Sunday, 31 August 2014
Sunday, 13 July 2014
Sunday, 1 June 2014
We handed Claudia and Max back to their parents and prepared for our courses. The rain by now was persisting down and threatened to become an important factor in our progress. Gloomy sky, muddy tracks, dripping trees - I was becoming almost nostalgic for the Old Country. Almost. My Big Boys course went well until halfway, when increasing foggy vision through my glasses forced me to regularly dry them on my shirt, itself becoming increasingly sodden.
Overall, my result was a good one. My Clever Watch told me that 8.2 muddy kilometres distance with 220 metres of climbing had been covered in 73 minutes. A scan of the results showed several of my contemporaries ahead of me, although not by much, and certainly less than seven minutes! Cést la vie. Next time, of course, it will be different. Perhaps the weather will be more considerate.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Sunday, 4 May 2014
Sunday, 27 April 2014
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Friday, 28 February 2014
If you can dream, and not make dreams your master,
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And, which is more, you'll be a Man, my son!
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Wednesday's street event, on a sticky evening, was a sweaty, spread-out (five minutes between controls) and lonely (for a mass-start) affair. My plan to complete one of these events without a map would certainly have foundered tonight.
Thursday was a five-minute trip up the road - stopping just before Doncaster Shopping Centre. 10-metre contours on the map and a Russell Bulman course mean only one thing - prepare for a world of pain. From here, everywhere looks down. I determined to visit my regular haunt of Ruffey Lake Park to the north, even at the cost of course points efficiency. They always say head from the start to the edge of the map - any edge. So what do I do? Straight up the middle. Up the map and down the hill. 12 is my first, then down to 3, then down again to 10 and into the park. I don't like downhill, I know what it will mean. By now I am totally alone. I bet I'm the only one doing this crazy circuit. I leave out 19, a mistake, but capturing all the others will leave me only four more controls to do. Simples.
I slow to a crawl up the steep contours back towards the start. 9,6,20 and 13, in that order. If I'd visited 19, I wouldn't now be staggering up to 20. The hill steepens as the finish approaches and I hand in my card, trying not to drip sweat all over Russell at the finish table. I am very surprised to find I am the first Old Person back on the C course. Maybe my strategy was a good one after all. To my surprise, Ray informs me I have qualified for the Melbourne Championships in a couple of weeks. Rather ironically, since this is my first time on this map, local knowledge seems to have helped.
We later discover that Pat is also qualified. Who will finish the higher in our respective competitions? Let me tell you, for those who think they know what pressure is, this is pressure.
Sunday, 2 February 2014
The Warburton cricket oval, surrounded by the winding Yarra river, looks a picture as we arrive at our assembly area for the Silva Duo, an orienteering Run-Ride-Run challenge. I prefer to keep my feet on the ground, while Peta enjoys the mountain bike form of the sport, so we enter the relay class. I am to start with a 4km scatter course, and then have a rest while Peta does 10km on the bike, and I finish with an easy 2.5km line course.
Thankfully, with soaring temperatures forecast for later in the day and a total fire ban in force, the start has been brought forward to 9.30am, with an expectation that we should be finished by 11am and ready for a paddle in the river shallows.
I have the task of visiting any nine controls from the 14 on the map, returning to the oval as soon as possible. I head west for my first control (14) on the bridge, then up the hill to 3. this proves to be tricky for several of us when we overlook a minor track between the roads. I get back on course by wading up through knee-high tree litter. Lilya overtakes me here.
I have to finish with 9-7-4, so I look for four more to make up my total. 9-12-2-5 is my eventual choice, the navigation proving to be easy, although the contours regularly slow me to a crawl. Number 9 is not immediately obvious, tucked behind a lower fence which I don't see straight away. I see Lilya again several times as we follow the same choice of controls.
I wheeze hard as we trot along the river bank towards the finish. A rickety bridge slows me to a mincing walk; I hold my breath and all is well. I hand over to Peta who heads off on her bike while I head for the car and a fresh application of Factor 50. A cold drink is welcome and a chance to discard my sweaty top. It looks like I'm first back in the relay class.
It is soon time to anticipate Peta's return, and I wait in the shade; it is heating up now. Peta arrives (in the lead) and I am off again. This is just a simple run along both river banks and two of the bridges. Some lucky folks have already taken to the water as the sun beats down. Tim is just ahead of me and I manage to keep up; he has just done the bike leg while I've been resting. A steady trot soon brings me back to the finish. We are first to finish but an examination of our split times shows that we are one control short. It doesn't matter though, since we have both achieved good performances in steep terrain and hot conditions.
We head for the river and sit on the bank, trailing hot feet in the cold flow. Brilliant! Every orienteering event should have this. Prizes are presented, sandwiches are eaten, then we head back to Melbourne with the aircon on overdrive. Lovely area, good courses, colour maps, electronic punching and a cold river on a hot day. What's not to like?