Emus Online - 5th March 2006

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In this edition of Emus Online . . .

Member News

Have you paid your Annual Membership? (Repeat)

Annual subscriptions are now overdue. Please re-enlist by sending $5 to Schon at the address below

Emus Orienteering Membership - Schon Hudson,
16 Fowler Street,
Box Hill South,
Vic.   3128

or pass it to her at any street-O event (she goes to most of them...)

We like to collect fees informally during February and then send out invoices later in the month to recalcitrant members  - please help us reduce administrative labour by sending in your renewal form now. Check out the renewal form at http://emus.orienteering.com.au/Joining Nillumbik Emus.html

Emus Website

Have you visited the Emus Website recently? There have been substantial changes:

We have lots of ideas about how to make it even better -- bookmark http://emus.orienteering.com.au/ and visit on a regular basis. If talking to newcomers, encourage them to visit the site for access to the best street-O and orienteering training material available locally.

Committee News

The committee meets approximately monthly to put a plan in place for the next few months and to check that everything is in order for approaching events. Topics discussed included:

Easter 3 Day Carnival

Our plans for Easter are progressing well. We will be running the first day of competition - the Saturday event which will run on our new Blowmine North map has been set by veteran course-setter Rex Niven. Already done/decided:

Please note that we plan to bag the maps on Thursday 6th April at the Niven's household. Please let us know by return mail if you can assist - no experience necessary - we can train you on the day. Briefly, we will cut out clue descriptions, stick them on the appropriate map, put the map in a plastic bag and seal it with a heat sealer. We need 6-8 helpers for 2-3 hours.

Emu Clothing

Fiona and Schon have recently done a stocktake of Emu clothing - and we'll publish a list in the next issue of Emus Online. Items available include:

Please contact Fiona or Schon directly if you would like any of the above.

Bayside Committee Offended by Emus Online

In recent articles that encouraged NE members to help us out with recruiting, we made mention of the success experienced by Bayside Kangaroos and the techniques that have worked for them. The purpose of these articles were to motivate NE members to come along to street events, to make an active attempt to meet newcomers and to establish a relationship with them. Let us be clear that the need is not just growth for growth's sake - membership of a club builds longer term relationships between participants, it establishes networks of relationships/friends that are valuable to both the individual and the sport in general. From an organisational perspective increased membership offers ideas and opportunities that may not be available to smaller clubs.

Unfortunately, one or two members of the BK committee chose to be offended by some of the articles used (i.e. the comments were not inherently offensive, particularly if read in context) - most unfortunate....so we'll take special care when mentioning them....or anything about them in future.

The fact remains that we are smaller than we should be for long-term viability. While we have specialised in bush-orienteering in the past and are demonstrably one of the best orienteering club's in Victoria, we cannot recruit the next generation of bush orienteers through bush orienteering alone. Like it or not - the next generation of bush-orienteers will come from street-orienteering. All we have to do is recruit them, train them and help them enjoy the bush as much as we all do now.

DROC Maxi Cancelled

Unfortunately, DROC seem to have lost their course-setter for the proposed Maxi.  Perhaps next year folks - we would still be happy to provide map + assistance if required.

Excerpts from the DROC newsletter

Thanks to the DROC folks for sending us a copy of their excellent newsletter Punchline; interesting stuff from the current issue includes:

Walking on uneven ground is good for you (New Scientist, December 2005)

The feet of a typical urbanite rarely encounter terrain any more undulating than a crack in the pavement. While that may not seem like a problem, it turns out that this flat-earth business is not doing us any good. By ironing all the bumps out of our urban environment we have put ourselves at risk of a surprising number of chronic illnesses and disabilities. Fortunately, the free market has come to the rescue. You can now buy the solution - in fact, there is even a choice of products. Indoor types will appreciate the cobblestone walkway, a knobbly textured plastic mat that they can wobble along in the comfort of their own homes. And for the more adventurous, there are shoes designed to throw you off balance.

The technology may be cutting edge, but its origins are deep and exotic. Research into the idea that flat floors could be detrimental to our health was pioneered back in the late 1960s. While others in Long Beach, California, contemplated peace and love, podiatrist Charles Brantingham and physiologist Bruce Beekman were concerned with more pedestrian matters. They reckoned that the growing epidemic of high blood pressure, varicose veins and deep-vein thromboses might be linked to the uniformity of the surfaces that we tend to stand and walk on.

The trouble, as they saw it, was that walking continuously on flat floors, sidewalks and streets concentrates forces on just a few areas of the foot. As a result, these surfaces are likely to be far more conducive to chronic stress syndromes than natural ones, where the foot meets the ground in a wide variety of orientations. The anatomy of the foot parallels that of the human hand - each having 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Modern lifestyles waste all this flexibility in your socks. Brantingham and Beekman became convinced that damage was being done simply by people standing on even surfaces and that this could be rectified by introducing a wobble.

