Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The middle distance courses at Gerotek East were tricky but fun. The long grass, thorns, steep banks and the odd speeding vehicle make it interesting. The juniors, who made it to the event, had good performances.

Salome was the first lady on Brown. She ran a good time of 1 hour 18 minutes. Jeremy was the first male on Brown in 48 minutes. Jess L was the first lady on Blue. Micheal Crone had a brilliant run to win the Blue course. He even beat some of the pro's like team manager Richard and Pat. Zoe did green and was the first lady. J.P and Ropafadzo also successfully completed the green course. Christie did well on Light Green and was the second female not far behind Kim Raban.

Below are pictures of Salome and Mike getting their prizes. Salome opted for the usual chocolate while Mike got a well deserved packet of chips:
So the juniors dominated the courses taking quite a few wins. Well done guys!

Thanks to everyone who bought hotdogs.

Hope the sick juniors get better soon, good luck to Jess for her Prelims and hope to see EVERYONE at the next event.

Garry's route

Garry wasn't far behind Jeremy on the Brown course. He also drew his route and did an analysis of his race. Hope you can gain some tips from reading how the good guys approach different controls. Here' Garry's route:
And here's Garry's analysis:
I was pretty happy with my run and didn't make too many mistakes.  At
the moment I am down on fitness and could feel it in my legs on the long
climbing legs during the second half of the course.

I tended to use my compass quite a lot. I also focussed on reading the
contour detail. The vegetation was generally usable. However, I think
you had to make sure you'd identified the specific vegetation feature
from a long way off. In other words, when you were on top of the
vegetation it was very difficult to make sense of where you were.

2) I probably should have taken a more direct route to the road. It was
tough in that long grass.
3) I didn't push hard enough to my attach point - the boulders to the
left of the embankment.
4) I lost contact with the map and went left through the vegetation for
some reason. Only managed to relocate when I saw the road.
5) I decided to run hard on the road - tired of that long grass.
6) A minor mistake - I should have headed for the road to the right of
the enclosed fence.
7) Used my compass here. Focussed on my contour height, being careful
not to drop down. Then round the bottom of the light green. I couldn't
really make sense of the scattered trees, but watched carefully for
9) I struggled to "feel" right here. I made sure I got to the right of
the gully. I should probably have run down the middle of the gully.
Because I didn't do this I missed the re-entrant and had to relocated
off the path and dry ditch.
10) Used my compass and read the contours, passing to the right of the
form-line area. Vegetation was clear from the angle I was approaching.
11) I got caught by the boulder cluster (which I circled!) I then went
further up. I felt the boulder was much closer to the vegetation than
12) Attacked the wide road. I was trying to use the end of the
embankment as my attackpoint. It definitely carries on far further than
shown on the map. Eventually I turned up and climbed the embankment!
Because I was quite a bit further along it took a bit of time to
reconcile the vegetation.
13) I ran too long in the grass. I should have made straight for the
oval track.
14) After the T-junction, I aimed to hit the small path before the nice
bend, from which I attacked. Fine nav let me down as I didn't realise
the control was well over the erosion gully.
15) I thought it would be easier to attack the clearing from the right.
Worked hard to get up that hill (and finally won my only split of the
16) & 17) A little too tentative to both, but wanted to make sure.

Jeremy's Route

Jeremy had another great run to win the brwon course. Here is a link to his Attackpoint Log where you can read his race analysis. Check out his route below:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ian's run at Hedianga

Ian won the Blue course by over 10 minutes on Sunday. His time was 49:26 on the 3,24km course. Here's his route:
Ian's analysis:
"I lost around 2 minutes at control 3; probably
30-45 seconds at control 4; 1:30 at control 5; 45 seconds at control 12 and the rest were pretty clean. I reckon a "perfect time" should have been
around 45 minutes for me."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The juniors produced some decent results in the tricky area. Salome and Sarah tackled the brown course while Zoe and Jess H did Blue

Jeremy was first on the Brown course. He had a great run with about 3 minutes of mistakes. Below is his route and analysis of his run:

