Apologies for late results (the split calcs took me ages)

Report from setter and organiser Greg Bacon......

My worst nightmare was to see rain eventuate before the event. After being fairly dry a week before the event, it started to rain when we set off to place controls last Wednesday. It was wet enough that I decided to place the MTBO controls on foot as well. We arrived at the Duo start area just on daybreak to complete placing the controls and we were greeted by big bog holes near the start area as, nearly all the 4x4’s in Newcastle must have been playing in the area on Saturday.

We had just on 70 pre entered but we knew that the numbers would be lower due to the recent rain and Killingworth’s reputation for being a mud run. We were lucky enough for the rain to hold off for the entire event and approx 60 entrants for the Duo event and almost 20 club members turned up on the day for the bush foot orienteering. The first foot stage provided a few small challenges depending on the direction competitors approached the controls and which creek they had to cross, but most returned smiling! From the foot stage they had a 6 km ride through bog holes, slippery tracks and quick sand to the next foot stage area. A few competitors did the flying W when they tried to ride through the water. Patrick Gunnerson, who has competed in this type of event in Europe told me that, “Australian Bog holes are deeper than European ones”!

The second foot stage was on the lower slopes of Mt Sugarloaf and provided a good variation in maps for the foot stages. Once again the controls could be difficult to see depending on your approach direction. David Messenger and Glenn Burgess ran from the start to the second foot area for the additional challenge. On completion of the second foot stage the competitors were off on the last MTB stage with the long course competitors completing an additional 6km on the bike. By now some of the small climbs on the single track were too slick to even walk up and the road between controls 13 to 15 was one big pile of goo after several 4 x 4s went along the road churning up everything. After collecting control 16 the competitors had a good downhill and some rolling sections that were slick but fun to ride. Towards the end of the day some of the tracks had dried a little. Some competitors pulled out on the last MTB leg as the mud was chewing up the running gear on their bikes. This was a fair call considering the conditions.

In summary the concept seemed to work well with most competitors enjoying themselves and all had a story to tell about their journey around the course. Steve Todkill had the fastest time of the day on his single speed bike of around 2hrs 40 minutes. Some competitors took around the five hour mark but they still had a smile on their face after they cleaned all the mud off. The main theme from the conversation was how the mud and conditions on the day made the event so much tougher. My next task will be to find a location where we can try it again without the mud and 4 x 4’s!

Big thanks to Margaret Peel and Carolyn Chalmers who ran both the foot and MTB finish desk. They had a very slick system to allow foot competitors to move through the finish then onto their bikes. Thanks to Cheryl Todkill and Kerry Bacon on the registration desk and their patience on the day as there were quite a few entrants not used to our processes.

An even bigger thanks to Tim and Andrea Hackney who manned control 9, put out and collected controls and kept track of everyone in that area of the course. The last competitors came through control 9 around 2.30 pm. The conditions had blown out our cut off time of a 2.30 pm finish. Thanks also to Mick Kavur for setting the clocks and ensuring the times were correct. Also thanks to David Messenger, Scott Simson and Gary Ellern who all collected some of the controls to make life easier for the course setter. Another big thanks to Tim Hackney for all the time and effort he has given in setting out the course, riding and walking to check out the area then placing the controls before the event. Thanks to my wife Kerry who also joined us in setting the courses as well as putting up with my complaining once the rain and mud had set in.

I hope our club and non club members enjoyed the concept, it turned out to be a small adventure race in the end!

Greg Bacon

Results | Routegadget | Photos