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Race briefing 5 minutes to start.
With only one week to go, we decided to register for the 8 hours "Fox on the run" rogaine (https://qldrogaine.asn.au/event-calendar/8-hour/).  As we are not very fit at the moment we decided to take it easy and just walk the event.  Taking advantage of two nights of camping it was going to be as much as a relaxing weekend as a competition.

The event was on a farm about 35 km out of Warwick towards Goondiwindi.  We arrived around 16:30 on Friday afternoon after 2.5 hours of driving.  It started cooling down fast and we knew we were in for a cold night.  The trusty "pig" (gas bottle turned into a fire heater/stove/bbq/grill) kept us warm until we vanished into bed shortly after sunset.

If we thought the evening was cold, the morning temperature was so cold our table top, windscreen and even the condensation on the inside of our tent froze.  And something that we've never seen happen before - the dishwashing liquid was frozen.

Although it was extremely dry, I love this country and all its harshness.

Our friends and competition, Sue and Walter, arrived an hour before map handout, which was at 10:00.
Our camp for two nights.
This is where you make or break your race, at the planning.  Hence we all look very concentrated and serious.  Not our usual behavior, normally we don't concentrate and are anything but serious.  Ah well, at least Walter and I.

This looks confusing.
Kerrie and I agreed on our course (which is always a good start).  At the time our plan seemed pretty ambitious, but we ended up setting a good pace and actually managed to add on a couple of checkpoints.

The blue marker, on the map below, was our plan and the red lines are what we actually did.

Our course map, plan and actual route.

At the main camp, everybody was helping to collect firewood and get everything else ready for the race and the evening.

Little helpers are hard at work.  Kerrie is still looking very fit.

The fire is started in anticipation for a cold night.
We went out pretty strong and were close with another couple of teams for the first 45 minutes.  After about 30 minutes we made a small mistake, which cost us about 5 minutes as we were in the wrong gully.

Where the heck do we need to go?
The terrain was fast with some undulating hills but the usual lantana and thick scrub were missing.  Although there were a number of tracks, both farm tracks, and motorbike trails, the complete course was navigation based i.e. you couldn't follow any tracks as they just turned on themselves.

Kerrie is powering along.
We pressed on hard, as we knew nighttime would slow us quite a bit.  I would like to say that we hit every checkpoint (apart from the early 5-minute wrong gully) spot on due to skill, but I think luck had a bit to do with it as well.

Some arid landscape.

Yeah, found another one.

Another highlight was us spotting some old mineshafts in the middle of nowhere.  It is hard to imagine what life would have been like for those miners.  We were just happy to come across them during the day and not fall into them at night.

Old mineshafts are scattered around this particular area.
We managed to get out of the rough country by sunset and were ready to tackle night navigation and the way back to the finish along the pretty much flat country.

Sun is setting on and we are looking forward to the night navigation.

The only stops we had during the event were 2 lots of ten minutes for Kerrie to tend to her blisters i.e. pop and strap them.  With about 2km to go Kerrie had a few more blisters pop while walking and was in a bit of discomfort.  Looking forward to a hot meal and a cup of wine, we got back to the "hash house" with about 10 minutes to spare.

We finished an awesome day with a hot meal and drink sitting around a bonfire with likeminded people swapping stories of the last 8 hours.

Maybe it was because we were stuffed, but this night didn't seem as cold as the previous and the morning was definitely warmer.  Breakfast was provided and we all gathered again around the fire talking about our next adventures, before heading out to collect checkpoints.

Collecting checkpoints in the morning, which is a lot easier when you can drive most of the way.
Once again the organisers, volunteers, cooks, and competitors made this a most memorable event and we would like to thank everybody that helped out and made all this possible.

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