Interview Di Young and Ken Madill
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.