Over the weekend I made the drive out with a good buddy to Clandulla state forest north of Lithgow, NSW. Weather was looking a little sketchy but a great winter day was put on for all the competitors of the 49th edition of the Paddy Pallin 6 Hour event. Being a first timer to rogaining, my buddy explained to me how the event works. People are given a map 1-hour prior to the start and on the map are different points marked on it with a number beside it, the number is a reference to the points value and difficulty to get to. Your team must plan a trip and then after the start try to get to those points to gather a total score, the highest score wins your category. Rogaining is different from other events where you can take any path you choose is suitable to your teams fitness or skill and navigating does play a large part in how successful you can gather these points.
The more experience, elite competitors go for the tough spots and families that want any easier, more enjoyable day of just being in the great outdoors can take their time and push themselves only as hard as they like. Fun for everyone.
As for the photography, one word comes to mind. Challenging. Not only did I have to try and get good active shots but also had to locate people out on the course during the day. Sort of shoot a moving target so to speak. Shooting at the start during planning was the first step while teams combed over the maps but out on the course was a different story. Waiting at points got some shots but quickly became a repetitive image. Out to the bush I needed to go, not an issue as I enjoyed the day wandering just as much as shooting. Pretty landscapes, gorges, clifflines and pagodas made for a pleasant day walking.
One piece of gear that I have been using lately to shoot editorial images at events has been my Cotton Carrier, www.cottoncarrier.com. This harness system has allowed me to carry two full size DSLR’s, D3s and D300 with grip, hands free while walking/navigating. Quick release system allows for easability to get camera free and ready to shoot should a competitor surprise me while on the trail. Check them out if you need to secure your camera when your hands are busy with climbing, eating, riding, or simply changing lenses.
Congratulations to NSW Rogaining who put on such a great event, the whole atmosphere was purely an outdoor community with everyone there to enjoy what the outdoors has to offer. An article in both Wild magazine and Women’s Running may be a result of this event and my images taken on the day, keep your eyes open for it early next year. I will surely put out a post when it is done.
Thx to all the organizer, volunteers and to my buddy Jason for driving. If you competed on the day, jump over to the gallery to see more images from the day.