rogaining 12:00:00 
shoes: Asics Gel 2160
I was looking forward to the rogaine at Angorichina because even though it was going to be fairly steep there should be no nasty surprises in terms of undergrowth. And it's just a magical place up there, the village on a spur above the creek, ringed by all the hills (would have seemed awfully isolated to the sanatorium patients, but that was the point). First time for teaming up with Mark even though we've moved in the same rogaining circle for 20 years. We looked at the map and figured we could do about 3/4 of it which would be about 75-80km actual distance. Decided against the very NW, but started out with the couple of steep pinches N and W of the hash house (54, 53), and then the inner NW. Susanne and Zara were with us for the first 3 controls...more on them later.
Soon worked out that sometimes it wasn't possible to go directly down to the major creek because of a major cliff, so we detoured a bit on 65-62. Easy through 41/51/61. Got to the water at 31 - no fruit there yet. Oh well, only 3pm. 81, 72, up the creek to 91 with lots of teams going the other way except for tall-and-short-girls who were behind us. We went 91-83 but I decided not to stay on the ridgeline all the way; much better to drop down to the creek halfway along. We did an in-and-out run along the creek past the dead goat to 83; looked up at the skiyline and I swear those girls were still up there - suspect they took a side spur by accident. 42 was just on dark and we overshot it a bit. 74, 73, didn't go to water so we can't be blamed for it running out later.
After 92, walking along the creek, I ducked a branch which Mark didn't see and it got him right between the eyes. There was blood and we deemed this a good time to stop for food, and after getting cold sitting in the creek bottom, thermals. But really it was a very mild night. 55, 66, then heading south down this creek towards 33 and water on the road, we passed Susanne & Zara heading north up the creek! What the - where had they been?
At water about 1030pm we saw Kay's team and also Randell's. Neither of them had been to 93 which would necessitate a steep climb over the hill, or 56 near Blinman Pools - and now I know why. From 67 we rock-hopped our way down the creek to where I had convinced Mark that we could leave our packs, go up and over the hill to 93, and come back to the same spot to continue down the creek to 56 rather than descending the hairily steep spur. This took a while. So did 56-44 up the creek including some waterfall climbing and a lot of pool-dodging (there are permanent springs and these redgum-lined creeks are absolutely beautiful in daylight).
At 44 we decided that, it already being about 3am, we wouldn't go east to 69/86/59 but south to 58, a shallow gully on a flat nothing which we were initially too far north of so lost a few min. There were 2 girls shivering and trying to sleep by the water at 47. I said to Mark "I've been there" and he said "So have I and I don't want to go back!". We were both pretty tired but psychologically okay, and I didn't feel we'd slowed down much although I couldn't both read the map and look where I was putting my feet, so had to keep stopping to see where we were going.
48 was okay then disaster struck on the long leg to 85, a flat vague creek in flat vague country in the SE corner of the map. We had a bearing, with the intention to aim off and hit the side creek just W of it. In fact, we somehow crossed over the main creek without realising it, then a road which we thought wasn't mapped (it wasn't, but it was actually S of the mapped road, not N as we thought). We worked out that we were too far S, so went back to the creek but thinking we were E of the control, headed downstream about half a km. Wrong! Then we were confused, and by now it was daylight. Had another go at heading W thinking we were in a ridge SE of the control, but in fact we were NW. Wrong! Should almost have cut our losses, but I really wanted to know how we'd gone wrong. Mark figured it out before I did. When we eventually found 85, having lost an hour, he pointed out that we'd crossed the creek less than 100m from it :(
Okay, salvage time. 76, 46, 84, 94 in the SW. Walking fast but couldn't muster more than a Cliff Young when we tried to jog. There were a few steep pinches up and over each range. Mark's blisters were bothering him though he didn't complain, and I was doing the pace-setting from about 8am onwards. 94 was an in-and out with a steep climb (I take a while ont he descents) then along the (very dilapidated) Heysen Trail to 45. Just before 10am here and we decided we hadn't time to manage over the hill to 57, but down the creek through magnificent red gate-cliffs to 75 was easy. 70 min left here, it only took us 17 to 35, so in fact we had heaps of time but no extra controls we could manage to get - and were in 25 min early.
Mark jokingly said "It's important to get in as early as possible if other teams are on the same score" and so it proved to be. We were very pleased when we downloaded, to find that we had cracked 2000 points even, but completely stoked to find out that this was good enough for 3rd mixed! Of course, this paled into minor significance besides Susanne & Zara's 1st women's and 4th overall, or Sarah Buckerfield's amazing mixed win and 2nd overall, but it was still 11th place, and a decent reward for effort :)
Also a great night out with a really good mate (who's only 5 days older than me). We reckon that if the Aust Champs in 2015 are later than May then we should team up and have a crack at mixed veterans...