Decisions, decisions, decisions.

They are part of life; sometimes the number of decisions we need to make can be paralyzing. Some decisions we make are great; some awful (I’ll bet you had a particularly bad one spring to mind with that statement!)

Rogaining is a sport based on strategy, decision making, navigation and stamina. It’s a sport where average participants can compete well against naturally gifted athletes. Of course, if you can run fast and long AND make great decisions when navigating, you are probably going to do very well.

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Just head north!

The 2018 Australian Rogaining Championships, or ‘Sun SEQer rogaine’, was held in the Gympie Region of Queensland. My rogaining partner and I were lucky enough to receive support from the Nigel Aylott Memorial Fund to cover our travel expenses to and from the event. We represented the University of Adelaide, and have participated in a few 24-hour events before, so knew what we were getting into. We are by no means a highly competitive team. However, even the Australian Championships is not an event only for the elites… every-day people can enter it as well and still have fun!

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2018 National Championships, Gympie Queensland

We decided to make a holiday of this year’s National Champs being held in Gympie Queensland, driving via Brisbane to spend a couple of days with our youngest daughter.

We made our way to Gympie to arriving early enough to set up before Craig was to attend the ARA Delegates meeting at 2 pm. Doug Gillott, also from the SARA committee turned up for this in good time, so I was let off and could prepare my backpack and spend the rest of my time relaxing. A thunderstorm was forecast for the afternoon, and though some thunderous clouds came by, nothing came of them. This was quite fortunate as the grasses were very dry and lightning strikes could have been disastrous.

Saturday once again dawned clear and very warm and 9 am came all too soon to collect our maps. There were some very notable features regarding the map;
1. It was large, the size of a small tablecloth, though still a 1:40,000 scale;
2. There was an All-night cafe (ANC), yay;
3. The controls were really, really spread apart averaging 2.2 ks, we even had a 4k leg (groan); and
4. There were plenty of water stations (yay), only a few had controls nearby and none had points (groan).

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The “Why” and “How” of the Intention Sheet

Rogaining is a relatively simple sport with a few basic rules which have evolved since its inception.  One of these rules relates to the Intention Sheet which is attached to each Control.

The Rules of Rogaining state:

R19. Teams shall fill in any intention sheet at the checkpoint with the time of arrival, the team number and the number of the checkpoint that they intend to next visit.

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Water for courses

Don’t let anyone tell you different. Finding an orange and white marker with the value of 90 points, in the dark, late at night after pace counting on bearing for a kilometre[s] gives you the biggest rush, it is like winning your very own lottery!

If you want to explore our state’s jaw-dropping vistas. Then take a look at this crazy sport called Rogaining, because the organisers supply the location and you get to create your very own adventure!


Night time can be the best part of a rogaine – to me, rogaining at night is the most enjoyable part of any event. Watching a huge golden full moon rise, navigating under its light all night, then watching it slowly set again is awesome. Everyone should experience this at least once.

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Preparing for a Velogaine

To ensure you have a lot of fun at the Velogaine, we have compiled some handy resources to help you enjoy your time out on course.

Velogaines are a great way to explore our state, they are fun and challenging all at the same time! An incredible relationship-building experience and perfect for every age group and you can ride your bike! No walking or running on tired legs.

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I/O Merino Guest Reviewer says…

The I/O Merino women’s longsleeve Rapids V-neck base layer lived up to its reputation at ‘Hale and Hearty’ 12 hour Rogaine this September. Surviving the tough conditions of the event, from kangaroo thorns, mid-20s sunshine and crispy cold moonlight.

Personally, I have been a merino convert for some time, but was particularly impressed with I/O Merino standard. I wore the Rapids V-neck base layer for the full 12 hours, and it kept me cool when I wanted it to and cosy warm when I needed that also, and it didn’t stink or feel grimy after a tough day in the rogaine office.

It’s light. Comfortable. Itchiness free. And by far the softest merino garment I now own. For versatility, it’s exceptional as it’s also stylish enough to hang-out in after the event around the campfire.

Rebecca’s verdict: Recommend. The I/O Merino is up there as the ‘bestest of them all’.

Hydration and Hyponatremia

Hydration and Hyponatremia (low blood plasma sodium concentration)

How much should I drink?

How much should I drink?Do you think that I am going to provide you with an actual amount…? Nope sorry, I don’t believe that is good practice as this would be generalising fluid needs and fluid needs are INDIVIDUAL!

Here is my feedback about hydration based on the literature I have read so far, much taken from Timothy D Noakes (author of ‘Lore of Running’), Jonathan P Dugas and Eric D B Goulet’s work.

Some of you may have read or heard the following:

  • ‘dehydration can impair exercise performance’

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When to Ice?

We all know the basics of ‘RICER” if we sustain an injury – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation and Referral – but what is the best way to apply the ice? The main benefit from ice is actually in analgesia – pain relief. We need to reduce skin temperature to between 10 – 15°C to achieve this. Most people believe, or want to believe, that we are doing it to reduce swelling, but to actually change cell metabolism and do this, we need to get a temperature reduction at depth to 5 -10°C, which is not usually possible.

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Nutrition for Rogaining

By Stephanie Gaskell, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian, Competitive Ultra Trail Marathon Runner. Nutrition Strategies

Some years ago I participated in a rogaining event and I rather enjoyed it, not that anyone would or should ever take my directions! Looking back on this adventure I was trying to remember what I did nutrition wise. Back then I did not appreciate the importance of good nutrition like I do now.

I have been asked to provide some information about the general nutritional considerations for rogaining. The recommendations are just that general as the nutritional demands will vary for each event largely dependent on factors such as:

  • Duration
  • Environmental conditions
  • Terrain and
  • Physical fitness and competitiveness of team members involved

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Rogaining Tips: Night Navigation

Night time can be the best part of a rogaine.

To me, rogaining at night is the most enjoyable part of any event. Watching a huge golden full moon rise, navigating under its light all night, then watching it slowly set again is awesome. Everyone should experience this at least once. Here are some tips to help you during the night.

1. Know where you are at dusk

Knowing exactly where you are at dusk can be a confidence booster. This is often a good time to take a break, change into your night clothing and put on head torches etc. If you easily locate the first couple of controls after dark it can lift your confidence for the rest of the night.

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Rogaining Tips: THE clues can be A help

Are the setters just being sloppy when one clue says “The gully” and another says “A gully”? Maybe they skipped the lesson on definite and indefinite articles in English class. No, in fact, they’re giving you some help in finding that control.

Whenever you see “THE windmill” you are being told that the windmill you are looking for is the one shown on the map. If it says “A windmill”, then this means that there does exist in real life a windmill, but it is not shown on the map. The circle showing where the control is will be in the correct spot, but it just won’t have a windmill at its centre on the map.

Rogaining Tips: Route Planning

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand” – Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

While your temple may be a dome tent with a wobbly card table out the front, there is something to be taken from Sun’s wise words. It’s no surprise that the top rogainers precede 24 hours of jogging by 3 hours of serious cogitation. In rogaining, route planning can be the key to a great event.

Here are a few ideas to help you plan a nice route.

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