- Welcome to Dianne, Jarrah and Jade who turned up at the Camelot Rise
event last Wednesday evening. Dianne's partner Paul had seen street-orienteers
running through their area last year and noticed us a couple of weeks back
when the event was held on the Bulleen Downs map. They did some investigation on
the internet and turned up at the Camelot Rise event with membership form in
hand. Please look for them at events - and introduce yourself. Jarrah is a
super-fit 11 year old and Jade is a very cute little 4 year old.
- Many Victorian orienteers will be heading West to the Australian
Orienteering Championships - being held in Perth this year. We look forward to
a report from competing Emus in a few weeks.
- Ian Davies - a street orienteer - is trying to use image processing
hardware/software to read standard score cards and score them automatically.
Could this be an alternative to Sportident?
- World Masters Games coming back to Australia - Sydney has been accepted as
the location for this world class event in 2009. More details as they become
- Bayside Kangaroos have circulated a discussion paper re the profitability
- or otherwise - of running orienteering events. While this is certainly an
interesting paper, our own approach has always been to focus on running good
quality events - on the assumption that if the event is good enough, then
people will turn up. In the Northern Series, the NE position has been to pump
all available funds back into the series (if required) - on the assumption
that this will help the series grow....and this is, after all, good for all
clubs. Not just us.
A response was received from a VOA Board Member - that club's can now set
whatever fees they want for an event, so all they need to do is increase the
cost per runner. One wonders if increasing the cost per run from $12 to say
$15-16 is wise in an environment in which numbers are dropping and petrol
prices are likely to stay high. This will be an interesting discussion -
a Council Meeting not to be missed - full report in a future issue of Emus
Nillumbik Emus Website
- We've just added a download page to our website; if you use Microsoft
Outlook or a PDA and want
to load all 86 events into your electronic diary automatically....or even just want to get the street-O fixture in a format
ready to stick into your diary - check out the
Page - at
http://emus.orienteering.com.au/Download/index.htm. We'll put copies
of software that the club has purchased on these pages in the near future.
Nillumbik Emus Social Weekend - by Fiona Fell
The club plans to run a weekend away with good company, the opportunity for
social activities and a few orienteering activities.
WHEN: Nov. 25th – 26th (Sat.-Sun)
WHERE: Milgrove Outdoor Education Centre (set at base of Mt. Donna Buang)
Overnight accommodation will be available (bunkrooms sleeping 4 – 6 people).
There will be time to relax/ be active/have fun. The Warburton rail trail and
other bike riding trails are close by. A FUN Pent-O is planned for Sunday
morning with the club dinner (probably a BBQ), club presentations etc. on
Saturday evening. More details etc. will be published closer to the time.
We send out periodic broadcasts to members....but up to now had no way for
members to reciprocate (without exposing ourselves to huge amounts of spam
email). Now you can send suggestions, offers of assistance or provide feedback
to the committee, by sending your message to the email address below (note -
remove embedded underlines/spaces first...spam engines harvest email addresses
from pages like this....so I put some extra characters in the address that a
human can see - and remove - but a computer may not). Anyways...the address is
Lauris Stirling and Geoff Hudson are thinking of entering an Emus team in the
Oxfam Trail Walker event next year. This 100Km event traditionally runs from
Jell's Park across the Dandenongs, over to Warburton and up to the top of Mount
Donna Buang. As a result of the snow storm last year, the organisers have
changed the route - so that the finish no longer requires one to climb a
mountain at the end of 100km.
If others are interested in taking part, can they let us know - soon....we
have to register in the next week or so.
Schon and I don't do a lot of bush events these days - too many other demands on
weekend time; if folks that do go along would like to send articles to me, I'd
be happy to publish them in Emus Online. In the meantime, here's some details of
events that we have been to.
This year's Maxi 3 Hour was
run by Nillumbik Emus Orienteering Club in the area of Whroo – on a section of
the map that had not been used by orienteers before. The subtle spur-gully
orienteering with the occasional small hill offered superb terrain for faster
runners. Combined with course-setting that provided route choice opportunities
for both experienced and moderate orienteering, many said that the course was
one of the more enjoyable and challenging runs this year.
The weather was perfect - 17
degrees - and recent rains meant that the area was greener than normal and
that the ground was soft underfoot. The start/finish location was in a tree
covered knoll just South of the
Balaclava mine site – offering comfortable
surroundings and good views of runners coming home along the road.
