Winning and Losing – Rogaine Series

The 2nd and 3rd addition of this year’s Auckland Rogaine Series have given me a win and a 4th although under the circumstance the 4th really felt like a slap in the face. But in all fairness I was glad to be confronted by a truly difficult rogaine last Sunday and some ruthless terrain to keep me honest. It is always astounding the way the my brain dies when I run hard – my GPS shows some shameful mistakes.

The 2nd race in the series was held by Auckland Orienteering Club in the South Woodhill area which suited me fine. The mature pine forest is mainly flat and there aren’t many technical challenges but I did have to make sure I used the tracks and roads to my advantage. The rogaine planning was pretty easy and I set a course to get all the points available but had allowed for some possible cut offs near the end. However, there was 1 control which threw the proverbial SI card amongst the matagauri by being significantly further away than any other controls and up a massive hill! The only viable way to get this control was between 144 and 40 which weren’t close to the finish so it is hard to estimate whether or not you have enough time available. By missing out 150 you would be sure to get all the other points available and be back within the time limit. The risk is that if you get the points it could take much longer than it’s worth and could result in missing out on more than 50 points elsewhere. Matt Ogden chose not to visit this control but finished well short of the 90 minute time limit – not ideal.

All controls were relatively close to other controls except 150 in the top right

Tom Reynolds and I committed to getting this control and so had to decide what controls to miss out near the end of the 90 minutes. I knew I was running a solid race and I had the strength to run hard all the way to the finish, but what I was most happy about was my decision to leave out 135. This made the difference between Tom and I since he was late by 1 minute and 8 seconds costing him 40 points after he claimed only 30 points from visiting 135. I missed the 30 points because I didn’t go to 135 but got my timing right and finished with 30 seconds to spare and 1110 points. I took the victory by the smallest possible margin of 10 points and with Tom only 10 points ahead of Matt it was a very tight top 3.

Last minute decisions drawn over my GPS from QuickRoute

My planned route is in red and the blue line shows my decision to miss out 135 in order to make it to the finish without any time penalties. Tom’s difference is shown in orange, where he decided to get 135 and still had to get 33 which I had got earlier in the race. This rough coastal dunes cost him too much time and also the victory.

Prize giving

Congratulated on my first place at prize giving

I was not so in control on the 3rd Rogaine which was held by North West Orienteering Club on the Whites line and Beautiful Hills maps. Some massive days at university had stuffed up my training and by body didn’t cope at all well going from high intensity to 2 days of nothing. My attempt at intervals on the Saturday was pretty pathetic and I still felt very flat and out of control for most of the rogaine on the Sunday.

On the massive uphill leg from 30 to 44 I managed to get away from Matt and James but I stuffed up in the native bush losing what lead I had and more. After 48 I should have headed towards the finish via 47, 46, 56 and 50 before bailing out of the natives but I was far too cocky and tried to bite off more that I could chew and continued to head further east. I ended up 7 minutes late losing 140 points taking me into 4th place which felt pretty lame after dropping Matt and James who finished 1st and 2nd respectively.

Finish of pain and suffering

Detailed results can be found at