Calculation, it’s the name of the game!

By Bruce Greenhalgh

I was about to begin this piece with an invitation to rogainers to get their slide rules out in preparation for the Bundaleer 15-hour event, Ngadjuri Dreaming. Then I thought it wasn’t such a great opening since a good number of potential entrants wouldn’t even not what a slide rule was, let alone own one. I have one; it dates back to my high school years which makes it, well, let’s just say ‘old’. It’s a relic from a time before calculators and computers when slide rules were the go-to device for mathematical computation. Mention of slide rules was, then, an allusion to serious calculation activity. But while slide rules are quite wonderous instruments, they were never cool. Indeed, slide rule enthusiasts tended to be a bit on the nerdy side. They were the kind of guys (almost always guys) who wore white, short sleeved, polyester business shirts with the top button done up, even though they didn’t wear a tie, and had a battalion of pens safely kept in the shirt pocket thanks to a ‘pocket protector’ (remember them?) (if you’re young, probably not).

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The Four Horsemen of our Rogaine Apocalypse

By Bruce Greenhalgh

Fun(?) and failure in the Flinders.

The famous four were not, on this occasion, war, famine, pestilence and death, but wind, dust, prickles and dumb decision making. Firstly, the wind, and the Wilkatana ‘24’ will be distinguished from other 24s by the fact that the night before the actual event was as memorable as the rogaine itself. A wind of biblical proportions blew all night battering tents and camper vans and preventing sleep. The ferocity of the wind was attested to by it picking up the Hash House marquee and dumping it, damaged and canvas flapping, tens of metres from its original site.

Conversations the morning after routinely followed this pattern,

‘Did you camp here last night?’


‘Did you get any sleep?’


Details of the ordeal were then swapped: the fear of being blown away, the impossibility of sleep and descriptions of the dust that was the wind’s accomplice in camping damnation. A fine dust was blown into my tent and settled on everything. My sleeping bag was dusty, my pillow was dusty, my clothes were dusty and my mouth was dusty.

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Goldilocks and the Six Hours

Read the setter’s thoughts on our next rogaine (by Bruce Greenhalgh)

Yes, yes. I know it should be ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ but I’ve been struck by some parallels the coming six-hour rogaine has with the Goldilocks story. Just like the chair Goldilocks sits in, the porridge she eats and the bed she sleeps in, the ’Another pine mess you’ve got me into’ rogaine is ‘just right’.

Take the time period, six hours, it’s (obviously) shorter than a twenty-four-hour event and so won’t take you to the point of questioning your sanity the way the longer events usually do. And it’s not as short as a three hour when it seems that no time has passed before you’re worrying about getting back to the Hash House in time. Nothing like those two extremes, the six hour allows you to immerse yourself in the rogaine experience without the rigours of a longer rogaine or the limitations of a shorter event. Just right.

Similarly, the navigation challenge of the Kuitpo six hour is not that great that you’ll be spending hours vainly searching for a control, nor that easy that you’ll feel like little or no skill is required. A bit of compass work, perhaps some pace counting and astute route choice will have you feeling you’ve tested your mental prowess without straining your brain. Just right.

SARA’s longer events are often set in wonderful, extraordinary, locations that provide the sense of being away from everything, but these venues often require a lengthy car trip, sometimes the best part of a day. Conversely, the ‘metro’ events are easily reached. The flip side, however, is the loss of being somewhere away and special and natural. Kuitpo is (roughly) only an hour’s drive from the city, so not a long haul, but the forest provides a feeling of being out in the natural world and away from the confines of the suburbs. Just right.

So, what’s stopping you? Get together with friends or family or total strangers, get an entry in and start looking forward to a great event. If you like pine we’ve got you covered. There’s pine forest, pine trees, old pine, new pine, pine cones, and pine needles. But there are also sections of native bush that provide an interesting multi-species contrast to the monoculture of the pine plantations.

Porridge isn’t on the menu (sorry Goldilocks), but there will be hot soup and rolls waiting for you at the end of the event. Adventure, pine cones, maps, hot soup – what more could you want? And all for a mere $40 (with children U9 free and good deals for students/concessions and families). Just right!

Strange Day, Indeed

What did the recent ‘Woodside Wheelers’ Velogaine have to do with an imminent zombie apocalypse? Rogaine tragic Bruce Greenhalgh explains…

Strange Day, Indeed

I’ve watched enough horror films to know that the setting for the end of civilization as we know it, the zombie apocalypse, the invasion from outer space – that sort of thing – is usually a dark and foreboding night with, perhaps, mysterious clouds racing past an angry moon, or thunder, lightning, driving rain and howling winds. It almost always involves hints that something is terribly amiss: birds stop singing, dogs cower in corners and strange, unexplained things happen. And all this is accompanied by an ominous soundtrack that portends dire and cataclysmic events.

