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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Dawn of WOC 2015: The Sprint Qualification

Today we preview our six runners competing in the sprint qualifier, which is tomorrow! The first starts are at 6pm (UK time, GMT+1), and the start lists are available here ( Keeping track online is easy this week as well, the woc2015 home page ( has plenty of info, just click on the respective race to get the available start lists, live results and live broadcasts/gps tracking, although broadcast tracking incurs a fee (bought here if you intend to watch several races, pay through the IOF live centre for the best deal.

The Aussies competing are:
Krystal Neumann: 18:11
Rachel Effeney: 18:22
Hanny Allston: 18:28

Ian Lawford: 19:05
Brodie Nankervis: 19:27
Bryan Keely: 19:28

If you're back home, this is really early Saturday morning (add 9 hours to convert to Australian Eastern Standard time)
The qualifier also allows us to introduce three of our runners on debut, which are Brodie, Ian and Krystal. The three runners certainly seem a lot calmer than I remember being at my first WOC!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Beginning

G'day everyone, and welcome to the first blog entry for this years world orienteering championships, in rainy Inverness, Scotland! While the sun has not shown its face for more than a few minutes this week, the Australian team is full of smiling faces, as we begin to arrive in Inverness. Competitors, managers and coaches are arriving one by one, as they travel from Sweden, Norway, France, Australia and Italy, while some of our supporters arrive too (one supporter is walking the 120-odd kilometres from Fort William to Inverness - go mum!).

To start with, its time for a quick little overview of our week so far. On Monday, most of the team had assembled in Inverness so in true athlete fashion we spent a lot of money on food at Tesco! In the evening the team took part in a sprint test race run by a Scottish orienteering club. The race was a fantastic way to prepare for the coming Sprint races and there was even a Quarantine.

On Tuesday the team headed out for two forest sessions, one in long terrain and one in middle terrain. Although it was a very wet day, the terrain was beautiful and at least there seemed to be less ticks! For a sneak peak of the middle training map check out @auswoc on Instagram (link below). Following this the team headed out to loch ness for some touristing, which would have not been a true Scottish experience without a taste of some Haggis and a trial of some "traditional" Scottish clothing.

Tuesday was a special day for another reason, Simon became one year older (rumour has it he is now 40). Unfortunately Simon's cake went missing and he had to settle for apple crumble for dessert!

Today  half the team headed out to a sprint map on the coast while the others headed back into the forest for some more middle training. Big thanks to Icebug who have been helping us keep out feet in the slippery Scottish terrain. The rest of the day was spent traversing the Scottish coast, checking out the Sprint areas for the following days.

The first race this year is the sprint qualification, on Friday (July 31st). From Friday, the program is:

Friday 31st: sprint qualification

Saturday Aug 1: sprint relay

Sunday Aug 2: sprint final

Monday 3rd: rest

Tue 4th: middle distance (final)

Wed 5th: relay (forest)

Thur: rest

Friday: long distance (final)

Following the Aussie WOC team is easy this year, and we are expanding our social media outreach with the debut of our social media gurus Ian and Brodie. You can keep up to date through following our blog as well as Orienteering Australia on Facebook, following @OrienteeringAUS on Twitter, and now on Instagram @auswoc as well. Hopefully that's enough websites to get you up close and personal with our team!