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:
Julie and I had been looking forward to returning to Tassie since we'd ridden from Launceston via Bay of Fires down the east coast in January 2018, passing through some of the forest in the coastal hinterland thinking what a great area it would be for rogaining. Add to that the opportunity to bring our MTBs and do a bit more riding after the event, it was a no-brainer.
Overall Winners David Baldwin & Julie Quinn
The drive up the Fingal valley on Friday saw snow on the hill tops. At least we weren't going to overheat. After the ARA AGM we headed to Binalong Bay to the house we were sharing with Jeannie Douglass and Ron Simpson and enjoyed a roast dinner they'd whipped up - perfect! Julie made some strawberry pancakes to eat during the event and we were all set for the rogaine.
It sounds like a cliché but organising the course for 2019 Australasian Championships was a team effort. In May 2017 we were looking at the Buckland/Nugent area just east of Hobart but from April 2018 onwards we were focussed on the St Helens area. St Helens offered greater navigational challenges with varying terrain: beach and coastal, granite terrain, former tin-mining areas and some marshland.
In the early stages the main issue was creating the base map. Although the event area is undeniably scenic, a successful event required an accurate map to be fair on the entrants. Bernard spent untold weeks working on the map, pulling together data from TheList (Tas Govt), aerial photographs and processing LiDAR data to produce the contours, streams and the patches of dense vegetation. Bernard and Sara Brain made several trips to the proposed area to test the map and to carry out map corrections.