First home – with all
controls – was Jim Russell who did a solo run in a time of
1:58:34. The next finisher
was Adam Scammell (also solo) who finished 17-18 minutes later. Other notable
Senior Male - Ian Dodd & Leo Arantes (a
recent arrival from Brazil) – all controls (1300) in 2:58
Senior Female – Jasmin & Rebekah Sunley &
Lisa Linssen – 900 pts in 2:55
Veteran Male – Rob Simmons & Rick Armstrong –
all controls (1300) in 2:54
Veteran Female – Laurie Niven & Helen
Schofield – 910 pts in 2:59
Veteran Mixed – Neil Barr & Julie Flynn –
1220 pts in 2:57
Schools Junior – Nicholas Oliver & Jack Higgs
– 730 pts in 2:50
While a minor hiccup with
the technology prevented the comprehensive split-tickets that are usually
provided at the Maxi from being distributed, detailed scores and photos from
the event were available later that evening from the Emus Website (http://emus.orienteering.com.au/Events/2006/Maxi/index.htm).
The course setter, Ron Wescott and catering crew did a great job - thanks to
all concerned - and the prizes/brief presentations provided a good ending to a
great day in the bush. The following feedback was received via email on the
day after the event:
Geoff. I have forwarded this
e-mail to Louise Hall as she took sole possession of the first prize chocolate
that we inadvertently accepted as being winners. Now that the computer has
relegated us to a distant second I think Louise should return the prize to you
on Wed. However I believe she intended to partly consume the same, along with
fish and chips as part of her post event nutritional replacement program but I
am sure the new winners would settle for half a block of chocolate rather than
none. I know I would. Thanks again for a great day.
Peter, you are right, of
course, as there is now only half a bar of chocolate remaining. However, if
the first placegetters either failed to add up correctly, or failed to lodge
their claim with the race organiser, then that's their tough luck.
While the mild winter evenings are perfect for running, I do look forward to
daylight saving and the approaching Summer Series. I got a taste of running
without a headlamp just last week - as course setter for the Camelot Rise event.
Ian and Lauris were on holiday and kindly offered to put the controls out - so
this gave me the chance to go for a run about 5pm. With plenty of time
available, I decided to run a 50 minute B course - and had no trouble collecting
a competitive 52 points for the 48 minutes that I used. Unfortunately,
course-setters automatically get their average score and my average seldom is as
good as the run this week.
It's good to see new folks turning up at Street-Orienteering. David and
Khayen Prentice from Bulleen have turned up to both Monday and Wednesday events
in recent times. I've had verbal and email conversations with a cheerful A grade
runner, Jim Taylor - super fit and gradually getting the hang of navigation and
the timing required for score events (hang in there Jim, the scatter events in
the Summer Series, are much more straightforward).
If you're thinking about running your first street-orienteering event, then
consider the Saturday Series. It's a score course - so much easier to set than
the summer series scatter courses, it's a relaxed environment and it's much
easier to set as you've got all of Saturday morning to put the controls out. We
did this recently and completed putting controls out by about midday. We then
had time to go to a nearby coffee shop for a light lunch and coffee. Much easier
than leaving work early to set controls for a 7pm event.
Check out the Emus Street-Orienteering pages for details of
Park/Street events - without a doubt, still the original and the best available
street orienteering information in Melbourne.Details of all remaining Bush
events and special events below:
Sunday Special Events #11, BK AR. Albert Park(Map: Albert Park). Melway 2K
F9. Directions: Aughtie Drive - follow O signs. Start Times:10:00 - 12:00. A
RadiO course will be available.,
Eureka Club Series #4, EU. 5km SE of Creswick(Map: Petticoat Gully,
Scale:1:10,000, 5m contours). Melway 58 G9. Directions: Take the Western
Freeway to the Wallace turnoff (signposted to Creswick and Maryborough).
Follow signs towards Creswick, and look for Orienteering signs pointing left
down Slatey Creek Road at the end of the Creswick State Forest. Follow signs
to the start. Organiser:Tom Norwood,
Sunday Special Events #12, BK AR. Emerald(Map: Emerald). Melway 127 J4.
