Team Rogue’s current Godzone line up (Bec, Leo and myself) were able to get out for the first time together for a training race hit out on the weekend: a 5hr foot rogaine through the hills of Nerang behind the Gold Coast. Experienced adventure racers Ray Deetlefs and Gary Sutherland were responsible for the event’s organisation in their own training playground, with the course offering up some surprisingly relatively open cross country travel and navigable creek lines. The addition of a short “rally-note” section through some adjacent suburban parkland was also an excellent addition to the race.
As a team, we had a solid race, winning the mixed division and placing third overall out of 67 teams. We covered 24km+ with 1100m+ elevation gain in the 5 hours, and I for one was certainly feeling the pinch with a bit of dehydration by the end of the race.
Navigationally we had a pretty smooth race with only trouble on the first CP (CP31 after mistakingly taking an unmarked single track out of HQ) and the last CP (CP72 which was placed slightly higher in the creek line than indicated). The time lost on these cost us CP52 and possibly even CP70, but these wouldn’t have changed our result to the overall win and I guess small mistakes are the nature of rogaining anyway – I’m sure everyone out there has a tale of how they could have gotten “one more check point”. CP51 also gave us a little trouble, being higher on the flat spur, but we found it after continuing the climb. The creek line between CPs 71-91-81-61 was a real highlight from the course, as was the decent from the map’s highest point down the off-track spur through CP41 to CP100. Our final route choice with an overlay of our GPS track (carried to record our route but not used for navigational purposes) can be found below.
So all in all, a great hit out to get some time in the legs and work on the navigation. I’m a true believer that rogaines make for the best adventure racing training. A lot of work goes in to their preparation all on a voluntary basis so we are very lucky to have these events as a regular mainstay of the racing calendar. A quick, post-race, team meeting about gear choice and things are looking good for Godzone in March, 2013: the team’s next major goal race.