The Northern Territory Rogaining Association presents

Short Rogaine at Manton Dam

'Sweat & Swim'

6-hr Rogaine at
Manton Dam

Saturday 7 October 2000

The only NTRA "bush" event of 2000, the Sweat and Swim Rogaine was held at Manton Dam, less than an hour's drive from Darwin, during the early cusp of tropical "buildup" weather.

The photo below shows the competitors receiving their final instructions before embarking on the event. The waters of Manton Dam can be seen in the background. Canoes were available adjacent to the administration area to enable competitors to cross the dam without getting (too) wet.
List of Results

Event Reports
Course Setter
        Paul Sharp
        John Ulrichsen, Annie Whybourne
Competitors receive final instructions for the Sweat and Swim Rogaine
Manton Dam, October 2000
Final briefing before Event
Photo Courtesy of:   Peter & Chris Slade


Team Team Members Score Open M W X MV WV XV SV Jun
Philip Brownscombe, Mark Raines, Daniel Burger. Ian Bulman
(late 4 minutes)
760 1 1              
Brooke Cunningham, Megan Salter 570 2   1            
Jon Potter, Susi Bertei 550 3     1          
Emma Fitzsimmons, Philippa Cotter 500 4   2            
Ian Carr, Christine Gallagher 460 5     2          
Sara Martin, Anna McKinley, Metta MacNeil 350 6   3            
Maggi Richardson, Graham Cook, Liz Copeman
(late 9 minutes)
320 7     3          
Michael Bourcher, Yin Paradies, Michael Brand 290 8 2              
Ingrid Bucens, Andrew O'Loughlin, Bart Currie, Vicki Krause 280 9     4          
Dana Fitzsimmons. Kirsten Blair 270 10   4            
David Palmer, Tony Galliford
(late 19 minutes)
260 11 3              
Gabrielle Driver, Aaron Driver 210 12     5          
Margot Forbes, Cathy Gaylard 190 13   5            
James Potter, Byron Farrell, George Moss 180 14               1
Ron Ninnis, Julie Mastin 170 15       1        
Chris Tyzack, Jack Ellis 110 16       2        
Larraine Shepherd, Anthea Duquerin, Kate Race 110 17   6            
Jeroen Pope, Bronwyn Pope, Andrew Hall, Andrew McGinn 110 18     6          
Cathy Parker, Gwen Draper, Kristina Hewer, Leontine Muis, Carmel Rankin 70 19 4              
Tim Ellison, Jayde Ellison, Brooke Ellison, Luke Ellison, Trent Ellison, Matt Ellison 0 20                
Peter Slade. Chris Slade
(>30 minutes late)
Kate Ahmelman, Rachel Nolan (>30 minutes late) 500

'Sweat & Swim' Reports

Events are best judged on the basis of participants' reactions, and it was very pleasing in this case to observe many tired but happy bodies doing what comes most naturally at the end of a rogaine on Saturday 7 October 2000: eating, talking, and sleeping!
62 competitors (22 teams) took up the challenge set by the course setter, Paul Sharp. About half of the teams stayed out on the course up until the finishing time after dark, and they tackled the course in several different ways.
The overall winners were Phillip Brownscombe, Mark Raines, Daniel Burger and Ian Bulman, with an impressive score of 760. In second place and winners in the Open Women category were Brooke Cunningham and Megan Salter, with 570 points. Third overall and winners in the Open Mixed category were Jon Potter and Susi Bertei, with 550 points.
Participants came from a wide age range, from 5 years to 57, and one of the striking aspects of the results was that many of the mixed and women's teams outperformed their male competitors.
Many people remarked on the interesting country on the course, as well as the wildlife, and the novelty of paddling canoes across Manton Dam to reach the northern half of the course was a winner. Mind you, when 9.00pm was approaching not a few chose to simply swim back to the Hash House!
Many thanks are due to the people who contributed to the success of this event- Paul Sharp (course setter), Annie Whybourne and John Ulrichsen (course vetters), Annie Whybourne, Rachel Nolan and Gurmeet Singh (catering), Jon Potter (sundry logistics) and many others who helped in large and small ways- you know who you are!
Thanks are also due to the local traditional owners of the land, the Larrakeyah, the Parks and Wildlife Commission, the Power and Water Authority, and Kormilda College and Howard Springs Scout Group (for loans of the canoes).