Directions: Follow O signs from W end of Emerald Lake Road. Start Times:10:00
Victorian Middle Dist. Champs., BK. Daylesford(Map: Sailors Creek South End,
Scale:1:10,000, 5m contours). Melway 609C10. Directions: See
www.vicorienteering.asn.au. Organiser:Greg Tamblyn, Course Setter:Rob Lewis,
Controller:Tim Dent, Start Times:From 12 noon. Fees: VOA:Pre-Entry onlySend
email to firstname.lastname@example.org before 8-Oct-06. Pay on the day
Vic. Long Distance Champs SS (Foot) #12, EU. Clunes(Map: Mount Beckworth,
Scale:1:10,000, 5m contours). Directions: From Bendigo; Travel to Clunes via
Maldon, Newstead and Campbelltown. In the centre of Clunes turn right onto
Maryborough Rd and travel for 2km before turning left onto Cemetery Rd. Cross
the railway line and turn right into Pickfords Rd; follow this road by veering
left after 250m and then by turning left after a further 800m. Travel south
for 3km and turn right into Mountain Ck Rd and follow signs to the parking
area. Organiser:Mark Valentine – c/- email@example.com,
Course Setter:Chris Norwood, Start Times:10am-1pm. 18 Courses, Fees: VOA:Snr
$22, Jnr $12, Fam $65 - NonVOA:SportIdent Hire : $2.50. Pre-entry required,
forms in OVIC or at www.eurekaorienteers.asn.au
Club Event #9, EU. 3km SE of Ballarat(Map: Canadian Forest, Scale:1:10,000, 5m
contours). Melway 76 G3. Directions: Travel to Ballarat via the
Western Freeway and take the first exit (Victoria St) into Ballarat. At the
first set of traffic lights, turn left into Fussel St. After 2km, turn left
into Wilson St and follow the orienteering signs - be wary of the "blind"
crossroad with Long St which is on the crest of a hill after 0.5km. From
North: Travel into Ballarat via the Daylesford Rd which becomes Water St as it
passes under the Western Freeway. Continue along Water St, through the
roundabout and then the traffic lights where it becomes Fussel St. After 2km,
turn left into Wilson St and follow the orienteering signs - be wary of the
"blind" crossroad with Long St which is on the crest of a hill after 0.5km.
Vic. Primary Schools Eastern Zone Champs., VOA. (Map: Jells Park). Directions:
See VOA web site
Vic Long Dist MTBO Champs, VOA. (Map: TBA, Scale:1:20K, 5m contours).
Directions: Go to www.vicorienteering.asn.au/events/mtbo. Organiser:Peter
Cusworth, Start Times:11.00 am to 1.00 pm. 4 Standard State Series "line"
courses plus a beginners 90 minute "Score" course, Fees: VOA:Adults $12,
Juniors $9, Families $30 - NonVOA:Adults $18, Juniors $14, Families $45.
Vic. Primary Schools Western Zone Champs, VOA. (Map: Brimbank Park).
Directions: See VOA web site
Presentations & Short course Teams Event, BK. Woodend(Map: Hanging Rock ,
Scale:1:10K, 5m contours). Melway 609H9. Directions: See
Victorian Teacher's Games - by Rob Edmonds
Our fellow Emu, Rob Edmonds, has just run the Orienteering activities
associated with the Victorian Teacher's Games for the 3rd year running - great
effort Rob!. Thanks to the fellow Emus that
attended to help Rob out - Robyn and Helen. Congratulations to Rob and all of those that pitched in to help.
Monday Night Series
Earlier this year, as I spoke to Schon, I noted that I'd like to get an extra
run in each week - preferably on Monday nights as I was free then. I suggested a
highly localised series - to minimise driving. Other concepts proposed were
minimal effort - ie no controls to put out or pick up and zero cost - anyone
that's ever processed the takings knows that about 50% of every entry fee goes
directly to the VOA....clubs actually make very little out of running such
events....so no real loss.
Our initial event had only 9-10 people, but this has gradually grown to about
20 regulars and a few others that come from time to time. The accent on these
events has been innovation and fun...and the series has excelled in both
regards. We've learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way:
- We don't need control plates to run a good event; sending people out to
collect clues or answers to questions works just fine. So far, we've used fire
hydrants, the numbers on light poles and the 1st letters of street signs - all
- We don't need to pay $3 (rising to $4 this year) to go for a run around
the local parks/streets.
- There are lots of different event formats that can be used - and team
events that combine 2-3 people increase the camaraderie within the group and
strengthen the social bonds between participants.
- If people - whether it be the organiser or a participant - go to just a
little trouble to make the event more enjoyable, this feeds on itself and the
series becomes increasingly important as a social gathering to those that take
A concept that initially started as "Emus Training Nights" - but was renamed
so as to remove any implication of inter-club rivalry - has certainly been shown
to be viable. At this stage, we're considering a similar (but perhaps less
regular) event during Summer - a Saturday evening run, with the possibility of a
BBQ afterwards. Properly done - this could be an ideal activity for both regular
runners and those with families - more on this soon.
