Tenth Mingaine Coming Up

Tenth Minigaine coming up

It’s that time of the year when injured toenails from past rogaines are growing out, February is nearly half gone, Mardi Gras is coming up and its Minigaine time.

2019 is the tenth annual Minigaine to be included in the NSW Rogaining Association annual program in and around Sydney. I remember the first one at Manly Dam. It was a bit controversial. Such a short event and with the option of going with a team or on your own. Would anyone come? It was the time of the first iPhone – everything was getting smaller and faster. In retrospect the NSWRA timing was pretty good. The popularity of the event took off – it was accessible, good for first timers and didn’t take over the whole weekend. At the competitive end it was suited to sharp navigators with a strong spring in their step. When the result came out sole combatants had done pretty well. Maybe two or more heads wasn’t an advantage after all. No oxygen wasted on discussing route choice, no conversations affecting concentration and causing navigational lapses. No one to blame. Any mistakes mine and mine alone.

This year the event is at Western Sydney Parklands. An expansive area. Given recent rains should be quite green. The 9.00am start will avoid some of the warmth of the day. I’m hoping for some bush as these days I like the navigational challenge as am not quick on the open spaces.

Last year the Hawkesbury Skygaine Mingaine was also west of Sydney and it was great. David Williams and crew did a good job first of all in finding yet another new area in Scheyville National Park. Can’t say there were ocean beaches like 2017 at Cronulla or harbour views like when we went to Mosman or the river views of when we went to Cooks River one year and Lane Cove River another. But what the Skygaine did have was a nice mix of open ground and forest, plenty of tracks but also opportunities for the odd short cut. There was also abundant route choice and a few traps for the unwary. The map itself was a fine piece of work at 1:15000 scale and 6 metre contours. There were chunks of out of bound but controls were judiciously set around them with no temptation to encroach. The whole map was surrounded by private land small holdings in a gentle mustard colour.

What can expect at the Parklands? The organisers say a mix of parkland and urban area with features of grassy fields, woodlands and lookouts. Sounds good to me.

Now, Rogaining started as a 24 hour event. Not by orienteers as many assume. It was bushwalkers down in Melbourne, Australia who invented the now worldwide sport of rogaining. It always had a strong social element and not to mention that the taking part was more important than the winning. Food provided during the event was a key. Some time later 12 hour events were introduced, then 8 hour and 6 hour. None of them ‘real’ 24 hour rogaines but hard to argue with what the people wanted through proof numbers entered. I would recommend the longer events to all. They take a different approach, no need to rush, take your time and enjoy the scenery. Come back to the Hash House for a meal, a rest or a sleep. The tortoise often does better than the hare.

However, at the short and speedy end of things and as its Minigaine time on February 24th, I forecast it is only a matter of time before the Committee comes up with the Microgaine – 90 minutes! Such an event would complete the virtuous circle right down to the Orienteering 45 minute ‘score’ event. Made hugely popular in Sydney through the Sydney Summer Series developed by Ross Barr and now in its 20 something year. In the event of the Microgaine (you read it here first) I would request that the Series Points Score introduced in 2018 have some kind of handicap or reduced score for the short event – we don’t want any gaming of the system!

Don’t forget to enter the Minigaine by deadline

Julian Ledger

2 Replies to “Tenth Mingaine Coming Up”

  1. Yes Julian, the Minigaine at Western Sydney Parklands has great potential, created by a new course setter in Lisa Gyescek. I’m looking forward to the whole day and plan to partner with Derek, my border collie

    We had discussions last year about the advantage of solo rogaining and the accepted view is that a good rogainer is better than a team … as good as the weakest link, etc. I’d be very surprised if that concept is proven wrong

    As to the 90-minute microgaine, it already exists. Mike Hotchkis set such a course at our Volunteers Picnic last month. He also trialled mobile-phone mapping and GPS-proof-of-visit to the control. Forget Microgaine … I reckon we should instead call it a Mike-rogaine

    2019 – bring it on !!

  2. I thought the introduction of the Minigaine was great – halfway between SSS and the usual 6-hour slog which is too much for me. However, too many of the controls on that first course at Manly Dam were nowhere near where the circles on the map said they were. Many orienteers say the reason they won’t do a rogaine is because they feel rogaining doesn’t care about accuracy.

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