (recently, very recently, in love with the tune of multiple dibber beeps) to put on a spare and spartan course that had us back to earth with a thud.

This was going to be low scoring, with ambitions needing to gamble with the clock.

Arriving punters (a record so far this season, with 213 entries plus another 25 or so embedded (like that? a touch of the war correspondent has crept over Pork Pie) in the Groups), at one of Sydney's most splendid assembly locations, were soon under no illusion. Mel, grinning, delivered up the A4, and was noted fingering the blade as he did so. This looked like a three (where last week had been a four and a half). Consensus seemed to be low fives at best, with the odd shilling on the tote for nobody over five. What a contrast to last week.

Setting a summer series event from the Greenwich peninsular start at Manns Point always poses a question. How to set challenges on both sides of the pinch point. North of the oil depot often finds us into the sniff of Berrys Creek and a bit or real estate dot com further east. The middle is also familiar, but rarely do we see the western flank. South of the pinch one can expect the splendid western bush track and some tennis higher up to add to the fun. The 'hour glass' section compresses the route options, with most runners working exactly the same out/back routes through here last night. Only the more able convicts made insertions at the extremities, and only one runner (Glenn) took on the full offering. His 56.30 minutes working off the pasta lunch a testimony to the toughness of the course.

Looking at the spread (in the car, red string in hand, and feeling a sense of foreboding), the peninsular 200 had to be bagged, with the real planning decisions only taken after #25. Most seemed to like the idea of doing everything but #13 on the way out, looping up to 22 and 2 from #12, before resuming service along the track through its triple thirty offering (# 13 was to be reserved for the long flog home). Once you went the beep at 25, mid packers could only find a loop east to 16,30(in-out),28(reverse) and then out via #5 to some central stuff would fit the tick tock. Those of a bolder persuasion pressed on south of #30 to 20 and an uphill return via 19/18/17 etc. Many would have regretted this decision, with the track south notably slow and of an upsey downsey nature. The flog back up Shirley Road needed plenty of steam - or that booked taxi.

Going even further east looked nigh on impossible, especially the bush track option to 10 and 29, with the north east tenners (8/9) laughing at us in our desperate twine twirling. If you did make it to the rail line, the scout halls added a link to the centre and the west - and to an anxiety sometime found in the summer series runner. Will I make it back in time??

Another option was to forget the east and work a parcel of western (mining) shares. This didn't seem to have too many fans as the points didn't match the Berry Creek aroma. The circle to 3,14(deliciously down the path), 15,26,27(forget that annoying #4), delivered 110 points and a fair bit of contour grunt. Probably not reward enough. One (unnamed) homeward bound elderly runner, having wobbled up to #27 from an eastern creek flog, and within time expectations, thought he'd add #15. With the puff-o-meter fully engaged on the return, the folly of this became all too apparent - as he joined the more than two thirds of nags who were back late. Possibly a record, with only 67 runners in on time. Yikes!!

Many of the control sites have featured before (11,21,24,3,5,16,30 etc), and many competitors routes would have replicated previous outings here. Despite this sameness, the beautiful evening was great for a run, and the mix of bush track and street/harbourside house stuff at Greenwich always rewards. Looking for a lonely pot seems to yield several sites that probably only saw Glenn. Numbers four, six and nine come to mind, with Pork Pie's nomination going to nine. Oh lonesome path (north west end), your time will come.

So, to round up a few circles. Mid three's did the peninsular, then went 25,16,30,28,5,27,3 and the long push home via 13. Some added 14 after #27 with a nod to Larry, while other added 14 and forgot to retreat for #3 - urged on by the downhill relief from burning calves, only to find they needed to climb back. Cruel stuff. Going better than this could have included the Shirley Road return pots as previously noted, or a sort of twirl north of #28 to nab 17/18 and maybe #8, and back over the bridge to 6/7 and points south. There seemed to be a bias east, with heaps following almost line astern from 25 into the creek at 16/30 and back out again at 28/5. Many recorded similar scores, with often the clock separating runners at the 'end of the day' as James would say.

Perhaps a small peek at the scoring?

520 the top, with Richard, Andrew and Steve heading the list, and all three being over time (Andy ran up 580 in his 50.57 outing). We then drop thirty points to Patrik 'The Gunboat' and James 'The Ink Bottle', and then follow at tenners so on and so forth. Gill leads our open women with 460, well clear of Lisa 'The Land' Grant on 420. 'The Roof Tile' and 'The Points Lock' shared excellent 450's in VM, with this score also showing up in the CV of one N. Hawthorne esquire - another outstanding run from the SVM star, and another big break from Wazza in the same category (380). Pork Pie is inclined to say Neil is 'On Fire'!!

