Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Middle Distance

The WOC Middle Distance final held today at Darnaway Forest featured four Aussies – Hanny Allston, Anna Sheldon, Lachlan Dow and Simon Uppill.
Anna finishing in front of Darnaway Castle

Our best result was posted by Hanny, who finished in 21st position. She lost time early in the course - getting stuck in thick vegetation on the way to the first control and taking some time to convert to forest navigation after the previous sprint days. However she ran very strongly and made up significant time during the mid and late parts of the course. Anna made a return to WOC level competition with a 54th place. Anna commented that she thought the map and course were good but didn’t have the legs for racing today.

Overall, in the women’s event it was the experienced athletes that dominated. The 5.3km course was won by 39 year old Annika Billstam from Sweden, defending her title from 2014. Second place was taken by Merja Rantanen from Finland and third by Emma Johansson from Sweden. The Great British crowd enjoyed cheering Catherine Taylor into 5th position.

The Australian men were both satisfied with solid runs over the 6.2km course. Lachlan was one of the early starters and had a clean run, coming into the finish as the course leader. He finished in 56th position. Simon came 35th, less than 5 minutes off the winning time. He did not lose any significant time over the entire course – a remarkable performance in this terrain.

The men’s 6.2km race was won by Daniel Hubmann of Switzerland, repeating his victory from the middle distance World Cup race in Tasmania in January. Second was Lucas Basset of France and third was Olle Bostrom of Sweden.


Tomorrow is the relay, also to be held at Darnaway Forest. The Australian teams will be made of the runners from today along with Brodie Nankervis and Laurina Neumann.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hanny 5th in WOC Sprint Final!!

Tomorrow is a rest day for the Australian team but we are still going to be very busy. In the morning most of the team will be heading out into the forest for the middle model. In the afternoon the team will be hosting an afternoon team for our dedicated supporters here in Inverness.

The afternoon tea will be held at our accommodation, at Achnagairn Lodges in Kirkhill (just 15 minutes west of Inverness), between 3:30 and 4:30. Everyone is welcome and tea/coffee will be provided. Please bring a plate of food to share. When you get to Achnagairn Lodges we are the last lodge on the left, La Belle France Lodge, with an Australian flag out the front (see map below).,-4.4028458,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x6b27f04cbc8b7413

In the evening there will be a medal ceremony at the event centre at Eden Court from 6:00pm until 6:30pm. Come along and cheer for Hanny and her amazing achievement of 5th place in the WOC Sprint Final tonight.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sprint Final

The Sprint Final is tonight and if the previous sprints are any indication it should be fast paced and very exciting. Australia have two runners competing, Rachel, starting at 4:53pm local time and Hanny, starting at 5:21.

The competition area consists of a complex old town with many small lanes and several small areas of parkland and housing. To watch live, visit

For those of you getting up early in the morning to watch the sprint final, here are a few photos from training earlier in the week to get you in the mood for some sprint racing. See if you can match the photo of the terrain with a location on the map except. Good luck and happy sprinting!

The Sprints

Two out of three sprints are over and they have been very exciting! The sprint qualification on Friday night was an overall success, with both Hanny (5th) and Rachel (15th) qualifying for the final and the rest of the team having clean runs, only narrowly missing out on the final. Both the mens’ and womens’ courses  were quite similar, with a technical start in a residential area followed by a long leg across to another loop through a second residential area. Both areas consisted of irregular groups of houses with narrow passageways between, which required quick thinking and route choice analysis. The results in qualification were as follows:

Women:                                                              Men:
Hanny - 5th                                                          Bryan - 20th
Krystal - 22nd                                                       Ian - 21st
Rachel - 15th                                                        Brodie - 19th

Krystal had the following to say about her race; “I didn’t feel good physically but I was mostly happy with my route choice and I was planning ahead well. I believe that this was due to my technical preparation in the weeks leading up to WOC”.

Today was the sprint relay, with Rachel, Simon, Lachy and Hanny donning the green and gold. Rachel ran hard on a fast paced first leg and came back in 19th. Simon and Lachy were out next and apart from a small tumble by Simon at the spectator control had smooth races to bring the team into 20th before the last leg. Hanny had a strong finish and pushed hard to gain a few places and finish the team in 16th.

Rachel had the following to say about her race; “The mass start was intense with all teams running straight into the sand dunes. The pace throughout the race was very fast and although I was happy with most of my route choice, I was unable to keep pace with the leading teams. It was however a fun race with cheering spectators all around.”

Check in later on to read a preview of the sprint final which is on tomorrow.