Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jones takes sting out of start

With assistance from fantastic weather and willing helpers.

My experience at JWOC put me off major event Start duty for life. Along with other Uringans I had taken a week off work to go to Dubbo to assist with JWOC. I was looking forward to the opportunity to watch world class junior elites, run the public races myself, and visit the zoo. Or so I thought. What really happened is that we had to arrive by 8am every day and set up the most ridiculously ornate start that a bunch of IOF officials could possibly devise (50m lengths of bunting!), stand around in the shade in the freezing cold (Dubbo in mid-winter! Whose idea was that?) for about 4 hours as waves of junior elites moved through the labyrinthine start (treating the start officials to a charming display as they emptied the contents of mouth, nose and bladder along the way), then dismantle the start, pack it up and travel to the next site to get a start on building it for the next day. Those of us without extra duties were putting in 8 hour days, seeing nothing of the carnival and not even getting a run. Nick, Ron and others with extra duties were even working during the night! We got no real thanks and no recognition – they even forgot to mention the start team in the official ‘Thankyou’ bulletin. Out of sight, out of mind! It was an example of how NOT to treat volunteers – or, alternatively, how to treat volunteers to ensure they never ever volunteered for your organisation again. 

So with this background it was with considerable dismay that I saw that Uringa had seemingly volunteered for the start (I was sure I recalled voting for Registration tent …). Those memories of near frostbite came flooding back … (some of you will be aware that I don’t much like the cold …) But then I heard that the start would be put up and taken down by a different crew. Hm, that’s a definite improvement. And then I saw that Ian Jones had A PLAN! This was a plan that had set shifts, and relievers and even days off. No-one had to be there all day and everyone got to run. Wow! Could this Utopian plan really work? 

And how! It went fabulously! The start was really well organised and did not need large numbers of people to run. I’m sure this had a lot to do with people like Ian and Nick and others I’m sure who always put in that bit extra – thank you. It was all very relaxed, and enjoyable to spend time with the great bunch of people that make up Uringa. It was also great to see many of the newer members helping out, too, and have a chance to meet them. It was interesting to see all the runners and put some faces to names. (The runners were much better behaved than junior elites, too, I might add, with no-one electing to engage in public displays of elimination.) And to top it all off, the weather was absolutely perfect. 

So thanks Ian. I won’t say my fear of major entry Starts is completely eliminated, since I know how bad it can be, but now I know how good it can be, and I did enjoy it.

Easter 2014 Orienteering - Photos on OA FaceBook Site

I think you can look at the many, many photos from a fantastic orienteering four day event even if you are not a FaceBook friend of Orienteering Australia (the national organisation, not Orienteering NSW).


Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Uniform for Metro Captain

A very happy Captain greeted us at the 2nd Metroleague event at Frenchs Forest this morning, decked out with a new piece of uniform!! It put a smile on everyone's face, that's for sure.

Not sure about the other runners, but there was a lot of track running/walking as the bush definitely needed to be avoided at all costs.....a bit too much track running for my liking, but you can't really do much else on this map. I ran division 1 and we got into a bit of the "tricky" bits. I managed to miss #6, and landed at control #7 instead.....so that was a big booboo!!  Still was a good training run though in the lead up to the Easter and Anzac weekend events.

Not sure about any results but our Metro Captain will be on to it no doubt! By the way, when Ian first sent out an email regarding this ML a couple of weeks ago, we had 11 members who couldn't be confirmed in a team. After a few members dropped out due to injury, illness etc. we even needed to fill Div 5 team with a SHOO runner this morning!!

In the name of the club I would also like to wish Maureen a speedy recovery after she had surgery this week to be "fitted" with a pacemaker. All the very best and take it easy!