After a fantastic weekend competing in the 2022 Australasian Rogaining Championships in the Pyrenees, Victoria (not the Pyrenees in Europe!) Jaymee Knoll and I enthusiastically signed up to help with the upcoming metrogaine in Tasmania: The SoHo shuffle. We signed up to vet for Jack, who had begun setting a course in December. By the end of January we hadn’t met Jack Marquis, but we had a long list of checkpoints he had set to visit!
SoHo organisers – Jaymee, Bridget, Jack and Gary
Our first few trips out were accompanied by Roxy, a boisterous young puppy. We walked the streets of Lenah Valley, West and South Hobart, and Knocklofty with her on hot summer days, enjoying the urban gems that Jack had discovered for us. Some favourites include: a mosaic whale, the black and yellow cockatoo mural, and the motto of the Sandy Bay bowls club. Jaymee and I spent evenings both together and separate, working on small sections of the map, getting a bit of exercise after work. We spent a cooler day exploring the Waterworks reserve and Ridgeway, watching an echidna seemingly melt into a tiny hole, and experiencing trails neither of us had been along before . Both of us found the experience very different to participating in an event- we got to take our time, enjoy the views and consider the viewpoints of the competitors, and visit everywhere on the map: something that we usually can’t achieve in a rogaine!
Our emails overflowed back and forth with Jack and Gary- “please edit this track! Can we change this checkpoint?”- as the course expanded and changed over time. The build-up to the big day was exciting- testing and breaking Gary’s scoring software to ensure it would work on the day, finally meeting Jack at the South Hobart community centre, seeing entries roll in… I was simultaneously nervous and excited.
The big day went shockingly smoothly, with very little drama. Happy rogainers turned up bright and early on a gorgeous March day, and finished, tired but stoked. We were stoked too- no major dramas, marking was completed quickly, and there was only a tiny amount of checkpoint chaos! I had a blast spending the day with Jack, Jaymee and Gary, from setting up the hall, through to packing up and chatting with happy punters. It was great fun working behind the scenes in a rogaine: between Gary’s expertise, Jack’s stunning course, and Jaymee’s exceptional organisation skills, it was a smooth and fantastic experience. Thank you to volunteers who helped us on the day, the caterers for providing a *delicious* afternoon tea, and the Rogaining Tasmania committee for all their support: especially Gary, whose expertise, mapping skills and software made our lives a heck of a lot easier! Please contact the RT committee if you are interested in helping organise a future event. You won’t regret it.
Congratulations to the category winners! The 3-hr event was won by Frank Casimaty, Colin Berry and Steve Eastwood who scraped in just ahead of 1st mixed James Scott and Ainsley Scott. The 6-hr event was won by Jonathan McComb and Ian Parker. They visited 48 checkpoints, which was half the checkpoints on the huge course and stayed mostly in the south of the map. They travelled 42 kms with 1.7km of climb.
A massive thank you to all volunteers, particularly the marshals and scorers/computer helpers. They had the results ready 19 minutes after the 6-hr finish time: Darryl Smith, Nicolë Carpenter, Karen Wild-Allen, Simon Allen, Kristin Raw, Liz Canning. Hugh Fitzgerald, Laura Leworthy, Sandy Collin and Karl Malakoff.
Article written by Bridget White