The ’Woodside Wheelers’ Velogaine provided a setting seemingly the antithesis of this. The event occurred on a fine, sunny day in the bucolic Adelaide Hills. There was but a breath of wind. The soundtrack, pre-event, was of excited chatter as great plans were made, the calling of greetings to friends and the happy sound of cycling shoes clicking into pedals. All was right with the world, or so it seemed, but as we velogained our way through four hours disturbing auguries and unnatural occurrences spoke of looming disaster.

Firstly, there was the totally inexplicable fact that even though we started and finished at the same point, we climbed more kilometres than we descended. I’m sure of it. A landscape gone mad! The south-east corner of the map was particularly warped in this respect. Were there any descents? Thinking hard I do recall a few brief, blissful moments when gravity was my friend, but the salient memory is of how interminable the climbs were. Riding from control 70 to 61 and then 50 each fresh turn in the road revealed yet another span of ascent and I began to doubt we would ever reach a summit. Would we end up in the climbers’ ‘death zone’? I certainly felt near to expiring.

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Of Lakes and Luck and Elections

By Bruce Greenhalgh

As a frequent contributor to the rogaine email newsletter I now find myself contemplating ideas for reports even before the rogaine is run. ‘The Lakes District’ rogaine, for example, had me entertaining ideas of weaving into a report references to the famous Lake District in England (ignoring the plural/singular discrepancy). I was thinking, in particular, of the poet William Wordsworth who is associated with the Lake District and perhaps contrasting some of his well-known lines about wandering ‘lonely as a cloud’ and discovering ‘golden daffodils’ to the travails of rogaining. On starting the rogaine another contrast presented itself too, that of comparing the beauty of, say, Lake Windemere in England to the first body of water we encountered which was, of course, the Mount Barker effluent ponds. However, the problem with this angle is that while I acknowledge Wordsworth’s place in literature I don’t actually like his work much and so writing about it held little appeal. I also suspected that too many tenuous references to poetry and faraway lakes might turn readers off.

Not to worry, there was always the coincidence of the Twilight rogaine and the State election and so the possibility of writing about rogaine control corflutes that I wanted (desperately) to find as opposed to those election corflutes that I wish would go away. Again, though, there were problems with this theme in that I suspected that a lot of people would be thoroughly sick of election dribble by voting day and reading anything even tangentially about the election would not be appealing.

I’m left then, with the fact that Steve Sullivan and I won (something that occurs with only slightly more frequency than sightings of Halley’s Comet) and trying to anticipate what readers might like to hear from the winners. There is nothing new about a winner writing an event report. Indeed, for a long time it was expected and routinely completed. Those reports often featured detailed descriptions of astute route choice consummated by athletic prowess, intelligent navigation and helpings of grit and determination. As a winner I can attest that those sorts of things are important, but I also have to admit that a win has a lot more to do with luck. Yep. Luck.

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Recollections on the occasion of my 50th Rogaine

by Steven Frigo

I wrote this a year ago but didn’t get around to submitting it but on Saturday at the Mount Barker Lakes Rogaine, Peter Milnes jokingly asked “Are you still rogaining?” and I realised my enthusiasm for the sport is still 110%. The twilight event in March 2021 was my 50th rogaine, and I offer my recollections of this adventure strategy sport, which is so much more than that.

We curse the dark, the wind, the blisters, the head of the watercourse, the watercourse junction, the watercourse bend…… everything about the watercourse, but the moment we cross the finish line all is forgiven.

My first two events were AUMC 24 hour walks; Williamstown in May 1979 and Eden Valley 1980. All I remember was that we had to mark up our maps with the coordinates of the controls, and we were cold. It was another 23 years before I was ready to start again.

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Things to do on a Saturday afternoon

By Bruce Greenhalgh

The Parkland Promenade minigaine provided proof that there is more to life than rogaining. There are, as evidenced by scenes from the minigaine, cricket, golf, soccer and getting married as alternative Saturday afternoon activities. On our clockwise circumnavigation of the Parklands it was cricket we encountered first. My fitter and younger teammate, Phil, even had the wherewithal to watch part of the match whereas my only involvement with it was hoping that a well hit ball wouldn’t make it to the boundary and mean I’d have to run around a fieldsman. It was early in the event, but already any unanticipated obstacles felt like genuine impositions to me.

The cricket continued – a Women’s Big Bash match – on the next oval we ran past, and the obstacles continued in the form of cars parked on an adjacent oval. The parking fee was – wait for it – $17! That’s before, I presume, a charge to get into the Big Bash venue. For another three bucks they could have entered the minigaine and enjoyed free parking! What’s wrong with these people?

