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.



1 comment:

the unknown runner said...

I thought it was a well set course especially if you are a plodder as you could get a good score. It was good to do a lot of bush track running.

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