Posted on 10/04/2017 by Chris Stevenson

The Minigaine yesterday was an interesting event. As someone who comes to rogaining from a bushwalking rather than a running or orienteering background, I always look towards the minigaines with some trepidation. To do well in a minigaine you have to jog a reasonable portion of the event and being fat and middle aged with a bad back, jogging is not my favourite pastime, although my physio likes it because it keeps her in business.

Before I left yesterday I told my Mum, the only one awake in my household, that success could be measured by two things; beating Julian Ledger and doing more than 18km in three hours. My partner John Clancy and I did 19.7kms in three hours so that was good. The Julian bit I am not discussing because my PTSD has not yet subsided.

I made a deliberate decision to enter yesterday’s event as a team because I recall from previous events the competitiveness of the individuals. (Perhaps that is why they can’t find a friend to be their partner.) To put it in context, the average score of the individuals was 1,390 whereas the average score in the teams was 855. Aside from scoring better, the obvious advantage to having a partner is having someone to blame when things don’t go as planned. Everyone knows I would have come first, if my partner hadn’t been slowing me down.

I love rogaining for the spirit of discovering unnamed creeks and rarely viewed mountain vistas, none of which I was expecting to experience in and around Cronulla. To be honest, I enjoyed yesterday’s event more than I thought I would. The sand dunes on the northern edge of the course were a surprise. I felt like I was in the Sahara for about an hour of yesterday’s event. I was half expecting a camel to appear over the horizon at any moment.

The sand was effective in slowing down the runners and thereby levelling the playing field, but the downside was that I ended up with so much sand in my shoes that I had to stop and clean it out. While I emptied my shoes I was too impatient to empty my socks and completed the event with both socks full of sand. The result of this was that my sand-filled sock ended up bruising my big toe and I will probably lose the nail, again. Typically rogainers toenails are not pretty sights and mine are no exception. No amount of nail polish can beautify my feet, but fortunately I am male so I rarely wear open-toed shoes in any case.

The other thing to note about yesterday’s event is that a good score was to be had without going to the northern section of the course. In fact, the person who caused my PTSD probably beat me by not going any further north than control 86. At my level of ability, I pretty much had to decide to go south or go north and I decided to go north to all those juicy 100 pointers, but in hindsight that was probably a mistake. At my speed, sticking to the burbs may have been more productive.

At the end of the day, my nemesis got 1270, which placed 10th in the individual men’s super veterans. My 1210 got me a third in the men’s veterans teams. So it pays to have friends.

Thanks to everyone for yesterday. I had a really good time and I will reflect fondly on the event once my PTSD subsides.

P.S. My partner for the Aust Champs is Julian. You know what they say, if you can’t beat them join them.

4 Responses to Sand, sun, surf and more bloody sand!

  1. Sylvia 11/04/2017 at 8:13 am says:

Thanks for that entertaining blog. I’d like a partner who would do the second half.

Great read – and especially for someone who couldn’t be there. Really enjoyable to be “inside someone’s head”.

Who’d have thought you were competitive Chris? Lol. Great commentary!

It’s not really fair to compare average scores of the teams vs individuals, because there were lots of teams with kids, ice cream stops and big smiles at the Finish.

The individuals – nearly all of them – looked shagged out at the end and there were very few happy faces. They’ll probably feel better after a week or two.

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