Next it was golf, and crossing the links at North Adelaide we may have upset some golfers. No matter, as somebody who regards golf as ‘a good walk spoilt’ I felt no guilt whatsoever about possibly upsetting somebody’s concentration before their tee shot.  I’ll say this about golf though, running across the greens and fairways was a delight after having experienced a bit of the grass seed rich rough of the Parklands.

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Tour De Mt Torrens Race Report

By Andrew Denyer

Our result in this year’s velogaine this year came as a surprise. Before the event, I was thinking that John and I should be able to finish in the top twenty, and if everything went really well, we might even just make it into the top ten.

Fourth overall was a very pleasing result and now as Bruce Greenhalgh (the setter) requested:- “Everything comes with a price though, and people are wanting to know how you did it.”

So here goes.

My first Velogaine experience was with Peter Wilson at the Moculta event in 2017. Fortunately Peter knew what he was doing, so as I observed, a little bit of his velogaining knowledge rubbed off on me. Not everything quite went to plan during the event when we missed a turn, found ourselves on a faint  sandy track, rode over a patch of 3 corner jacks that caused multiple punctures and lost a big chunk of time, but we still had a pretty good day out.

The major lesson that I took away from my first velogaine is that holding a map and riding a bike is not compatible. If you want to keep track of where you are and where you a going a map board is needed.

My next instalment in the art of rogaining came when Doug Gillott asked if I would like to team up with him for the Bingalong Australian Championship being held in Tasmania in November 2019. I was very much the inexperienced apprentice at this event, but due to Doug’s expert tuition I started to learn the basics of route selection, map reading and navigation.

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Conquering Almerta’s Bluff

By Emily Sorensen & Alastair George (Outright winners of Almerta’s Bluff State Champs, Team 38)

Ali and I are orienteers from SA and NSW respectively but we both live in Sydney normally. We were initially meant to be in Adelaide for a week but due to covid that’s become 3 months, so when we saw the 24 hour rogaine was taking place we took the opportunity to try something new.

Our main goal was to stay up all night. We’d decided we would be happy to give up at sunrise if we were over it.

The first 7 hours were really good, we were on a roll and full of energy. We covered almost half our total distance but after stopping for dinner at the hash house we lost a bit of steam. We’d agreed on walking through the night with a few gentle shuffles, but walking quickly turned into plodding and we struggled to keep up our momentum from the day. It was interesting trying out caffeine gels which certainly lifted our spirits for an hour or so, but then we felt the crash even worse when we felt ill for the rest of the event.

Come the morning, we gave running another red hot crack next to and along the ridge. We got off the ridge with about 3 hours left and had plans for a final running push along the flat, but unfortunately the rocky slopes of the ridge seemed make our bodies say no. On the flat, I broke out in itchy hives which resulted in Ali swapping his shorts for my tights. We imagine this would’ve been an interesting scene for someone to come across. We decided to pull the pin and head home shortly after where we hobbled our way to the finish.

The coolest moment for us was when we got up to one of the 90 pointers on top of this big rocky hill and sat down to eat some cold ravioli at about 2am. Below we could see the lights from a town in the far distance, and we felt truly isolated (and a little lonely). Most of the night was spent holding hands, which for Ali was hard work, though I was certainly grateful to kept on my feet.

Coming from an orienteering background, the scale was different and it took a few controls for us to get used to the lack of detail and think bigger in terms of what would be mapped. During the day we didn’t have any navigation issues, but as it got dark and we got more tired we had a couple of minor hiccups. Our biggest mistake was overshooting a control on a track by a kilometre.

It’s a surprisingly addictive sport and we’re definitely looking forward to trying one again soon. Thank you to the organisers and volunteers who make these events possible; it has been a true highlight of our year. The rogaining community are so wonderful, we spoke to lots of people and felt very welcome.

Almerta’s Bluff

By Isaac, Fox and Milla (1st Family, Team 60)

My name is Milla and I’m six years old. Almerta’s Bluff was my first real rogaine. I entered with my dad Isaac and my brother, Fox.

I liked the challenges of the rogaine, like getting control 100 and walking big distances, plus finding control 47 that we lost in the dark. The hardest part was my legs hurting and when it got dark, I was worried about foxes!

When we finished, I was proud to have hiked so far and done a good job.

I’m Fox and I’m nine years old. Three years ago, my dad and I did a rogaine at Almerta Station where we won the family category. I think I’m good at walking long distances.

I like planning where we will go, looking for controls and taking bearings with a compass. My ankles started hurting around 6pm on Saturday night between control 86 and 94, but we didn’t get back to the Hash House until 10pm. My legs felt better the next day.

