Emus Online - 1st October 2006

To subscribe to this newsletter - send a request to hudson@bigpond.net.au. For past issues - please go to the Emus Orienteering Website - http://emus.orienteering.com.au/ ; this site has html and printable copies of Emus Online.

Member News

  According to the GPS I was descending Mt Fuji along its southern access track when at the 3000m level I slipped, tripped and performed a version of a swallow dive onto the rocks.

Apart from a severe bodily battering and cuts, grazes and bruising to all limbs, torso and head I sustained a fracture of my left radius at the wrist requiring insertion of plate and screws. (Hit the rock with the back of my left hand).

It happened somewhere on the marked track just below where the enclosed photograph was taken. It's not flat - is over 500m vertically to the road shown in the photo and a 30% grade according to GPS. Could have been worse - I was able to walk down. Injury was reduced in a Kyoto hospital and I received a full forearm cast, on condition that I see a surgeon in Melbourne within 10 days. We stayed on in Kyoto for another 4 days, then had 3 days in Hong Kong before back to Melbourne and insertion of the plate.

New Members

Orienteering News

Nillumbik Emus Website

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.

Email Lists

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

Oxfam 2007

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.

Recent Events

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.

Maxi 3 Hour Report

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 results included:

·        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:

From Peter Yeates

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.

From Louise Hall

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. J


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.

Coming Events

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:


1st : 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.,

8th : 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,

15th : 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 - 12:00.

21st : 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 gtamblyn@netspace.net.au before 8-Oct-06. Pay on the day

22nd : 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/- mark.valentine@ballaratbasketball.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


5th : 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. Organiser:Terry Haebich,

10th : Vic. Primary Schools Eastern Zone Champs., VOA. (Map: Jells Park). Directions: See VOA web site

12th : 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.

17th : Vic. Primary Schools Western Zone Champs, VOA. (Map: Brimbank Park). Directions: See VOA web site

19th : Presentations & Short course Teams Event, BK. Woodend(Map: Hanging Rock , Scale:1:10K, 5m contours). Melway 609H9. Directions: See www.vicorienteering.asn.au.

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. Rob's report/photos:

The VTG included Orienteering on two days, a score event at Eastern Park Botanical Gardens, and a bush event at the You Yangs.

Robyn Sunderland set the courses for Eastern Park with an event that took in points of cultural and historical interest along the Geelong beachfront and gardens and a newly made OCAD map. Questions included, ‘Which year did South Africa play cricket here?’ and ‘In which year did the Union Bank open here?’ Helen Schofield also assisted at registration.

Peter Grover completed the course under the prescribed 75 minutes and scored a perfect 20. Helen Edmonds and Denise Pike crossed the line in under an hour but messed up one answer.

The next day’s event was more popular with nearly 50 people taking part. There were a few newcomers, too. Mike Hubbert and Ian Baker, who took part in the original event at the You Yangs in 1971, were there as well.

Just two courses were set, a social (moderate) course and a competitive (hard) course. Men and women did the same courses. Nick Gibson won his second Gold medal at the VTG in three years and Tony Clark followed up last year’s Gold with Silver. Helen Edmonds won her third Gold medal in three years with Denise taking out the Silver and Laurie Niven, Bronze.

The VTG will be held in Geelong again next year. The previous two years were based in Albury - Wodonga. The event continues to grow in popularity with over 2000 participants this year. It is important to maintain an orienteering profile at the games if we are to make inroads into gaining acceptance in school curriculum. The games provide a great way to showcase our sport. In the 3 years orienteering has been part of the games, participation has grown from 12 to 37 to 57 this year.


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:

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:

....Why would we do this you ask?

...What are the issues?

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 http://www.jemuzu.blogspot.com/ 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 train to Tokyo and then a sleeper train from Tokyo to 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 Cape Noshappu (which is Japan’s second most northern point). The most northern point is Cape 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 Cape 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 USSR.

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, so 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...