We didn't see Aidan out for the JM 's (Kaj took points here with 360), but stand in awe of SJM Duncan 'The Whiff Of' Currie with his well compiled 410. Balmain's tallest son must have worked a wide route, with his 51.46 outing meaning seventy points were surrendered to Terry and the Machine (a new pop group). Still a very strong showing from The Dunk as he works back into the series. Michele (JW) pinged 410, but dropped four of them; Antoniya (MW) and Paula (VW) both bagged 420's; 'The Pants' took home 360 in LM to hold from 'The Woodpecker' and 'The Man From Moscow'; Karin ten less in SVW, and Andy Povah took home the walking men's prize with a mere tenner from Jim and Anthony (310 to 300's). In the Immortals, Ted Mulherin was in winning form with 310 points compiled in 44.59! Ted's one second denied Ken 'Of Rome' who put up 300 - and wished he was Carol. Once again 'The Fountain Pen' has been caught short - Heiko, like Kenneth, going 300. Getting closer in this hot contest, with Malcolm missing and Ron 'The Vegie' Junghans well back 'on the night'.

We seemed to be getting more and more group entries which is most encouraging. Many of these appear to be couples and interesting combo's. The Heywood-Mills Group led the pack last night with 320 points, a blue bank note from early musicologists John & Justin Murray. 'Jasmine, Jesse and Toby' were at it again (290) as were 'Maitland & Gugger' (260), 'Alanna, Kashi, Bezi & Luci' (170), and SSS stalwarts Angus 'Steak Cave' Van Schalk & Heidi (a modest 110, but, hey, are we enjoying ourselves!!). There are many more groups getting the hang of it, and hopefully spreading the word. As many might know, the various Melbourne Summer Series are getting increasing walking entries - with the Western Tuesday one filling half there spots this way.

What else should I note before finger fatigue sets in. Mmmm, one special thing to mention is Ruth Jacka (SVW) abandoning her course to assist Campbell Walsh (MM, and only two hours in the country!) who suffered a nasty gash to his head at #2 and had to be taken to RNS by ambulance. Big, big thanks Ruth from all at SSS headquarters for helping Campbell. It is appreciated by all.

Longest on course? How about the well named Jeremy 'Long Drop Lodge' Longworth (Big Foot VM) whose 66.07 takes the onions - in compensation for doctor time reducing his excellent 500 by a cruel 220 penalty points. I think there were a couple of other sixty minute fans - all hanging out for a Jana Wendt siting no doubt. Least time goes to Campbell for his fence encounter, although we see a few thirty minute engagements, and even a mis punch (from Dr Matt, and a very puzzling happening). Bev takes home forty points, and Caroline Jerrems eighty. Porkie is wondering if CJ is related to Garingal's founding President Ray Jerrems?? Mmmm, pedigree if true, pedigree indeed.

I'll go quiet on personnel this week, but hope for more 'probing' in weeks to come. Speaking of what's to come - strap on your afterburners for next weeks reprise of The Clay Pan. This all time classic up in Beacon Hill will see some of the most enjoyable and confusing SSS terrain ever mapped once again open for business! Ronald of the Opera Vegetable is assuming setting duties, giving Jim the mapper a run. Will he be confused by his own work? Join in the fun here as we find out, and discover much about our abilities to run and think at the same time. It will be another SSS classic.

Given PP will be across the ditch next week, there may not be an early race report. However the SSS spies will keep up the info flow, and something (telling) might eventually appear. In case there is silence, be also forewarned about the excellent return to The Kokoda Track on November 20 - with Helen Murphy and The Judge in charge. This is a long overdue return to a great south side harbour location, and well worth running on in club colours for. Make it a date!


Friday, November 1, 2013


And what a party it looked like, with an all time record 19 nags going the whole box and dice - and 12 of them inserting times thirty - and back in time! The short and tight course seemed to inspire a night of fives and fours (and the odd three), with many competitors putting a significant scratch on the tote bag for the first time in many a year.

All these amazing scenes have been reported by the SSS spy network occurring on a beautiful Sydney evening - something correspondent Pork Pie can only wonder at, languishing in freezing Bleak City where he prepares to call some sort of nationwide O event next Tuesday.  PP, the Greg Miles of orienteering at your service!

But to events in Sydney, where the planets must have aligned in a heavenly embrace, 'Mars' (204 entries) reprising last weeks 'Luna' (also 204)!! Spookie doookey. Another 200 plus night so early in the season has the ONSW hounds baying into their nose bags and Board minute papers. This is great stuff indeed, but then, great product, great outcome! Easey peasey. From the comfort of the back seat in the B class tram, lets have a decko at Graeme's Cemetery Caper.