When we finished, I was relieved that we didn’t have to walk any more!

I’m Isaac and parent to three children, though the youngest is probably yet to reach rogaining ability. My wife and I have always worked at building resilience in our children and I knew Fox at least would keep up and love all the challenges of rogaining.

Three years ago, Fox whinged just two controls in and I carried him plus our gear (including a drone!) for part of that rogaine before he got into it and was racing ahead. This time, Milla was wanting to quit after controls 70 and 60 as we looked for 48 but was largely ignored and went on to race through 85, 100 and 88 – big points for a novice! I held her hand for 99% of the time, to stop her slipping or falling behind, and she probably saved me slipping a couple of times.

It was a real joy working with them to plan day, night and morning routes that fit our ability, then to spend time with them talking about life, our surrounds and the challenges we were tackling.

We planned a route for Saturday to prioritise points in the peak of the day, then be in a point-heavy area with reasonable terrain for sunset onwards. Control 47 from the south in darkness was our only real navigational challenge; Fox was taking excellent bearings almost straight away.

39 to Hash House was a bit of a trudge but they were motivated by dinner!

Our plan for Sunday also worked well, heading NE from HH in a loop we could extend or contract as needed. Our pace was good and I convinced Fox to add controls 34, 62 and 35 which worked well. We came in with a half hour to spare so probably could’ve added 33 as our first control of Sunday and coped.

It might be a while until Milla feels up to another event, but I think Fox is looking to partner up with me again! Like me, he’s driven by the planning and point scoring. I’ll be the weakest link soon enough.

I’m exceptionally proud of both Milla and Fox. There was a bit of whimpering from one and a teary outburst from another, but they survived in good spirits, rebounded well and saw it through. Plus, they like Freddos…

The best laid plans…

By Bruce Greenhalgh

If you’ve ever rogained, even just once, you’ve most likely faced the problem of explaining the sport to somebody else. It seems that few people outside rogaining have any understanding of it. When attempting to explain rogaining I often ask if people know what orienteering is, and they usually do. If they do, I explain that the two sports are similar (map, compass, etc) but that there are important differences, such as rogaining being a team sport and one that involves longer distances and time. So far, so good. It’s when I get to explaining just how long – up to 24 hours – that things get a bit difficult. The idea that you are out running around the countryside with only a map and compass to guide you for 24 HOURS troubles the comprehension of a lot of people. In my observation people either ‘get it’ and appreciate why you think it’s a good thing to do, or they assess that perhaps you’re a little ‘different’.

Faced with, at best, a nascent understanding of rogaining I rarely muddy the waters by then adding that a 24 hour event is actually more a 27 hour event. That’s because before the 24 hours of traversing the countryside begins there are up to 3 hours of planning with the map. I say ‘up to’ because there are other things to do in that time: making decisions about what gear to take, final packing of backpacks, last minute fuel intake (also known as eating) and etc. It’s also true that many competitors have a casual approach to the whole planning thing and might pick up their maps late(ish) and spend a comparatively short time devising their route(‘Let’s head north!’) For those that want to maximize their rogaine performance though, it’s a case of spending as much time as possible planning.

Whatever the approach it’s fair to say that a rogaine begins with the planning phase. Preparation is, of course, part of any sporting endeavour, but there are few sports where the preparation is so intrinsically part of the competition and few sports where planning is as important. As one of the interstate competitors at the recent Australian championships remarked to me, ‘You can’t win it in the planning, but you can lose it.’ There’s a lot of truth in that. Regardless of how well you are prepared physically, good course selection is critical to a satisfying result.

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Post rogaine cognition: a case study

Here at SARA we scour the world of professional literature to ensure you’re informed of all relevant information. The following article is from the latest issue of the esteemed publication, The Goyder Journal of Psychology and Rogaining.

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 Post rogaine cognition: a case study

It’s a bit past 9.00 pm at the Second Valley Forest HQ and we’ve just finished the six hour. It’s the usual end-of-rogaine experience. I’m back at my car and the task of finding my beanie has taken on a degree of difficulty commensurate with completing a foreign language cryptic crossword. My brain, which not long ago was okay (only okay) at finding controls, is now also defeated by the problem of locating the change of socks I packed (I know I packed them. I think I packed them. Did I pack them?), And I’m tired and aching and getting cold.

My team mate, Steve, raises a thought that I’ve been holding at bay. He says something along the lines of ‘This is only six hours. What’s the twenty-four going to be like?’ What indeed? Addled though I am, I can calculate that a twenty-four hour event is FOUR TIMES LONGER than the six I’ve just completed.

