Note that this article was first published 30 April 2015 at Rogue Adventure.
So the Rogue Adventuregaine is a wrap after another successful addition in 2015. Setting records as the largest edition of the Rogue yet, 102 teams across the 8 hour and 24 hour took to the water-ways, trails and hills of the Somerset region in spectacular autumn weather. Touted as one of the most strategic and difficult courses to date, here’s how it played out…
First to the 8 hour. Teams were faced with a logistically easy course: a paddle, a run and a ride. The race was ultimately won by Ray Deetlefs and Greg Kite (the latter competing in only his second ever adventure race) who timed their run perfectly to come in with a sizeable lead over the Rochedale Runners and He Ain’t Heavy. It seems Ray n Greg’s strategy to leave themselves enough time to collect a swag of bike check points towards the end of the race paid off. An honourable mention should go to team Great Expectations, Stephen and Linda Wallis, who won the mixed division, placed fourth overall then promptly drove out to staff a remote transition area for the 24 hour racers overnight. All the more impressive given that Linda was a last second ring-in for the race. The Women’s division was taken out by team Bring It On’s Tahlia and Alison in a very close affair.
Racing and results from the 24 hour proved to be a very close and exciting affair. Competitors were greeted with multiple stages of kayaking, trekking and mountain biking. All agreed that this was the most strategic Rogue24 to date, with no obvious strategy to maximise points across the seven stages. A few of the later stages were weighted more heavily with points towards to reward teams with the perseverance to see the race out, and also the challenge the top teams to question how much to push it in the early half of the race. Conditions on paper looked almost ideal for racing, but the reality was that the 29C maximum temperatures on the first afternoon made for some hotter racing, and many teams struggled with water management on the first trek of the race (the spear grass, which had only just recently come into seed was another common complaint). Cooler overnight temperatures quickly chilled teams to the core, and who will ever forget the 30 knot winds that kicked up on the lake during the penultimate paddle leg of the race, causing white cap waves and terrible head winds for fatigued teams struggling to collect the final controls of the race.
Ultimately, it was team RUSH who retained their title and took the trophy home as the Rogue24 Adventuregaine champions. RUSH have competed in every edition of the Rogue, placing in the top 2 every time: needless to say these guys have seen more Rogue check point sites than any other person. They didn’t have it all their own way this year with a very close finish to Team Explore and our mixed team winners from over the border in NSW, team Husband and Wife who took out an impressive third overall.
Indeed, looking at the results and timings, you would argue that it was RUSH’s grit and determination to race right to the end that gave them the win. Many teams decided to come home early on the course: only 13 of the 51 teams decided to stay out on the course into the last hour of the race. Much of this would have to do with the windy conditions on the last lake paddle, however it isn’t surprising to see that many of these teams feature towards the top of the leader board. It just proves the old adage that you have to race a rogaine to the last check point as you can never know your position in the race until you cross the finish line. From chatting with teams, no one had a perfect race. Winners of the women’s division were Thor and Louise from Geotropic with a commendable 9th overall. Other noteworthy results including the fourth and fifth placing of our top two mixed veterans teams, Dated Loaf and Pikelet (hailing from New Zealand) and Bicycles Without Bruce who employed top navigation and strategy to beat out arguably much physically stronger teams.
In past years, the Rogue has tried to mix things up and experiment with new disciplines for adventure racing, whether it be white-water tubing, stand-up-paddle boarding or archery. This year we employed the services of climbing company Pinnacle Sports to set up an abseil site off the bluffs of Somerset Lookout in Mt Mee National Park. Given the significant climb with bikes to get up the plateau to reach the climbing site, I wasn’t overly optimistic that many teams would make it to the climbing site, however it was fantastic to see 31 of the 51 teams take on the challenge.
A lot of work goes into setting up and running the Rogue Adenturegaine, but it would not be possible without an excellent core bunch of volunteers. A big thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers and and the caterers. Here are some of their stories:
Erren Seiders and Jo Thomae – These guys hung all of the trek controls, half the bike controls and the first paddle leg controls. They also hauled gear boxes all weekend, manned the first transition area and still managed to take some fantastic photos of the event. On the night before the race, they were still out hanging controls at 10:30pm when they got chased off the course by a feral pig near CP12. Make sure to check out their Mojo-Rogue-6 race in August which will be sure to deliver more adventuregaine goodness.
Craig Keeling – Hung all the Lake Somerset kayak controls (requiring two trips after developing a leaky boat on his first attempt) and the Mt Mee bike controls. Craig also made the trip out to the race to haul gear boxes and water canisters around all race.
Derek McKinnon – Once again Derek stepped in to run the navlight system and results for me. I don’t think I would be able to get the job of announcing results done without him. Derek also got roped in to some last minute control hanging and helping with the gear boxes.
Steve and Linda Wallis – Race the 8 hour race, winning the mixed and taking fourth overall, before heading straight out to man TA37 for the 24 hour teams overnight.
Tamara Bauld – Helped out at Race HQ admin, before manning TA8 into the late hours of the night then backing up to assist with collating final results.
Paul Guard – Programming the navlight tags and punches (a massive job for anyone that hasn’t done this before) and administering 10 emails a day from me in the lead up with team changes. Paul also raced the Rogue24 finishing in 11th place.
Sally Staton and Kym Alexander – Helped out at race HQ and taking some great photos of the race. Sal in particular for putting up with this “hobby” of mine and being a sounding board for race ideas.
Alan Ferris – Sponsored the event through his company Ferno and gave us the use of his Hilux for hauling gear around the course.
Alex Bondarenko – Collected all the first kayak leg controls and half the trek controls straight after the race. After Alex’s inflatable raft he was using to access controls took on water, he resorted to running and swimming to the kayak check points to access them. He was stared down by feral pigs on two occasions and took the opportunity to camp out on the island where CP3 was hung.
Rob Gowland – Collected the remaining trek and bike controls, all while lugging a massive pack as training for Expedition Alaska, along with the second kayak leg controls.
Matt and Amanda Koerber – For the provision of kayaks. Matt and Amanda are thinking of selling off their fleet of boats, which could spell the end of our ability to run exciting point to point paddle legs in races and make AR much less accessible to teams (particularly new people without boats), not to mention add a ton of logistic difficulties for race organisers. It could spell the death of adventure racing in QLD AR as we know it. Perhaps we need to get in their ear and convince them to hold on to their fleet for hire purposes?
Caterers – Harlin State School P&C put on an excellent spread of food – what a production!
The Landowners – In particular the McConnel, the Mayer and the Hughes families for access to their properties: great rogaining country despite the grass seeds. Also to Powerlink, National Parks and SEQWater for permits to race on their managed land.
Sponsors – ARea51, Ferno and Coconut Groove. Don’t forget Area51 are running a photo competition from the race on their facebook page.
A link to all the results and maps from the race can be found on the QRA website here. We hope to get more detail up about control visits and google earth interactive maps as time permits over the coming days, so make sure to check back in.
There a couple of albums of event photos. Erren has some spectacular shots which can be found here. Sally also has a collection of shots from Race HQ and Lake Somerset here. If competitors want to send in their photos or videos from the course, we’ll be sure to post them up here.
There have been plenty of fantastic stories to come out of the race. We love reading your race reports, so post them up and send them in and we’ll keep an updated list of links here:
We have a number of items of lost property (shoes, hats, etc). If you are missing something, shoot me an email with details as there is a chance we may have picked it up for you. Also, while most of the controls are in off the course, the 8 bike controls up on the Mt Mee plateau have yet to be collected. This would make for a great 4 hour ride and an excellent chance to practice your bike navigation if anyone is interested in collecting them. Alternatively, most of the control sites can be driven close to for collection.
The Future Plans
So that brings the 2015 Rogue to a wrap. Thanks to all the competitors and volunteers who made this year’s race such a success: certainly one of the most challenging Rogue courses to date. Plans are already under way for the 2016 edition (yes, it takes a year to slowly pull everything together for one of these races). I already have a course in mind and will announce location and details once I can confirm all my permits. Initial discussions with rangers and SEQ Water suggest this should be manageable.
Next year’s course is looking to be a bit more “adventure race”-like in terms of terrain (ie a bit more track work and a few more hills), but the Adventuregaine staples of challenging navigation, strategy and route choice will still remain. There may also be the introduction of another small new discipline. Running concurrent 8 hour and 24 hour courses exponentially raises the logistic difficulty on race day as an organiser, but given the take up of entries this year, I suspect we will run with a similar format next year, although it may be a 6 or 24 hour option. The GPS tracking of teams and the live website will also make a return in 2016 as we move back in from the dark. This should hopefully bring the race to more and more competitors and their family as we see the Rogue start to attract teams from as far away as Interstate and New Zealand.
During the long wait to next year, there is always the Mojo-Rogue-6 for more adventuregaine goodness. Further details can be found here.
Happy racing, and I hope to see you on the trails soon – Liam.