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Orienteering Australia is the national body responsible for the organisation and promotion of orienteering throughout Australia.

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Wildfire Sports Ultra Long- Nick Hann NZ the BIG winner

Monday, 1 September 2014

In yesterday’s Wildfire Sports Australian Ultra Long Distance event held at Kooyoora State Park the big winner was the NZ Junior Nick Hann who flew to Victoria especially to run in this event with his ultimate aim being to win the $2,500 valued return air ticket to Europe. The overall winner would be the winner of one of the four elite classes who was closest to or under the winning km rate for their class. The “base km rate” for each of the classes was: M21E 6:13min/km, M17-20E 6:27min/km, W21E 7:24min/km, W17-20E 8:05min/km.

Nick Hann was the winner of the M17-20E class in a time of 1:38:33 for the 14km course which gave him a 7:00min/km rate. This gave him the fastest km rate of all the classes as the winner of the M21E Ian Lawford in a time of 2:24:40 for the 20km course, with a km rate of 7:13min/km.


Perhaps the most exciting class was the M21E class as the lead changed a number of times during this epic long distance event. Jim Russell the course setter had the M21E doing two “short” loops with the runners coming back through the arena to a map change after each loop, with a “long” loop to finish off the course. After the first loop Bryan Keely was in the lead with Ian Lawford in 2nd and Lachlan Dow in 3rd place. From control 17 to 32 Lachlan Dow was the leader before he unfortunately had to withdraw due to an ankle injury. From that point on it was a very close battle between Ian Lawford, David Shepherd and Bryan Keely who were only 16 seconds apart at control 45. However, Dave and Bryan both lost just over 3 minutes to Ian at control 36 which enabled Ian Lawford to come into the finish a winner by 4:12 from David Shepherd in second and a tiring Bryan Keely in third place. There were some epic performances in the M21E class with Ben Goonan, Simon Rouse, Glenn Meyer and Ian Dodd all completing the 20km course in times over the 4 hours.


In the W21E class the favourite and last year’s winner of the return air ticket, Lizzie Ingham had to withdraw due to health issues. Jasmine Neve who is soon to leave to spend a year studying in Slovenia, after a slow start to control 1 was in the lead at control 19 and finished off very strongly to maintain this lead and finish in a time of 2:13:31 for a 10:01min/km rate. Sarah Buckerfield making a comeback to NOL racing was second and Clare Brownridge, third.


In the junior elite classes, our JWOC representatives Matt Doyle and Brodie Nankervis were second and third behind Nick Hann. Matt had a 7:22min/km rate and Brodie a 7:41min/km rate. In the W17-20E class in a very small field the three JWOC team members Anna Dowling, Nicola Blatchford and Michele Dawson filled the first three placing’s.

A very big thank you to the course setter Jim Russell, the controller Neil Barr for all their efforts. These two men were also the controller and course setter for the Victorian Middle Distance Championships on Saturday. Great courses on a famous iconic map and the weather was ideal. To Geoff Lawford and Jenny Bourne along with the Eureka Orienteering Club and Bendigo Orienteering Club a big thank you for all the work that went into the organization of these two great events. Especially to Eureka Orienteers who have provided the major prize of the return air ticket for the last two years.

 NOL points both team and individual will be updated soon and a report will follow on these shortly.

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