[Due to a server failure in Aug-2019 we have restored this historic post]

Posted on 10/12/2016 by Chris Stevenson

Hi. It’s the off season for rogaining and it’s almost Christmas, so it is a time for reflection. Understanding this, I thought we could start a blog of funny moments in rogaining. If you want to contribute, simply comment on this post and once reviewed by the Webmaster (me) it will be made public (nothing libelous, please).
To start things off here is a couple of my funny recollections:

The first one is subtle, but I found it quite amusing and it involves Trevor Gollan, one of the backbones of our sport. The occasion was the award ceremony for the 6-hour event at the Tarlo river Autumngaine and the overall winners Peter Preston, Ben Rattray were being summoned by Trev to come forward to collect their prize, when Trev warned them not to trip over the log, that was jutting out of the fire, situated between them and himself.

The irony of this resonated immediately with my team mate Danny and me. Can you imagine two people in the world less likely to fall over a log in the dark than two elite rogainers?

The second one is a bit more slapstick. I can’t remember which event it was, it might have been the “Gurnang Gallop” in 1997, and in any case it was a number of years ago. It was late at night my team mate and I were hurtling down a gully to cross a creek and climb out the other side on the way to a control.

I was a few metres ahead of my team mate when I came to the creek, which was quite deep. I quickly sized up that I could jump the creek, which I did and them started up the other side of the gully. Well I am almost 6’2″ tall (187.5 cms) and my team mate is probably 5-6 inches (13 -15 cms) shorter and has relatively short legs. Anyway I wondered, halfway up the hill, if my team mate could make that jump and a listened out for him in the silence of a late evening in the bush.

Sure enough, what I heard was a jump followed by the sound of hands sliding through sword grass followed by a splash. It seems my team mate had replicated my jump, but only just, and had grabbed the sword grass to steady himself, failed to do so, and fell back in the creek. Rogainers are a tough bunch and to his credit my partner didn’t mention the failed leap, but he was clearly wet and I could see some blood was dripping from his hands when we finally caught up to each other.

4 Replies to “Funny Moments in Rogaining”

  1. Andrew Duerden 10/12/2016 at 11:33 pm says:

What is even funnier is that it takes a rogainer to understand your first funny moment ?

I dunno how funny these are to other people but we laughed, chuckled, smiled or smirked at the following incidents – and unlike you, Chris, I’m going to name names

Partner in a Pool. The Lostock & Barrel NSW Champs 1998 was one of the soggiest events we’ve encountered … no rain while we were walking but there had been massive rains leading up to the event. The Paterson River was a thrashing torrent that barred access to many controls. About 1am we were crossing a very minor stream, so minor I don’t recall any challenge getting over it, and was most surprised to see a torch, with George Takacs attached, bobbing 20 metres downstream. It didn’t seem dangerous and he was totally unperturbed by the adventure, so we were able to laugh about it and push on through the night, he a bit wetter than I

Lindsay Young took a dunking in the 1989 12-hour near Wollombi, different in that he slid 5-10 metres down a sloping waterfall, like something from Wet’n Wild. The height of the slide gets longer each year in the telling, and Lindsay doesn’t think it as humorous as Peter Watterson and I do, but again there was no harm and we pushed on to collect all the controls

Lost and Found. My first rogaine was in 1981, a 24-hour event run by Sutherland Bushwalkers. My brother and I were going well in daylight but darkness was a new challenge that we failed. After searching futilely for two controls we road-bashed back to the hash house then found our first flag in the farming area about 3am. Yes, eight hours to find the first control. With increased confidence we pushed around the hill for the next flag, couldn’t find it, and so lay down for a nap until dawn arrived, not too far away. Also not far away was the flag by the dam, the one we’d found at 3am. We were woken by voices of another team as they punched the control point. The rest of our morning was good, in daylight. Since then the argyle apple has been one of my favourite trees, and my night-time navigation has improved…

… but never quite perfect. My third rogaine was the 1986 NSW Champs at Darkes Forest, one of the postage stamp events set by Andrew Blakers. Controls were numerous and close to each other, usually 200-400 metres apart. Peter Watterson and I, in our first rogaine together, entered the 8-hour event and were storming around the area, even with bare legs through the banksia and hakea swamps. Rushing towards the 8pm finish we managed to misplace ourselves, somewhere on the side of the O’Hares Creek valley. Bearing uphill and to the east we unexpectedly encountered a flag which allowed us to locate ourselves on the map then push in to the hash house. In hindsight, it wasn’t too unusual to bump into a flag given the density of controls on the course, however our late penalty bumped us out of first place.

Party Time. There’s been a couple of times where loud music has provided navigational support. The best one was the 1991 ACT Champs at Bondo, between Tumut and Brindabella. The Hash house was adjacent to another pine-forest clearing with a large group of motorbikers, and they had an impressive sound system that pumped all night. Lindsay Young and I were in the far south-east corner of the course, sometime about midnight, but you could tell where the hash house was by the Rolling Stones thumping in the distance.

Also impressive was the rave party on the Newnes Plateau, a few kilometres west of the hash house for the 2014 NSW Champs. Their music pulsed continuously from sunset Saturday, and was still loud and repetitive when we left Sunday afternoon. It provided guidance as we pushed through the forest, though the tunes weren’t familiar and we took special care near the cockatoo’s camp.

Yes, Trev and Pete were very amused. I seem to remember sliding off the wet slippery rock and landing in a tree. I was only thankful that I didn’t get hurt… only the pride.

Funny about the 1986 Darkes Forest event, Trevor. I had the same thing happen in that event. When walking along we noticed the moon was on the wrong side, having unknowingly made a 180 degree turn. Our sense of panic soon disappeared when we stumbled on a control.

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