Record Numbers at 7th Annual Lactic Turkey Piha Rogaine

Tuesday 10 June 2008, 3:05PM

By Lactic Turkey Events



On Saturday Lactic Turkey Events put on its 7th annual Piha Rogaine. 445 people forming 154 teams of 2-5 people competed in the 3 or 6 hour rogaine in the bush-clad Waitakere Ranges west of Auckland. This area offers great terrain for a rogaine. With vast networks of walking tracks (ranging from nice wide tracks to indistinct trails) and plenty of hills – using the planning time to plan a good route is crucial.

This turnout made the event the biggest rogaine ever held in New Zealand, overtaking the previous record of 419 people at the same event in 2006.

A rogaine involves teams of 2-5 people navigating to a series of checkpoints in a set amount of time (either 3 or 6 hours). The checkpoints are allocated different points and the winner is the person with the most points who finishes in the allocated time. Penalty points are taken off your total score for arriving back to the event centre after the allocated time. Competitors get an hour planning time before they start to try and plan the route that collects the most points in the allowed time.


The start to a rogaine is pretty special to watch because on the gun, teams (with all their packs on), take of in a rush in 20 different directions. If you didn’t know what was happening you’d think you’d arrive to watch some weird loony race. This exciting start was made further interesting as the Lactic Turkey Team had created a small map of the park used for the event centre and a mini rogaine in this area meant teams could easily collect a further 200 points.

The 3 hour event was most popular on the day (365 people), with local lads in the Open Mens team “Thursday Night Exhibitionists” (Tom Densem, John Douglas and Greg Hall) taking out the victory with 1,280 points. These guys are some of the unofficial Huia Bush Runners club who have Thursday night 5.45pm bush runs from the west end of Exhibition Drive (Titirangi) every week (all are welcome). We’d expect a similar result from them in the next rogaine in their home territory! Second and previous winners of the Piha rogaine was open mens team “Totally Random” (Kane Alward and Dave Crofts) with 1,230 points. Third was the vet mens team “Development Active” (Jonathan Ash and Simon Mrkusic).


Only around 20 percent of the total teams decided to do the longer 6 hour event. In past rogaines the womans teams have always been close to winning and it was their turn in 2008, showing that cunning is sometimes better than pure speedy running! Team “Date Loaf and Pikelet” (Marquita Gelderman and Erin Roberts) took it out with 1,690 points. Marquita is no stranger to navigation, having represented NZ in orienteering for years, and together with her team partner have recently started adventure racing. They planned the race almost perfectly finishing just 3 seconds late with a valiant sprint finish, however this tardiness earned them a 10 point penalty. Second was junior mens team “Jamaican Hopscotch Mafia” (Edward Sai Louie and Sam Gapes) who were just 40 points behind, then in third was the vet mens team “The Star Bellies” (Barry Fox and Brent Raynor).

Several schools teams came out for a rogaine experience which was great to see. There were five St Cuthbert’s teams, a Whangarei Boys team, an Auckland Grammer team and a team from Manurewa School.

All teams made it back in one piece to enjoy the post event meal of a sausage and some pizza over much route analysis. More than 100 pizzas delivered to Piha (40 minutes drive from Auckland) was a memorable trip for the delivery boy! And for dessert - a local home baked treat, a Catlin Cookie.

For full results, photos please go to our website

The next of the Lactic Turkey Rogaines is on the 12th July at Huia.