The Christmas 5 Days championships concluded today with the last event held on the rugged granite terrain of Beechworth Gorge.
It was a chasing start format for the elites. The day was made even more challenging with an extremely steep uphill finish; quite warm temperature and courses that were 20% longer than expected.
Grace Crane was the outstanding runner of the carnival and she retained her 20 minute lead today, despite having a sore back from yesterday’s event. She recorded a winning time of 84 minutes. Kathryn Preston got within one minute of Grace today with a strong run while Felicity Brown showed great form in being only 4 minutes behind for 3rd today. Overall it was Grace, Kathryn, then Aislinn Prendergast, Felicity, Jasmine and Mace Neve, Susanne Casanova and junior Heather Muir rounded out a strong top eight.
Julian had a somewhat narrower 4 minute lead going into the chasing start but blew his competitors away with an outstanding time of 65 minutes, with Matthew Crane being next best with 72, then David Andersson on 73. Julian thus won by a 12 minute margin, from David, then Matthew who jumped ahead of Simon Uppill. Rob Preston was 5th followed by the dynamic junior duo of Ian Lawford and Olle Poland.
The other classes were decided on a points system with the best 4 of 5 results counting. Placegetters, Australians unless stated otherwise, were:
Men’s B – Tim Hatley, Steve Doyle, Matthew Goodall (NZ)
Men’s C – Ulu Aeschlimann (Swiss) Paul Pacque, Ted van Geldermalsen.
Men’s D – Eoin Rothery, Steve Flisk, Alex Tarr
Men’s E – Torsten Smedslund (Finland), Robert Allison, Andrew Campbell
Men’s F – Kylian Wymer, Alan Kuffer, Duncan Currie
Men’s G – Ewan Shingler, Jared McKenna, Mason Arthur
Women’s B – Jenny Bourne, Isabelle Wymer, Nicola Dalheim.
Women’s C – Paula Savolainen, Jo Allison, Carolyn Jackson
Women’s D – Ulla Enderby (Sweden), Lisa Annersand (Sweden), Ann Scown
Women’s E – Kelly Candy, Danielle Goodall (NZ) Caroline Taurany
Women’s F – Joanne Hill, Alyssia Wymer, Sarah Davies
Novice – Ellen Currie, Torren Arthur, Nea Shingler
The 2nd MTBO event was held at Stanley, co-ordinated by Leigh Privett and other members of the Albury-Wodonga club. This was a 60 minute score event witha twist, in that older riders received bonus points before they started. However Robbie Preston still managed a win from Geoff Robinson, while the speedy Carolyn Matthews was the victor in the women’s field.
The Christmas 5 Days had a variety of excellent maps; many international competitors; really good weather and the beautiful town of Beechworth as the centre, thus ensuring that all had a good time. Many thanks to the huge number of Victorian orienteers who made this carnival possible.