Rogaining race (ARC14) 23:33:15  76.0 km (18:36 / km) +2500m 15:58 / km
shoes: Brooks Glycerin 12
TLDR – 29th, ~76km, Not on our game I think had we been firing top 15 possible.
Beware Novel below:
Daves GPS is not exporting so we are not sure on exact details but from what we back calculated we should be sitting at about 76km – climb is a complete guess.
Interestingly no adjusted climb on the working gps is: 3498 adjusted: 1452 and whilst I feel like I climbed 3.5 in the first 15.5 hours I am going to guess the adjusted ones more true?! Anyone have thoughts here?
Known – 15:34:10, 52.63km, climb as above
Planned route: (trying to get a map to share with the masses)
46, 59, 94, W23, 60, 57, 71, 90, W22, 43, 102, 68, W21, 44, 45, 73, 66, 75, 95, 84, 77, W02, 64, 31, 50, 56, 70, 32, 86, 91, 69, 80, 72, 51, 33, W01, 74, 42, 85, 76, 63, 104, 65, 79, W20, 55, 61, 92, 67, 53, 48, 40, 52, 58, 41, HH
Was about 80km
What actually happened:
46, 59, W23, 60, 57, 71, 90, W22, 43, 102, 68, W21, 44, 45. 73, 66, 84, 77, W02, 64, 31, 50, 70, 32, 86, 33, W01, 74, 42, 65, 104, W20, 79, 92, 67, 48, 40
So the blow by blow:
Friday afternoon met up with Dave and Andre at airport and took bus out to HH. The campsite was nice and the dinner was exceptional – was nice chatting to everyone before getting game face on for a change – even though most of the talk was still about the race.
Saturday morning before the race – the breakfast was average and 1 rash of tiny bacon was a disappointment but – whatever the ample feed the night before was sufficient. Got ready for the day and got maps at 9. The map is HUGE it is bigger than A2. 30k and 10m contours.
Dave and I had been keen on 100-100km but once we saw the map we both agreed 80km was realistic. Turns out we were pretty close to that and had we been on our game probably would have done it.
HH-46 gave us a sharp introduction to the terrain – it was going to be a lot of climbing out there and it was going to be challenging on the legs. 46 we were placed off to the right and didn’t build confidence early even though we grabbed it quickly.
46-59 We made a silly mistake and went off bearing in the last 150 m and ended up running around the wrong spur/gully to the west before coming back around. Feeling shaken on confidence after not a great start and the hard ground needed a flush control.
59-94(missed)-W23 didn’t present that – infact we couldn’t find 94 - we haven’t lined up a map yet but we think we either didn’t climb high enough or where lured right on our way there and where on the spur to the south – after searching for ages, we aborted to W23 – this was a water drop and was an easy pick up – but both of us mental were not well placed. 2hrs in and 110 points, 3 controls certainly not the start we hoped for!
W23-60 we changed our plan on how we went about getting there but we hit it pretty well – even though it surprised Dave. I thought at last we are onto it.
60-57 with some vigour and wanting to make up some time we went at 57 – I made a huge mistake and was so confident I was right convinced Dave on it, he thinks it was a mutual mistake but I am taking full credit/blame of it. We went for a watercourse crossing and I thought it was the proper river through the map – I thought we were navigating next to a water course but we were going up a gully. I should have known all of these rookie errors – we hit a track and turned left – everything we were predicting just massively in wrong spot. We thought we were going for 57 on the track – even though track was wrong direction we thought it was a mapping issue – properties everywhere – maybe they are the unmarked ones… we talked about by passing 57 and going 71 so we pushed on down track. After a while it just wasn’t adding up and that’s when it hit Dave. We were on Swords road. This mistake cost us 2.5-3km and about 35-45 minutes just to get us back to the point we got on the road. Only positive on this was all the animals including the cutest baby kids maybe 1 week old – omg cute want one!. From there – Dave was on his game mentally I think the relo put his mental space in gear. I however was in a very bad space – We agreed even though now 1hr15 down on time we would go to plan and try catch up on time. We ended up getting 57 nicely following the water course onto the circle edge and jumping into to it. I think it was also this point that we found a team of uni students sitting on the ground have a smoke waiting for someone to follow out. If it wasn’t this point it was slightly later but not much. Idiots.
