Beginners Guide to Rogaining – Cross Country Timed Navigation

manly metrogaine map

Last Sunday I competed in the 2007 Manly Metrogaine run by the New South Wales Rogaining Association inc (NSWRA) in the UTS Novices team (for people who’d never done rogaining before). Our team were all members of the UTS Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC).

If you don’t know what Rogaining is, what equipment you need, how to navigate etc than read the introduction to Rogaining entitled “Which Way’s North? (PDF)

The day began with an extremely early train to the city thanks to Cityrail track work :-( Once everyone else arrived we caught the L90 bus to arrive at Balgowlah Heights School by 8:15am. This was the start/finish area which rogainers call a “Hash House” and was where we registered our 2 UTS teams (Hardcore and Novice) and got our maps (see at right). Since today’s rogaine was in an urban area it was called a “metro-gaine”. Usually rogaining events are out in the bush or national parks.

The aim of today’s “metro-gaine” was to gain points as a team by visiting as many checkpoints as possible to answer questions about the local area, landmarks etc. Checkpoints varied in value from 10 points (easy to get to) to 100 points (quite hard to get to) and it was up to each team to decide which checkpoints to attempt and which path to take to end up with the maximum number of points.

At 9:30am all the teams grabbed their “control card” (laminated answer sheet) and set off. The time limit to return to the hash house was 3:30pm, with a 10 point penalty for each minute your team was late.

My novices team arrived back at 3:25pm with a score of 870, the UTS hardcore team were delayed by some bush bashing that took longer than expected and arrived at 3:35 and so were docked 50 points to get a score of 1060.

Although the weather was quite humid and it rained on and off all day everyone had a great time even though we’d never done any rogaining before. Our trip leader Marty had told us to expect a score around 400-500 so we were really happy to do so well.

Overall the UTS OAC Novices team came 8th out of 20 novice teams. The UTS hardcore team ranked pretty well in their category as well considering they lost half an hour after running to get to the hardest checkpoints in the top left corner off the map.


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