Last Sunday marked the rebirth of the Auckland’s Rogaine Series, this year sponsored by Bivouac Outdoor and featuring 90 minute and 3 hour options for all 4 races. This series will become a crucial part of my training for these 4 weeks as it is a great opportunity to build endurance in some physical terrain. The majority of the elite orienteers have decided to run the 90 minute options since it is a more relevant length to long distance orienteering and will be more closely contested (if Toby would stop smashing us).
The first race was run by North West Orienteering Club and was held at Shank’s Pony, a steep farmland map near Helensville. The area consists of many deep gullies filled with manuka trees of varying density which hid many small re-entrants, water courses, and marshes. The map isn’t too technical because it is mostly open land but some tight control sights had me thinking and I did lose time when my focus wavered.
The controls were placed well and none of the top runners had the same route choices which made for a much better rogaine. I planned my route with a large emphasis on holding my height to prevent losing time running up some of the big slopes. My route had some downfalls but with the limited planning time I committed myself to my choices.
I had a few messy spots mainly in the control circles where I should have paid more attention earlier in the leg rather than having to stop and check the map in the last 100m. I was mostly happy with my running and I could feel my hamstrings getting tired before my quads which might be attributed to my good strength and technique work I have been doing. I felt pretty low on fuel at the finish which was a bit disappointing, but normally for a race that long I would have used a squeezy or 2 to refuel while running.
The area was a bit too small for 90 minutes and 3 of us got all 1200 point available. Toby Scott won with a time of 1:14:50 and James Bradshaw secured 2nd place in 1:20:06. I had seen James 20 minutes from the finish and accepted he was too far away to be caught. My time of 1:25:39 was good enough for 3rd but I will be looking for a win next week.