Metrogaine Jo’burg – Sandton

A really great Metrogaine Jo’burg evening on Thurs, 11 April 2013. It’s a fun run-race format that makes good use of our suburbs. A runner told me that they overheard a newbie out on the road saying something like, “I feel like I’m part of a secret club”. And you are!

Very few people are ever out at night, walking/running the streets in Jo’burg suburbs. Actually, unless a person is a regular runner/walker, the only use they make of their own suburb is to drive to and from driveway to main road – and then they lock themselves inside.

Around 40% of entrants had never done a Metrogaine before. Welcome to the Metrogaine secret club!

Metrogainers, thank you for coming out to play last night. I’m delighted that you so enjoyed the event and seems that most of you enjoyed the area with the out-of-bounds road and time-limits on road closures, which tweaked the strategy element a little more than usual. I don’t think we’ve had so many pairs finishing late for quite some time.

No pairs got all the controls, which is as it should be. Piers calculated that if you can run a 3:20 pace and you don’t make any mistakes you would have been able to get them all…

Top 3 results in each category are below.

90-minute course (Men)

  1. Michael Crone and Jean-Paul Wilson, 1310 (1st overall)
  2. Piers Pirow and Nathan Thompson, 1290 (2nd overall)
  3. Andrew Raubenheimer and Tony Abbott, 1160
90-minute course (Women)
  1. Stephanie Courtnage and Cian Oldknow, 1110
  2. Petra Anderson and Fiona Harrison, 980
  3. Bridget Altenkirk and Stephanie Hurry, 900
90-minute course (Mixed)
  1. Robert Crichton and Jane Swarbreck, 1250 (3rd overall)
  2. Clive Hogarth and Laura Hogarth, 970
  3. Cobus Bron and Marlies Kleyn, 930

1hr course (Mens)

  • Nico van Hoepen and Heine Weitz, 470 (3rd overall)
  • Rui Ganho and Miguel Fadario, 340
  • Keshav Sahadev and Richard Dube, 300

1hr course (Womens)

  • Sarah Pope and Magi Lingnau, 620 (2nd overall)
  • ? ? and Karine Bezuidenhout, 340
  • Caley Chaplin and Dawn Lagerwall, 340

1hr course (Mixed)

  • Brian Courtnage and Christie Courtnage, 640 (1st overall)
  • Chiara De Siena and Sebastian Commin, 420
  • Zoe Brentano and Derek Brentano, 370

You can download the full results (PDF).


Special thanks to Alec Avierinos (and Greg and Rory) for setting up the Metrogaine controls on their Nevarest app. There were 18 people logging their route on Nevarest and the system worked beautifully. There are so many opportunities for the app in Metrogaine/Rogaine-style events and  for permanent courses. Even more fun is that your friends and relations not at the race can track you online – real time!

According to Nevarest, Michael Crone and Jean-Paul Wilson logged 18.7km!

Nevarest is a free download for Android phones. Yes, they are working on an iPhone version.



There are always bound to be gremlins, purely because of the nature of this event. In the week or two since planning the controls (or more) to the event, things change. Also, the other element is about interpretation. What seems obvious (or funny) to me may not mean the same to you. I also scout during daytime so something easily visible during the day may not be so clear at night. I do try to keep the controls straight down the line but I get bored with bland clues so I aim to make some more interesting. Too interesting perhaps…

#17: Is the gate open or closed? The answer was OPEN because of the name of company, OPENGATE. BIG sign on the building. Yes, I realise you were looking at the gates. But, logically, who in their right mind leaves any gate open in Jo’burg? Nonetheless, I have given this answer to everyone because a majority of you got it wrong – but a number did get it right too.

#18: I planned this control a week ago. It WAS a big metal sign with two thick poles embedded in the ground. It is no longer there. But, if you queried it or I found a question mark on your clue sheet while checking, I have given it to you. You’d only know it was gone if you were there.

#37: Palm trees in a row… there was five in a row. The thing with this one was to not just look at any palm tree, especially those behind a wall/fence (I generally don’t choose features behind walls/fences), but to be in the correct position on the block (in relation to your distance from intersections etc).

#40: See-saw… you needed to be in the park, not peeking through the fence or, heaven forbid, phoning the security company to let you in! Also, read your map carefully. The park drawn is isolated and not connected to the main road but it is connected to the suburb road. I should have removed the pedestrian gate symbol but the time next to it said 18h00 – this should have indicated to you that there was some type of fence/access control. Also, where there is a park that you can run through, I generally put in a trail symbol, even if the trail itself doesn’t exist to show you that you can pass through from one side to the other. Generally the people who got this control correct approached it from within the suburb.

#51: Wooden posts outside the house. The answer was 6 but I believe that the people are repairing an irrigation system so there is evidence of one that has been removed to access the sprinkler for repair. I did give these points to you.


My thanks to the Sandton Sports Club for warmly welcoming Metrogaine to their venue. Great spot for drinks and pizzas afterwards.

As they live in the area, I asked my cousins if they would be a control (#14). They thoroughly enjoyed seeing you and handing out sweeties to you.

Pam and Lauren (they took part) jumped in at the very busy finish to direct runners in the right direction.

Fred and Liz (my mom) are the most wonderful helpers. They were on hand to help with registration, start, finish, sorting clue sheets, stapling to the results string and packing up all my stuff while I was chatting.

Thank you friends and relations.

The next one?

Not any time soon… Traditionally there has been a Winter Metrogaine on 21 June BUT I will again be away and my helpful clubmates have their hands full organising Gauteng Orienteering Champs so I can’t load the event on their shoulders again, as I did last year. I will email you once a new date is set but it won’t be until mid- to late-August.

Till then, happy running,


Ryan and Sherilee's track log. 9km!

1 Comment

  1. Lovely email from the Sandton Sports Club – they were the host venue for Metrogaine last night. It’s a great location with a running club based there, swimming lessons, beach volleyball, parkour training, a women’s bootcamp thing, soccer, touch rugby and probably a host of other activities. This is just what I saw in the course of two Thursday evenings.
    Hi Lisa,

    What can I say? Absolutely well done!!!! Did you say 111 teams, 222 participants? Amazing!!!

    It has been so refreshing dealing with someone so pro-active/ passionate/chilled / organised and fun, very fun.. Every community needs a whole lot more people like you. It was a privilege hosting your event at our club.

    Watching the participants winding their way through the suburbs with their headlights on was so amazing.
    It reminded me of my childhood, when the neighbourhood streets were an extension of the backyard. When people knew who their neighbours were and cared about them and when there was no need for JOC applications in order to venture out into the streets.

    If we did this every evening there would probably no need for security companies either.

    We would love you to do this more often. What about an event for families (to include kids ) in and around George Lea Park. Lets talk.

    Thanks so much.

    George Lea Park

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