HOW2013 – Woodbury Wander

We won, post the event it has been confirmed that due to malfunctioning controls, the Duckworth Lewis system has been implemented and the results are final as of 5 hours into the event. Take that NavNerds, a couple of wannabe runners showing you how it’s done.

5 Hour Scores

Bixley/Lukes – 1710 (at 87 going to 32)
Forne/Hamilton/Scott – 1710 (at 50 going to 87)
Faavae/Voyce – 1700 (at 50 and passed Forne going to 87)
Cambridge/Svendson/Currie – 1560 (at 77 going to 34 where we had just been)

So at 5 hours, 3 teams were within 10 points and 500m of each other. Just a pity that Marty and I can’t read a map, the rest is possibly what actually happened.

HOW - Map

Heights of Winter made a shift from North to South Canterbury this year, it also made a change from the standard 6/12 combination to a 2.5/6/10. A real shame that we couldn’t get more time at night as that is when the most mistakes happen. The course was certainly big enough for 12 hours, but I believe it was shortened to make for a more sensible time to finish cleaning up. It’s a long day for all the volunteers so I don’t begrudge then that. But with the difficulties of finding people and places to put on a full 24 hour, night nav could become limited.

So what happened? 94 teams lined up for the 10 hour, with an additional 93 in the 6 hour and 30 in the 2 ½ hr. Marty turned up late, after I’d more or less planned a route. We discussed it a bit, made same tweaks and like a couple of other teams set off with a plan to see how much of the course we could complete. I took off for the 1st control, Marty dawdled along struggling with fences allowing Robert and Phil (old bastards competition) along with the Usher/Whitehead foursome to pass while I held the punch for them. First issue of the day was at the 2nd control which didn’t work. On we go, misreading the scrub/bush/forest markings on the map and for one of the few times for the day, they were actually correct.

Nathan and Trevor were taking a variation on the same route that Robert/Phil and Marty/I were taking so we saw them a bit. Phil/Robert were identical to us for the 1st twenty controls (although we didn’t know that). Having spent much time with Robert over the years, both of us know it’s better to separate from a group and do your own thing. So Marty and I pushed quite solidly for the next couple to create a gap. They were quite happy for that and in reality we’d need to do that as they are better at navigating.

First bag carry for Marty came between 72-90 on a 180m steep climb. It’s not that I was moving well, he’s just a hell of a lot stronger up a hill than me. He already had my spare clothes, torch and battery. I’m not convinced that 90 was marked correctly, but Marty saw it from a long way out and we passed a team who followed the line to where it was marked. All good around the course to 75 where we were again lucky that Marty saw it from a distance. Nathan and Trevor had spent a good 10 minutes looking for it. Robert and Phil were supposed to have punched this 15 minutes later, but it’s not showing on their results, so who knows what happened. Makes no difference to the final outcome.

If we were going to be successful it was going to take some luck, good planning and no mistakes. Luck may have been starting to play a part as we passed Nathan and Trevor at the next control which they misread. But Karma is a bitch, while they lost 10 minutes at a miss-placed 75 then another 4 at the next (28) we would lose 30 and then another 15 just trying to get 99.

About here we started thinking about variation to the plan. Nearly 4 hours in and we were an hour behind schedule, so time to start looking more closely at the climbs/points/distances. When we punched 101 in turns out we were leading, call the game off, time to go home. It’s also the point where our route for the next 2 hours became less efficient than the other leading teams. Most notably a long blank section from 50-69 as we’d already collected 41/87. 87 was fun, I cramped for the 1st time ever in a race. I double that up by doing it while glued to bush lawyer. There’s a couple of guys who’d have loved to be there and see that happen. In hindsight it would have been pretty funny to see. By now I was also struggling with food. I’m putting it down to the extra intensity of running with Marty. I was using the same combination of things I’d used with Nick in a 12 hour a month ago. Going along to 69 and 22 we heard that the Forne/Hamilton/Scott combo was just in front. Although that was meaningless as you have no idea where they’ve been or where they’re going. Mart y was confident I’d be moving faster than Greig though, he was probably correct as Greig was on the tow.

So in that period between 5 and 6 hours we slipped off the pace in terms of the score. Marty carried my gear some more, but that just seemed to be an excuse for him to run faster uphill which upset my gut even more. I’d catch him on the downs again, so all was good in the world. Then we screwed up. Marty does most of his navigation based of the map and the terrain, in my fatigued state I neglected to check the compass and we ran down the wrong spur attempting to read the bush and stream features without success. It became apparent that we had absolutely no idea where we were just as we met another pair who pointed to a pretty orange flag and told us that was 44, a full kilometre away from our target of 99. 44-53-99 was the new plan, however 99 wasn’t finished with us yet. The map has a clear and open route directly to 99, that was full of scrub and gorse, the forest just past appeared impenetrable so we backtracked to bash up through the regenerating bush as originally planned.

Now back on track and closing on dark we lit up and carried on for yet more adventure. Some marked banks/cliffs earlier in the day had been gentle and pass-able, between 60 and 26 they were vertical and bound in supplejack, it was even more fun between 35 and 30, again they were vertical and the clear ground immediately across the Waihi was gorse covered. The trouble there cost us a chance at 30 and we ran home, I collapsed. Marty is a bully, we had fun.

Now, the all important progress plot that I get asked for before the results are even out. I’ve done my best to estimate the splits for the missing controls. I’ve left out Phil and Roberts claim of 75, it’s makes no difference to the results.

Play by Play Action

Play by Play Action

HOW is probably my favourite event, always new and interesting places on private land to visit, good people, very competitive and high quality teams. Thanks Marty for a great day.
Greig Hamilton is already quite excited about the 24 Hour Champ in Alexandra. Should be good.

6 Hour

Ann and Ollie smashed out the 6 hour. Ollie had an absolute blast, he was wrecked, but covering 21k, with a 1000m of climb is pretty cool for a 10-year-old. They finished in the middle of both the Open and the Mixed fields. Very impressive. Sounds like Ann’s Navigation was pretty good too, so watch out for the Girls at Spring Challenge.

Full results here they differ slightly from mine with all the trouble with the punches not quite being ironed out. No Change in the Open and Old Mens finishing order though.

Ollie77b Ollie61


4 responses

  1. Great data Matt and write up too; good stuff. Cool day out too

    1. yeah, just a little bit of fun:-)

  2. flyingkiwi72: I think you are going to have to stop playing the underdog card one of these days. You, and Mr Lukes, have been around the block enough times to expect to dominate the likes of Robert, Phil and Mr Greig “I like suffering more than running fast” Hamilton. Harden up and keep going for the entire time next race.

    1. 10 Hours was too short😉

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