Rogaining Tasmania's next event will be the Lenah Valley Hop Metrograine to be held on Sunday 22 August 2021.
The Lenah Valley Hop offers something for everyone. The map is half bush, half urban, stretching from the River Derwent to Junction Cabin, and from Tolosa Park to Ridgeway. Follow the lead of the local wallabies and explore some of the lesser-known trails that will allow you to walk, run or hop without stepping foot on asphalt (if you so desire). In the urban areas, you’ll visit weird and wonderful post-boxes, street libraries and murals. Choose from a 3-hour or 6-hour event, keeping in mind that you can always return early.
Did you know that Lenah Valley was once called Kangaroo Bottom? Yeah, I’m glad it changed too. After being renamed Kangaroo Valley, it changed again to an Aboriginal word for kangaroo: “lenah”. It seems only appropriate that the title of this event -Lenah Valley Hop – reflects both the suburb’s name, as well as the many wallabies you’ll see on your ‘hop’.
You may well be familiar with Sphinx Rock, the Springs, The Organ Pipes, or even Disappearing Tarn if you’re lucky, but probably less so with the lower parts of kunanyi / Mt Wellington. This is the time to shine for the mountain’s fringes. With my trusty 3kg dog (Basil Horatio) in tow, I’ve spent this year exploring the lesser-known trails and features in this area, stretching from Tolosa Park to New Town Falls, up to Junction Cabin, and then back down to the Cascades and Knocklofty. I’m excited to share with you my finds: moss-covered ruins, delightful knolls, abandoned quarries, magnificent boulders, splendid spurs, gorgeous gullies, and of course, the odd intact hut. On the urban edges, you’ll visit public artworks, street libraries, novelty letter boxes and the odd park. There might also be a checkpoint at the local pub. However, it’ll be the bushy areas where you’ll pick up the big points.
I’m not going to lie - it’s hilly. This is Hobart, after all. It’s up to you to plan a route that minimises the hill climbs while maximising your score. And just remember, where there are hills there are views. Those views in this instance are spectacular.
It will be a question and answer-style event (eg. How many cows are in the John Turnbull Park mural?). To get you off the tracks once in a while, there will also be a number of temporary checkpoints placed in the bushier areas. The navigation will not be too tricky, but it’s best to bring a compass just in case. Choose from a 3-hour or a 6-hour event, but I encourage you to enter the 6-hour to give you enough time to get up into the hills and back. Keep in mind that you can always come back early to the Hash House (Lenah Valley Community Hall) to enjoy Darryn’s famous afternoon tea, which is provided for all entrants.
For those new to rogaining, I can best describe it as the underappreciated but highly addictive lovechild of scavenger hunts and bushwalking. You have time beforehand to plan a route that best suits your abilities. It’s strictly on-foot, which means no bikes, but you can walk, run, or perform interpretive dances around the course depending on your style. There will be help for novices on the day, and teams comprising all first-timers have a special bonus prize category. It’s a terrific opportunity to ditch Google Maps and engage the brain, using just a map and compass to find your way. Try it.
The “weetapoona wander” is now all done, to the great satisfaction of both participants and organisers. Judging by the feedback received everyone seemed delighted with the scenery and the course. The warm thanks received by the organisers (Peter & Robyn Tuft) justify the efforts needed to hold the event.
Events like this can’t be run without the support of a large crew of volunteers who do everything from negotiating with landowners to setting the course to running admin to cleaning up the hash house after it’s all over. Rogaining Tasmania is immensely grateful to all of them.
RT is also grateful to the landowners involved in the event. Particularly to Murrayfield Station and the Weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation for access to their beautiful property but also to other private land owners/managers: Leigh Davis, Dianne Veda, Deb Clarke, Leigh Blackwell, Peter Schwartz & Richard Clarke.
12 h first overall: John McComb and Ian Parker (pictured)
6 h first overall: Joe Dickinson and Oskar Bucirde
Full results are available at https://rt.asn.au/event-results. You can see the checkpoint sequence on the map of every team at https://rogaine-results.com. There were some punch failures so if you see any odd legs that skip checkpoints that may be the reason.
Teams can upload their GPS track and view the tracks of other teams at https://www.rt.asn.au/events/routegadget
Photos from the event including category winners can be viewed at https://photos.app.goo.gl/c46gmyzFEY1isjKN6
Have you wondered how two teenagers managed to beat all the adults at the recent rogaine? Well wonder no more because Euan is here to explain how we did it.
We started off and immediately decided that the most important task was to hit the archery field. Through a democratic ballot, Niko 'Katniss' Stoner was told he had to do it, which was good as he then went on to score a massive 50 points. We then retreated to the back of the ute to plan our route. We started off by aiming to run both the south and north maps and net ourselves a swathe of points. Upon reflection (and the wisdom of a parent's sage advice) we narrowed this down to just the northern map. We also calculated that our original plan would have been closer to 80km!
After winning the overall Clarence Capers metrogaine in 2019, Darryl Smith and I decided to team up again on our mountain bikes to see how we would fare in the 2020 Hit or Miss metrogaine, located on the South Arm Peninsula, and taking in the spider-web like network of the Tangara Trail. The event was based out of the Hobart Archers Club at Roaches Beach, and fittingly, offered up to 60 bonus points if one team member was able to hit a target with a bow and arrow, across six attempts. I can't say I've ever started a race by firing an arrow, and wasn't feeling confident with my archery skills, so it was up to Darryl to take on this challenge. After an initial misfire, Darryl turned out to be Robin Hood in disguise, and fired nearly 5 bullseyes in a row, which gained our team 50 points before even getting out onto the course !
The competitors moved with such unseemly haste through the Tangara trails that we the setters and vetters had perused at our leisure and saw them in many hues. We paddled on the beaches and cycled with gay abandon through flood waters, stopped at the cafés and shops and found secret connections and community cared for verges, unique architecture and were chased by many backyard dogs. In short setting the metrogaine gave us an excuse to explore our own backyard.
The machine that is Rogaining Tasmania supported us every step of the way with a clear outline of what we ‘needed’ to do by when and help with all the little tasks that seemed to be beyond us as the event got closer. If you enjoyed participating in the event, and you have enjoyed a couple of the others in the past you are a prime candidate for taking your rogaining or metrogaining to the next level and organising an event. It does take time and a bit of commitment, but it is incredibly rewarding. Need a map - I can help. Need more helpers - Gary is great at finding people.