posted by Quyu Kong, with edits from Lexing Xie

Sports is a prominent theme in Canberra. This post celebrates two of our competitive athletes, and looks back at two outings when the whole lab flexed our muscles and got a little bit wet.

Inward Bound Champion - Siqi Wu

Inward Bound (IB) is an endurance and orienteering running competition held between the residential halls and colleges of the Australian National University. With 53 annual races having been held to date at ANU, it is a unique and the most prestigious event combining aspects of both orienteering and rogaining while challenging personal endurance.

There are generally seven divisions in the competition. Students are dropped off, blindfolded, at an unknown location in the bush. Division 1 is the longest in distance and most challenging. This year Siqi and his team were dropped near Clear Ranges, deep south of Canberra. He is the only returning athlete in the team, with 3 other new comers. Their bold plan was to take a longer but more runnable route, which separated them from all other teams. However, this also incurred doubts since people couldn’t tell whether they chose this route on purpose or got lost completely. Eventually, all teams merged to the same path with 10km to go. Siqi’s team overtook the leaders with mere 4km from end point. After about 13 hours and 94km of running, they claimed the title of Inward Bound 2017. Siqi believes winning IB is surely a remarkable memory for his ANU journey and it’s also one of his highest achievement.

For those who are interested in orienteering, Siqi pointed out that there are many standard orienteering events which focus on shorter distance. Reading geographical features, navigating via compass and enduring long distance trekking are three basic components in this sports. He suggests beginners should ideally practice a lot in those events before participating in IB, otherwise it’s very likely to get lost in the middle of the night and find yourself surrounded by kangaroos and wombats!

GovHack Awardee - Alex Mathews

Alex Mathews took his enthusiasm in cycling to the GovHack 2017 Hackathon. GovHack is an annual volunteer run international competition and community development event, which brings together technology creators and innovators from the private, public and government sectors with government data to explore and discover new ways to help create a better society. In a team of 5, they completed a project named “Scenic Cycle” which provides Canberrans with a platform to plan leisurely bike routes around the city. The aim is to foster interest in riding beyond commuting and encourage the community to discover more about their local area. The project is built on top of the Elastic Stack where Logstash handles location data ingest, processing and indexing, and storage and querying is performed by Elastic Search. The project eventually brought them the “Best Use of the Elastic Stack”.

This photo shows four smiling award winners (right to left - Christopher Murphy, Nathan Bremner, Alexander Mathews, Chris Atty) and representative from Elastic.

Bowling night in Belconnen

On 12 October, we had a bowling night at AMF Bowling Belconnen.

As we took over three lanes, we started our game by competing individually at each lane. Many of us had never played bowling before, but we picked up and enjoyed the game pretty soon. After the fierce competition, Andrei won the first game, followed by Dawei who won the second one. For the last game, we competed as groups and the fun of the bowling remained throughout the whole night!

Kayaking on Lake Burley Griffin

On 8 December, we drove to Yarralumla Bay on the beautiful Lake Burley Griffin for kayaking.

The warm sunshine and moderate temperatures were perfect for enjoying the view and paddling on the lake. Some in the group are new to kayaking, some are veterans. Various spontaneous races spun out of the group, such as quick paddle to the beach award (Alex and Swapnil), newcomer in solo kayak award (Shidi), most kayaks in one selfie award (Quyu). Two hours passed quickly, all kayaks converged back to land. It was time to dry ourselves from paddle splashes, and smash each other in a table-tennis game.

Our culinary pursuits before and after group outings included a burger join and an Asian restaurant. It leaves room to be more adventurous next year. Left: dinner at London Burger and Beer before bowling night. Right: dinner after kayaking at Asian Noodle House.

December 21, 2017
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