Later, having changed into warm, dry clothing and with a cup of potato and leek soup in hand, I remind myself that a twenty-four hour event is different. In the shorter rogaines (and I’d class a six hour as short) it’s all about go, go, go. Much as I’d like to be able to go hard for twenty-four hours it’s not an option for me. I acknowledge too, that ‘24s’ are normally set in the bush where the ‘hand rails’ of roads, defined tracks and distinct changes in vegetation are conspicuous by their absence. So the ability to navigate takes on something like equivalence to physical prowess. It’s a different ball game.

By most measures it’s a harder game. For example, there’s the special test created if you return to the Hash House during the night with the intention of having a quick meal and then returning straight back to your course. Following through on that intention is tough. The temptation of sitting longer at the HH fire with, say, a second helping of potato and leek soup or getting re-acquainted with your sleeping bag is close to irresistible.

There are some compensations, however. In a shorter rogaine you’re conscious of the finish time for a good part of the event. Even in the first hour I’m mindful of our pace and progress in relation to finishing on time. A 24 provides a good hunk of time when you can just about forget the time table and concentrate on navigating and negotiating the terrain. It’s a ‘purer’ experience in that regard. And who knows? Perhaps the slightly lighter mental burden will allow you some brain power at the end of the event to find those elusive clean socks.

Whatever happens, if you compete in a 24, it will be memorable. I’m not sure what I did last Tuesday, but, for example, I remember vividly the frustrating, but ultimately successful, search we had for a 40 pointer at 4.00 am during the 2015 State Champs (Really? Here? Thank !@+# we found it).

Want a few memories? Enter the upcoming Australian Champs. You can do it.


All systems are GO

The ARC2021 organising group are in the final stages of the preparation for the up-coming event. Everything is slowly coming together for what should be a very enjoyable event where we can entertain our interstate (and possibly our NZ) rogaining fraternity.

Entry system

The entries are trickling in with over 50 teams already entered, but please note that entries will not be accepted after midnight on Sunday, 9 May; so don’t miss out.

Entry late fee and refund

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has created some uncertainty for making travel arrangements, the organisers have decided to drop the late fee. Please note that in the event of COVID-19 border closures or onerous quarantine restrictions on participants’ return home a full entry refund will be provided. If you are experiencing any issues with the entry system, please contact the Event Organiser, Craig Colwell, via email:

Pre-event training opportunities

If you are in Adelaide the weekend prior to the ARC event, then you may be interested in Orienteering SA’s 3-hour score event in Karinya Reserve, Eden Hills on Sunday, 23 May – one week before the ARC.

It’s a perfect opportunity for rogainers to gain some extra practice and/or fitness training. All welcome, see Orienteering SA for details. Only $20 for non-members, entries in by Wednesday evening 19 May via the OSA website.

For those travellers visiting the mid-north area, then a visit to the Caroona Creek Conservation Park would provide some insights to the ARC event terrain. SARA held a 12-hour rogaine there in 2016 and the map can be found on the SARA website at  spring2016basev9.pdf. The Caroona Creek CP is approximately 35kms from the ARC event site.

Partner matching

We are currently fielding enquiries regarding a partner matching service.  If you are looking for a partner for this event, please forward your details, stating:

  • name, age, gender, email or phone contact
  • navigational experience and fitness level
  • expectations for event (ie walking/running, 24-hours with sleep or no sleep, 8-hour only)
  • what you are looking for in a partner

to and and we will try and put you in touch with other non-partnered persons.

COVID-19 restrictions

This event will be held under the guidelines required by a SA Health COVID-Safe Plan.  A COVID- Safe Plan approval for this event has been obtained. Please note that there will be a requirement to sign-in via a smart phone app or by pen and paper for contact tracing purposes.

If travelling from interstate, please check border crossing requirements and permits needed, well in advance at: Please check your own state’s requirements for re-entry also.

Bus schedule

The departure time from Adelaide on the afternoon of Friday, 28 May is still planned to be around 1pm from Adelaide Airport so that arrival at the Hash House site will be in daylight. It will be finalised once numbers are confirmed, and in-coming flight times of participants are known. If you are flying into Adelaide and will be using the bus service, please advise the ARC bus coordinator, Jo Powell, of your flight schedule so that our ‘meet & greet’ volunteers are available to direct you to the bus departure location.

It is expected that in addition to the airport pick-up, there will also be an inner Adelaide location pick-up that will most likely be the Adelaide Central Bus terminal, 85 Franklin St, Adelaide. If only one coach is being used, then it is likely that the Adelaide Central Bus terminal pick-up will be before the airport pick-up.

To assist with travellers wishing to fly out of Adelaide on the evening of Sunday, 30 May, the departure time for at least one of the buses will be 2pm (at the latest) with arrival at Adelaide Airport estimated to be around 5.30pm (6pm at the latest).

