I had a recent request from the organisers of the Diaper Creek rogaine to pull a race report together. Given the quality of the area and course setting, along with the great event we had, the task certainly isn’t a chore. In fact, the only disappointment for the whole weekend was that I felt there was a golden opportunity gone begging with the naming of the event with the “Dirty Diaper Rogaine” an obvious choice for mine.
Although there was a 12hr option on the table, Paul and I made a late decision to drop back to the 6hr event, mostly due to my family commitments on the Sunday and the fact that I wanted to fit in a sneaky kayak race pre- Father’s Day celebrations the next morning. This brought my run to an end of having competed in the full course for all SEQ rogaines this year (barring the Mini Rogue and Rogue24) and there was a moment of regret when the maps were handed out not to be signed up for the full 12 hours.
Normally I find when course planning for the short option on a larger event map (ie planning a 6hr course, on a 12hr map) route choice can be quite difficult. When doing the full option, it is often more of a choice of which controls not to get, and doing a massive loop around the outside of the course. Meanwhile, on the shorter course you have a significant number of more options to collect big points, and often it is a matter of trying to get out to the edge of the map to pick up some big points before timing your run in home well. However this time around an obvious loop presented itself that included all the 100 point controls and a number of other big points. Indeed, our theory was to focus only on the big point controls and forsake any smaller options, even if they were close by to save as much time possible. Ultimately, I think our route choice for the 6hr was easier than it would have been for the 12hr with its ever diminishing returns due to fatigue and darkness.
Setting out, it was quickly apparent that the terrain was a lot faster than we had planned for with a nice open under carriage and a myriad of tracks to link up from the 4WD park. We were 10 minutes up on our flight plan in the first hour and another 20 minutes up in the second, but only broke even in the third hour. The open terrain, having two navigators on the team and the accurate course setting and mapping meant that we were hitting the controls dead on: it is not often I can say that I’ve had a perfect run at the navigation for an event, but this was the exception. CP76 with it’s description as base of waterfall proved to be a highlight of not only this course but of any rogaine in SE QLD. Indeed the other control described as being at a waterfall, CP66, gave us the most angst over route choice. We were up on time and could have collected it on route from CP42 to CP94, but ultimately we decided it was not worth the time and energy cost the climb up and over from CP66 to CP94 would take when there were so many big points available in the flatter terrain to the south. As a result we were able to add CP66 to our flight plan late in the game. Fortunately we didn’t get too greedy down at the south of the map as all of a sudden we hit horrible, slow scrub on the traverse into and out of CP74 which killed our average pace.
One of the great things about rogaining is that you never know how you are going against the competition until well after you cross the finish line. You can find yourself pushing hard at the finish for one more control that has no bearing on the result, or conversely you can miss out on a win by just a couple of minutes after a tied score, as happened early in the year at the upside down rogaine. In saying that, Paul and I were pretty confident of a good result given the great run we had all day, not putting a foot wrong with the nav and covering 32km in total. Ultimately we only snuck in with the win by 70 points over the “Rochedale Runners” who opted for a more southerly route in the flatter terrain.
As always, a big thank you to the organisers Paul and Tim along with everyone else involved in land liaison, navlight programming, HQ setup and the other long list of jobs. It feels like the racing is already winding down for the year, but don’t forget the full stop on the event calendar – the Urban Rogue – course setting is well underway and with updated mapping data, it will be a sure fire way to see the highlights of the Brisbane city. If you have friends or family that you think would be interested in giving this sport a try, then the Urban Rogue is a great way to introduce them rogaining. And as always, stay tuned for course information and updates as the 2015 Rogue24 course starts to come together.