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Full Interviews - All

Rogainers reflect on 40 years or rogaining

As part of reflection on 40 years or rogaining we interviewed a few rogainers who have played key roles in the sport over the years. There were some fascinating insights and response which we hope you will enjoy reading. 

If you only want one interview:

Rod Phillips

Tom Lothian

Neil Phillips

Ainslie Cummmins

John Gavens and Heather Leslie

Rod Costigan

Di Young and Ken Madill

Alison and Dick Harcourt

Chris Solnordal

Cath Weir

Jachob Dynes

 

Rod Phillips

Co-founder, previous president VRA (1976-)  / ARA, Current Secretary IRF

1.            When did you first rogaine?  

Precursor events from maybe 1971, first rogaine 1976

2.            How many rogaines do you think you have competed in? 

 Really no idea

3.            Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining? 

 Most memorable would be the first world rogaining championships held in Europe, in Czech republic in 2002, when the explosion of the sport in Europe really hit home.

4.            What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Maybe 12 hours in the black rain in the blue mountains in winter on an intervarsity event in 1974 (or thereabouts)

5.            What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining? 

Hard to say. One aspect I really value is that anyone can compete in the World Championships. There was a lot of opposition to this concept, with people saying “no other sports do this”.  That is true of course, because no other sports can – it isn’t possible to have a meaningful world championship in swimming or chess or rugby with experts and novices side by side.  But it is possible in rogaining.  It is one of the great advantages of the sport. We can acknowledge the huge importance of all those who volunteer to assist the sport by ensuring that they can always choose to compete at the highest level if they want, no matter how slowly they want to walk. That’s fantastic!

6.            What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in? 

 Central Australia

7.            How has rogaining changed since you started competing?  

 The sport is becoming more influenced by people who only see the competitive side. It is important that the primary philosophy of participation be kept. I love the way anyone can go on events, even the World Championships.

8.            How has being involved in rogaining changed you?  

In so many ways.

 

Tom Lothian

President 2014-current, general committee (2012-2014), Secretary (2011-2012), Non-Event Treasurer (2004-2007)

1.       When did you first rogaine?

I started in 2001 trying to impress a girl.  Me and the girl now have two kids.

2.       How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

Somewhere in the ball park of 90.

3.       Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

The first 24 hour rogaine where I stayed out all night.  I looked at my father in law with 15 minutes to go and said “run”, he responded “I am”.

4.       What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

I did the Australasian Championships out of Alice Springs in about 2006.  I got heat stroke, sun burnt and cut to buggery on spinafex.  Great event.

5.       What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

Kate (my partner) and I won the mixed section in a 12 hour after going full gas with great nav for the whole event.  That was pretty cool.  That chocolate tasted good.

6.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

Blackwood in Wombat State Forrest.  So up, so down.

7.       How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

As long as there’s a cheese toastie at the end who cares?

8.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

I’ve ended up doing a lot more volunteering then I thought I would.  I spent about five years turning up to the AGM telling myself that I’d do less this year.  I am currently 3 years into my one year term as president.  It’s the people that keep bringing me back.  This organisation is unbelievably good.

 

Neil Philips

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.

 

Ainslie Cummins

Committee Member from 1994- 2010, Volunteer Recruitment Officer  2003 -2010 officially but have done a lot of at event recruiting before and after those years. 

1.      When did you first rogaine?

Break O’Day 6hr event with Vic Champs Flowerdale 1986.

 2.      How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

Approx 200 estimated at 7 events per year for 30 years.

 3.      Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

My introduction to catering was an interesting time.  I thought I had volunteered to be a helper but no, I was the Catering Manager.  The event was 1992 Victorian Championships in the Strathbogies   - the notorious  ‘ Lightning Ridge’ event. It lived up to its name. Long time members will remember it well. 400+ competitors 24 hours, an inadequate catering manual and the heavens opened. In the end we dug the 20+ 2kg leftover cabbages out of the mud.  Coleslaw was not popular but I did make some lifelong friends from that experience.

 4.      What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine? 

Picking myself up after falling flat on my face knocking myself out, after tripping over a very small rock. I thought I had broken some ribs but luckily I have very strong bones. Where and when I don’t remember but I do know it hurt.

