Parklands Dash Experiment Summary

by Secretary

Parklands DashFirstly a big thanks to all the riders and volunteers who came today I’m glad you all had a good time and truly appreciate the feedback I got from everyone.

We had 15 riders from right across the coast (Bushrangers, CORCA, Trailblazers, Sunshine Orienteers and a couple of privateers). We also had 7 volunteers which was perfect. The volunteers were briefed and sent off to the checkpoints with coloured pens and task instructions in hand. The riders were all registered in short order and the ride briefing and race start happened dead on time. Quinton, Will and Peter came flying into the finish area just after 30min. Nice work everyone!

The race started with a quick ride briefing, then at 10am the riders had to collect their maps and proceed to the checkpoints in any order or direction they wanted. As this was an experiment there were only 3 checkpoints. Two of these checkpoints had a special task to be completed by the riders.

During registration each rider drew their card which was to be marked at each checkpoint. Paul drew the Joker and was given a choice of advantages. Either look at the checkpoints before everyone else or skip the checkpoint tasks. Paul chose to have the checkpoints early to get a headstart and ended up eating the dry weetbix.

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Checkpoint “Clubs” (Top of the hill in Lower NZ) – This point was manned by Craig and his task was to hand out the “package” (an egg) which was to be delivered back to the finish area. To my disappointment only ONE egg broke (you guys must have stuffed your camelbaks with cotton wool or something). Peter Barron had to stuff his egg in his jersey and then had a bit of tumble down Lower NZ and STILL didn’t break it, that’s impressive!

Checkpoints “Diamonds” (Top entrance to Beehive) – This point was manned by Toby and Kerrie and the task here (suggested by Toby) was to have the riders eat a dry weetbix (gluten free of course) before they could proceed. Apparently this was rather unpleasant from all reports but everyone suffered through it and continued on. Nice work Toby, I think that will become a standard task for the next rides.

Checkpoint “Spades” (4-ways intersection) – This was the furthermost checkpoint and the one that had the most ways to get there so it will probably be a regular checkpoint. Al and Tim shot down there and were ready to mark off the rider’s cards and take some lovely photos of the riders as they came through. Thanks guys.

The general feedback was:

  • Needs to be longer (very good to hear as the real race will be a lot longer and take up most of Parklands).
  • Choose checkpoints carefully to promote singletrack use (agreed, singletrack is what we are here for!)
  • Map needs bigger writing (I hear you Alf)
  • Tasks for all checkpoints (oh there will be!)
  • Breakfast (good call, some bacon and eggs would’ve worked well)
  • The orienteering guys and John gave me some genius ideas on how to do unmanned checkpoints which may be extremely useful for future races and take the load off the volunteers.

So all in all I think this worked out pretty well and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone to get the big one happening soon.

Thanks again everyone for your help and advice and thanks to Eugene and Claire at QPWS for helping out with the permit.

If anyone has anymore feedback for the next event then please let me know at [email protected]