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2016_04 Rogue Adventuregaine Lake Manchester

posted Apr 24, 2016, 4:27 PM by Guy O'Neill   [ updated Apr 28, 2016, 4:43 AM ]
ROAR Race Report 23 & 24 April
Guy O'Neill & Paul Navarro
Race Summary... Ouch!
Without a doubt this was the toughest adventure race I have done to date. It was my third Rogue and I've done the GEO half, and this so far has been the hardest. I am at my fittest since starting AR's so I am very thankful this wasn't my first 24hr. Kudos to all the newbies who took on the challenge, some creating their own challenge within the challenge itself and still making it through with smiles and enthusiasm.
Did I enjoy the race? Hell yeah I did. I am already looking forward to the next one. Hopefully Liam has the enthusiasm for another 1 or 2 Rogue's. The effort he puts in to produce this race must be enormous and we are all extremely lucky to have such an event in our region.
Thanks Liam!
The race.
Our pre-race race plan was all about the kayak as we had a strong kayaking team. This plan flew out the window the moment we saw the maps and the small number of points on offer and the fact both kayak legs were in the bottom section of the race.
So the race begins...
Stage 1, bike leg, collecting CP's 4-6-18-20-21-22 
Stage 2, trek leg, collecting CP 28 
Stage 3, bike leg, collecting CP's 19-17-7-5-3-HQ 
Wow, 1st 3 stages with an elevation gain nearing a sea-to-summit of Mt Cook we knew some flight-plan alterations were in order to stick to our goal of participating in each of the remaining stages (and yes, we did manage participate in each stage). 
Highlights of stage 1 bike section.... hmmmm, ummm, well it was bloody tough. It was uphill, then more uphill, then another uphill. Our first downhill of any note became a trek as it was too steep to safely descend, with a starting elevation 437m descending 1.1km to an elevation of 155m . We heard a story of a horrified competitor when they did this same hill but in reverse and what they thought when they had to ascend this little beauty. 
Paul and I were gravely disappointed at missing our time goal of reaching the 2nd stage trek in daylight hours to attempt an assault on the gorge section. Instead, we short coursed ourselves to a single checkpoint collection. 
Highlights of stage 2 trek section... having a good feed and chat to the transition volunteers Jo and crew and exchanging stories with fellow competitors as we all converged at TA.
At this point our strategy changed from a points tally to a get to the next stage strategy.
Stage 3 bike leg began at 7pm with a prayer of more downhill to TA at HQ. Surely water runs downhill to a lake. We actually enjoyed this stage, riding 90% of the uphill as opposed to the stage 1 hike-a-bikes, and hitting all planned CP's (except for 2). I had a flat tire, we stopped twice to discuss if we were in the right location, a little wasted time at the seismic CP when for some reason we decided to hike down a trail looking for the CP when in fact it was right there adjacent the trail (duh!).
Highlights of stage 3 was the relief of going downhill,  and my encounter with a beautiful, large python which had slithered out onto the trail.
Stage 4, trek leg, collecting 36-37-38-39 
Where was CP 35? What should've been the easiest CP on the course proved to be a mystery to us. We worryingly looked at each other hoping this wasn't an omen on how the remainder of the trek was going to pan out. Fortunately we nailed the rest all the way to the river kayak.
Stage 5, river kayak leg collecting CP's 39-40-41
Michelle, you are a legend. Thanks for saving the carbon boat and paddles for us, and thank goodness there was a 240pt Cp on this leg. We desperately needed some points to make amends for our poor ascent to TA22 earlier. Paul & I made a good paddling combination and expected to do well on the yaks. Highlights; Nearing 2am the warm water and cooling air created a mass of white mist which reflected our headlights magnificently causing us all sorts of navigational challenges and increased concentration. I enjoyed the swooping bats and a couple of owls, a rather large lizard perched on a dead tree in the middle of the river and the fish that launched into  Paul's foot well, and of the course the many little rapid sections. 
Stage 6, trek leg collecting CP's 42-43-44-45-48
So it was just a little chilly at TA and we were very appreciative for the belly stove and cuppa soup on offer. So off we go still dripping from the river but all rugged up in jackets and beanies ready to tackle the rugged scrub. Our best navigation of the race came in this section in both the darkness and daylight. In fact we were quite chuffed when we hit CP 42 at the same time as the race winners Paul & Darren to then have them have to over take us again approaching CP 43. Some smart-alec afterwards queried me on how many CP's they collected after CP42 before hitting CP43..... we'll leave that to the video ref.  Highlight of stage 6 was indeed the sunrise. There is always something special about being ontop of a range as the sun rises.
Stage 7, kayak leg collecting CP 52-54
So we made it back in time to have a crack at the last scoring stage the kayak and claim our prize of having attempted each stage of the race. Unfortunately not enough time to clear the stage as would have been the ideal scenario for our paddle-strong team would've liked. So instead we powered across to the 90-pointer in 9minutes flat just to blow out the cobwebs to then turn around for the finish line and simply cruise back still allowing plenty of time to make the 24hr cut-off.
Stage 8, final trek to HQ finish
Highlight.... finishing.

Thoughts on the race... I understand people want challenging courses, but I do think there is nothing wrong with a course design that would allow more people to experience more of the course stages within the 24hrs. The end result might be that either the winners do clear the course and probably well under the 24hrs. We felt there could be more CP's in closer proximity to give a sense of higher achievement for more of the competitors as ultimately we want to find CP's. 

Bring on the 2017 Rogue.

Bike CP's on offer 21 for a total of 1130pts achieved 11 CP's for 550pts
Trek offered 26 CP's for a total of 1350pts achieved 11 CP's for 490pts
Kayak had 8 CP's for a total of 550pts achieved 4 CP's for 380pts
56 CP's for 3030pts achieved 26 CP's for 1460pts

Guy O'Neill,
Apr 30, 2016, 4:39 PM