57-71 we went back to the track and followed it to the bend just next to 71 and got into it nicely.
71-90 we went straight line and stopped a tad early as we were pulled around on the wrong spur and started to work on getting bearings I spotted it about 75m to the north-east and that gave me a big boost.
90-W22 We were maintaining planning pace + 1hr 10 or so. We had aimed off to the north of W22 to ensure we hit the road correctly and W22 was an easy grab. It was probably about now that I started feeling mentally in the game – only a lazy 5 hours in…
W22-43 Nice open farmland most of the way there the used the watercourse to guide us in counted the watercourses coming in to keep location. We hit it nicely.
43-102 We got high early and stayed there until we needed to descend – we went onto the northern watercourse junction and attacked into 102. Got it flush too from memory.
102-68 HORRIBLE – the nav was fine but the undergrowth was thick and prickly – ive been in worse but would have been happy without this leg! We hit its watercourse to the south of it and followed it up and then pushed straight on after.
68-W21 accidentally veered to the right 9east) slightly and took longer to make the road. But a nice easy leg up to the water once we were out of the horrible undergrowth.
W21-44 A good stop and had really started getting into the game now – was onto second sandi now and I am pretty sure I was already Panadol loading (pre-emptive Panadol wether needed or not) by now. Anyway 44 was easy down the watercourse and taking the 3rd southern water course to the south. An easy point to grab.
44-45 We used the water courses where possible to avoid climb – this also guided us pretty much into the circle and the control was found pretty quickly from there.
45-73 Night kitted up on the way to this point. After the track we weaved around the top of some watercourses then down onto 73 lush
73-66 Went to farmland fence used it to create our first attack point – then aimed at the north south watercourse that the control was on – took it to the north and followed it down to the control.
At this point we had slipped a bit on time maybe 1hr30 or a bit more behind schedule – so the first cut was made and 75-95 was dropped.
66-84 Aimed for the track bend and hit perfectly – followed the track until its next bend. We stayed a bit higher aiming to the south of the circle but on the watercourse – worked really well and followed onto the point.
84-77 We had been worried about this one but used the track nicely to position ourselves nicely then it was just a matter of hitting the water course and following it in. Was ideal.
77-W02 Easy north to the track and along to the water drop – Saw ShaneL here who had managed to clear the south which was a good effort if he wasn’t pulling our leg!
W02-64 This is where I started falling apart – we both went too far down road before attacking in – would have got mighty close to breaching oob, if we didn’t accidentally – we re-attacked in and I was feeling 100% lost. Dave was confident and I had no idea felt like once we were back in the bush he swung 90 degrees after taking a bearing on something and after a 100 m there was the control. Good find by him. I was confused as all hell. Looking at gps now – from the road and back from the oob fence we took a 90 degree bearing error - I think on the east-west lines they had marked – Dave must have seen the road and taken us back in.
64-31 filtered ourselves into the fence line we could use to connect the course. Geez there was a decent hill there haha. Easy pickup.
31-50 Ok even with the trace I don’t know how we messed this up so badly – we went edge of oobs then NE to track – we then followed the track north before (well I thought we headed east on bearing to the point but – nope looks like we managed to get confused on the watercourses to the south I know we did for a while – we both got frustrated and bailed out after hunting for a while – we went east to the nearer track and had agreed to pull the pin unless we could relocate easily. As we went along track we found the watercourse crossing the round and re attacked – hit it perfectly – also went incognito mode onto the point as there was a team back looking where we had got messed up 20 minutes earlier! A successful sneak in and out.
