You are likely thinking what the hell is a Rogaine? Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation in which teams of two to five people visit as many checkpoints as they can in a set period of time, typically in the bush. The checkpoints are worth varying amounts of points depending on the level of difficulty in reaching them. The team that returns back to the starting point (referred to as the ‘Hash House’ and I have no idea why) within the set time frame with the most amount of points wins. You might say it is extreme, competitive bush walking!
I competed in my first Rogaining event last Saturday night. So here is what happened. We arrived at the event, which was in the middle of nowhere, for the map hand out at 8pm. All teams were given maps detailing the environment and showing the location of each of the checkpoints. Navigation is totally new to me, and my innate sense of direction is terrible, so I left it up to my two other team mates to plan out our route. They mapped out a course including as many checkpoints as we thought we could get to in 8 hours. The skill is all in the map reading, planning of the route and the navigation.
At 10pm the event began. Basically I followed my two male team mates through the bush for 8-hours, wearing headlights and shin guards, known as ‘gaiters’, while they navigated us to the checkpoints. We were hiking through thick shrub, climbing up rocks, running on rocky trails, avoiding spiders, snakes and toads, and having a great time. The photo below shows myself and one of my team mates. That is me in the blue.I must admit that at about 2am I began questioning why I was participating in this event. I was feeling a bit fatigued and my ankles felt sore. I slammed down a gel, ate some of my Chocolate, banana and peanut butter slice (recipe below) and carried on running through the bush.
Just before the sun started to come up we realized that we would have to miss out on a number of our intended checkpoints in order to get back to the ‘Hash House’ within the time limit. The last two hours of the event involved us running on the trails to get back in time. We made it back at 5:57am – 3 minutes to spare.
Although we did not reach all of our checkpoints we still managed to finish third out of 50 teams. Not bad for my first Rogain. Honestly, it was all thanks to the navigation experience and skill of my team mates. I was just happy to try and keep up.
I took 2 gels for rapidly absorbed carbs, but I also wanted some real food, so I made this Chocolate, banana and peanut butter slice. It had a decent amount of carbohydrates from the banana, oats and honey without being sickly sweet. The peanut butter, nuts and coconut made it filling without being too heavy in my stomach. It was easy to eat and tasty also. This is an ideal whole food slice when you need slow release carbs for longer training sessions or races.
1 mashed banana
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup peanut butter
½ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
¼ cup coconut flour, sifted
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup cashews
Large mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
20cm x 20cm baking tray
- Pre-heat the oven to 160°C
- Combine the mashed banana, honey, peanut butter, coconut milk and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into a 20cm x 20cm baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake the slice in the oven at 160°C for 30 minutes. Allow the slice to cool briefly then use the edges of the baking paper to carefully remove it from the baking tray. If you are very careful, use a spatula to move the slice off the baking paper as I have found that allowing slices to cool with baking paper underneath can make them a bit soggy.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares.
If you are curious about the sport of Rogaining check out the Queensland Rogaine Association’s website http://www.qldrogaine.asn.au/qraonline/html/home.htm