The winning team, # 14, as related by two of its members;

"Phil, Dan, wait up! Where are you guys, don't leave me in the dark. Where's my compass? Oh no the batteries have died in my torch. Where am I? What was that splash…?"
I awake in a cold sweat, my legs still smarting from a combination of the scratches inflicted by the scrub and spending six hours following compass bearing rather than map contours. Under the steady beat of the ceiling fan in the half-light of dawn, I realized I was in my bed and I must have been dreaming, or was it a nightmare?
I had survived my first rogaine, and in fact ended up coming in first with the winning the team even, though my lesser physical fitness meant that we had a four-minute penalty and lost 40 points.
The day started well paddling across Manton Dam, well stocked with jellied snakes, water bottles, map and compass. We had decided on our route negotiating the shortest passage with coloured pins and a piece of string. I think Phil had done this before! The first marker was obvious…("hey this is pretty easy and could be even be fun").
On to the next, sneakily hidden in a dark grove of trees. Going well. I am not totally unused to guiding myself through the scrub with a compass and map. A bunch of us went for a five-day walk near Koolpin creek earlier in the year and managed to find our way out without any dramas.
Next marker is maybe up the hill here. Can't quite see it yet. Ah, Dan's spotted it. Eagle-eye Dan, sounds like a good name. Still having fun! These burrs are really hard to get out of your leg hair. And Phil's running around in his speedos!
Three hours latter maybe this really isn't so much fun anymore. Dan and Phil are definitely the fitter of the four of us. I must keep up might get lost otherwise. More markers, more points. Good, good, good. I wonder how the girls are going? Haven't seen anyone else for a while.
Where's the sun gone? Pity they don't put reflective strips on the markers. I hope there are no snakes out and about, don't really want to have to suck on anyone's bitten leg, least of all my own. Now to get across this dam wall? Do you really think this is the best way to go. Okay. Keep looking right there's a big drop to the left and not much water below. Ouch! Funny place to leave a bit of metal, someone might trip and fall….
No one fell and we all made it across. How many more markers to find? That many. Oh well lead on. Darn all my jellied snakes are gone. Still I should have enough body reserves for the last hour.
With 10 minutes to go, Phil and Dan broke out into a steady jog encouraging Ian and me to join in. Me, who had come close to collapsing just 2 hours earlier after scaling a steep incline. It was now dark, and here we where jogging across what looked like a dried out buffalo-stomped swamp. The uneven ground threatened to send me sprawling to the ground but we managed to reach the road ankles intact. Finally the Hash house and "What, everyone else is here!" and "Oh no we are late!"
Bugger, should have kept running harder! Oh well, off with this stinking shirt, down with a litre of cold water, this grass feels good and I don't care if I'm lying here in my jocks. I'm too stuffed to care. Ouch! Mossies. Maybe I should cover up. A swim, cramp (to drown after all that effort…no way), great vege-burgers, more cordial and home.
Yes, we won and although there was no trophy there was more than enough glory an self-satisfaction. I just might be mad enough to do this again!!!!

Mark Raines

We picked up the map at 1400. Thinking of the open South Australian paddocks where I usually rogained, it appeared possible to pick up all the checkpoints in six hours. We set a course going clockwise around the lake, trying to get most of the big points while it was still daylight.
1500 Start: Our team of four- myself, Dan Burger, Mark Raines and Ian Bilmon- dived into one canoe and began our sinuous course across the dam. We were first to the other side but were soon overtaken by a mixed team, who beat us to the first checkpoint, number 40.
Next was the bush bash to 31. We very quickly had burrs adhering to every inch of our legs, working their way steadily into our socks.
1525: The mixed team that passed us disappeared into the distance, and I realised we were not going to win this time.
After 31 was another traipse through the long grass to 60, which, thanks to Ian's navigating, we found right away.
Did I say long grass? From 60 to 53 was a 2 kilometre slog through the wilderness feeling like the Fukawi tribe. With no features to distract us, we went straight to the gully containing 53. Too easy. Time 1615.
We walked north up the creek to the ridge, then took a bearing to 80. Next stop was 61 at 1710, then straight down and up to 42 and a drink. Time 1730
We then headed along a footpad to 54, one of the more scenic parts of the walk. Legs were beginning to tire now, and a team we met just after 54 left us in the dust on the climb to 55, where we required ten minutes rest and a clean out of our socks.
We then went north to the fence and were grateful to find a four-wheel drive track beside it. This resulted in our breaking into a celebratory trot to 56. The sun was getting low. We'd been left behind by two teams already, and we were tiring. Cleaning up the course was not going to happen.
We went south to the fence/track and followed it at good pace to a corner, then navigated straight down the steep and slippery hill to 71, which we picked up in the fading light. A quick scramble around the steep rocky edge of the dam and we were at the north dam wall.
It was seven o'clock. We had a decision to make. Did we go south across the dam, get 52, then recross the dam to 65 and barrel down the Stuart, hopefully picking 62 and 64 up? Or did we get 65, then cross the dam to 52, 41, 32 and 43? We chose the latter, which meant a jog up to 65 and back to the dam wall, which we negotiated in the dark. (Was that legal?)
52 was easy to find, then south to 41 and SSE up the creek to 32, a somewhat lucky find. Time was running out. A cracking pace to 43. 20 minutes to 9 pm. Did we swim the dam or run the long way around the swamp to the road? We ran. And ran. And ran. Would it ever end?
Then there was the car park and finally the hash house. We were four minutes late, but it felt so good. Time for the most needed swim of our lives.
I don't know how, but we'd won. Thanks to Paul, John and Annie for setting a terrific rogaine. It was a superb location. The abundance of fresh water and interesting country were thoroughly enjoyable.

Philip Brownscombe