Cut 56 to try save some time and went straight for 70. (making our 3rd control dropped and 1 missed for the day)
50-70 The plan was along the road to the track intersection then on a bearing – we never found the intersection. We didn’t take too long on that before we started thinking of new idea – lets look for the water course crossing… couldn’t find it (only searched very briefly for it – 200m or so). Mmm on we don’t have an attack angle because we don’t know what to aim for. Thinking about it now clearly – could have just gone at the watercourse and then gone up the SPUR (wait for it). Instead we came up with a much longer route which was tracing the water course around until we hit the intersection water course to follow up. We did that then jumped onto the broad spur and went up it to find the control. After trudging up it for ages I said to Dave – man I thought we would have hit it by now at least – he thought another minute – I looked at my map and saw a tiny squiggle – oh dear – checks description – “The western gully” CRAP. Looked down to our right and the gully was there and within a minute there was the control. However two big time losses and bad controls and 3 within the last 4 controls not great – mind games started to creep in.
70-32 Our line wasn’t great to the corner of the property – the terrain looks to have swung us around a bit, not to badly though, a bit of nav using the oob’s and some features and bang onto the control.
32-86 Straight for the track – followed it along until it interested oobs – and then straight up to the knoll – easy. Another team was up there having a break. Surprisingly a lot of teams out and about at night.
Anyway about 2hrs30 down now – so it was time for the cutting to begin. 91, 69, 80, 72, 51 see you later – direct to 33. And if we could do it in about 30 minutes – should be back on time schedule.
So 86-33 straight at the track, turned right and followed it down until it started to climb just after a corner next to the river. Attacked from there… We messed it up on perfect bearing – hit the water course we should have crossed and thought it was the river and went along wrong hill and back up, realised our mistake, crossed over and then had farm land which was nice to spot the control as we went back towards the real river towards where it should be. This ended up putting us like 10 mins behind on time rather than 5 infront. But happy days.
33-W01 Open farmland and an easy leg to the water drop. Met the patrol car here and had a chat. I stopped my GPS here because I didn’t want it hitting max battery and corrupting again. So this is where I have a trace up to! Next time I might try go for 19hrs. Anyway the rest of nav from here is memory.
W01-74 we moved nicely up the road and at the intersection straight in onto 74 – given the time from 33 – 74 includes a decent stop we must have got it flush – but I cant recall it.
74-42 Straight out east to the track – then used track along to just after the dam – managed to find two people sleeping in space blankets – accidentally shone directly in their faces when trying to work out what the hell was in the bush – they didn’t stir though – they were out cold. Opted to not go the extra distance using track and water course to the north and rather attack directly from the junction near the dam. 42 was a mission – we must have missed it by not very far quite a few times – there was also 3 other teams in there hunting for it… we relocated twice and on the second on we found it. We went incognito once we did as the other 3 teams where still searching. Then went black out to next control
As we had struggled on 42 and the pace had slowed with a bit of fatigue we dropped 85, 76, 63 and dropped 79 to go for 104 instead.
42-65 I think we went straight at it but it looks like time wise we had some problems getting it – I cant recall exactly what happened even looking at the map now I think this one looks hard. We got it all the same and technically 30 mins up on schedule if we went back to our original plan.
65-104 Away from plan to go for the 100 pointer. Should have been easy but we rooted it – I was struggling mentally again and couldn’t really help so much with problem solving it rather than trying to confirm Daves logic. We believe we first searched the hill to the south one water course wrong – then when we corrected we corrected to the area west of the control and searched every gully out there – eventually it was light and we needed to bail out – we decided to go straight east to the road and a long slug out to the water point – on the way we checked every gully quickly looking down them and Dave checking the bearings on them to see if any matched – eventually we found the right gully as expected – but was a nice boost for a bail out option. We were pretty confident we were going to hit it on the bailout the way we were bailing out. Struggle town now also included inability to eat, feeling nauseous and ready to pass out – needed some straight water (no electrolytes etc.) thankfully the next point was a drop.