Those wishing to avail themselves of this early bus service, from the event site to Adelaide Airport, should advise Jo Powell ( so that seat allocation can be arranged.

Fruit and vegetable restrictions

South Australia has strict laws regarding the bringing of fruit and vegetables into the state. Also, note that there is currently a fruit fly outbreak in some areas of Adelaide, with restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetable in these zones.

If required, the bus will make a short stop at a supermarket outside the metropolitan restriction zone to allow for last minute purchases.

Please see and
Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak – metropolitan Adelaide – PIRSA for more details.

ARC 2021 News Bulletin #2

The setting and vetting team have completed their final tweaks to the map, and everything is ready to go. This land is good, fast travelling land, IF you’re a decent navigator. For those who don’t have finely honed navigation skills, then travel fast with care. There are lots of sneaky gully and spur lines ready to lead you astray.

And if the navigation sounds a trifle intimidating, there’s always food and warmth at the Hash House to fall back on.

The caterers are favourites of SA Rogaining – the Peterborough Historical Society. They put on a great spread – good, hot food is always welcome after many hours out in the scrub. Those doing the 8-hour event have it the best, as they’re assured of being at the Hash House for dinner, unlike the die-hard 24-hour rogainers, who don’t come in for that nourishing, energy-providing banquet. (Hmmm, I’m beginning to rethink staying out for 24 hours…)

For those of you who are not just FIFO, but are wanting a bit of a holiday, check out the following sites:

The above locations are close to the event site. Of course, you can head further north (away from Adelaide) and enjoy all the Flinders Ranges can offer:

But for those of you who are FIFO, we will have buses collecting people from the airport and bus station. We can’t tell you the times yet, as flights are still somewhat covid-19 haphazard, but as the event approaches, we’ll look at times flights arrive and optimise the pick-up times. We promise not to leave anyone behind.

A fellow South Aussie has written an enlightening article on why you should enter the Australian Rogaining Championships and experience that unique time of day at dusk and dawn. Check it out here:

Regular news items will be posted on the ARC site so keep an eye out for updates.

Crepuscular Times in Deceptive Lands

Super Vet rogainer and self-confessed ‘word nerd’ Bruce Greenhalgh considers the day to night rogaine experience and the up coming Australian Rogaining Championships.

I’m something of a ‘word nerd’, somebody who takes an interest in words: their meaning, sound, spelling, use and abuse. It follows that I have opinions on many words; for example, ‘languid’, which I think is a delightful sounding and very fitting word. At the other end of the scale are words I regard as less successful. ‘Pulchritude’ springs to mind, it means ‘beauty’, but it sounds to me more like a good name for a boil or a bad attitude. ‘Crepuscular’ is similar. I confess I’d read the word a number of times without knowing what it meant (I’ve never heard it spoken) and had to look it up in a dictionary. It means ‘of, relating to, or resembling twilight; dim; indistinct’. As a word it doesn’t work for me; it doesn’t in anyway evoke twilight, instead sounding, again, like a descriptor for some sort of disease.

Still, it’s a handy way of referring to a significant and memorable period of any rogaine that traverses from day to night (and back, although ‘crepuscular’ is mostly used to describe dusk, not dawn). In our modern lives the crepuscular time of day usually passes without too much notice. When it gets dark we switch on a light or two and carrying on doing what we were doing. We’re normally not aware of the precise timing of the loss of light and generally not inconvenienced by it.

That all changes during a day/night rogaine. You become intensely aware of the fading light and have likely planned for it in some way. Navigation becomes a whole lot harder as day becomes night, as does simply negotiating the terrain. Without any artificial light, apart from your head lamp, you realise how dark, dark is. If you’re attempting a full 24 hours it’s hard not to think that the dark is going to last a long, long time.

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Rogainers of the Lost Park Race Report

By winners Steve Burdett & Camilo Loor Chavez

We entered our first rogaine just over a year ago and have been a team since, completing four more rogaines. We’re both long distance runners and have found the navigation part of rogaining an enjoyable challenge. Upon arrival at the Rogainers of the Lost Park event, we were heckled by our friend Randell, telling us that the carpark was actually a couple of K’s further down the road from where we were parked. Randell’s team have done quite well in previous events, and we had pegged them as the team to beat.

Camilo and I work together and had been talking daily about tactics for this rogaine; we decided we should be able to cover about 32km. At our first look at the map we were quite puzzled. There was no obvious path, and a quick measurement confirmed that we certainly wouldn’t be visiting every control. Steve started joining dots that went together well, making sure we had the three Golden Idol clues early on to avoid having to backtrack. Soon we had a large circle drawn with a small inner loop, with short cuts near the end of our run if needed.

