The wireless operators have become an
integral part of this event, to the extent that the event
would not exist without them. Every year a sum of money is
donated to the radio club from the proceeds of the race
entries to put towards maintaining their equipment.
Bob Tait was responsible for co-ordinating the partnership
that developed between B2H and the Amateur Radio
Operators. Here he has supplied some information
on how the wireless operators became involved with the
Bogong to Hotham Run. The background story
as told by Bob:
"Geoff Hooke was running the event under great difficulty
in the early days as there was no efficient means of
getting messages passed down the line to the next
check point except by using the runners and some old
CB radios which did not work very well. As Geoff and I
were in the Victorian Veterans running club, I made the
suggestion to him that we could use the services on the
Amateur radio network to give safety communications
and pass results to controllers at the half way point and
the finish at Hotham.
Mt Hotham acted as the main control point for the race
as most check point could be heard from there. When
start time approached the radio station at the start would
open the microphone to the operators on Mt Hotham to
start the stop watch so accurate times could be given.
This proved to be very helpful as it was not possible for
the race controller to drive from the start to Watchbed
Creek and then on to Mt Hotham before the first runners
Geoff and I agreed that the radio operators must wait
until all runners cleared the next check point before
packing up and walking out. On the Bogong section the
operators at the start wait until the runners clear Ropers
Hut; as the Ropers operator will follow the runners out to
Watchbed Creek. On the second section the operator at
Dibbins follows the runners out to Hotham. On the
intermediate sections all operators go out in the opposite
direction to the runners so they must wait until the
runners clear the next check point.
Spare a thought for those who walk in with radio gear,
batteries, poles and antenna plus their normal camping
gear. These guys do a great job to ensure the safety of
runners in this challenging event.
All The Best Bob Tait VK3XP."