Three Rock Orienteering Club

The Rocket

November, 2000Editor: Eoin DunneNewsletter No. 29

Christmas Party/Pub Quiz on December 5th!

How quickly times flies and already we are heading into another Christmas? Well, Christmas time means of course that it's PARTY TIME!!! To get everyone into the Christmas spirit, we will be holding a festive pub quiz on Tuesday, December 5th up in the Glenside Lounge, Landscape Road, Churchtown. All orienteers and friends are welcome so you won't need to phone a friend, just bring them along. This is the same night as the Night-O event up in the Hellfire Club so some people may arrive with head-torches attached. Finger-food and tea/coffee will be served and the cost is £5 per head. The event begins at 8.00pm so please make sure you get there in time to get a team ready.

Wet! Wet! Wet!

"Raindrops keep falling on my head" as the song goes. The rain had not started when I arrived at Laragh at 9.45a.m but the day did not look very promising. The rain began about 10.30 a.m. and progressed from then on until there was a flood at Anamoe at 5.30 p.m. Fascinating to see the water running down from the side roads. The Map cover came into it's own, took a while to dry out, everything was wet, wet, wet. The Orienteering seemed to be enjoyed by all who came and went out, although a lot of non finishers mostly novices who found the conditions a bit much. Interesting results on the Brown Course, 1st three finishers, 78.02, 78.27, and 78.29 with start times of 12.54, 12.46 and 11.08. Nail biting stuff, if the weather had been fine enough to do results and for people to wait for them. Thanks to everyone that helped, I tried to ‘phone everyone, but got lots of answering machines, so thanks again folks.

Vera Murtagh

Training continues

Tuesdays and Thursdays: Merrion Cricket Club, Anglesea Road, Ballsbridge from 6.30pm onwards.

Wednesday: Sion Hill gym, Mount Merrion Avenue. Circuit training starting at 7.00pm sharp. This is set to continue until December 6th.

Club news

A warm welcome to new members Hugh Reynolds and the Dowling Family, that's Pat, Thérèse, Colm, Rebecca and Claire. Come over and say "hello" to us at our next event.

3ROC members ran a stormer at the recent Munster Champs. Well done to Mary O'Connell (1st) W35L, Nigel Campbell-Crawford (1st) M55L, John McCullough (2nd) M45L, Áine Ní Shúilleabháin (2nd) W50L, Vera Murtagh (3rd) W60L, Ger Power (4th) W45L and Thomas Keegan (8th) M35L.

3ROC member Mike Richardson will be controller for the British Relays at Baronscourt, Co. Tyrone. This is taking place on Monday 7th May, 2001 and comes the day after the individual Champs at Benone Strand. Congratulations Mike on your selection (or should that be commiserations??) It's going to be a busy weekend with the British Elite Champs taking place the same weekend. Entry forms are due to go out with CompasSport in December and will also go up on the BOF web site which can be found here.

After three events so far in the Leinster League, only a handful of 3ROC members have made it into the top ten for each course. There are still eleven events to go so don't hang around, go out there and show them. Well done to David Brennan (5th) and Nigel Campbell-Crawford (9th) in Blue, Ger Power (3rd) and Nadya Hutchinson (8th) in Blue (Ladies), Monica Nowlan (8th) in Green and last but not least, Vera Murtagh (3rd) and Sean Rothery (5th) in Light Green.

Don't forget, all 3ROC equipment has been moved to our super-deluxe shed in Trina Cleary's garden. Trina's address is 25 Templeroan Grove, Rathfarnham but to arrange access to equipment, contact Nadya Hutchinson at 495 0402.

Marathon des Sables

The toughest race on earth!

After the recent Long-O in Trooperstown, you might be tempted to think you've done a hard bit of orienteering. Pah! A mere stroll, particularly if you are entering the dreaded Marathon des Sables, a Six-day endurance, nay, torture test in the Sahara desert. The 16th Marathon will be taking place from the 29th March to 9th April, 2001 and orienteering interest will focus on Jane Watt and Graham Porter from GEN who are ultra-long distancing running loonies as well.

The Marathon begins and ends with a stay in a 4-star hotel which is well earned given what comes in between. Runners can expect to cover about 140 miles over the six days with one of the "highlights" being a double marathon. Apart from water and a tent, you must carry everything you need for the duration (food, clothes, first-aid, etc). Runners can experience mid-day temperatures of up to 48-50ºC going over uneven rocky ground or the fearful sand dunes. Despite (or because of?) the hardship, next years event is fully booked with people forking out around £2,000stg for the privilege. However, this does include the cost of your transport home (feet first) if necessary.

One of the attractions is the strong sense of camaraderie between the 500 or so runners and the experience is so intense, competitors find it difficult to adjust back to normal life afterwards. So best of luck to Jane and Graham. It should be possible to e-mail them during the event so if I find out the address, I'll pass it on.