  5.      What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining? 

Beating the ‘2 Peters’ in a snowgaine after they said “If they could get rid of Ainslie out of the team they could win the event”.  My highest overall event placing have been in snowgaines ( 3rd twice once at Lake Mountain and the other at St.Gwinear)

 6.      What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in? 

In the early days steep hills, thick bush and difficult navigation as it gave us a chance to be competitive against the runners.   These days open undulating country where I can go for a stroll and a chat.

 7.      How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

The major change has come with the increased demand for shorter events. In 1986 my first event the vast majority of the competitors were in the 24 hour event, with only a handful of people in the accompanying 6 hour event. In those days anything less than 12 hours was hardly event thought of as a real rogaine. Event winners were always in the open category. Veteran, Super Veteran and even Ultra Superveteran have subsequently evolved and now often provide the event winners.  Life has changed and today’s whirlwind society does not have time to devote to spend a whole weekend in the bush.

The other major changes have come in the addition of technology, even though rogaining is still low key in the technology world. The controversy was at fever pitch around the introduction of pre marked maps which meant that competitors no longer spent the first hour of an event marking checkpoints on a survey style map from coordinates. Map production techniques have vastly improved and map costs are lower. I remember the committee buying the first lap top computer at great expense. Out with shuffling paper and licking stamps and in with electronic membership, entries and payment.  Navlight replaced punch cards, websites and E chits now replace printed newsletters.  All these things have come but not without a lot of hiccups, sleepless nights and hard work from the committee.

 8.      How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

Rogaining has benefited me greatly in many ways, given me many challenges and much personal satisfaction.   It has improved my self confidence developed skills including people and time management, planning, design, training, communications both verbal and written skills as well allowing me to help shape the direction of rogaining over many years. I learnt how to type to upgrade the catering manual and how to use photoshop to produce T shirt designs. It also gave me the obvious physical and navigation challenges. It is where I met many of my lifelong friends as well as making thousands of acquaintances in my attempts to sell ice to Eskimos.  (I really mean persuade members to volunteer for jobs they had not anticipated doing.) Rogaining is a sport which caters for such a wide spectrum of people of different ages and abilities, anyone who enjoys the fresh air and outdoors.  Many of my best memories come from helping out rather than competing.

 

 John Gavens and Heather Leslie

Development officers (in the 2000’s), setters, checkers, administrators various events.

1.       When did you first rogaine?

 March 1996, Possum Gully, Linton ( L plate - trainer Nigel Aylott, could not find first control)

2.       How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

 Around 140

3.       Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

One of our team being bitten by a donkey in WA, walking without shorts due to chafing at Barkley’s Hope, putting Heather in a passing random car due to broken leg so Grant and I could complete the event, only to be disqualified, discovering marijuana plantations, being told to run when I already was!

4.       What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Mosquitoes, horseflies and ticks, Russia 2013

5.       What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

 Going out and coming back.

6.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

 Ross River, Northern Territory

7.       How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

 The great thing is the fundamentals have not changed.

8.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

We have travelled Australia and the world with rogaining.  Russia, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Estonia and Finland.  Rogaining builds resilience.  This translates into all aspects of life. We love it. 

 

Rod Costigan

Membership Secretary: 1983-85,  President: 1985-87, Immediate Past President: 1987-88, Editor Australian Rogaining Newsletter (late 80s). Writer and producer of the manual, Organising a Rogaine, for the International Rogaining Federation, first edition 1992 and second edition some years later.

1.       When did you first rogaine?

I helped on one in 1978 and participated the following year in 1979.

2.       How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

I vaguely recall some decades ago counting to about 50.  Maybe 80 or more.

3.       Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

I was quite enchanted by my first one, an MUMC 24: the rolling green Strathbogie hills strewn with granite boulders and wattles; the deeply still frosty night; discovering that we could actually read our maps by moonlight; the mild but entertaining early hours hallucinations; cockatoos and galahs waking at dawn as we walked beneath them; and, most memorably, stopping in the dead of night beside one of those grand canyon style erosion gullies that you sometimes find in seemingly flat farmland, and hearing a stranger’s voice groaning in the dark moonshadowed depths, “This.. always happens.. to me…”.

We didn’t stop to investigate or lend a helping hand. One thing we knew, even as novices – it was a competition and we certainly had the edge on that guy.

Be that as it may, whenever I climb some endless hill, or cop a branch of prickly moses thwacked right into my eyes, or in the earlier hours I sink knee deep in freezing mud or stand astride some rusty sagging wire only to find, against all odds, it is electrified, those mopish words still cross my mind.

Now I mention hallucinations and, Kate, you use the word ‘strange’.  I do remember seeing a bona fide Pegasus once. It was of course a cold and gloomy night, what else would it be? I was with Jim Grelis on an Aus Champs and we were having trouble staying awake even while walking, to the extent of repeatedly waking up part way towards hitting the ground.  At least I was.  Don’t know about Jim for sure.  Anyway, I think there probably was a flesh-and-blood white horse running along a fence.  It was the way it flew up and into the distance that set it apart.  Seemed pretty real at the time.

4.       What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

If you come to it with a really competitive attitude that outstrips your fitness, a 24 can be quite wearing and a 6 hour can be nausiating.  So, in general, hard.  But I can’t recall any moment being particularly harder than another except where an injury has been involved.

That’s physically.  But as the pundits say, rogaines are won and lost between the ears, and if something is really hard it is because it is hard on the mind.

Which brings me to.. spiders.  I really don’t enjoy those courses we occasionally get that are absolutely festooned with orb-weaving spiders. You have probably experienced them yourself, Kate, but in case not, they’ve got a body like a football, a leg span like a beach umbrella and a web that’s strong enough to hang a man. And they are always at face height. Now imagine walking into one in the dark every 30 seconds from dusk until dawn. I sweat more from fear than exertion on these events. Ugh. The feeling of your face against its abdomen while its legs wrap around your head and shoulders. And you can’t even brush it off because your arms are tangled in its web. I have to stop now before I black out. I’ll go to the next question.

5.       What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

I didn’t have any huge triumphs in competition.  But I was quite satisfied with my time as President. When I took that position, the association, to its enormous credit was enjoying great success in terms of attendances, but the some events were looking as if they were on the brink of becoming a shambles.  Let me emphasise that this growth had overtaken us rapidly and I wouldn’t criticise the way things had been run prior to that.  But suddenly it was getting to be too much work for too few people with too little equipment.  So from the outset we made it our mission to cap attendance numbers while building up our systems and so forth.  I think the operation of the association was very different at the end of those two years as a result.  We were for the first time planning an annual budget and had confidence that event and admin costs could be met; we were able to plan expenditure on our own equipment, starting with the first marquee; we had developed standing how-to documentation on every aspect of running an event; we had streamlined our membership system; and although I personally had little practical input into it, I can say that we finally got the permanent course established. I once read the old annual reports of that time and was disappointed to see that I hadn’t really crowed about all this, but worse than that, I hadn’t named all the individuals who had conceived and executed the various projects either. I was shocked because I feel grateful to each one of them to this day. Awful. I put it down to youth.

6.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

Still the Strathbogies.

7.       How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

Well, overall the whole organisation is so much more sophisticated than it once was. I’d say that’s partly as a result of continuous improvements made by so many smart and enthusiastic volunteers, partly because the core individuals are themselves older and more sophisticated than we were way back when, and partly a reflection of the new technologies than can be used.

Checkpoints are closer together than when I started. That changes the nature of the challenge in some ways, but I have no view as to whether for better or worse.

There is very little farming land on courses these days.  It always involved a lot more work for organisers so that’s totally understandable.

It seems to me that the courses are less varied in their layout and value allocation, which many would say is good, just as tennis is always played on the same size court and always flat. But I liked the interest when course-setters tried different approaches.

Results are now very accurate and amazingly fast.

The average competitor age is higher and surprisingly the older competitors are holding their own.

There is more participation now in short events.  I think I was president when the first of the ongoing 6-hour events was run. It was planned just before I took that position and there had been one or two abandoned experiments in earlier years.  None of it was my personal initiative.  But I still feel responsible for creating a monster.  Think Frankenstein’s monster.  It seemed like a good idea until it developed a will of its own, and became unstoppable.  Logically, they sound like an introductory challenge.  So newcomers will naturally want to do a 6 hour first.  It’s such a pity because a 12hour is a much more interesting and physically less intense experience.  So in my view a 12 hour is a much better introduction.  Personally I think it was 6hr events that started the drain on entries in 12 and 24s, though there might be other contributing factors. Whether or not that is the greatest change, it is the one that I feel a bit guilty about.

I always regret the passing of the time when results would be announced from bottom up for the entire field. It was a very inclusive thing to do, even if a little embarrassing for teams with negative scores. But I also understand that it reflected the times and the younger demographic and probably wouldn’t work any more.

But let’s get to what counts. Here are the two massive improvements that I notice, and all strength to those responsible..
These days the checkpoints are reliably in the right places.
The results are accurate and amazingly fast.

8.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

Too deep for me, Kate.

 

Di Young (former VRA president) and Ken Madill

1.       When did you first rogaine?

Di:My first rogaine was in 1981. In those days all rogaines were 24 hours, there were no checkpoints marked on the map  but there was still a 3 course meal, including  toasties of course. The competitors had to mark the checkpoints onto the map from the given GPS coordinates. I was not competitive in those days so one memorable rogaine when we invited a friend along. This friend was a good red wine drinking & insisted that no picnic lunch was complete without a bottle of red.  We  sat on a high point, amongst some tall grass with the sun reflecting golden from them, imbibing the red wine with our lunch and then enjoyed a little snooze  before continuing.

Ken: My 1st Rogaine was around 1997.

2.       How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

We’ve competed in around 70 rogaines. Sailing has reduced the frequency over the last 8 years.

 Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

Di: Another memorable 6 hr rogaine was at Fall Creek when I was 34 weeks pregnant with my first child. After 5 hrs I had contractions & being my first child I decided it was probably best to head back to the hash house. All was good & my Kate was not ready to meet the world yet.

While my kids were little the association did offer a baby sitting service but we never used it.

In later years I became competitive & did 24hr events staying out all night. One memorable occasion was a rogaine south of Canberra, totally clear sky, and the dew on the button grass had frozen and it reflected the moonlight creating a sparkling, beautiful scene.

Probably the most unusual situation occurred this year when rogaining with Ainslie & Pete. We navigated to a checkpoint, sure of our position, found the checkpoint only to discover that it was not the one we thought it was. That was a bit of a shock to us older, so called compete rogainers.

Ken: Memorable moments include having Rogaining described and thinking what a ridiculous sport, who would want to do that. Finding a checkpoint by a dam at 3.00AM by listening for the frogs. Driving home the next day and discovering that 20 metres to one side was a track up a blackberry covered slope it had taken ½ hour to climb 100 metres.  The organisation of Rogaines has always fascinated me. I remember a new event co-ordinator being worried about the maps not turning up on time. Grant Jeffrey calmly told her not to worry somebody would turn up with them .Sure enough 10 minutes later they arrived. 

3.        What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Ken: It is not possible to identify one as the hardest, in most rogaines it is a matter of pushing yourself to a point where you can keep going to the finish bus optimise overall score.  Pushing yourself to get that extra checkpoint in a 6 hour  is just as hard as any part of a 24 hour event. 

4.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

One of the nice things about Rogaining is the variety of country. I don’t have a favourite area. 

5.       How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

Apart from the change to more shorter events not much has changed really.  I miss the extra events we used to have like the paddleogaines and snowgaines.

6.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

Di: The amazing thing about rogaining to me is;
1. It has been run by volunteers for 40 years.
2. How few injuries or lost people there are in a sport where you can be romping through the bush at night with only a torch, map & compass.

Ken: How it has changed me. Rogaining teaches you a lot about your body. I understand how far I can push myself and my physical limitations. I am definitely much fitter than I would have been without Rogaining, as 60 year old it is quite satisfying to know that you can be competitive with people less than half your age. I remember we were leaving a checkpoint as a young group we had been doing the same checkpoints as us for the last 3 hours were approaching it from the wrong direction. They could not understand how we were getting checkpoints at the same rate despite the fact that they were running and we were walking.

 

Alison and Dick Harcourt (long time rogainers)

1.       When did you first rogaine?

We first learnt about Rogaining from a work colleague whose husband was a friend of Nigel Aylott. It sounded like a good activity and so it has turned out to be. From memory, (because I could not find the details) our first one (8 hours?) was based in Healesville.  We had to enter the check points on the maps ourselves from co-ordinates of the check points on a page pinned up on a shed wall.

 Old age and various related infirmities have limited our participation, but it was super while it lasted.  We often came in late so our scores were low, but there was food at the Hash House and lots of good talk about the ability of vivid orange checkpoints to hide under a gum leaf or show themselves on a spur adjacent to the one we had just ascended.

 2.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

There were many favorites areas but the old goldfields probably took first place.  We also liked Metrogaines, especially the opportunities they gave us to explore towns outside the Melbourne metropolitan area.  Another particularly special source of enjoyment was the other rogainers, who came in all sizes from babes in arms to elderly folk like us, and all of them friendly and ready to share their discoveries.

3.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

We made many friends, we saw many creatures of the bush, like the little joey crouched under a bush while its mother was off on other business, or the wombat which strolled across our path, appropriately in Wombat State Forest, and many birds and kangaroos. We saw the beauty of the bush and we thought many times of the people who lived in this land prior to us, and how their appreciation of the country would have been much wider and deeper than ours.

 For all this, we thank you, Rogaining.

 

Chris Solnordal

VRA Secretary (1 year); VRA Vice President (1 year); VRA President (3 years).

1.     When did you first rogaine?

MUMC 24 hour walk, 1983

2.     How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

Around 50 or so

3.     Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

Drinking champagne at the top of Mt Torbreck during the Cross Your Rubicon 50hr rogaine in 1997. The checkpoint was set up so that the more time you spent at it eating and drinking, the more points you got. Most people scuttled off as quickly as possible, but we relaxed and spent the full 30 minutes there as the MUMC "staff", dressed in back tie I believe, served us champagne and cake.

4.     What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Probably the first time I tried to go through the night on a 24 hour event. It was the 1984 MUMC 24 hour walk. We had been warned that long pants were essential, as the sward grass on the course was severe. I ignored this advice and to this day I still have faint scars on my legs. In the meantime, we had no adequate torches for the event. I had brought my bike light which actually needed a new battery, and my team mate also had something hopeless ... or perhaps we only had one torch between us! And I think our food supplies were hopelessly inadequate. And the map was a black and white thing printed on very flimsy paper and we had brought no method of protecting it. 

Anyway, at some time several hours after midnight we found ourselves at the junction of two tracks, with a hopelessly shredded map, shredded and screaming legs, and a single torch that would provide a brief glimmer of light for about a second when you first turned it on, after which it become completely dead. But if we waited a few minutes we could get another brief glimmer of light from the torch. We were huddled over the map, with our dead torch, saying "ready, set, go!" as we turned it on and tried desperately to see if we were where we thought we were on the map before the torchlight disappeared. We sank further and further towards the ground and ended up lying down with the map between us. After a few more tries we found it was becoming easier to actually see the map and we finally realised that dawn had begun. We rejoiced and staggered to our feet and wandered on.

Once the day was truly light on the Sunday morning we started to get attacked by Sleep Monsters. Each step had the whole world shaking around me, and if I moved my head too quickly my vision would spin and blur. We headed back to the Hash House feeling physically ill and hungry but also sick in the stomach, and arrived there by about 8.30am. We went straight to bed and slept right through the final event food and presentations for the winners. It wasn't the best event I had ever done.

But the next event we did, we brought the rechargeable battery-powered searchlight from my team mate's father's boat. Overcompensation, but we were not going to let that happen again!

5.     What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

Either winning the Handicap Challenge Trophy at the Redcastle rogaine in about 1996, or else coming (I think) third with Ivana Cicchelli at a metrogaine in the Dandenongs during a 38 degree Total Fire ban day.

6.     What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

I think the East MacDonnell Ranges AusChamps in 2008, or else any event in the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria. I like the mixture of open and forested country.

7.     How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

Not a lot. The basic premise is still the same, although not having to mark your own checkpoints on the map using grid references is fantastic. One thing that was particularly exciting for my first three rogaines, as they we're all MUMC 24 Hour walks, was you turned up at Melbourne Uni and got on a bus, destination unknown. You were then handed a map sheet to mark the checkpoints on and you didn't know what the terrain was really like until you arrived there.

8.     How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

When I first heard of such events it seemed like a perfect fit to all the things I really enjoyed in terms of outdoor activities. So it is not so much that rogaining has changed me: rather, rogaining was my idea of the perfect sport. I love it just as much today as I did in 1983.

 

Cath Weir

Newsletter Distributor from 1993 until the “close of business” in October 2015 although before this I had helped others with the folding (Sharon Sayers, Rob Gatt).

1.     When did you first rogaine?

My first Rogaine was March 1986 with my two sons, a 6hr event at Tallarook. I couldn’t lift my legs over a stick on the ground by the time I had finished but I fell in love with the sport.

2.     How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

It is about 130 including metrogaines. (A good map collection!)

3.     Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

I can’t single out just one. Anderson’s Mill (3/88) for the wiregrass at throat level; Devil’s Run (11/00?)for the torrential rain for most of the event; Aust Ch/ships at Shelley (10/99) when Aletta and I had a lovely meal in the Koetong pub during the event. Coliban Race (4/87) for the spit roast set up in a paddock. Recently, Granite Edge (9/12) for the lovely country and weather. It was also the first event for my Spanish daughter-in-law.

4.     What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Lilydale Metrogaine where we needed to drive to the toilets after we finished. Bundalong Paddlogaine (2/06) when Aletta and I (a complete novice paddler) had to manoeuvre a plastic “bath tub” on the water..

5.     What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

With my two sons winning the Family and a third placing in Mixed sections in the Caveat 8hr event (10/86). A totally unexpected result. Came 11th out of 70 teams, my best ever score. Equally as surprising was the first place in WSV and WV with Margaret Page in the 2002 Vic Ch/ships where we won both the WSV and UV sections.

6.     What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

Any area devoid of pine forest, not too steep but ideally rolling, open countryside.

7.     How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

Using pre-marked maps very professionally done. The sophistication of the equipment (catering, admin, checkpoints). The appearance of the n/letter up to Oct 2015 going from typed sheets stapled together to a professional production. Everything now on-line. No more athletic men with little shorts, little beards and little back packs apparently running from start to finish. Where are you?

8.     How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

 It certainly gave me an insight into the amount of work that goes into running the organisation and events. Please don’t take everything for granted - there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes.  It is like a swimming duck – all appears smooth on the surface but underneath there is a heck of a lot of activity.

 

Jachob Dynes

Youngest ever event setter (at 16 years old), 2016

1.       When did you first rogaine?

I did my first Rogaine in 2008 when I was 8 years old. After doing some exploring at home with maps, Dad took me to an event and I have been competing ever since.

2.       How many rogaines do you think you have competed in?

I compete in roughly 5 events each year, so possibly up to 40, maybe a bit less.

3.       Describe your most memorable/strangest moment rogaining?

At the red, white and blue rogaine in Castlemaine. The bush was thick with webs, huge webs with scary spiders in every one of them. They were everywhere you turned and you had to use a stick to knock them out of your way.

4.       What’s been the hardest moment on a rogaine?

Getting absolutely lost, with no idea where you are or where you’re going. Then you lose heaps of time with still no idea where you’re going, then the rest of your course is stuffed because you lost so much time, and then you get back late and are disqualified.

5.       What’s been your greatest triumph rogaining?

I competed in one of the two day events in the end of the year. A rogaine one day and a cyclogaine the other. We came 2nd overall for the weekend and we cleared the course on the cyclogaine.

6.       What is your favourite geographic area to rogaine in?

Castlemaine area, every time we go to Castlemaine we go to a really nice pizza shop called Capones. And we get Castlemaine Rock.

7.       How has rogaining changed since you started competing?

I’ve gained skills involved with map reading and basically what to do when you’re in the bush, if your lost or going away for the weekend.

8.       How has being involved in rogaining changed you?

I volunteer at least once every year and I really enjoy it. I get to be social with people other than the youth I hang with. I have been able to experience the more rugged lifestyle and I get plenty of hours up when I volunteer for water drops. I also have gotten to visit many different places in Victoria that I never would have seen otherwise.

 

 

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