Thursday, 13 September 2012

Canterbury Trails

Pat and I jump in the car to go to the Canterbury night street event on Wednesday, and jump out again four minutes later. It's only round the corner. We decide to walk the course together, a 65 minute score event, taking in as many controls as we can in the time allowed. Double digit controls are good, since those score more highly than the others. A throng 100-strong gathers as mass-start time approaches. My mini head torch will be quite sufficient to read the map as we march round the local streets.

The start signal is given and a quick scan of the map suggests a clockwise route, controls being bunched in groups of three. 5-20-10 come first, then through the little park to 15-9-19. Rain starts to patter down at this stage and I begin to regret not bringing a map case. I stuff the map under my shirt to keep it dry. 4-18-14 come next and we then head for 8, trying to decide when to cut and make for home. We decide we should have time for 13 and then 17. The streets have gone quiet now, the runners probably already heading for the finish triangle. We reach our final two controls and make it back with a couple of minutes to spare.

I am grateful that my legs made it to the end. Pat is made of sterner stuff and has no worries, as we say round here. The street of Melbourne are as quiet and peaceful as always, excepting the hithering and thithering of itinerant head torches. It is very good exercise, cheap and cheerful, and extremely convenient to home. The navigational challenge is quite simple with these events but, given the grid-pattern nature of Melburnian streets, perhaps inevitable.

Soon, we will advance the clocks as summer gets nearer and then these events will be sunlit rather than torchlit. Maybe the navigational challenge will increase with the lengthening of daylight. Legs permitting, I know I'll be there.


  1. Your patter of rain reminded me of my last Melbourne street event.
    April 2011, Kangaroo Very Flat, and that evening very wet.
    Staying with family on the map 5 mins walk from the start. Torrential rain, footpaths flowing like rivers and wet feet within seconds of leaving the door.
    Rain gauge next morning showed over an inch of rain, most of it falling in the hour around the start time.
    Still a good turn out and chance to catch up with some old friends. Rain had stopped by the finish.

  2. Yes, these events have a good turnout which seems unaffected by adverse weather. I just wish there was more of a navigational challenge, mainly because my running is weak. The timing of your comment suggests you're not presently in Australia?