We set off eagerly up the hill and headed for #30, “a little library”. Steve remembered seeing a community bookshelf at the Sheoak Café so we went straight there, but soon realised that was incorrect and perhaps we should focus on map reading rather than prior knowledge!  We turned back, running against the flow of a number of teams, including Randell who gave us more heckling, this time about going the wrong way. Fair call.

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ARC 2021 News Bulletin #1

After a tumultuous 2020 and the subsequent postponement of the Australasian Rogaining Championships, SA Rogaining are excited to announce that the Australian Champs is scheduled for 29-30 May.
We understand the pandemic-landscape has changed the way we think about travel, with border closures and quarantining now the norm. Regardless, we are optimistic that May will be a good month, with open borders and no restrictions, so SA can welcome competitors from all states. However, if things do go topsy turvy, we guarantee a full refund of the registration fee and bus cost (if booked).

Entries will open at, on Monday, 1 March at 7am (ACST) – who will be the first team to enter? Entries will close at midnight on Sunday, 9 May.

Regular news items will be posted on the ARC site so keep an eye out for updates.

The 2021 Australian Rogaining Championship will be held in the mid-north of South Australia, in Mallee country. The event is in the Regional Council of Goyder, an area rich in history. See the story about Goyder’s Line here

We look forward to seeing you in May!

ARC2020-21 Update

News update

Good News at last

After discussions with the ARA council the SA Rogaining association has re-scheduled the 2020 Australian Rogaining championship to the 29/30th May 2021.  Border restrictions and travel movements within Australia are becoming more relaxed and we are very hopeful that all states and territory associations will be able to send representatives to this event. Please note that the status of the event as an Australasian Championship  and associated WRC qualifications is being considered at the IRF level given Australia’s current inter-national travel restrictions.

Entry system

The entry system will open during the first week of March and the “early-bird” entry will closed on the 2 May 2021 with a late entry fee applicable up until 9th May 2021.  No entries will be accepted after the 9 May 2021. We are hopeful that the costs as previously advertised last year can be retained, but we are currently re-negotiating with our external contractors. Please note that in the event of Pandemic border closures or onerous quarantine restrictions (on return) a full entry refund will be provided.

Covid-19 restrictions

This event will be held under the guidelines required by a SA Health Covid Safe Plan.  As such there may be some new administration procedures in the lead up to the event date and at the event site which inter-state competitors may not be familiar with. The SA Rogaining association held numerous events in the final 6 months of 2020 working under the SA Health guidelines and have developed procedures and practices to meet the changing requirements.

Bus Schedule Revision

To assist with travellers wishing to depart Adelaide airport on the evening of Sunday 30 May 2021, the departure time for at least one of the buses will be 2pm (at the latest) with arrival at Adelaide airport estimated to be around 5.30pm (6pm at the latest).

Those wishing to avail themselves of this early bus departure time, from Bri Glen Springs event site to Adelaide airport, should advise the ARC organisers ( ) so that seat allocation can be arranged.

Departure times from Adelaide on the afternoon of Friday 28 May 2021, is still planned to be around 1pm to 2pm (so that arrival at the Hash House site will be in daylight) and will be finalised once numbers are confirmed and in-coming flight times of participants are known. If you are flying into Adelaide and will be using the bus service, please advise the ARC2020/21 organisers of your flight schedules so that our “meet & greet” volunteers are available to direct you to the bus departure location.

Currently there are restrictions on taking fruit and vegetable outside the Adelaide metropolitan zone.

If required, the bus will make a stop at a supermarket to allow for last minute purchases outside the metropolitan restriction zone.

Please note that South Australia has strict laws regarding bringing fruit and vegetables into the state.


 Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak – metropolitan Adelaide – PIRSA

The Urn and I – a Cold and Hot Relationship

By SARA’s volunteer hot water urn overseer, Jim Casanova

By 1990, I knew of rogaining as my daughter, Jenny, had been to events with Kay Haarsma, and maps had been displayed, but that was all. As part of the 1990 Easter Orienteering Carnival, my wife, Dorothy, and I were entered in the 12-hour rogaine at Dutchman’s Stern. This resulted in a steep learning curve in larger area/smaller scale map reading, plus working out distances, pace counting and re-locating. Our night navigation left a lot to be desired (and we left rogaining alone for a few years after that).

The next contact with rogaining was when Dorothy was asked to help on the hash house for the 1996 12-hour at Karinya, near Truro and therefore I was present as her transport. Standing there, and not knowing what to do, I gravitated to the hot water urn like a moth to a lighted candle or a fly down the chimney of a lighted kerosene lamp. I thought I could be useful by looking after it – a simple job and I should not get into trouble.

