Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A 20 year comeback!

We recently moved from Melbourne to Bendigo, a regional city of about 85,000 people. One of the side effects of this change is that outside the inner Melbourne suburbs, there is a different fire service, the Country Fire Authority, which is composed mainly of volunteers. In my distant past, I used to be a member of the local fire brigade in the small town that I lived in. That was up until nearly 20 years ago, when I moved to Melbourne.

The volunteer fire brigades not only put out fires and deal with other emergencies, but many brigades also compete against each other in a competition that involves the use of firefighting equipment, particularly older forms, such as manually pulled hose reels. This becomes a challenging test of skill, strength and speed. Back in my former CFA days, I was very active in this form of competition.

Fast forward to about a month ago, I assisted a passing traveller who had car trouble. There were other people helping out, including one guy from a local fire brigade. This sparked a conversation about the fire service and I mentioned that I used to be involved in the competitive side. Not long after, he had to go somewhere else, and the conversation was forgotten. However, last night, there was a tap on the window. It was the guy from the fire brigade. He had come to ask if I was still interested in joining their team this summer. I took some contact details, and will be calling the team coach later today. Good thing I keep myself fit, I may be rusty in the skill department, but I'm physically in top shape. I workout most days, and walk or cycle everywhere.

Fingers crossed for a place on the team this summer. :)

Now, most readers probably have no idea what these competitions look like. Well, I've just uploaded some videos to YouTube. Check these out for some samples.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I've been a bit slack in posting here, but just a quick update. Over the last few years, I've run in a few events. Notable ones include:

Australian Rogaining Championships, July 2007. This was a 24 hour hiking/navigation event in the Australian Outback, some 80km east of Alice Springs. The scenery was stunning. I haven't got time to recount it all here, but you can see it in my blog at .

Run For the Kids 2008. This is an annual charity run for the Royal Childrens Hospital. In 2008, I managed a time of 1:23.49 over 14.1km

Melbourne Marathon 2008. My first marathon attempt. I managed a time of 5:19, and had to walk the last 18km, due to injuries from a road incident 3 months earlier.

Run For the Kids 2010. Came back for more. Run For the Kids is a popular charity event, attracting 30,000 runners. The course is quite spectacular, taking in part of Melbourne's toll road system, with a tunnel and bridge crossing, followed by the redeveloped Docklands precinct. This year, the course was 14.38km long, and I finished in 1:24:54 in somewhat warm conditions.

I'll try and post more frequent updates! :)