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T’Walk and My First Earthquake
By ONZ Online Coordinator - Roger Woodroofe - Mon 19 May 2014 12:00pm
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map- leg 5

The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy with me trying to fit in all the uni work, actual work and training, but here’s a nice summary of what I’ve been up to!

Most recently (last weekend) I was (un?)lucky enough to be commandeered into a team for the annual T’Walk event run by the Canterbury Uni Tramping Club. Basically it’s a 24 hour orienteering/run/walk event with 5 legs between 15-20km completed with a compulsory half hour break between legs. The first leg was from the start somewhere near Mt Somner at 11.30am to the ‘hash house’ (which was the central feeding ground for the next 24 hours) and went really well – despite the matagouri which destroyed my legs within the first half hour. It was super flat and the cryptic control clues, which were given as the ‘control’ was a small white bit of plastic within a control circle covering about 100m, were relatively straightforward. After a half hour break which felt more like ten very hurried minutes we were on to the next leg, making a strategic decision to avoid the three controls on the hill (well, more like mountain) top so that we wouldn’t be struggling though a marsh in the dark. Said marsh was still horrible, but managed to get back in just after nightfall.

map- leg 5

Here is an awful quality picture of leg 5

map - leg 4

And another of leg 4

The next leg I sat out to keep some fresh legs for the fourth and fifth – and I was very happy that I did when the rest turned up 7 hours later having had a horrible experience in the dark and mist. I’m still not entirely sure what traumatic things happened to them out there, but it was probably only slightly worse than leg 4. After attempting to find the first 4 controls (out of around 13) and failing miserably at finding 3 of them, we decided to turn back and give ourselves a fresh start on leg 5 after a good 4 futile hours. I think at this point fatigue had the better of our navigation, with me only having had 1 hours sleep and the rest on none the map reading went out the window. 7am was the start of the final leg, which went reasonably well with us finding all but one of the controls we visited and we even managed to finish with a very (very) slow jog. All in all it was a great experience which really tested my endurance and made me appreciate the value of sleep, being able to do orienteering in daylight, and 4am lasagne.

In other training, Immy has been kicking my ass with a training programme including lots of hill work and interval training, along with a nice long run every Sunday. I haven’t been able to fit in as much orienteering as I would’ve liked but I’m hoping to change that with the weekly Southern Storm trainings that have been happening down here (maybe even to rival NWOC?!) so will keep you updated 🙂 I’ve also felt my first earthquake here in Christchurch so now feel like I can call myself almost a local, although they tend to disagree!


About Contributor: ONZ Online Coordinator - Roger Woodroofe

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