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"The Journey of the Boundary Riders"
A heartwarming tale of adventure from the 2007 Paddy Pallin Rogaine

As was customary, I was up at sparrow's to get our maps, and was duly informed of some map changes. Thinking that they would be minor corrections to tracks, I was then surprised to find half the course had been scratched from the race! I guess it was too late for the organisers to add the canoe for the crossing of the Cox's River to the 'must bring'  list. My trusty team from last year was roused, and over breakfast instigated a hasty workshopping over the map, our planned course became a circuit on the boundary of the somewhat modified course.

The crowds mingled among the heritage significant horse sheds at Rydal showground and upon the sounding of the start siren we were pursuing everyone else going in exactly the same direction (We had no choice, the start was at the very south of the course!). After we realised the pub was just out of bounds and that there was no turning back, we were on our way to destiny and glory. One of our team members (who shall remain nameless) was looking out for the imaginary red line marked on the map as the course boundary. We politely informed him that it existed only in someone's mind.

Competitors approach Control 21, in a scene repeated at many other controls

As we started to make bleating noises we fortunately reached control 21 just before peak hour, and then ran back up the hill past what looked like a supermarket queue. I swear someone would yell 'price check!' at any moment.

Wallabies were seen hopping through the open woodland, and this technique came in useful when we jumped across the many swollen creeks out on road out east. Bob, trail bike rider in our team, made sounds like a gear change while we trundled up a steep long section of fire trail. It didn't help him much.

We eventually arrived at control point that saw the sun first, number 60.  (What sun? you ask)  This one was on top of a hill with a wooded knoll which was bleeding obvious for miles away. The only plan of attack was one way in, the same way out. With our heads down we pressed on upwards passing others who stated  "It's a lot easier coming back down".  I think we knew that. A few minutes to enjoy the scenery and it was back down the way we came, telling others coming up  "It's a lot easier coming back down". But I think they already knew that.

Hash House of the ancients

We powered across to control 43 pass the view of the Wallerawang Greenhouse Gas Funnel. As we entered the forest , we felt like we'd taken the wrong left turn to southern Germany. At control 36, we squelched up the creek, where we came upon a large amount of rogainers mingling around and catching up on the latest goss. (Hey, this was a hip place!)  We decided to go against common judgement, and being individuals (we're all individuals!) headed north onto Sugarmans Hill Road. We may have been the only ones to stumble on what looked like the ruins of an ancient dunny block (pictured).

We pushed on hard all day, not taking advantage of any morning tea or lunch breaks stipulated in the public service award agreement. Keith, "the mountain goat",  became our pace setter. Near control 57, we stopped for about 5 minutes and promptly started to refrigerate, so moving became more appealing. It must have been really chilly, because I realised at the end of the course that Mark 'the walking bar heater' had worn his fleece and beanie all the way through. We came across a girl aged about 7 years old in pink trackies walking along the creek from control 59. Her dad followed with a baby in his backpack. And we thought that we were competitive getting to this point!

'Keep moving like a wallaby; it's colder than a stepmother's kiss out here!'

The imaginary 'Line of Death' seen near the GWH

As we turned around to head home, we were accompanied by the sounds of traffic from the Great Western Highway. There was lots of 20 and 30 point "collectables" on the way back near the start, which were "just down this little dry gully then up the gentle hill" but who am I trying to kid. We gave away control 20 because Father Time said "NO!" and came back to find that our friends at beaten us by 10 points. Dammit, it's too late to go back and get it now!


On behalf of a tiny bit above average rogainer, thanks go out to the organisers, volunteers, caterers who made the day.

James Stuart, Team 62