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At last, the final rogaine of 2020, where the months of preparation and training could be put to use and pitted against an expected massive entry. Not even the dread of a pandemic could dampen our enthusiasm for this, the most important event of the South Australian sporting calendar where we would be under the spotlight of well over 400 other determined competitors and spectators.

The big question obviously was what was going to be our dress theme to earn those much, desired BONUS points.

Pre-event meetings were scheduled, office staff quizzed and forensic analysis of the pre-event blurb, which detailed general location and the event name “Three Hours of Freedom”, gave us some clues to what the organisers were expecting as a dress-up theme.

Given that the Yatala Prison complex was on the fringe of the Dry Creek Gorge, our thoughts obviously veered to a convict escapee dress theme, but how far to go?  Ball and chain? Perhaps leave that for a pre-wedding bucks’ night, however, hand cuffs should create some interest and would be easier to carry around and prevent team splitting.

On the day of the event, perfect weather, big crowd, well organised volunteer group and a great map showing all the required navigational details and 39 checkpoints to decide on.  Route planning was based on expected distance we would be able to travel in the allotted three hours, accessibility of the checkpoint sites, especially along the Dry Creek Gorge area and total point value of various routes.

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Connecting the dots… Reflections on the Superb(ly Snakey) Sturt in Spring Event

By Bryn Soden

What a gorgeous time of year. What a perfect day for a cheery jaunt around the Sturt Gorge. Not even the occasional brown snake sighting could spoil the effect of the blue skies, green earth, roaring river, and energised rogainers scurrying around the nooks and crannies of this beautiful little corner of the earth.

It has been a long time since I last was involved in one of these events. I got dragged out on a few in my teens and early twenties, but a fierce competitive streak combined with pretty poor physical fitness did not make for particularly good rogainer material – though I do still have fond memories of stumbling into the hash house after being lost all night on a 24 hour event, and consuming my body weight in cheese toasties, bacon, and french toast. Over the lockdown, however, I discovered a newfound passion for running, spurred on largely by the discovery that harnessing our two energetic kelpies to a belt around my waist would allow me to essentially just hop in place while they did the bulk of the work. Dear old mum saw an opportunity to capitalise on this rare occurrence of a shared passion (she’s never been particularly keen on Nintendo games and depressing folk music) and invited me along. I agreed, in spite of hesitations revolving around the loss of my twin canine outboard motors, and prickly memories of another gorge-based rogaine where an icy swim across a river and a stretch of vertical commando crawling through weapons-grade brambles couldn’t save us from a disqualification for late return. Having now experienced this glorious day out, I am glad that I agreed to participate in this one.

I have lived for most of my life in the suburbs around these parts, growing up in two different houses in Hawthorndene, attending university at Flinders, and spending time at friends’ houses all around Bellevue Heights, Craigburn Farm, and Flagstaff Hill, so perhaps the most interesting part of this event was connecting the dots and discovering how closely these suburbs actually sit, relative to one another. I remember boring my poor old mum with multiple exclamations of “That’s Will’s house just down there!”, “Bryce used to live on this street!”, “Oh wow, this control is right by Harry’s place!”, and the like. On reflection, I am realising that whatever goodwill I may have gained by agreeing to join her for this event may have been totally undermined by the revelation that the expensive schooling she paid to put me through left me without even the slightest understanding of basic local geography. Nevertheless, it was still a treat to finally put these puzzle pieces together, and to realise how much time I could have saved in my life if “as the crow flies” was an actual method of travel, rather than just a wishful idiom.

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‘Just a bit further…’ Oi Oi Oi Oladdie

By Olivier Fahy and Annika Danielsson

The rogaining weekend was shaping up to be very special. For the first time, we had decided to take the Friday off to avoid the usual 4am start on the Saturday to arrive on time for the event start. Rather, we wanted a relaxing drive up north on Friday and enjoy a weekend of camping in the bush. With plenty of time to set up, get organised, and a long night of cosy sleep in the tent.

It all started well. Nice drive, beautiful outback setting upon arrival, sunny with just the right temperature. Tent up, extra thick mattresses and pillows for comfort…and then…the realisation that we had forgotten our sleeping bags! Seriously?! After 30+ years of hiking, competing and camping, this was a first-timer. Particularly ironic since we usually only have a short sleep in the swag for the longer events. This weekend, we needed proper bedding.

Luckily, our rogaining friends were better prepared and came to the rescue. Thanks to Kate and Doug and a few army blankets later, we were set to survive the cold nights. Doug also kindly shared his valuable Moccona (how can you also forget coffee?!) – the deliciousness of such basic instant coffee when camping always amazes us! Clearly, age is getting to us already as veterans, and we secretly wonder what this will mean when we (soon) hit super veterans. After a weekend start like this, we did not feel reassured collecting our maps.

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