After a very long two days with more time spent on our legs than we possibly had in the previous three months, it was good to be home and have a shower and sleep in our own bed again.
My legs took a few days to recover, especially my hamstrings which tightened up again if I stayed sitting for too long – great in a desk job. Some good stretching though and it sorted itself out. Monday was tough to stay focused, but I’d thought about this in advance and made sure I had some easy stuff lined up to move through the day. Definitely a much quicker and easier recovery after an event with no running involved.
- Distance: 31km
- Elevation: 740m
- Time: Somewhere under 12 hours
Results came out pretty quickly and we were pleased to see we had succeeded in our goal of not coming last. With 37 teams in the 24hr event we came 27th – good enough for our first shot at a long event. Within Mixed Open we were 16th out of 22, and for Mixed Veteran 10th out of 11 teams – so not (quite) last any way we looked at it.
Out of a potential points available around 4000, we picked up 710. The top 3 teams were extremely close with only 10 minutes between each place – top team tracking down 2960 points. Looking at their route is impressive – the distance covered and the speed in which they covered the terrain!
The map below shows our route on part of the map we covered.
Then we plotted a few other teams:
- Black – us
- Red – winning team
- Blue – the team we got a photo with on Sunday
Really interesting checking out other teams routes and timings and plenty to learn from how they strung the controls together.
We learnt SO much on this rogaine about a wide range of things, more than all our other rogaines put together, in my reckoning. Our navigation was pretty good and the thumb compass was brilliant, but our route planning is poor – that one will improve with time and looking over others routes shows a lot. More time needed to plan our route and compare alternatives – not much we could have done this time due to our tight time limitations on getting to the event from Sydney on the morning it started. However, measuring our planned route with string (which we had!) prior to settling on a route would have told us just how ambitious we were and let us reassess earlier and saved some wasted time. We did however allow for cutting short our route at multiple places which worked well on both days, so at least it hadn’t left us stranded, but a lot of points we might have picked up otherwise.
Clothing-wise, was hit and miss. Tops were perfect – warmth and compactness requirements met! Bottoms need work (so to speak). Nick had picked up some great hiking boots the week before the rogaine which worked brilliantly and bothered his feet a lot less than any of his running shoes would have. My trail running shoes were super comfy as always, but lacked the “stomping” ability of boots which would be useful in this terrain and I had several sticks trying to jab through the upper at times which was a bit painful. For further bush rogaines, I’ll likely invest in a hybrid hiking/trail running shoe so that my feet have a bit more protection but without the weight and inflexibility of a more solid hiking boot. My gaiters were great – except that one of the strings broke before the third control… We replaced it with kitchen string on Day 2 though which worked well enough as a temporary measure. Full length gaiters will probably be on the shopping list for next time though. Also on the list will be hiking shorts/long pants. Undecided which it will be, but now that we know we will be doing more of these, we’re prepared to put down money for some decent gear. Not that what we wore gave us any issues, but long pants especially would have been better this time.
Food and hydration we did pretty well while out. Tailwind was brilliant (mandarin on day one and green tea buzz on day two), but I could probably take in a bit more than I did. Likewise for dinner back at camp, I don’t think I ate enough. Sunday was hard, as I was lacking energy. My trail mix (just sultanas, dark choc drops and jelly snakes) was yummy and didn’t bother my tummy. I drank my hydration pack (1.5L) dry in the final kilometre on both days, so planning for water drops would be essential if we pick up our pace or stay out longer. Nick had 3L on him though, so we weren’t going to run out too quickly.
A huge thank you to NSWRA and the organisers for putting on this event. It’s a massive time commitment from them to get this all set up and it was amazingly well organised.
A week later, the cuts are healed, the body has recovered and we’re really looking forward to doing another bush rogaine in the future – already checked out the calendar for next year and thinking about how many we can manage). For now, the summer season of orienteering beckons with our first Summer Series already completed on slightly tired legs. But we can’t wait to get back out for the long haul again next year!
Check out the rest of our adventure at the 24hr NSW Rogaining Championships 2017:
- Part 1 – Death by a Thousand Cuts
- Part 2 – Where’s the @$%! Track?!
- Part 3 – Do Pigs Know Thy Have a Tail?