ACT 24 h Rogaine 2006
Jacqui and I hadn't done a rogaine together for quite some time, so we were both keen to pair up for one some time in 2006. After I did the Paddy Pallin 6-h event with Stephen Jackson and the Navshield with Dave Gell, it was looking like our last chance to do a big one was the ACT 24 h Champs in July. The only catch was that it was being held a 6-h drive from Sydney in Bournda National Park. It's OK - we hadn't ever heard of it either. This Park is a coastal one and is just south of Bega - near a small town called Tathra.
We didn't fancy a 6-h drive each way for just a weekend, so we took off a couple of extra days to make it a leisurely drive down there. We left early on Thurs morning and by mid morning had made it as far as Ulladulla. Just before we got there, we turned of the highway to a very small place called Conjola Lake. This turned out to be an inspired choice - it was a fabulously quiet and picturesque lake right on the coast. We stayed there for breakfast and had a little walk along the deserted beach - a local told us that it was pretty deserted all the time, except for Xmas and Easter. There was an island in the middle of the lake that looked like good exploring, so we may be back some time...
We made it to our B+B just north of Tuross Heads by afternoon, in time for a couple of hours walk along the coast - we were kindly dropped off about 10 km from the B+B by our host, meaning that we could do a 1-way walk back down the coast. Great coastal walking and a practise bush bash trhough some coastal scrub when we cut back up from the beach too soon. We had a self-contained little unit that butted onto their house, which was cosy.
Next day it was off south towards the rogaine, with a detour to walk up Mt Dromedary. A nice enough walk, but the summit was tragically tree-laden, meaning there weren't any views. Jacqui also managed to give herself pairs of matched blisters on heels and toes from her new boots crossed with a poor choice of socks. Not really good for starting a 24 h event....
Camped that night at the rogaine site - Murray's Beach. Great camp ground - hot showers even! And friendly neighbourhood possums and wallabies. Next morning Jacqui taped up her heels and toes and we were off on the 24-h event. Although dotted with some fabulous coastal views, the first 4-5 h were incredibly frustrating, with difficult to find checkpoints in the middle of annoying shrubbery. This psyched us out a bit unfortunately, and we ended up heading back towards the Hash House earlier than intended. A bit of a mental recovery on the way back though meant that we soldiered on till ~2 am, when we arrived back at the Hash House for a bit of a sleep (part of the deal that Jacqui struck: "I will do it if i am allowed the option of 4 h sleep").
4 h sleep later and we managed to haul ourselves out of bed and get back out onto the course. Just as well we did, as it was *much* easier going on the other parts of the course, and we picked up a lot of points and regained our confidence over the course of a very picturesque 5 hours.
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