Rogaining Tasmania Inc.

Sussan and Sophie Best 

What a fantastic day for an event in Launceston. Clear skies and mild temperatures meant we were in for a perfect day to criss-cross the city in search of answers to some of life’s biggest questions.

We approached the planning in the same manner as we have previously: enthusiastically and completely overestimating our abilities. As time ticked away, we removed some of the furthest controls and pulled the calculator out for the 100th time to work out which combination gave us better bang for buck. We were ready to set off, head straight into Trevallyn Reserve, loop across Prospect, drop back across town and then into Riverside. It was a great route, although I couldn’t help a nagging feeling that we weren’t the fastest of runners and we didn’t really have a plan B. This was highlighted when we spoke to the eventual winners, Joe and Euan, and realised we had plotted a route alarmingly similar to them, but without the fitness, speed or endurance to pull it off.

A frantic discussion as the final briefing occurred (promise we listened!) and the entire plan was discarded before we set out 180 degrees in the other direction. This meant we could focus on gaining a tremendous number of points in the first hour around Riverside. We continued into Invermay before coming back across the bridge at UTAS. We saw a surprising number of teams on the section between city park and Heather Lodge. Clearly these were popular controls.

With 90 minutes remaining, we had several steep uphills to negotiate. Unfortunately, this is Launceston. The Hash House was situated on the side of one of them and there was no alternative. With only three crossing points from town and one already ticked off, Duckreach was never going to happen, which left the basin. Funnily enough, it is called that because it resembles one, albeit a deep pudding style one, with the only access for the competitive points bagger being from most of the way up West Launceston. Sigh! Up and then down we went.

The last hike up to the 80 points near the Hash House using the Eagle’s Eyrie track was brutal. Our “inside knowledge” meant we knew it would be straight up and with the time ticking. Pausing to take in the view and maybe breathe normally, was not an option. This checkpoint was also popular with many teams, and we commiserated with others clearly not enjoying the final hurrah any more than we had. Still, it was downhill to the finish and the welcome sight of lollies and afternoon tea. Probably a highlight of the day was the opportunity to sit outside on the grass and chat to all the other teams, delighting in the knowledge the garage door was black, the wall was white and the automobile red.

A huge thank you to all the organisers and volunteers. We appreciate how much time and effort goes into making these events successful.We thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate closer to home and were delighted to win our category. Next time though, we will aim to have a plan not devised at the briefing!

by Sophie and Sussan Best