Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Wednesday means Street-O time again. This time the event is just round the corner on Doncaster Road, but we opt for the car rather than walk (again). Google Earth tells us there are loads of parking places, although we know from previous experience that they will all be taken if we delay too long.

6.40pm proves to be a good arrival time for a 7pm start and we pay the paltry 4 dollars each, fill in control cards (come back Emit, all is forgiven) and scan the available blank maps for any helpful clues. My 'D' course only requires me to visit 8 controls so I can see that south of the Eastern Freeway is not an option for me. I can hear the traffic from here.

We turn over our maps on command, some going east and some go west. I go east. It is only when I struggle up the slope to my first control, number 8, that I realise the map has 10 metre contours, so we are clearly in for plenty of up-and-down. 5 comes next and then 11. Do I go for 3 now, or do 16 later on? I opt for the former.

My legs seem to be behaving themselves this evening. My newly purchased ankle strapping tape is doing the trick. I am reminded of a trip to hospital in a previous life with a severely sprained ankle. It's never been the same since. Tonight is good however. If I can get 4 or 5 controls done without pains, I'm happy to limp the rest.

3 comes up on cue, then down a big dip and up to 13. Lower legs are fine, I can push it a bit. 18 is down to the bottom of a steep hill then back the way I've come, heading for 4. Either there's a lot of up and down here, or I'm flagging a bit. 10 finishes the job off in about 33 minutes for 4.5 kilometres. Pleased with that, but delighted that I seem to have found some pharmaceutical assistance for my aging limbs.

Pat's new shoes have propelled her speedily around the walkers' score course and she is pleased with her route.

I have now run 4 times in the last 8 days, which for me is a colossal amount. I've also lost 8 kilos in weight. These two facts are surely connected. Let's hope I can keep it up.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Smith's Dell

This Wednesday's street event sees us head into the posher part of town; the fourbyfours are all clean here. This is Hawthorn, about 30 minutes along the freeway, at the limit of our midweek travel radius. A glance at google maps suggests some park running which will be nicer than plodding the streets.

The car park is overflowing when we arrive with a full quarter-hour to spare. The more events we do, the later we get. Parking up the street, we quickly get ready. I still take my compass although I hardly need it. I would feel lopsided without it. This is a score event and I opt for the 40 minute running version (course D) while Pat is doing the walkers 65 minutes. There are lots of people here, looks like another bumper 150 plus turnout.

I find myself giving out maps to eager hands as 7pm edges nearer. Some last-minute instructions which no-one listens to and then we're off. We turn over our maps and search for some meaning. A group of lucrative controls (19, 17, 20) to the north catches my eye and I head off up the hill, trying to catch John but I can't. 19 comes first, then we enter an interesting narrow lanes section between 10, 17 and 1. Four controls done and 15 minutes taken, now what?

I trot down towards the freeway. Can I go under it, or will I have to go round? I'm keen to get 16, but no clear plan on how to get there. Then I see John again, clearly going round to the right, so I follow him. We reach control 4 together but can't see it. Then I read the control descriptions, better late than never, and it says 'seat underside'. I spot it, but why does it need to be underside? On down the track, past an enthusiastic game of baseball, to the valuable 16.

I glance at my watch, a new Aldi purchase for $7, cheaper than buying a new strap for my old watch. It shows ten minutes left. Time to go to 13? I don't think so. My calf has tightened up, forcing me to run on my heels. I'll head back the way I've come and collect 6, which I had very cleverly left for just such an eventuality. I stagger beyond the cycle velodrome, the bikes whooshing past. Not far now.

Finishing with a minute to spare, I hand in my control card. Why no electronic punching? Then we could have instant results. I think I've done OK, but there's no way of knowing. Pat comes in a little later, also pleased with her effort. We learn later - results appear on the website the following morning, now that's impressive - that we are both well into the top half on our courses. We are both getting fitter, which bodes well for when we can find some bush orienteering to get our technical teeth into.