Northern Series starts in 4-5 Weeks
The Northern Series was started - by us, several years ago as a direct
response to being smothered by Bayside and to a lesser extent DROC in the
Eastern Series. With few maps in the Eastern area we decided that we would start
a series in the North and North-Eastern series - our home ground. This year, the
series will run for the 4th year - and we need as many Emus as possible to take
part. It's OK if you can't make it to all of the events - but please try to be
there, in club running tops, to as many as you (and your family) can make it to.
Ian Stirling coordinates Street orienteering in Melbourne and Schon and I
coordinate the Northern Series. One of us will contact you in the near future to
enlist your aid in setting courses. Note that the Northern Series is much easier
than most - in that series, we organise people to collect controls for you at
the end of the evening, so it's generally a little easier than some events.
Call Ian on 9876 3643 or Geoff on 9888 8121 if you're prepared to help out
during the summer series.
Permanent Street-O Courses
Our successful Monday night events encouraged us to think about other ways
that we could introduce our sport to others. It so happened that at this time, I
had just built a set of web pages for the VOA site to advertise their permanent
course in and around the Metropolitan area. I wondered if this concept might be
portable into street-orienteering. Here's how it's panning out so far:
- We pick one or more safe areas (from a traffic perspective) - on each of
these, we pick a number of control locations that can be identified by
- We pick a set of control locations and simple questions/clues. In the
Monday series, we use the last digit of street numbers or the 1st character of
street signs. In reality, we could just insist that people touch the control
location (this is safer - writing something down onto a card as you start to
move away from a control is actually quite risky).
- We publish a map with the controls on our web site and invite people to
try out street-orienteering for themselves - either alone or with a group of
friends. They can print as many copies of the map as they need and run at a
time of their choosing.
- We provide a web page that allows people to register the fact that they've
done a run and the score or time they attained. In addition, we provide a
display of who's done what times recently and the top 20 runs for each
course...it might also be useful to provide a message board so that
participants can communicate with one another - or to the entire group that
monitors that page.
....Why would we do this you ask?
- It's good for our community to get more people out walking or running.
It's good for participants - not just for exercise, but in time social bonds
will build up and some of these people will get together to run courses. They
may even decide to take part in the regular street-orienteering series if
there's on nearby. If there's no series nearby, they may be encouraged to
- An initiative like this provides another mechanism to expose our sport
more widely - to running clubs, schools, sporting groups, cubs/scouts,
retirement groups and so on.
- Even if nobody uses the service - a possibility, which I believe is most
unlikely - we will have spent nothing....other than a little well-intentioned
time and effort. Not a large price to pay for something that would seem to be
so beneficial to all concerned.
...What are the issues?
- The main one is public liability. We're investigating this at the moment
to see what the risk is and how we can minimise/manage this. Watch Emus Online
for future details of this initiative.
Emus in Japan - James goes to Hokkaido - by James Fell
Most of you will be aware that James fell is studying in Japan for 12 months -
and from reading his online blog at
he's clearly taking the opportunity to see
as much of the country as possible. He's been down south to Okinawa and most
recently, all the way up North to the semi-arctic island of Hokkaido....but
I'll let James tell you about it:
I’m back from
Hokkaido. I caught the bullet
Tokyo and then a sleeper train from
Sapporo, which is the capital of
Hokkaido. I bought some
pre-prepared food in
Tokyo, for tea, and ate it on the
train (after it departed 30 min late). I spent about 2-3 hours vomiting it
all up that night. The train was the bumpiest and noisiest train I’ve ever
been on, so it wasn’t very helpful for if you’re feeling sick. I hadn’t been
so sick in about 10 years.
The train ride went was scheduled to
go for 16 hours. I had booked a bunk bed, which was ok, but there wasn’t
really any seating on the train, so when you weren’t sleeping you had to be
on your bed anyway, which had no windows. In the morning they announced that
the train would be an hour late (I don’t know how they managed to make it an
hour late – they must have driven exceptionally slowly). This meant I had to
get off the train at a place called
Hakodate, and catch a train that departed after
the sleeper train left
Hakodate, but arrived in
Sapporo before the sleeper train arrived in
Sapporo. If I hadn’t changed
trains, I would’ve missed my connecting train to Wakkanai, and would have to
wait for the last train to Wakkanai, which arrives in Wakkanai at about
11PM, meaning that I would’ve been locked out of my accommodation.
After being sick, I decided it’s
safest to stick to McDonalds and bakery foods from the convenience stores,
so that’s pretty much all I ate for the rest of the trip.
