Interview Neil Phillips
Rogaining co-founder, Victorian Rogaining Association, Secretary 1976-1978, Australian Rogaining Association, President 1979-1983, Western Australian Rogaining Association, President 1980-1982, International Rogaining Federation, President 1989-2013.
1. When did you first rogaine?
Melbourne University 24 hour walk 1972 then Intervarsity 1972. We ran the first Surrey Thomas Rovers 24 hour event late that same year.
2. How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?
Don’t know, maybe 200?
3. Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?
Walking in the Czech Republic alongside the Iron Curtain in 2002 after midnight in a soggy forest that was completely devoid of signs of humans. Out of seemingly nowhere a bitumen road led to a steel guard tower on a hill above us.
4. What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?
· Managing a team of three nephews under ten when I wanted to rogaine and they wanted to throw toadstools. I lost that battle, but I won the war by only taking one of them at a time on subsequent rogaines.
· Crossing a flooded creek on a slippery log in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle; no options, but pretty risky in retrospect—steep, deep and fast.
5. What’s been your greatest triumphs rogaining?
· Playing a role in introducing my children, nephews and nieces to cross country navigation through rogaining.
· Completing a 24 hour rogaine without shoes. I got bad blisters ice skating the week before and could not put anything across my heel.
· Finishing work on a Friday, rushing to Spencer St Station, doing a 24 hour outside Adelaide, back to train, and into work early Monday morning to give a short talk.
6. What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?
The Strathbogie ranges of central Victoria. The Most Awesome rogaine near Calgary lived up to its name and was the first international rogaine.
7. How has rogaining changed since you started competing?
For Victoria it is electric fences, shift away from private property unfortunately, and the notion that 30 used to be old (now I am a supervet). Also the spread of the sport nationally and globally.
8. How has being involved in rogaining changed you?
A great reason for keeping fit, friendships, and a forum to try out leadership ideas and skills without risking the bank but learning along the way and enjoying the triumphs.