Hanny Allston and Simon Uppill both posted commanding victories in the ACT Long Distance Championships at Awoonga on the ridge above Lake George today.
In a forest still smoking from recent burning off, Allston left many wondering if it was she who had set the forest alight; the Tasmanian Forester led from start to finish to win by close to 10 minutes. The Canberra Cockatoos’ Shannon Jones and Victorian Nugget, Kathryn Ewels were only seconds apart for much of the race but Jones edged away in the final few legs of the course to take 2nd place only 44 seconds ahead of Ewels in 3rd.
In the men’s race the NSW Stingers’ Julian Dent posted his now customary blistering start, winning the first 3 splits but came unstuck shortly after with a massive 7 minute mistake on the 5th control to open the door for South Australian Simon Uppill. Uppill, whose form has been on the rise all year, didn’t miss a beat on the hilly 17km course to take his second victory of the weekend. Dent made an impressive recovery to begin posting fastest splits immediately and fought back to within 3 and a half minutes of Uppill to take 2nd. Fellow Stinger Matt Parton produced one of his best performances of the year to take 3rd.
The Australian selectors now have the difficult task of selecting one of our strongest women’s teams ever, and (with the top 3 men unavailable for WOC selection) deciding how many men will get the chance to represent Australia this year. The team announcement will be made later this week.