Rogaining race 23:45:00  70.0 km (20:21 / km)
ARA Champs near Cairns with Paul Hoopman
Took quite some time debating options for the route as everywhere was hilly and not many tracks or easier looking stuff for the night time. Decided to focus on the Eastern side, good decision if for no other reason than to get to the West as you had cross Davies Creek within 500m of the start and wade through. So we followed the crowd to 41 and then set off to tour around the northern parts of the map and quickly worked out that it was as slow going as we expected. Arrived as the first team at 96 just on dark No Control! Thought we were in the right spot on a big creek junction having come down the creek so we carried on down the creek, saw a few foot prints in the sand, passing the other features that confirmed where we were. Got to the railway line and decided we should take one more look, back up to the creek junction, by which time another team, that we had passed an hour so earlier, was there so we all agreed the control missing or in the wrong place 30-40 minutes of lost time. Continued on towards the All Night Café (ANC) spotted Ricky and Shane running down the railway on their way to 96 but they were gone in flash so no time to tell them of the problem . Turns out it was stolen – go figure how someone would find it randomly in a remote spot and then think it was cool to pinch the control!
ANC was good with soup and fruit cake and refill of the water, shame it was the only water drop – they could have down better with some other water drops. Were well on schedule so crossed under the highway and do 4 controls on the West side and then back near the Hash House to finish our planned route. For what I think is my first time ever we had time to do some extra so off for another 8 km or so around a loop back on the East before getting into the Hash House with 15 minutes to spare.
The course was very good and challenging with excellent contour detail and controls set to match the detail in most parts but a few were obvious and could have been on more subtle features as the mapping did stand up to the reality. Paul and I just pipped Ted and Derrick for 2nd Old Farts by 10 points, but 130 off the winners which was possible but not on the day. Can’t find any on line results as yet.
The showers were good, even if I had a cold one, then a long wait for results and shame but they just read out place getters. ARA needs to tell organisers that they should read all the results from bottom to top but by the time they had thanked everyone and told us what a great event it was several times over they would not have had time anyway as the bus was waiting.
Hopefully will be able to recover something from my GPS logger when my bag turns up tonight as Jet Star kindly off loaded 50 bags in lieu of off-loading people get the plane under weight to fly back to Perth – 1 hour late!
Had good luck in the taxi queue as Marty was in front of me and got a ride home courtesy of his expense account.
A good weekend and good area – tough but well set and mapped.