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2023 ACT Middle Distance Championships

After a wet and cold Friday, the clouds cleared to be a fine albeit chilly day for the ACT Middle Distance Championships held at Collector Hill. The event doubled as an ONSW State League event which made for good attendance and strong competition in most classes, with several fit and in-form competitors returning from JWOC, WOC and other major northern hemisphere carnivals.

Course setter Jon Glanville made the most of the terrain, setting courses to avoid the thick new tea-tree growth and the worst of the fallen timber, (yes – the worst was avoided). The courses took runners in and out of a granite cliff and boulder rock line through somewhat vague terrain of shallow gullies interspersed with large termite mounds. The fallen timber presented an additional challenge for navigation to hold a bearing, not be pushed off course and to accurately assess distances as running speed varied.

The previous two days of rain meant there were changes to the parking and positioning of the toilets: Moving from Plan A , to a short-lived Plan B and then onto Plan C after the Event Organiser, Rohan Hyslop, negotiated with 2 of the 4 landowners involved. 27 Parawangans took on allocated roles for the day, that included at first light arranging the new parking area, putting out signs, taping the new route to the Assembly Area. Everything was in place, Assembly area set-up, all controls checked and Si-Air enabled for a Start on time.

Two major incidents occurred late in the day with a seriously injured runner at a remote location furthest from the Assembly area and a young boy who was lost triggering a search and rescue. Thankfully both incidents ended well. A third incident saw one of OACT’s long term members take on horse wrangling to secure a horse that escaped from the carparking paddock. All up an eventful yet successful day.

Words by event controller Phil Walker, photos by John Harding.