22 October 2008

Inward Bound brought down by local bureaucracy

| johnboy
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Woroni reports that the ANU’s legendary Inward Bound event has been cancelled because getting nearby councils happy about it has proved too hard.

For those who haven’t heard of it, it goes something like this according to Wikipedia:

    “The competition is split into eight divisions which are dropped off, blindfolded, at an unknown location in the bush. The teams of four people then locate their position and race to their endpoint, picking the quickest route through the countryside. Distances from the endpoint vary from up to 100 km for the top divisions to 25 km for the lower divisions.”

What started as a bit of good underground fun has been so overly formalised that local council permission was needed and, predictably, was not forthcoming.

A lesson in there for us all.

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Hah, well, it was a bit of a logistical nightmare, it starts late afternoon and it is well after 3 am before the last team gets to actually start running. I did scrutineering for it one year, which was, um, interesting. They load each division onto a blacked-out bus, blindfold the runners as well, then drive them around the area for a couple of hours so they have no idea when you drop them off where they are. However, as they have all been drinking large amounts of water frequent toilet stops are need. So, the scruntineers get to sit in a blacked out bus going round in circles for hours, occasionally stopping to lead blindfolded people off the bus and making sure they are pointed away from anyone else whilst they relieve themselves. On the way there our bus hit a kangaroo and on the way home it ran out of petrol, and we waited on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night for 45 min for another bus to come along.

However, there was one occasion a few years back when group of teams which got shot at by an irate landowner, and there have been times when people get really seriously lost and run in totally the wrong direction for 30km, so you can see why they might want some local council involvement.

Hopefully the councils forget about it and IB can come back in ’09 or ’10. It would be a shame if the tradition died out.

This is an outrage. ANU should hold some muck-up events in said sad shires.

Rules to live by: It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

Their mistake was in the asking.

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