WHEN THE WEATHER PLAYS BALL FOR A WINTER EVENT
Imagine our collective relief when the long-range forecast for our Bog Roy Station-based adventure racing training weekend for ladies, and rogaine, showed big yellow sun symbols for Otematata on both August 13 and 14.
The Best Foot Forward NZ team of Bob and Cat, and Wicked Rogaines’ Nora and Ian had been checking it anxiously, having set the course up several weeks prior in torrential downpours, which resulted in heavy flooding. Bog Roy Station owners Dave and Lisa Anderson have had a tough winter already with huge snowfalls and even heavier rain, which delayed shearing and turned their land into a flood zone. The last thing any of us wanted was to be sending hundreds of keen rogainers around the station to make a mess in the mud.
All our good weather wishes were granted however, and our 20 training weekend ladies arrived for a chilly start on Saturday morning but once the sun popped up, it had some warmth to it. Following introductions, they were given some information from Bob and Nora on teamwork, strategy, nutrition, transitions, hydration and equipment. They have both adventure raced all over the globe – with Kiwi and Brazilian teams – and had plenty of first-hand, practical advice on how to have the best experience possible.
One group got into wetsuits for the rafting/paddling tuition session on Lake Benmore with Bob; while the others did navigation 101 with Nora. Following a lunch break, the groups changed over. Then it was time to learn some maintenance tips for mountain biking, followed by a short ride and a Q & A session.
It was great to see a breadth of experience in the teams of women who turned up, with some absolute newbies to the adventure racing scene, while others were keen to build on skills they’d already gathered over several events.
Sunday started out similarly close to 0-degC as the six-hour teams registered for their rogaine course. These keen navigators set out from 9am onwards to search for the far-flung checkpoints in the steep, scenic terrain that dominates Bog Roy Station’s lake side boundaries. The four-hour, two-hour and kids event participants benefited from the sun being fully present when they left later in the morning on their adventures.
As organisers of an event, our real reward is gained by gauging the reactions of teams as they pressed the final finish control’s button. We were thrilled to see plenty of high fives, fist pumps, hugs and most of all – huge smiles. We enjoyed chatting to some of Nora and Ian’s faithful Wicked Rogaines’ followers, who had made the trip down from their Christchurch hometown. And we loved having some absolute first-time rogainers out there, who were learning how fun hunting for checkpoints can be as a family.
A large puddle near the registration tent also provided plenty of entertainment for some kids (and us on-lookers watching them with amusement) romping in the mud and extracting panes of ice!
Hats off to Bog Roy’s Anderson family for getting out on course, with Dave (Gundy) giving his new gaiters a good workout in the six-hour event – managing to bag third in the 6 Hour Veteran Men category with Craig Lay; and his wife Lisa with their kids (plus a few extras) winning the 2 Hour Open Mixed section.
We loved seeing them use their beautiful Lake Benmore station for a completely different purpose to farming and relaxing on the rocks afterwards, catching up with their friends who’d come from all around the Waitaki valley to compete.
A huge thanks from us to Gundy and Lisa for the privilege of using Bog Roy Station and for their unwavering enthusiasm for the event – despite the weather bombs that had been thrown in their region in previous weeks! There’s talk of making this an annual event, so stay tuned for an announcement in the future.
A big thank you also to Waitaki Valley School who did a fantastic job of feeding everyone with a delicious hot meal and home baking after they finished. Also, we really appreciated Hamish Menlove travelling over from Wanaka his Men-Love Berries caravan to supply coffee, smoothies and real fruit ice-creams, which were the ideal post-rogaine reward.
If you loved rogaining, keep an eye on the Wicked Rogaines website for more events around Christchurch and if you want to do an adventure training weekend, we’ll advertise the next one on the Best Foot Forward NZ Facebook page.
Top five tips for rogaine beginners
- Some checkpoints are worth more than others. If the number is 83, it bags you 80 points; checkpoint number 54 = 50 points and the easier ones to find like checkpoint 25 (20 points) are worth less.
- It’s beneficial to spend some time plotting your course before you start and draw your planned route on the map.
- Have a designated halfway point where you stop and assess whether you can feasibly find the rest of your checkpoints in time, or do you need to jettison a few?
- Matagouri is real on many rogaine courses – gaiters to protect your legs, or long-sleeved shirts could help prevent a few scratches.
- If you have no idea what you are doing, hit the organisers up for some advice – they are happy to help!