To test their ideas, they got 65 clerks and factory workers to try standing on a variable terrain floor - spongy mats with different amounts of give across the surface. This modest irregularity allowed the soles of the volunteers' feet to deviate slightly from the horizontal each time they shifted position. As the researchers hoped, this simple intervention turned out to make a huge difference over just a few weeks. Just a slight wobble from the floor activated a host of muscles in people's legs, which in turn helped to pump blood back to their hearts. The muscle action prevented the pooling of blood in their feet and legs, reducing the stress on the entire cardiovascular system. And two-thirds of the volunteers reported feeling much less tired.

These tests were repeated in a controlled test earlier this year and the results were similar. The Oregon Research Institute in the USA got 50 adults to walk on cobble stone mats for one hour, 3 times per week. After 16 weeks these people showed marked improvements in balance and mobility and significant reductions in blood pressure (there is no mention in the article if there was a control group that walked for similar periods on flat surfaces - the result may simply be due to better exercise regimen.

Perhaps this all sounds a bit high-tech? Why not, I hear you ask get out in the bush and take part in a cross-country sport such as ours? There's plenty of uneven ground out thee - more than enough for all of us. In addition, you can get the benefits above plus the fresh country air, see one of our many State Forests and the wildlife within it. In my experience, one normally gets a lot more than one hour's worth too - but as my navigation improves, this benefit may reduce a little.

Recent Events

13 February - Notting Hill

It rained all day - so it was beautifully calm and cool by the time of the event. Unsure that it would stay that way, we encouraged everybody to take a plastic map bag - sorting through a wad of wet score cards that have stuck together is no fun at all! This was the best run that many of us have had in several weeks - the cooler weather allowed the pace to pick up and several people were heard to comment that they got beaten in spite of having had their best run in ages.

14 February - Cairnlea - NE event

A new Western Series map produced by the Fells - a pretty area punctuated by grassy laneways, extensive parks and lots of ornamental windmills (each of which had a control on). Congratulations to Fiona who set the course for us - it was most interesting although I was pretty sure that I didn't pick the shortest route - the two controls at the bottom seemed so close at the start, but proved to be a long way back to the rest of the course.

The evening was made all the more enjoyable by the fund-raising efforts of the Cairnlea Primary School - in addition to providing a start area and access to change-rooms & toilets, they organised a superb sausage sizzle and provided cold-drinks and fruit salad as an added bonus. I hope they made money out of this - I was a little concerned that their prices were too cheap to make much out of 100-150 runners.

15 February - Tunstall Junction

We've run on this map hundreds of times - same area, same challenges - do you cross the freeway or not?   One wonders how long it will take for the park-street folks to recognise that we could provide a much more interesting service if clubs could look beyond ownership and control of park-street maps.

16 February - Bulleen

If you chose the wrong route on this event, the difference in climb was quite significant - as several runners found to their chagrin. A superb start location offering opportunities to run on either side of the freeway - congratulations to the ARDF group for identifying a new start location for an old map and providing such a good event.

Thanks also to fellow Emu, Kevin Maloney, for bringing icy poles and ice-creams along on such a warm night. The excitement generated by this at the end of the event was terrific - if we do something like this again, we probably need to make sure that all kids get one before we hand them out to adults.

20 February - Camelot Rise - Score Course - NE event

Ron Wescott ran this event for us - pleasant conditions and an excellent course. While generally quite flat, this map offers gentle climbs on the Northern and Western side of the map - to add a little interest in route selection. Ron's control placement was certainly interesting - and the 1:12,500 map made everything seem closer, encouraging a brave few to head out to more distant controls down South.  Ian and Lauris are both competitive in B grade at the moment - while Ian's improving fitness combined with Lauris' navigational ability ;-) tends to give him the edge, this proved not to be the case in this event. Antony Ball had a superb run, comfortably winning C grade while Kevin Maloney continues to head up D/E course. Trevor and Ramona Holmes were within 3 points of the leaders for this event but got slugged 6 points for being a little over a minute late.

21 February - Tea-Gardens

The Western Series has grown incredibly in the past two seasons and now fields groups of 130-150 on a regular basis. While this increase in growth has been a result of everybody's efforts, particular credit should be given to the Sheahans for  their PR efforts, Ken Moore for his organisational and PR efforts and to Des Gregory for encouraging local schools to come along and take part.

It's also good to see an increasing number of Emu running tops in this crowd. Each week as I arrive, it's good to wander through the crowd and say hello to each of the Emus present - and the distinctive tops make it so much easier to do this.

