Note that this article was first published 17 April 2015 at Rogue Adventure.
So as April rolls around, it can mean only one thing: the Rogue Adventuregaine is gearing up. A big thank you to all the competitors who have set to make this the biggest Adventuregaine to date with 104 registered teams and a closed waitlist (a 24hr Adventure Racing record for Australia in recent history).
Upfront, a thanks to our event sponsors ARea51 and Ferno Engineering. Again, Greg and Alan have stepped up to provide a great suite of prizes for both the category winners and random draws. Thank you also to the volunteers who have helped with course hanging and those assisting on the day.
A Look at the Contenders
In organising the Rogue, I try to set a race that I would love to do myself: challenging navigation, route choices and strategy that rewards both fitness and accurate map skills on scenic and varied courses with multiple changes across all the three major disciplines. One of the great things about the rogaine format is that it makes the race achievable for beginners whilst still challenging the top teams: it is a race for all comers. In saying that though, there will always be an interest in the top teams pushing for the win, and this review will have a look at these competitors and see how they stack up for 2015.
Cementing themselves as the team to beat are RUSH who, after 4 consecutive second places at the Rogue finally broke through for the win in 2014. Russell and Shaun have had a quiet time of racing lately, although Shaun did manage a win at the recent mini-rogaine and this experienced pairing will always be strong contenders on the an adventuregaine course. Looking to knock them off their perch are a number of other strong all male teams. These include the Shackelton Tiger Adventure team who are travelling all the way from WA, team RoadPro as well as Team Explore who are using the Rogue24 as a kick off for the preparation for the 2016 world rogaine champs. (Other mens teams expecting to feature in and around the top 10 are the Griswells, the Pretty Flash teams, No Detour, Wild Geese Chasing Club and a number of the other Tiger outfits). Ed Note: Rumours from the field that team Hare and Tortoise with a former Rogaine World Champion on the team are not to be underestimated.
Not to be forgotten are some very strong mixed teams, the pick of which would have to be Tri Adventure Mountain Designs, although team Husband and Wife will be returning from NSW after their podium placing in 2014 to give them a run for their money. In the mixed veterans, Bicycles Without Bruce are, somewhat appropriately, set to continue the ANZAC rivalry with Dated Loaf and Pikelets who are again travelling from NZ for the race, however my dark horse pick will be Tri Adventure 2 team if they can have a good day with the maps.
In the all women’s category, it is a three way competition between the experienced pairing of Louise Foulkes and Thor Egerton from Geotropic, the Tri Adventure Girls and team Cameltoes who are also travelling from Perth to compete as part of their preparation for the upcoming Expedition Alaska (they are looking for a team mate for Alaska too if anyone is interested). For my money, this category is too close to call a favourite.
Not to be forgotten is some pretty hot competition in the 8hr event option. With teams like He Ain’t Heavy, Ray n Greg, Rochedale Runners and Quality Nude Time Racing the winner of this category will be sure to have earned their place on top of the podium.
Ultimately, even the strongest and most experienced teams are going to need to have a good day to take out the title of Rogue Adventuregaine Champions and etch their name on the perpetual trophy. Will the course be swept? Will teams be able to pick the best strategy over 7 different stages to optimise points? All will be revealed at the Rogue24 soon.
A full list of teams competing can be found here for the Rogue24 and Rogue8. Check out the competition in your category. Final instructions including bike drop location will be sent out on the Monday before the race.