G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 9th June 2020

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Compiled by Tristan White

Navigating our way out of the Covid days

The world has literally ground to a halt in the past three months as the global pandemic has taken a stronghold and smashed the way in which we think about living our day to day life, with all forms of cancelled activities and events occurring as result. Needless to say, rogaining has not been spared. We have already seen holes in our calendar where the Metrogaine, Autumngaine and Nav workshop should have been, and it’s almost certain at least the next event or two won’t run as planned.

But the good news is that gradually restrictions are easing, with many things now allowed again. However, it could be some time before rogaining as we know it will return, so the committee recently met via Skype to develop a plan to get at least a modified version of the sport back on track again with formal events as soon as it becomes permissible. The key information from this meeting includes the following points:

  • A formal COVID safety plan will be prepared by President Trevor Gollan and Safety Officer Michael Watts to be released within the next couple of weeks.
  • One of the significant risks is the repeated hand contact with the Navlight scoring system and ways to mitigate this. These mitigation strategies include using the old-fashioned 2-letter code system, creating a rigid mount for the punches, or even converting to the orienteering SportIdent system.
  • Enforced social distancing measures to be put in place at the Hash House, possibly including staggered starts to reduce the number of people at the start
  • Food is likely to be off the menu, at least for shorter events to reduce contact risks
But while we’re waiting for real rogaines to return, we are now...

Introducing Virtual Rogaining!

As we wait in the wings for formal rogaining events to return to the calendar we are pleased to announce the introduction of virtual rogaining, courtesy of MapRunF, an app that allows you to go rogaining using your smartphone for “punching”, timing and even map viewing. It means that we don’t need to have flags and Navlights out on the course and you can go out there anytime you like.

The principles are simple – you load the app and the map, go to the virtual hash house, press start on your phone and do the rogaine. You also need to print the map beforehand (it may be slightly altered from the original). Your phone tracks your location and pings when you get within x metres of the virtual flag. With the same time limit as the original event, you can be solo or any-size team, and you can do the course multiple times, anytime of day or night. Your result is posted to an online list so you can compare against others or against yourself. This is DIY rogaining.

Currently, the following events are on our system:

  • 2020 “Head to Head” Minigaine (Narrabeen)
  • “Berowra Bewilderness” Socialgaine
  • Paddy Pallin (Catherine Hill Bay)
  • Socialgaine (Wangi Wangi)
  • Nyctophobia Buster (Hornsby Heights)
  • Minigaine (Wolli Ck)
  • Minigaine (Cronulla)

Check the MapRunF page here for the full instructions, maps and course setters notes.

Garingal Orienteers (a club which many rogainers are also a part of, including myself) has also set up five MapRun courses using the beautiful and popular South Wahroonga “Fox Valley” map, which you can read about here. And if all this isn’t enough then you can check out Orienteering NSW’s permanent course webpage.NSWRA wishes to thank Peter Effeney, the developer and tireless administrator of the app for making MaprunF available to the entire Orienteering and Rogaining community.

We would also like to thank our volunteer coordinator and mapping wizard Graham Field for his efforts in pulling our maps together.

Rogaining is now on

Although many rogainers are determinedly old-school and refuse to get caught up in the flurry of social media, our Facebook page has nonetheless passed 1,000 members, and has in recent years been almost an essential forum of discussion of comparing experiences, finding teammates, and sending a reminder just before event entries close. It has also become a great forum to discuss ideas other great outdoor activities - stuff that rogainers do outside of events to maintain their fitness and keenness.

But what better way to understand these adventures than see the routes of them for yourselves? Better still, join the group and add your experiences. You can do just that by visiting the completely new NSW Rogaining Strava group page and compare your weekly kilometres with other rogainers and of course find ideas of great runs, hikes, plus bike rides, paddles and swims. And a special shout out to anyone who beats Mike Hotchkis at vertical metres on the weekly leaderboard!

Get Into Gear No. 4 – The Rogaining Fashion Parade (Base Layer Clothing)

A rogaine is just about the antithesis to a conventional fashion show. Indeed, if one is looking for a sporting event with the least fashionable-looking humans, a 24-hour rogaine would undoubtedly be a forerunner.

In truth, rogaining has a fashion of its own. As we continue the monthly series on rogaining gear, long-time veterans Toni Bachvarova and Andrew Smith explain their wardrobe in great detail, and John Barnes contemplates his choice of not-too-shabby wardrobe.

Read all about it here.

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee