Sunday 10th June 2018
Well done to the over 100 souls who braved the squalls and made it out to Christmas Creek, including 93 registered entries, as well as several chaperones and a few groups. It had rained early that day, drenching Anthea and I during final setup, but as the crowds arrived the rain departed. The sun never quite managed to completely peep out from behind the clouds but it was like a dewy English morning in the rolling green hills; Christmas Creek quietly bubbling away in the valley.
The course stats were greeted with a few groans from some (maybe they forgot to bring their crampons) but otherwise everyone was in fine spirits. A little windy at the start at the top of the hill, but otherwise beautiful running conditions for everyone as they set off. Apart from some pretty wet bushes the first half of the field managed to keep the wet at bay, finishing before the weather turned. Then the weather turned. The later runners were drenched in a terrible squall; some looking like they had swum to the finish. But they were all still smiling (most probably because they had finished).
From the debriefs afterwards I think a few people were caught out by the larger scale of 1:5000; normal for a sprint, but unusual for a bush event, with quite a few people overshooting their controls, some considerably! I’m not sure how to explain some of the other routes that were described to me; maybe they were enjoying the beautiful scenery?
Despite lots of slippery rocks and a few hidden broken fences the only person silly enough to injure themselves was me; slipping on wet rocks in the creek whilst setting a couple of weeks ago (and in another squall).
Sincere thanks to all the following people, without whom we couldn’t have run the event:
- Anthea Feaver, the controller, who made me obey all the setting rules and stopped me putting the climb % into double figures; and who, despite being sick (and needing to be at home in bed) came out to set up in the rain.
- Rosemary Kullmann the event organizer who whipped the LOST crew into shape (not that they need whipping).
- Peter Gillon for towing the caravan to and from the event, and also for getting the caravan and dunny level, despite being on a hill.
- Alan and Maureen Cox for carting the night soil.
- Melinda Richards and Coreen Maynard for being the brains inside the caravan
- Ian and Jan Fletcher, Richard Mathews and Nicole Davis for being the brains outside the caravan (instructing).
- Toivo Pedaste, Mike Howe, Blake Merritt, Daniel Meeks, Tony Simpkins, Edward Plummer, Anna Napier for collecting controls and packing up
- the LOST crew in general for all the cakes and general help.
- Shaun Richards for helping me carry both the tent and his sister up the hill to the start.
- Tash Sparg and Bryce Crage who, with me, clung to that tent as it thrashed about with all 4 legs in the air trying to fly off into the hills as the weather disintegrated.
- and to all the competitors, without whom there also wouldn’t have been an event!
Photos from the event and maps can be found at the Orienteering WA Facebook page