Pre-amble: in looking at the previous map and based on the discussions at Garry's training (which I got second hand) the important things to use on the map were the contours and the two tree symbols for conifer and deciduous. I didn't use the tree symbols enough and was too preoccupied with the contours during the race.  I also didn't choose attack points well, especially when I had to cross a road just before the control (7,13,20). my average heart rate was 176 with a max of 187 and a climb of 180m. the dip in heart rate just before the end is where I broke my compass, and then ripped my trouser pocket trying to put the pieces of the compass into it.

this was how my race went:
copying: I battled to work out which map I had to copy - I think I was expecting a big BROWN in black pen,and I never noticed the control descriptions- so I wasted a good 25 seconds faffing.
2min45 was my copying time.
start - 1: I then went up the path and didn't quite get the distance tight to I turned off a thicket too far - I climber onto a boulder to look around, and spied a control to my left. I was expecting to see mine to my right, but I thought best check it out anyway. it was the wrong number. I headed back to the boulder direction and past it to the thicket. I went too low and saw the control off to the left. cost about 30 seconds
1-2: I should have cut straight down the hill, but I contoured a bit and battled through the green. I had to keep fighting the urge to head up hill and kept reminding myself that the control was near the bottom of the valley. I an still not sure if I went left or right round the thicket before the control. lost 15 sec
2-3: I wanted to use the fence as a hand rail so I aimed off right to intercept the fence earlier and make sure I went up the gully to the top of the hill. I hit the control spot on.
3-4: I caught up to Garry and he pulled me off to the right. I didn't see him punch the control and assumed that he was having a shocker of a run and was doing a grid search for the control. (he started 6 mins ahead of me). I went to the wrong re-entrant and then had to head back down the hill to the correct one. cost me about 30 sec
4-5: I took off after Garry to try and catch him and didn't concentrate too hard on the exit angle. I used the rocky ground and two trees on my right as a hand rail and then headed for the gap in the vegetation. it did feel that the control was too far round the vegetation, perhaps on the curved wall rather than the straight one.
5-6: I miss read my copying here and headed for number 15, which was just beyond number 6.I wanted to go high round the vegetation and then onto the path, and I think I went a bit too high. Garry was off to my left down the hill and seemed to make better progress, but I ran away from him on the path. I only realized my mistake in heading for the wrong control when I hit the valley, way too far down the road. I cut left and followed the river till I saw the control on my left, with Garry busy punching.
6-7: I took off after Garry (again) and passed him at the path junction when he stopped to consult the map. I cut left down the rd and then went right off the path just before the form line. Unfortunately I lost contact with the map and when I hit the road I veered left up the hill instead of right into the re-entrant. lost another 20 seconds realizing my mistake, allowing Garry to catch up, again. I think he punched before me.
7-8: Garry went right and I went left over the small spur. The small spur between the controls seemed bigger, but I hit the control well. it seemed obvious and I passed Garry, again.
8-9: I went left again and followed the vegetation round the spur and up the next re-entrant. in hind sight (and looking back to see where Garry was) I should have gone down to the path and used it as a hand rail.
9-10. I went a bit further up the re-entrant and then over the hill between thickets. I kept the dense vegetation on my right and saw the control from a distance. it felt like it was on the wrong side of the cliff, but I didn't have a chance to actually read the full control description. I need more of Garry's Control memory exercises it would seem.
10-11. in hind sight I should have kept to the right and gone round the thicket and along the fence as a hand rail. but I battled though the green and then used the fence as a handrail. cost me a several seconds I think. Ian was punching as I neared the control so I didn't need to think about the micro-nav.
11-12: I wanted to use the fence as a hand rail again, so aimed off right. a bit too far however so I ran further than I needed to. I saw Uge limping though the green and assumed he was on a path so I cut back to him, I never did see the fence. the control was higher up the hill than I was expecting, I thought it would be at the base of the hill. I think that a straight route choice would have been about 20 seconds quicker.
12-13:possibly my worst leg of the race. I ran hard to try and drop Garry, but it meant that I was not really in touch with the map. I ran past 8 and was surprised to see a ridge between me and the road, such that when I got the the road I was not sure where I was and had to re-locate, complete with a jog off to the right. By that time Garry caught back up (again) and I had sorted it out and could traverse round the vegetation and then up to the boulder. lost about 30 seconds
13-14: Cindy and somebody appeared out of a re-entrant that looked like the right one so I took off to where they emerged from, expecting to see the control in the re-entrant. when it wasn't there I had to re-locate again and overshot the control in my correction. Garry caught up (again) and led me into the control.
14-15: I used the power line pylon as a gate, and then the vegetation boundary just before the road as another gate. I followed the road for a short distance then decided to cut the corner. I left the road a bit early to climb the ridge, realized my mistake and went back the the rd, I needed to follow the rd until it curved (Attack point), then I cut directly up the ridge and attacked the control from the back.
15-16. I was lazy and headed back to the road, I ran down the road looking right for where the wall came through the rocks. I saw the control before I saw the wall. it would have been quicker to run straighter.
16-17: my exit angle was off and I stayed in the re-entrant which drew me off to the left. I was running too fast to keep in contact with the map to see that it was on a spur, not a re-entrant. Garry ran straight and caught up (again)
17-18: I went round the first hill and then headed for the second one. I misjudged the distance the control was from the hill and stopped on the hill to study the map before seeing that it was in the re-entrant to the right. I had to Race Garry to the control. he caught up (again) with my two mistakes in two controls. It was beginning to feel like I was leading him to all the controls.
18-19: I headed left straight down the hill without looking too hard at the map. I knew from reading ahead that I needed to run down to the road, turn right and then cut the corner. I crossed the second road as I exited the forest and then headed for the hill (my attack point). I was not sure how high up the hill to contour round. but I am sure that the control was further round then indicated. I didn't see the spur that it should have been on. I saw the control form a distance.
19-20: I ran for the road and bolted down the road, again trying to get away from Garry. I cut the corner, and crossed the rd heading uphill and contouring. I didn't see the form line indicating a hill on the spur and I went round the wrong side of it and dropped into the river. I had to re-locate to work out if I needed to go up or down the river. I got the the control as Garry caught up (again). I missed the hill as an obvious attack point.
20-21. straight up the hill and round the thicket (my attack point) then up the re-entrant. I saw the control from a distance and felt it was a bit high.
21-22. I started off down the hill fast to try and drop Garry, who was now out of sight. I tripped and broke my compass on a rock (and lost some skin) and then headed off right to the wrong cliff. looking back I saw the control and the correct cliff. I punched just before Garry. he caught up (again) (30 sec lost) I didn't have an attack point here and relied on my compass, which didn't make it to the end of the leg.
22-23. close to the end now I slowed down a bit and let Garry lead me into the next control, it was a very circular route that we took, and definitely not the best route.
23-24. I knew where to go now and didn't even look at the map. I should have as I would have seen that I needed to head off left to avoid the thicket on the hill. I lost 10-15 seconds here again having to go round.
24-fin. interference by Garry, who had again caught up cost me the run in.

