By Susan Gardner.
After competing in a metrogaine around 2 years ago with my husband and bushwalking friend John, he asked if we would like to do a rogaine. We were a little apprehensive at first but thought why not try something new.
The venue at Murrayfield on Bruny Island was a bonus, I had stayed there several times with bushwalkers and scouts. We soon signed up and received our information packs. As we are all over 65, we were put in the ultra-veterans class.
Arriving at Murrayfield on the Saturday morning we saw a mass of people of all ages and the tents of people who had stayed overnight. We picked up our maps and sat down to plan our route for the 6-hour course. We decided on a route towards the south that took in coastal scenery and the church ruins where we have walked several times. This involved finding 15 checkpoints.
By Peter and Robyn Tuft.
We have cycled regularly on Bruny because we live nearby, and every time we rode through some part of North Bruny we couldn’t help thinking how perfect it seemed for rogaining because of its undulating terrain divided between pasture and delightfully open forest. As all competitors now know it is indeed ideal for a rogaine, with the added bonus of the glorious eastern coastline.
Setting a rogaine has many interesting challenges, one of which is deciding on the length of the course. Ideally the setters want to tempt elite teams to collect every checkpoint, but to put that target just out of reach. Setting more checkpoints than anyone can reach is just wasted effort. In this case we almost got that right - one team did get the lot, but only one. Congratulations to John McComb and Ian Parker for cleaning-up by travelling 66kms in just 10 hours 25 mins. Also congratulations to Oskar Bucirde and Joseph Dickinson who won the 6-hr.
A lot of work - and a lot of fun - goes in to putting on a rogaine. This was my second time setting an event using the same map extent, and despite living on the map, and having lived (and run) in the Kingston area the majority of my life, I still learnt things and discovered places I’d never been to before. Having three of us – Gary, Ciara and I – to share the setting and vetting made the load very manageable.
This event was a bit longer in the planning than it might otherwise have been, thanks to Covid, but having an earlier-changed-to-later event date meant I had more time to procrastinate… ahem, I mean to carefully split my setting and vetting into lots of small trips. This was convenient for me living on the map – I could go out on a state-sanctioned Covid exercise excursion and set a checkpoint or two, and then pop out before dinner and vet a nearby checkpoint some weeks later.
Our team of three approached the setting task by dividing the map up into sections, with each of us responsible for setting within our allocated areas. This was my first time using Avenza Maps (a smartphone mapping app) for setting, which was a really convenient and satisfying way of doing it (although Gary was the one collating all the information exported from Avenza and doing all the mapping, so I know that was also a large part of what made it easy for me – thanks Gary!)
By Jon McComb
Pulling up to the skate park in Blackmans Bay, we were greeted by a beautiful morning – perfect weather for rogaining around Kingborough’s beachside suburbs. My lovely wife and previous rogaine partner said I had to find someone else for this one as she was washing her hair. So I was fortunate to end up with Ian, whose regular partner was busted and seemed pretty happy to rein in his pace to match mine. In fact he was so blasé about the prospect of running 4 hours with me he went for a kayak in the morning.
I was looking forward to a solid run and breaking out of my usual running routes around the neighbourhood. With years of local running I figured we could cover about 40km depending on how hilly we made it. I think route planning before the start is a really fun but underappreciated part of rogaining. The fancy cardboard, pin and string set-ups used by a few experienced teams at the last rogaine caught my eye, so I brought all the bits along. What I discovered is that it takes next level coordination to manage everything in a breeze. As we plotted our route we reached the end of the string and still hadn’t covered all the controls… this was not a good sign. Our route to collect the lot would have been about 48km so unless we grew wings, we were going to have to drop some controls.
Well it’s all done. All the competitors returned, more-or-less on time, we did not have to search for anyone and no-one was hurt (other than blisters etc). The results have been finalised and published. It’s not all about winning, and everyone we spoke to seemed to have had a thoroughly enjoyable time regardless of their score. So what else is there? Just a wrap-up and particularly thanks. An extraordinary number of people and organisations contributed to this event, and all deserve recognition: