Sunday’s Badge event was a new Albury Wodonga map on steep spur gully terrain at Mt Terrible. With no elite men able to make the trip from ACT or NSW, the race was left to a battle between Blair Trewin, Bruce Arthur and Paul Liggins. Despite all runners recording times within 90 seconds of each other, the race was virtually decided in the first 3 minutes. An interesting mapping interpretation and control placement saw Arthur and Liggins both navigate to a control on a similar feature nearby. Liggins mispunched, Arthur checked the code and found the correct control in 90 seconds, while Trewin punched correctly and the lead never changed thereafter. Liggins posted the fastest time, but was disqualified, while Trewin edged out Arthur by 1 minute.
In W21A, Kirsten Fairfax (59mins) had a huge win over Briohny Davey (81) and Ilka Barr (85).
The best terrain of the weekend was left till Monday for the 2006 Winter Classic. It was a return to Barambogie South and the steep granite hillsides of the 2003 Australian Long Distance Championships.
Arthur started well and had picked up 3 minutes on Trewin in the first 40 minutes with some good route choices through the tough and technical terrain. These two stayed together for much of the next half an hour, but then Arthur tried to pull away with a different route choice. This decision backfired with Arthur losing 5 minutes at the end of the leg on a complex granite hillside. Trewin pushed on strongly to win in 94 minutes, with Arthur (98) and Liggins (102) tiring in the last 15 mintues of a very physical course.
Trewin heads to Finland today to prepare for the Forssa Phone Games and Jukola relay next weekend.