Upon arrival at the old rubbish tip site (aflutter with various hoists), the 'Door' produced as tight a script as has ever been seen in the Summer Series. The ovoid nature of the cemetery encircling potterooneys must have been the result of a sort of mystical embrace from the dead. The pull of the tomb, the embrace of the vault, the lure of long lost uncles and grandma's must have got to Graeme as he scattered his marbles across the landscape. Closer and closer the relatives seemed to whisper - and closer the pots became, with hardly any out of the reach of Grand Papa Peperoni from Calabria. Whoa, this looks like a full bag cried the devoted - and nineteen of them made the pilgrimage.

Good scoring looked to be had with inner and outer loop thinking.

The inner circle (an almost 'way of the cross' option) included 1,11,8,24,6,12 and enabled runners to keep an eye on the tombs. This was quickly accomplished by the looks, leaving punters to break from their reverie and add more. Reversing engines a la Lavender Bay seemed more than reasonable from this start, and following on clockwise via 21,17,29 and the eastern sweep placed the faithful within sight of a western grab, or a tidy finish up via 16/27.

Going outer first looping also looked good, with several reports of cassocked and robed penitents beginning across The Pid to 27/20 and then piling on the western collection (2,5,15,25,9,13,23,16) before continuing on into the FOM itself and its track running - and sandstone tickle. PP has reports of both options of the tick tock, with probably more 'beeps' occurring per inch of map than ever before. The word I hear, is punters loved the scoring, loved the high scores, loved the fun of a tight course - as they went home with a four (when it used to be a three), with a two (when it used to be a one), resolving to dust off the good book and redo their wills. Although all pots looked well within reach, a couple of tenners might qualify for the lonely pot award - with #6 a good drop in the north if you are working 24-17, or #10, stuck in the middle of the Field and well left alone if working an 'outer circle line' (Melbourne must be getting to me).

I see that the powers that be had requested runners stick to tracks within the Field of Mars Reserve as it is now dedicated as a wild life refuge. The temptation visited on several non believers by psalm 30-18 is hoped to be just that - a temptation, as any transgressions could have consequences for our use of this great O area. Graeme's setting looked to be highly compliant here, with excellent track running available to those that like a whiff of eucalyptus instead of car fume.

So, it looked great fun. Probably a bit shy, but what the heck. Scores have already beaten PP to the airwaves, but how about a salute to our 12 runners scoring a clean 600. This exclusive club included JM (Aidan), OM, OW, MM and VM aged runners with Andy Hill topping the bill with his time of 37.18 - leading in five runners under forty minutes, something probably not seen since we used Parramatta Park for SSS adventures many moons ago. Gill Fowler the only woman amongst the blokes in the 600 club, although Pork Pie notes Mary Fein in top form with a neat and tidy 570 claim in MW. There are heaps of fives, heaps of fours. How about Toby 'Jug' Wilson going 100 points with his 570 SJM run! Alistair 'Boy' George put up a 520 in the same category, with The Dunk presumably in prelate training - and missing the adventure.

Ted 'The Woodpecker' Woodley looks good in LM, Ron and Mal continue to elude Heiko in IM, as does Neil to Wazza in SVM. Great to see Barry 'The Black Diamond' Cole back at work in IM (230 pts), and Anto 'The Panto' Pettersen walking to victory with a sensational 450. Grandpa Stitt enjoyed 51 minutes of religious exposure, while Margaret 'The Grocer' Jones copped a minus ten with her 45.02. Oh, cruel world!

Too many others to list from the tram seat, so I'll just wrap by passing on the many comments of how enjoyable the night was. Thanks to Graeme and the Garingal crew (again!!) for another excellent event. Great roll up, great course, with new punters every week getting the sniff of just how good life can be with a map in your hand!

Looking forward to next week, and we return to inner harbour environs and the joys of Manns Point Park at Greenwich. Pierre 'La Guillotine' Francois will have the slower punters in the tumbril as he works his magic in this great Sydney location - the scene of out yet to be beaten record attendance (260 odd a couple of seasons ago). It's always a tight park at 'Manns' but well worth the effort for the assembly point views of Sydney Harbour alone. When you add in the Greenwich peninsular tracks. parks, secretive bushy bits and tight street and historic houses on offer, it is almost too much to resist. In fact it IS too much to resist! Make it a date as season 23 rips onwards and upwards.

Signed off in Melbourne, where the daytime temperature manages to replicate Sydney at night! Be thankful brethren, as Pork Pie relocates to The Limerick Castle for a pot of Carlton beneath the large poster of Wayne Cary. Mmmmm.



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