Diary of an event-helper at Clarabeg

10:00At home waiting for Brendan McGrath to collect me. Today, we are going to put out controls in advance of tomorrows League event.
10:30Stuck in traffic at Lamb's Cross. My God! Do these people not get enough of it during the week??? Brendan rings Maire Walsh to revise our time of arrival.
11:00On the open road at last. Brendan regales me with tales of orienteers getting hopelessly lost in these hills. This isn't "Deliverance", is it??
12:00By this time, we've met up with Maire on the road above Trooperstown Wood, have assembled and sorted out the controls, and I've been given nine to put out on Trooperstown Hill.
12:15Brendan has dropped me off at the closest vantage point and the fading sound of his car make me realise that I am very much alone. Brendan has tagged the sites but it's a different ball game looking for a little stick with a bit of tape compared to a control that can be spotted 100-200m away.
12:40I can't find the first control so I decide to head for the second one.
13:00I can't find the second control so I decide to head for the first one.
13:20Still can't find the first one. $%£#@& it anyway! I resort to the tried and tested technique of looking behind every boulder in sight. Still nothing! By now I suspect anti-orienteering sheep for eating the markers.
13:30Hooray! All is forgiven, I've found the second control site. Taking a bearing, I try to find the first one again but no joy. Ah well! Time to move on.
14:15By this stage I have another three controls put out and my confidence has returned. I stop to admire the view and in the low sun, the sense of contrast between light and shadow is so sharp, I feel I can reach out to the hills and woods before me.
15:15The rest of the controls are out and Brendan and I head back around to look for my first control site. We find it without difficulty which comes both as a relief and as a source of annoyance given the grief I had earlier.
16:15Home again. but the weather forecast doesn't look too promising!
09:30The first drops of rain start to fall. Looks like the weather is going to be spot-on for once.
10:00I head out to check the nearby controls. Vera Murtagh and Dave Brennan are setting up the start and finish while Brendan puts up a massive tarpaulin. Clearly it's "batten down the hatches" time.
11:00The first few runners arrive, eager to get out before the weather gets too bad. By this time, it's "only" a steady drizzle. Hazel Convery and canine companion Glenn have taken charge of the starts while Áine Ní Shúilleabháin drives up to the finish. On a day like this, it's good to be in a car.
11:30More rain.
12:00Still more rain.
14:30As I head out to retrieve controls, I begin to realise how much rain has come down in the last few hours. Yesterday this hill was as dry as a bone, now every gully is a river, every depression a lake.
14:50I get the first two controls and head north for the third. The wind is fairly blowing now and the sting of rain-drops quickly tell me if I've veered off my direction.
15:20By this time, a heavy mist has come down and even though the forest is only 200m away, I can't see a thing. I go on to the next control and work my way back.
16:15At last I'm off the hill and into the relative shelter of the forest. I meet Brendan and we get the last few controls in the woods before calling it a day.
16:45Head home through some of the worst flooding I've seen since "Son of Charlie" hit the country in 1986.
17:30Home at last and utterly whacked. Time for a hot bath, hot food and a hot whiskey or few.

Thanks to everybody who came out to help in such appalling conditions.

3ROC events coming up

Well, there'll certainly be plenty to keep the club busy between now and next summer. As always, events can only happen if people help out. It's certainly not fair to have the same people doing the work all the time and when they burn out, who will take over? Please play your part and offer to help at least one of the events below.

28th Nov: Phoenix Park, Night-O, Planner: John McCullough (Tel: 837 8819)

26th Dec: Three Rock Wood, Xmas Score-O, Planner: Trina Cleary (Tel: 493 6187)

4th Feb: Pine Forest, Leinster League, Planner: ???

1st April: Carlingford, Leinster League, Planner: Trina Cleary (Tel: 493 6187)

There may also be another Night-O event up in Three Rock some time in January, watch this space.

Join in with the Djouce Djoggers!

On Sunday. December 5th, the 17th Djouce handicap 5-mile race will take place at 11.00am at the lower car park at Djouce woods near Enniskerry. The free race is organised by Crusaders A.C. and is very popular with orienteers. In previous years, it has always clashed with orienteering in the Curragh but this year it doesn't so now there's no excuse for missing the fun. There is also a 2-mile race for Juniors and prize-giving takes place in the comfort of a nearby pub, very civilised.

To enter, simply send your name, age and best 5 mile/10k time or previous Djouce time to Lindie Naughton, tel/fax: 01-2837235 or e-mail at Entry is FREE - but donations of prizes will be gratefully accepted. Collect your handicap between 9.45-10.30am on the day. Entries on the day are welcome, but start from scratch.

Thar's gold in dem hills!

Trina Cleary has just returned from the USA where she was on International Controlling duty. However, Trina was definitely not alone as this short report indicates:

Success for 3ROC members in all the Championships

North American Champs, Sebago Beach and Shepherd Lake, Ronan Cleary 1st in Green Open, Julie Cleary 3rd in W35 and Frank Martindale 3rd in M60. Julie, being a member of Hudson Valley Orienteers also became the US Northeastern Champion in W35. In the US Champs in the Poconos, we ran on Stuckey Pond and Spackman Creek. Julie was 2nd in W35, Ronan 1st in Open Green, Trina 3rd in W55 and Frank 3rd in M60. And gold medals to prove it!


P.S. We will be looking for help in putting out controls for Stephen's Day.

Well, that's the last Rocket for this year. Hope you all have a very, very, VERY, Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year in 2001: An Orienteering Odyssey. Many thanks to Vera Murtagh, Lindie Naughton and Trina Cleary for their reports. If there's anything you want to say then don't keep it to yourself, pass it on to me. See you on the hills.