Home » Hiking » A long absence and a backlog of posts, starting with: 12 Hour Rogaine

A long absence and a backlog of posts, starting with: 12 Hour Rogaine


Hi everyone. It has been a long time since I posted, and even longer since anything that I’ve posted about actually happened (given that my last posts were written over a month after the holiday they were written about). Initially I thought I should give you all a bit of a break from reading them (and me from writing them) and then . . inevitably . . I got wrapped up in other things!

A few things have happened that deserve writing about since I started writing my holiday posts so I’ll try to update you on them, in order, over the next few weeks.

Also, I have booked in my bathroom renovation, so have updated my “Bathroom” page if you’d like to see the plans. (Sadly my front fence has been put on hold indefinitely)

12 hour Rogaine

I had been considering doing this rogaine, but in the end my friend was going to be away and I decided that I just couldn’t be bothered organising it. Then, on the Tuesday before the rogaine I received a text message from an unknown number. “Hi, how are you going? Would you be keen on a late call up to rogaine with me this weekend, 12hr?”

Not knowing who it was, I of course replied “Yes, that sounds great. (etc etc, asking for details)” At the very end of the message I did add in “Also, who is this?” Seems like I’m happy to rogaine with anybody!!

Luckily it was a friend of mine, who I’ve never done a rogaine with, but who I have completed a 24hr adventure race with. She’s a very good rogainer and a lovely person so I was very happy to do it with her. Especially as I hadn’t done much walking since I’d got back.

The rogaine was about an hour away, towards York, so we headed up early that morning. The rogaine started at 10am, and I think we were there by 8am, with plenty of time to get ready. We plotted a course of about 35km . . . a little shorter than my normal “4km/hr for 10 out of 12 hours” but it was promising to be a very hot day and we weren’t sure how serious we were.

The novice workshop

The novice workshop

This area is stunning for rogaining. Interesting terrain, but generally easy to read, and fairly open bushland with minimal thick scrub and parrot bush. That said, we did find a few pretty rough sections. The notes had said “no parrot bush” but I think that was just a blatant lie to suck us in. We were feeling particularly sorry for a couple of girls who’d decided to do the rogaine in skirts!

Also, other than the one “mountain”, the hills weren’t too steep (at least not where we walked). There were also some absolutely stunning boulder sections, with huge granite boulders probably 10m high, clumped on the side of a gentle hill. Finding places like that is one thing I love about rogaining. I wish I had photos, but a camera is not something I’d carry on a rogaine, and phones (or GPS devices) are not allowed!

The hardest bit of the rogaine was the heat. I really struggled in the middle. I thought it was just me, but found out afterwards that everybody was hurting and a lot of people actually cut their rogaine short because of it (somehow I never considered that!!). The worst bit was probably the “river”. Usually in West Australian rogaines when the map shows a river, you are actually looking for a shallow depression that may’ve once had a few drops of water run down it. I’ve certainly never had trouble crossing one before. I never considered, when plotting the course, that there might actually be knee deep (albeit stagnant and muddy) water in it. Luckily we eventually found a way for me to get across with dry feet. My partner was not as particular and would’ve been happy to get wet feet rather than waste time finding a narrow point!

We did reasonably well, finding everything we had planned to and even adding an extra loop on the end. We only had a few controls that we “missed” and had to go back and look for. In these cases our recovery plan and navigation was quite good. We thought we’d done well but hadn’t pushed too hard so didn’t think we’d made the top 10, and probably hadn’t won the women’s comp (the “skirts” had been going faster than us the few times we saw them).

The "office"

The “office”

We hung around for presentations, nervously checking for ticks (I’d seen a HUGE one out on the course, and lots of people were finding them on themselves) struggling to stay awake (they read out every name of every team all the way from last place to first . . . . 150+ teams!). We were surprised when they got to 10th place and they still weren’t anywhere near our score! From there, the scores started going up quickly though. We came 5th overall, which is the best overall result I’ve achieved (even my State Championship win last year was only 8th overall). Sadly, we were the 2nd women’s team. The skirts had beaten us, taking 3rd place overall. After reading their story (see their blog here), they deserved it though – suffering serious blisters and ending up completing the course in Ugg boots!!

We then had a long but luckily uneventful drive home to arrive safely just after midnight (a very late night for me!).

Most people sensibly camp overnight.

Most people sensibly camp overnight.

In the end, we did about 45km and got 2130 points (1st place was 2990, the skirts got 2230). Not a bad effort, and a lot of fun (once you forget the heat, parrot bush, ticks and that stupid spur that wasn’t were it should’ve been!).



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