25 November 2017
The drizzle was falling steadily climbing up Porters Pass on the Friday evening before the 2017 Craigieburn Rogaine. However once over the top the Castle Hill basin appeared with sunny blue skies that would stick around for the event on Saturday, making for a spectacular day of rogaining in one of the South Islands best locations.
Event planners Nick Smith and Callum Cleary had set many challenging controls for teams to find, spread around the Hogsback area and almost up to the Cheeseman Ski Field. Rogaining involves teams collecting as many checkpoints (worth varying amounts of points) as possible within a set time limit, in this case either 7hrs or 3hrs. It’s often a tricky balance between planning a route that will enable you to collect as many points as possible and making sure you get back in time, with harsh penalties if you are late.
Once again this year’s event had good numbers with over 150 people participating split into just over 60 different teams. Rogaining draws a diverse crowd of adventure racers, multisporters and trampers but you don’t have to be an extreme outdoor athlete to take part, it’s suitable for all ages.
The 3hr event was torn up by team Mega Dad. Aaron Prince and Matt Scott took a break from the kids and steamrolled around the countryside collecting a whopping 1340 points and taking out the open men category. Not to be outdone, the (better?) half of the squad, team Mega Mum (Sara Prince and Lara Scott) collected an impressive 1080 points, taking home the open women’s. Where’s Jess (Cass Herbert and Simon Schneider), won the open mixed category, gathering 850 points while team BBK of Helen Wood and Janet MacPherson would take out the Seniors.
The 7hr event attracted many experienced rogainers and while no one quite planned to clear the course, there were some very ambitious plans. Map extensions to the west allowed for some control sites above the bushline and it was going to be interesting to see if anyone took the gamble.
In the end the junior category was won by team Felix Harrison (Felix Harrison, Maggie McInnes, Gareth Evans and Niva Chittock). They collected a respectable 1370 points for a young team in the build up to the high school adventure race, the Hillary Challenge. We wish you best of luck, although maybe next time don’t let Felix choose your team name!
The 7hr open women’s category was secured by 2 Birds in the Bush (Jenni Blyleven and Megan Blakely) who flew around the Beech trees collecting a sound 1520 points. Team A Sneaky Weasel with Struan Webb were not quite sneaky enough and had to make a quick return from the far end of the map to get back in time, but it would still be just be enough to sneak the win in open men’s with 1610 points.
The duo of Douglas Woods and Colin Dixon (Missing Bits) won the senior category with 1660 points and were looking like they may take out the overall before team Fit for Life dashed in three minutes late to finish and took out the top mixed team and be overall winners. They managed to collect an impressive 1730 points out of a possible 2300.
Congratulations to all teams who competed, it was a great day out in the high country and we hope to see you return to more rogaines in the future (https://www.canterburyrogaine.com).
Finally, a huge thanks to the Castle Hill Village for the use of the Village Hall and to Bivouac Outdoor for their support and sponsorship with prizes and spot prizes once again.