G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 1th Sep 2022

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Disruptions to our schedule continue this year, not because of Covid but the major storm event that lashed us in July, especially in the Hunter region. With the Watagans National Park and State Forests closed indefinitely due to damage and risk of landslips, the Lake Macquarie 12-hr and the October Surprise event have had to be abandoned. Fortunately, our resilient and enterprising team of Novocastrians are back on the trail, setting an alternate course by the Lake.

Those rains in July also threatened our Nightgaine, but there was time for the creeks to drop to safe levels and the event to proceed. Not for the Navshield though, where the Tarlo River was deemed to be unsafe, and the organisers had to exclude all controls to the west of the river.

Chris Stevenson has started “to wonder if, like dinosaurs and Morse Code, rogaining might have had its glory days, unless we adapt.” Read his thought provoking article here, and let’s hear your comments.

I’ve been asked if we would like to hold a Paddle-gaine next year, as part of the Festival of Canoe & Kayak on and around Tallowa Dam and the Shoalhaven River. The target date is Saturday 24th June, and I’ve said NSW Rogaining are interested, but only if someone emerges to create the course. Let me know if you’d like to be involved.

The Spring edition of Wild includes an entertaining article about Rogaining, written by Julian Ledger, including the bold statement that "experiencing a classic 24-hour rogaine is to live a mini lifetime." Get a copy of the magazine if you can, or maybe you could win one of the 20 copies that will be prizes at the "Search for Skippy" event in November.

Trevor Gollan (president@nswrogaining.org)


24/8-hour NSW Championships, Gundabooka NP Bourke, Saturday 24th-25th September, Enter Here

Between Cobar and Bourke, 800km from Sydney, Gundabooka National Park features woodlands, floodplains, sandhills and the rugged Mount Gunderbooka rising 300m above the western plains. It’s a special area, and very different to any other rogaine that has been held in NSW.

Julie Quinn expects Spring wildflowers, and knows from a previous visit that ”the escarpment and ‘pound’ area are complex and intricate. I am anticipating challenges in the flatter areas with less visibility but careful compass work should reward teams.” You can read more about Julie as The Top NSW Champion here.

[Photos by: Andy Macqueen, while vetting the course]


6/3-hour 30th Lake Macquarie Rogaine, Belmont, Sunday 16th October, Read More Here

With the Watagans closed, our Newcastle group are proceeding with the 30th Lake Macquarie Rogaine in a novel location … beside Lake Macquarie … rather than viewing it from a mountain lookdown.

The course this year will be Metrogaine in style, making it family friendly with shops, cafés and cycleways, and inevitably there will be bushland including lake and ocean, beaches, swamps and eucalypt forests.

This will be the only rogaine held this year in the Newcastle region, so get your team organised. We expect the LMR to head back up into the Watagans next year.


5/3-hour Bidjigal Night Rogaine, West Pennant Hills, 16th July, , Results, Route Analysis & Photos

170 happy-trampers enjoyed the scenery, challenge and night-time of the Hills district, reported by one competitor as, “the best value Saturday night in town.” In typical understatement, Martin Dearnley the coordinator commented that “the night rogaine went well.” He followed up by noting there were no complaints and many kind words (always a fillip for the course setters and coordinator) and attributed the good vibe overall to the volunteers who created the course and those who helped on the day, “in particular Di Stevenson and her family in the kitchen.”

Result-wise, the top five teams were:

  1. Richard Mountstephens, Chris Turnbull (Men) 2,400 points
  2. Mat Collin, Mat Cox (Men) 2,400 [9 minutes behind Richard & Chris]
  3. Dan Smith, Lee Coady (Men Vets) 2,200
  4. Melissa Robertson, Kelly Murphy (Women Veterans) 2,110
  5. Brian Brannigan, Sophie Holloway (Mixed) 2,090

Chris Turnbull & Richard Mountstephens have won all three metro-based rogaines this year.

The Nightgaine course is available to do anytime, at your convenience, using the MapRun app. Find out more here. We should compliment Graham Field for his ongoing efforts, not only with our MapRun interface, but for all his efforts in creating the Nightgaine with Martin.

Melissa Robertson: “Thanks for a great event. I had no idea there were so many great tracks around Pennant Hills & that tunnel through the dam wall was 100% worth it. It was fantastic!”


It is with much sadness that we advise the passing of Mike Ward after a stoic two year battle with cancer. Mike became interested in orienteering and rogaining 12 years ago after hearing about the sports from long time running friend Warwick Selby. Mike had speed and endurance and over time worked hard on his navigation and planning.

Mike’s background was running and he completed a number of road marathons in the early days. It would be nothing for Mike to get up ‘at sparrows fart’ as he would say, run 30km with Sydney Striders and be home to take his two kids to Little Athletics. He preferred trails and longer distances and was one of the early pioneers of ultramarathons having completed 59 over the years including the Brindabella Classic, UTA 100km in the Blue Mountains and finishing 18 Six Foot Track events, earning him a prized vest. He also competed in the first 100km Oxfam Trail Walker with his team winning their category. Mike made many lifelong and dear friends over the years from running and, up until recently, would join the guys for the monthly lunch get together in North Sydney.

It was a natural progression for Mike to take up orienteering and rogaining. He had the fitness to run and walk for the longer events and he loved the challenge of bush navigation. The photo above was taken by his partner Stacey in a rogaine event in Hornsby where Mike teamed up with Dave Stanley and Stewart Dean. There were always one or two highlights from each rogaine including the Hornsby rogaine where Stewart dislocated his hip, put it back and the team kept going. Competing in a wet and wild Nyctophobia event Mike and Stacey found themselves at the bottom of Galston Gorge at 9:30pm in the pouring rain with no hope of getting back to the HH by 10:00pm. A brave driver eventually stopped to give the wet pair a lift up the road.

The Balmain household contains a number of rogaine mugs with Mike and Stacey winning a few mixed team events, or Mike fi nding a team more closely matched to his speed and fitness to win a category. Mike and Stacey, along with their respective rogaine partners Brett and Carey, are the carry-over NSW 24 hour champs in their categories from the 2019 event (which was not held in 2020 or 2021). He joins some familiar names on the trophy including past winners John Anderson, Ted Woodley and David Dash.

A mild mannered accountant he loved doing his daily crossword, wordle and sudoku. Mike had a wonderful dry sense of humour, a strong moral compass, and never said an unkind word about anyone. He enriched the lives for all who knew him and he will be sorely missed.

Stacey Bryce


Looking further ahead, you should create diary entries for:

  1. Australasian Championships, Pyrenees Ranges, Victoria, 8-9th October, Enter Here.

    The Pyrenees Ranges are about 220km north-west of Melbourne.

  2. The Search for Skippy Socialgaine, Terrey Hills, 20th November, Enter Here

    An opportunity to stretch your legs in a special part of Sydney, catch up with people, and introduce friends, family, workmates to the sport of rogaining. Explore Terrey Hills, Duffys Forest and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and maybe you’ll find Skippy.

  3. Anything in the 2023 Calendar

    Look at the full set of events planned for next year. It’s pleasing to see that volunteers have already started on courses, but we especially need someone to take on the Paddy Pallin 6-hour in June. How about you? If you can help then contact Graham Field (volunteer@nswrogaining.org) or Trevor Gollan (events@nswrogaining.org).

Find us on Facebook and Strava here.

Trevor Gollan
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee