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Interview Ainslie Cummmins

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.


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