22 February - Kerrimuir - run for YV by NE members

As Northern Series Coordinator I had chastised John Meeking for running so many events - he, wife Libby and son David have run all of the YV street events run this year. Yarra Valley are, like us, a small club - but also like us - they are lucky to have a core of very experienced, very committed members (this is the main reason that between them these two clubs have taken the Rockhopper Award for best orienteering club in Victoria for 10 out of the last 10 years). It seemed to me that the Meekings had done enough this year - so we offered assistance.

The call came only a few days later - the YV course setter for the Wednesday night event in Box Hill had to travel to Sydney at short notice. The location was close and we had time free on the weekend - so why not? For information, this is a great area on which to set a course - lots of little parks with plenty of access to nearby streets. As a result, one can offer park-running opportunities without the need to hike long distances into the middle of parkland (as one might do at Yarra Bend - a much more difficult area to set).

23 February - Darebin (Score)

Neil Barr from the Bendigo club happened to be in the area around the time of this event - so he dropped by for a run. Neil is the head of the Victotian Orienteering Association's Technical Committee - and was certainly in demand as a number of people wanted to chat with him on various subjects. I suspect that route choice was an issue for him on his run - as he ran 11 Km and still didn't manage to get all controls.

The most interesting aspect of this series is the tight competition between NE's Rod Lawlor and BK's John Sheahan - these guys have come first and second between them for the last 7 events. Rod is a tiny amount in front at the moment and should win, on current form, provided he reaches the 6 events required for the 10 week series.

27 February - Knoxfield

Chaos! On arrival at the site, the organisers discovered that the access gate was locked. With only 30-40 minutes to go until 80-100 people turned up for their run, frantic phone calls were made to try to find someone with a key. Alas, said person was still at work and the key was in the scout hall on the other side of the gate. A lesson to organisers to check such things before the day of the event.

28 February - Williamstown Beach

155 people attended this event - a cool onshore breeze, a run along the beach capped off by a trot through the Williamstown Botanical Gardens for the final control - life doesn't get much better than that. As I ran out of the Botanical Gardens and headed for the finish Peter Herd attempted to sprint past - but didn't quite make it - as we both reached the finish punch he suddenly realised that he actually needed the control in the Botanical Gardens and, somewhat embarrassed, retraced his steps to get it.

Great navigation by Don Fell - spotting a short-course that nobody else saw - allowing him to be finished, cooled-down and changed for the drive home before any other B graders hit the finish chute.

1 March - Heyington Heights

Traditionally, this event is run by Scotch College - and in most years, they've tried to do something innovative (a tradition started by Emu, David Hudson who was Captain of Orienteering at Scotch for 2 years). This year the boys had us run a normal A, B and C course and then run back to the finish - to then do a quick 1-2 Km loop around the college. This may not seem like a lot - but when you've just sprinted back to the finish thinking that you had finished for the day, it was pretty tough!

2 March - Bundoora Park

A good end to the week - set by Emu Alex Shepherd and wife Lenore for our friends at Tuckonie. It's become suggested in recent times to put an emergency number on the maps and Alex had done this. I've often wondered if this was really worth while, but it could have been invaluable on this event - we lost two lads from the soccer club that attended - and they finally found them about 8:40 pm. In addition, the Park Ranger indicated that the gates would close about 8:30 pm, so we moved the assembled masses outside the bounds of the park - about 70-80m away. This caused confusion amongst the folks that were kind enough to help us pick up controls that evening - sincere apologies to Lyn Green who eventually found us at 8:50 pm after circumnavigating the park.

Moral of the story - if you print an emergency number on the map, make sure the mobile in question is charged (or bring along a car charger, just in case).

Coming Events

Easter Carnival

The Easter 3 Day is the biggest orienteering carnival in Australia. This year, this carnival will be run in the Castlemaine area by Emus, Yarra Valley and BK. 

Street Orienteering

Not many events to go in the Summer Series - and most competitive events are winding down for the Commonwealth Games - as a result, the street-O events in late-March will be social runs or non-competitive events. We'll publish details of the Winter Series in the next Emus Online.