104-W20 It was a hard slog to the road from 104 – and looking at it now we really should have gone south to the road and not east – would have saved time maybe in a big way. Anyway the road walk was mind numbing and adding to the feelings above I was getting woozy and really was not good – I think Dave was a bit worried now – I also felt like the pace and attitude had shifted a bit from competitive to leisure over the last few controls – but probably more because of where I was at. At control had a caffeinated gel, fresh water, re-upped my last Panadol dose and generally tried to get myself in good space. We also decided here to drop 55 and go 79 instead.
W20-79 I don’t remember and I think there is a good reason why – but we got it reasonably efficiently so must have been a good grab. I think it was now that I started to chipper up again with the caffeinated gel and the sun starting to lift spirits.
79-92 cant recall exact route there – may have attacked off the water course but not sure – but the point was an easy find and we were bother happy with it.
92-67 So we wanted to use the saddle as attack point 1 and then the track junction as attack point 2. We both got geographically challenged on the first point – we don’t know what we hit that we thought was a saddle – only thing I can think is the top of the watercourse. All the same we pushed on and found track later than we hoped. From the track 67 was straight forward enough.
67-53 Well straight line to this one – in fact on this bearing we came across another team coming out of it confidently who chirped – haha isn’t it nice when you have a the same bearing as a team going to other way. … and yet 20 minutes of searching the area (control should have been within about 200-300m from that convo) we couldn’t find it. We checked everything we relocated lots of times we took bearing on everything – nothing we did worked but we had burnt heaps of time and wanted to push on. The second miss of the day. Wish we had a trace to see wtf happened here!
53-48 so we came south – and it appears we were way off to the west of 53 not that that gave us any clues as we had searched the east! Anyway over to 48 was easy and did nicely grabbing it. Dave gave me option to call it there with 1hr 20 to go. I decided to go one more.
48-40 managed to get caught on a very awkward fence top line was barbed wire and electric on far side. Fence was not very sturdy and no safe landing area on far side. Left leg managed to get barbed on two big punctures in gaiters didn’t even think about leg… (Monday confirmed there is a puncture in the back of left calve). Anyways we trudged across the farmland, down past dam, over the bridge and then direct line in to 40.
40-HH straight south to main road then in to HH. Finished with time to spare.
Both of us felt pretty good and not too many complaints – mind games was the worst factor of it and we both thought we could have done much better had we had our game on.
Had a good feed – proper bbq and wings and salad, a shower and a sleep before the bus back to airport.
QANTAS nicely DIDN’T give me an earlier flight even though there was seats instead made me wait 5 hours to take the flight I booked – which didn’t earn them anything but a bit of customer dissatisfaction – they also managed to break my bags wheel but I was too tired to complain come Sydney. The wait in Melbourne was brutal – had to stay awake because phone was out of battery so I couldn’t set an alarm. Had HJ’s – that shit is not food my god its horrible don’t know why I even had it! As a bonus when I got to Sydney missed the city train by a few seconds so had to wait 15 which isn’t long accept when ur destroyed tired. Then discovered the trains had track work and I had to get off a stop earlier than normal and walk the last 1.5km dragging my broken bag, sore and tired. Bed by midnight and out COLD instantly!
Anyway much thanks to Dave who makes a great partner every time and apologies to him for destroying his back (he carried me all race) – I think I need to improve my speed before I next go with him its not fair on him.
Also if you’ve managed to read the epic log of epicness - well played and thanks – even though I do the blow by blow more for my records/memory!
Final thoughts – recovered well a bit of bruising, scratches and sore feet but generally good – Event was great VRA put on a bloody good show, enjoyed the epunching, Nationals was fun. Still think going to do 24s as a socialgaine next time but well see.
Do feel like I have forgotten something but Ive typed enough now! Will add later if I remember.
-- Oh and there where points I wished I was doing MTBO instead haha
-- The weather was beautiful out there both and and night - if something a tad hot
-- The mossi's where insane and I got a bite on my lower eyelid - combined with sunburn its the gift that just keeps on giving!
-- The bugs post dusk and pre dawn were incessantly annoying and plentiful.