The nostalgia I had felt about returning to Bangor after events in ‘98 and ‘03 had nearly entirely evaporated as I stepped on or near my tenth snake for the day with no water left, and another five checkpoints to hang. The beauty of the northern farmland and the beaches a distant memory as I pushed on through the scrub in the south. Looking at the map on the kitchen table it all seemed so straight forward…
It had been 13 years since I last set a rogaine, yet it seemed to me that in all that time the faces hadn’t changed (aged – yes, changed – no). As an exciting treasure hunt to lure in the youth it had seemed to slip well behind geocaching and orienteering, let alone Pokémon Go! Our self-inflicted mandate thus was to try and encourage as many families and new faces as we could to venture out onto the course and enjoy the navigation and camaraderie of rogaining. We couldn’t think of a better area to make it happen than Bangor. Beautiful scenery, an abundance of native wildlife, and an engaged farming family only heightened our expectations whilst the quality of the cheese platters and coffee available on the course only increased the frequency of our visits. Nearly 170 entrants made for the largest field for some time with many new faces and record numbers of juniors – we felt we had hit our first mark. The high density of ccheckpoints around the HH it was hoped would ensure concentration spans lingered longer than usual and on reflection, the number of juniors out on the course at all hours suggests that was a winning strategy too and well worthy of serious consideration for any future courses.
There were some clear highlights for me over the length of the race. Sharing the campfire with scores of tired teams, hearing about their experiences out on the course was great; the accusatory, indignant look on the President’s face when he failed to find 102 at 2am was another.
There were some inspiring performances out on the course. Clare Hawthorne and Paul Liggins racked up 1000 points in six hours to take out the 6hr category in an impressive effort. The winners of the roving 15 Brendon Hey, Lorin Hey and Jed Bulter amassed 1140 points in their victory. Best laid plans of pre-dawn starts for many in the roving 15hr were cut down by a terrifically ferocious storm that tore through the HH at about 5am ensuring that extra points drifted from the forefront of most teams’ minds (and that the catering tents similarly drifted out of the designated HH area into the bush!)
Our interstate visitors Toni Bachvarova and Andrew Smith dominated the 24hr race totalling 2510 points with a comfortable winning margin of 410.
A big congratulations to all who participated and a massive thanks to all who helped on the day and to those who assisted with setting, vetting and map alteration duties.
See you all again in 2031.
Bangor results and data
Full event results and winners’ route: https://www.rt.asn.au/event-results
Teams’ routes between checkpoints – including their dark or daylight position – and statistics on legs: http://rogaine-results.com