07-Mar-06 Western Series Tuesday Event 18 TK Avondale Heights Keilor East Overland Reserve, Parkside Avenue 27 D1
08-Mar-06 Eastern Series Wednesday Event 19 AR Blackburn Lake Blackburn  Blackburn Lake Sanctuary, Central Road LAST COMPETITIVE EVENT 48 B11
09-Mar-06 Northern Series Thursday Event 19 BK Donvale Pines Doncaster East The Pines Reserve - park north-east corner of The Pines shopping centre 34 D6
13-Mar-06 Southern Series Monday Event 20 BK Jells Park Wheelers Hill Jells Park, car park off Waverley Road  SPECIAL EVENT 71 K6
14-Mar-06 Western Series Tuesday Event 19 BK Altona Pier Altona Car park north end of Fresno Street  DINNER  PRESENTATIONS 54 H9
15-Mar-06 Eastern Series Wednesday Event 20 DR Park Orchards Park Orchards Domeney Reserve, Knees Road  SPECIAL EVENT 35 E9
16-Mar-06 Northern Series Thursday Event 20 NE Eltham Eltham West end of Pitt Street  PRESENTATIONS 21 H6
20-Mar-06 Southern Series Monday Event 21 DR Nortons Park Glen Waverley Napier Park, entry from High Street Road SPECIAL EVENT   71 J2
21-Mar-06 Western Series Tuesday Event 20 BK Paisley Park  NEW MAP Altona Mason Street opposite MacDonald Street - park in Recreation Reserve car park SPECIAL EVENT 55 D3
22-Mar-06 Eastern Series Wednesday Event 21 BK Blackburn South Blackburn South Eley Park, Eley Road  SPECIAL EVENT  PRESENTATIONS 61 H5
23-Mar-06 Northern Series Thursday Event 21 YV Springthorpe Macleod Gresswell Forest Wildlife Reserve, Greenwood Drive SPECIAL EVENT 20 B3

Mountain Bike Orienteering

09-Apr-06 MTBO MTBO MTBO State Series State Series (MTBO) #4 TK Bells Wombat Daylesford
30-Apr-06 MTBO MTBO MTBO State Series State Series (MTBO) #5 YV Bendigo Bendigo

Bush Orienteering

The bush season has now started - but the focus of most Victorian Clubs is the Easter 3 Day Carnival. There are several warm-up events planned - details are shown below.

11-Mar-06 Club Event Junior Eureka Challenge     (Note 1.) EU Hepburn
12-Mar-06 Club Event Senior Eureka Chllge  St. Series #1 (Note 2)   EU Hepburn
19-Mar-06 Club Event Easter warm-up  1  /  EU Club Event  EU See below

For a full copy of the current VOA fixture press http://emus.orienteering.com.au/Events/2006/2006-fixture.doc

NE Events for 2006 from Rob Edmonds

For latest information - see the events page on the club website - http://emus.orienteering.com.au/Events/2006/index.html

Note - helpers are still required for several of the events. Please email Rob Edmonds on  redm4896@bigpond.net.au or call him on 9438 3378.

March Club Events (Repeat)

Due to computer problems, O-Vic is running late this month. The following details could be of interest until you get the next issue.

Date :  11-Mar-06 12-Mar-06 19-Mar-06
Category/Index :  Bush State Series Easter warm-up  1  /  EU Club Event 
Series :  Club Event Senior Eureka Chllge  St. Series #1 EU
Event :  Junior Eureka Challenge & club event for all   Chinaman Flat
Club :  EU EU Linton
Map :  Blowhole Tipperary Springs Map 526 J4
Location :  Daylesford Daylesford Map 76 B4
Start :  10.30 to 1.30   1:15,000
Melway :  Map 509 C10 Map 509 C10 5 metre
VicRoads :  Map 59 C7 Map 59 C7 Take the Glenelg Hwy SW from Ballarat 35 km to Linton.  Turn right to Snake Valley & look for O signs.
Scale :  1:15,000  EU Challenge 1:15,000, Courses 3 to 12 1:10,000 Geoff Lawford & Jenny Bourne
Contours :  5 metre 5 metre  
Directions to Start :  From Daylesford, take the Midland Hwy 4 km towards Ballarat.  Turn right into Basalt Rd (O signs) & follow signs 5 km to start.  From Ballarat, turn left into Basalt Rd 3 km befond Swiss Mt Hotel. From Daylesford, take the Midland Hwy 4 km towards Ballarat.  Turn right into Basalt Rd (O signs) & follow signs 5 km to start.  From Ballarat, turn left into Basalt Rd 3 km befond Swiss Mt Hotel. Geoff Lawford & Jenny Bourne
Organiser :  Russell Bourke Russell Bourke 4 courses and score
Controller :  Roch Prendergast Roch Prendergast 11.00 to 12.00
Course Setter :  Warwick Williams Warwick Williams $6.00
Courses :  EU Jnr Challenge: M & W 16 & 18, 5 open courses Standard 10 SS courses.  EU Challenge on courses 1 & 2 $6.00
Start Times :  10.30 to 1.30 9.30 to 12.30 Mix of gold mining & spur/gully to prepare for Easter
FeesVOA :  $10.00 $10.00  
Fees Non VOA :  $12.00 $12.00  

Articles wanted

It doesn't take long to type up a few paragraphs about something that you found interesting recently. We'd certainly appreciate any contributions to the newsletter. Please send your articles/notes to hudson@bigpond.net.au