The 2023 ACT Long Distance champs hosted a fantastic mix of old-school spur gully orienteering terrain at Foxlow Flats with technically challenging courses set by Tom Walter. Competitors needed to call on the basic skills of careful direction, navigating through the correct saddle, and judging where they should deviate from long and vague flat areas on their course. They also needed strong legs to manage the fast open hills, tufty grass, and heavy overgrowth in creeks.
ACT dominated the elite classes. ACT’s Grace Crane was up to the challenge and covered the 8.2 km W21A in 66:06, well clear of Emily Sorenson NSW (78:01) and Melissa Thomas NSW (81:27). Paul de Jongh also had a solid run and finished the very competitive 12.1km M21A in 81:15, just over 3 mins ahead of fellow ACT competitor David Stocks (84:33) and Martin Dent (85:22).
In the junior elite classes, Alvin Craig (NSW) edged out Oscar Brown (ACT) and Owen Radajewski (ACT) in a tight fight for placings in M20A. Eszter Kocsik outran ACT’s Justine Hobson to claim victory in the W20A class.
The largest class on the day was M50 — with Matthew Stocks ACT (44:17) just outpacing Andy Hogg (ACT) by 8 seconds (44:25) and Jock Davis (NSW) in 3rd place (48:09).
The weather gods were on our side and we enjoyed a frosty start to the day with delightful warm, sunny and still conditions prevailing.
Words by event controller Allison Jones, photos by John Harding.