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Lake Macquarie Rogaine 12hrs race report – by Pierre Francois, Team No Detour 119.

August 3

The story
Second participation to the Lake Macquarie rogaine, episode 23rd this year. Glenn DiSalvia and I raced
together at the NSW rogaining championship last year and were keen to partner up again. So we were
long time registered on the 12hrs event and Ross Barker made a last minute decision to join the fun. We
will race the three of us in the Watagans State forest, between Sydney and Newcastle.

Race prep with new piece of gear … my new huuuuuge picnic table !

The weather on that day was typical winter weather for Sydney. A bit chilly in the morning but as soon
as the sun came up it was the perfect weather for bush bashing in the national parks. Racing in his
backyard (he is from Morisset, so very close) Glenn got the maps early on whereas Ross and I drove
from Sydney.

10AM, after a brief catch up with the few faces we know around, we started planning our journey. By
the look at the map, it looks like the checkpoints are quite close together, and close to tracks.
Interesting, it sounds easy but it is always the case (for me) when looking at the map. I’ve been rogaining
in the Watagans twice and each time the bush was very tough and slow moving… So we decide to plan
wise and leave for later the eastern side loop of checkpoints (71,61,21,84,52 worth 280 points) and skip
the south triangle (81,101,90 despite the 270 points on offer). The description notes said “for
experienced rogainers only” … Well, not sure if I am part of this category yet ☺ probably not far. Our
strategy was to go as fast as we could into the center area of the map where the rivers/canyon and
tricky navigation are so we could tackle those hard checkpoints during daylight rather than attempting
them at night time, which is harder. Hence we will do a clockwise loop starting by 32, then 33, 42, 82, 80
and then everything around the Tea & Damper… Then back down the canyon again to grab 70, 100 and
finish on the main track with optional checkpoints depending on the remaining time. Sounds like a good
plan to us, not sure about the feasibility though.

Race briefing

Glenn, Ross and Pierre
We had plenty of time to prepare our gear, take some pictures …. Midday, the siren is on, we are out for

The first checkpoints were easy (the CPs close to the Hash House are always the easiest ones) and we
quickly made a decision to extend the route to CP52, not that far from our travel plan. This is where I cut
my right hand with a vine while opening the bush for the team. Bleeding after 45minutes makes no
doubt I need gloves from this point.

Moving selfie !

We jumped down the canyon and nailed CP82
and CP80 in 30minutes….. Well easier than my
best expectations. Ross and I remembered last
year canyon in the same forest where we
moved at a steady 1km/h pace ☺

Few shots in the canyon – CP82 then CP80

We are moving fast, and despite a slight hesitation to get CP72 in the creek (I think CP72 was not exactly
where it was shown on the map), we arrived at the Tea & Damper with everything under our belt (83, 30
then 43).
T&D is basically a refuel station, with muffins, hot chocolate, orange slices etc on offer…. For free!
Thumbs up for having a T&D at all rogaines! This is a great stop over.

A quick chat (and shot) with Bert Van Netten and the wonderful volunteers in the area and we are off
for the second part of our rogaine.
At this time we know that we will finish the race on time, well on time but at no moment one of us
suggested we should have tried to pick up the south triangle… This is where we should have been more
ambitious I reckon…
Anyway going down to CP48 - CP70 was easy; especially because the bush was opened by an elephant
track ☺ We got CP100 under a beautiful 8 meters waterfall during the last minutes of daylight, which
was quite unexpected. It is 5pm, time to enjoy the sunset!

Kung Fu fight on a log at CP100

With almost 1100points under the 6hrs mark no doubt we would have been in good position in the 6hrs
race, but we still have 6hours to go and our route will bring us back to the south east of the map, the
optional loop we decided to skip early on. We even had the luxury of losing 15minutes at the hash house
to allow Glenn trading his painful shoes with hiking boots.

Headlights are on by now, we ran on the main
fire trail at possibly the worst time of the day.
Indeed the 6hours teams are rushing back
home after their presentation and we are
breathing their dust… Lovely time. Once on the
motorbike tracks again, we nailed CP21 and
CP84 before going back north to CP61. For that
one we found the approach from the south
track quite dangerous and didn’t attempt it that
Maybe we lost 15 minutes there trying to find the best route to get down to the creek junction but
finally managed to find a safe route.

Our last checkpoint CP71 was an easy one.
After 40km run, we finished our day at 9pm, 5 minutes after the winners who cleared the course. No
doubt we won’t have been competitive with them but I am convinced that we could have cleared the
course in 11 hours maximum, maybe less with a smart route choice from the beginning…. Probably the
first time this way around, because I am more used to the “rushing home” scenario…
Anyway it was a great course, within a homogenous team with Glenn and Ross. Each of us had his
moment of navigation and in the end we nailed all the checkpoints we have attempted. There is always
the “we should have ticked those CP first” or “we should have run quicker and more often” etc but in
the end we are happy to have had a longer sleep ☺
We are ranked 6th in the Men category, 9th/38 teams overall. And 4 teams (big names) cleared the
Thanks to the volunteers who ran a great event. The catering at the end was no doubt one of the
highlight of the race ☺
All results are available here:

CP order: 32-33-52-42-82-80-51-41-72-83-30-43-50-48-70-100-60-45-44-40-31-20-21-84-61-71

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