So I could have been almost three minutes faster without the mistakes, but to not make them I would have had to run slower. not a bad run, and I think I would have been close to Nick, maybe even good enough to have beaten him.
Thanx Witsoc for a cool course, and to the lotto Ulf and Pieter for a cool map.

Thanks to Jeremy for such a detailed analysis. Hope everyone found it interesting and learnt something.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

JWOC wrap-up part 2

At last some interesting photos from our trip:

Our 9 our stop over in Dubai not only saved us some money, but it also produced some funky photos:
While in Venice we came across some extremely friendly pigeons:
It rained at least once a day:
But the sun would come out soon after, giving Jess and Salome a chance to work on their tan
Salome bought a ball (the orange thing in the picture below) which she called Bruce. Bruce provide us with hours of entertainment.
On our rest afternoon during the training week we found plenty to do. Stephanie's hair straightener worked overtime:
An example of the breathtaking sights that we saw:

A compass made of flowers! This was outside the library were the opening and closing ceremonies took place as well as the medal ceremonies.

One of the best action shots:

Brad having just punched the last control in the Sprint.
That's all for now. I still haven't seen everyone's photos so there might be some good ones to come. Thanks to Zoe who took a million photos. She didn't miss anything, except as far as I know no one managed to get a picture of us in our party outfits.