Posted on 12/03/2015 by Chris Stevenson

I felt motivated to write to let everyone know that the 2014 Socialgaine held last Sunday represents 20 years of rogaining for me. I still remember the day a friend described this sport with a funny name that was, in essence, competitive bushwalking. From that moment on I was hooked.

Not being one to tread lightly, my first event was the 24-hour, Australian Championships held at Bethungra, near Cootamundra in 1994. I have three very strong memories from this event.

1. It was getting dark and my team and I were having a rest near the top of some nameless hill in the sweltering heat when “Chippy” Le Carpentier, with sweat pouring off him in torrents, ran up the hill and past us. I remember commenting to my wife afterwards that there were some really tough people out on the course.

2. We were doing quite well until about 11pm when we missed a control and suddenly I had no idea where we were. We stumbled around in the dark for another couple of hours getting even more lost until eventually we slept on the ground until dawn, worked out where we were and then wandered back to the Hash house with our tail between our legs.

3. My friend who accompanied me has never been on another rogaine. He was the fittest of the three of us, but he still reminds me, regularly, of the day of pain I put him through. Some people just don’t do endurance.

What I love about rogaining:

What about me. I am part of the also-rans. I am very happy if I finish in the top 10% and cranky if I finish outside of the top third of competitors. In reality my results have not changed much in the last twenty years. Experience has made my navigation and route choice sharper and this has compensated for a marginal loss of speed and power. I am looking forward to becoming a super veteran and also looking forward to once again plunging down some unnamed valley with a mate looking for a stupid orange flag on a tree.

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