When I arrived in Wakkanai, it was 5:45PM, and it was
already dark…and freezing. I had to wear a polar fleece top and trousers
(when I left
Kyoto, I was wearing t-shirt and
shorts). I woke up the next morning at 5AM and left the hostel at 5:05, to
start my walk to
Noshappu (which is
Japan’s second most
northern point). The most northern point is
Soya, which I could see
when I was walking, but because of my time restrictions, I couldn’t go
there. The lady in the tourist information centre had told me that there
was no way I could possibly walk to the
Noshappu from Wakkanai
as it was too far and that I’d have to catch a bus. It only took me 45
mins to walk there. So I spent 15 min there and then headed back to the
station for my 7:10AM train to
Sapporo (there are not many
trains to and from Wakkanai, so I had to fit in with the train schedule).
I also saw some kind of military installation there, with lots of strange
radio receiver things, presumably it played a role in intelligence when
that Korean plane got shot down by the
Wakkanai is covered in snow for
half the year and I noticed that all the buildings had two sets of doors
in their entrance, so it obviously gets very cold. The street signs are
tri-lingual, in Japanese, Russian and English (58 000 Russians enter
Wakkanai every year, which is probably greater than its population). The
background of the picture is black, because of the amount of daylight
around and the reflective properties of road signs. There was actually a
lot of daylight around when I took the photo.
After the 5 hour train trip to
Sapporo, I went to see the clock
tower. About 125 years ago, when
Japan was trying to copy
everything Western, they were pushing development in
Hokkaido is more European/American looking
than the rest of
Japan. The picture is
of the clock tower.
After the clock tower I went to the old Sapporo
Brewery. This was the first beer brewery in
Japan, and has a
museum and sampling area.
The train home left at 17:10, and was much nicer,
because I had my own room, so I could lie in bed and watch the scenery go
by as I travelled half way down
Japan. It was
particularly satisfying to see the people in the crowded
Tokyo commuter trains see me
lying in bed looking out the window at them in their crowded trains. The
train was delayed 45 mins at one of the stops in the morning, because
there was something wrong with the locomotive. At one stage they said that
the train was not able to depart the station, and they told everyone to
change to the bullet train. But only about a third of the passengers
changed trains, and then 5 minutes later they said the train was fine. I
wasn’t in a hurry, so I just stayed on the train.
The Antioxidant Myth - from New Scientist, August 2006
Excerpts from a recent Health-Related article that might be of interest...
- According to some estimates around half the adults in the US take
antioxidant pills daily in the belief they promote good health and stave off
disease. But are they doing us any good? Evidence gathered over the past few
years shows that at best, antioxidant supplements do little or nothing to
benefit our health. At worst, they may even have the opposite effect,
promoting the very problems they are supposed to stamp out.
- Scientists had known for a long time that people whose diets are rich in
fruits and vegetables have a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes,
dementia, stroke and certain types of cancer - the very diseases that are
associated with free radical damage. Now there was an explanation. Fruits and
vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants that can neutralise free
radicals. Green plants are full of antioxidants for good reason. They are
especially vulnerable to oxidative stress since they produce pure oxygen
during photosynthesis. To protect themselves they manufacture an assortment of
- Since the early 1990s scientists have been putting sever anti-oxidants
through their paces, using double-blind randomised controlled trials - the
gold standard for medical intervention studies. Time and again, however, the
supplements failed to pass the test. True, they knock the wind out of free
radicals in a test tube. But once inside the human body, they seem strangely
powerless. Not only are they bad at preventing oxidative damage, they can even
make things worse. Many scientists are now concluding that, at best, they are
a waste of time and money. At worst they could be harmful.
- In 1992 researchers at the US National Cancer Institute set about testing
beta carotene. They recruited more than 18,000 people at high risk of
developing lung cancer, either because they smoked or had been exposed to
asbestos, and gave around half of them beta carotene supplements. The trial
was supposed to run for six years, but the researchers pulled the plug
two-thirds of the way through after discovering, to their surprise and horror,
that those taking supplements were faring worse than the controls. Their lung
cancer rate was 28 per cent higher, and the overall death rate was up 17 per
cent. "It was a shock. It not only did no good but had the potential to do
harm," Halliwell says.
- The conclusion is becoming clear: whatever is behind the health benefits
of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you cannot reproduce it by taking
purified extracts or vitamin supplements. "Just because a food with a certain
compound in it is beneficial, it does not mean a nutraceutical [with the same
compound in] is," said Paul Coates, who works in the Office of Dietary
Supplements at NIH.
- For now, the advice is simple. "Stick to flavonoid-rich foods, red wine in
moderation, tea, fruits and vegetables," says Halliwell. "Don't start taking
high-dose supplements or heavily fortified foods, until we know more."
- This is of course, a very brief summary of the article.
Click here if interested in the full text of the
From issue 2563 of New Scientist magazine, 05 August 2006, page