This being my fourth Rogaine, and my ‘regular’ partner being injured, I put the word out and came up trumps with Pieter de Wit and we had not previously met. But that’s the beauty of Rogaining, you have the opportunity to engineer your team for whatever you want to achieve on the day.
Pieter had been on the winning team at Morialta in 2014 so I knew of his pedigree and we hit it off quickly while meeting for a coffee at CIBO one evening. Sounds like a hot date! But seriously, I wanted to run the whole 4 hours and he was training for Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa… perfect.
My plan, as I’ve said, was to push this one hard: the terrain was expected to be fairly straight forward so we charted the course to take in all controls, ie “Clean Up” which is the ultimate goal of any Rogainer. With a short planning time of 1 hour the course was set and distance estimated at between 35-40km.
Pieter and I travelled fairly light, with water available along the course we set out fast and headed for the Hindmarsh Island section first, moving in a clockwise direction. After recrossing the bridge we took an anti-clockwise loop of the rest of the course, including about 3km into a headwind along the beach, before returning to the Hash House along the Norfolk Island Pine lined road.
All in all it went smoothly as we shared stories and took in the scenery. For some reason my stomach was a bit nasty for a while but unlike the bush Rogaines we even had convenient toilet stops to alleviate the minor emergency.
It was very rewarding to collect the last control (to the disbelief of others sharing our moment) and head back into the car park finish line with time to spare, covering almost exactly 40km in the process.
It was great to see so many others on the course having such a memorable afternoon. Although our agenda was to win, we certainly weren’t the only winners out there on that day. Thanks to everyone for being part of it.