Australian Easter Orienteering Carnival

Australian Easter Orienteering Carnival Just like in the UK, Australia host their biggest orienteering races over the long Easter weekend. For elite runners, the Easter 3-days is actually 4-days consisting of a sprint prologue, a middle race and a long race before the exciting finale of a reverse chasing start relay-length race. This years carnival was bigger than ever, with 3 more National League races including the Australian Middle Distance Championships being added to the following weekend. South Australia was the venue with all races within a few hours drive of hours of Adelaide.The Easter 3-days was run mainly in dusty, deserty, rolling, outback terrain; seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Above: Dusty Australia. Photo Matt Crane However, pretty much all of the top Australian men and women elites were competing. In the men?s, GBR?s very own Matt Crane took the prologue victory, but Julian Dent of New South Wales showed awesome form to win the next 3 days with Matt coming in 2nd overall. The women?s race was rather one-sided with World Champion Hanny Allston winning all 4 days with Grace Elson of Tasmania 2nd overall. Above: Map geeking Oz style. Photo Grace Elson After 3 days holiday, competitors moved to the famous wine-growing region of the Barossa Valley. The ASC Galaxy sprint in the town of Nuriootpa provided plenty of razzmatazz, however several of the top Aussie elites had departed by this point. Matt Crane and Grace Elson both took the win and with it a $100 cash prize each. The Jacob?s Creek sponsored Australian Middle Distance Championships was on intricate granite terrain: Above: Map extract of Australian Middle Distance Champs with winner Matt Crane´s routes. which made for a really fun race. Matt Crane again took the win with former Sheffield resident Anna Sheldon of Queensland winning the women?s race. Finally there was a long race on a scrubby, boulder-strewn set of paddocks used by Greek people for shooting. Matt Crane and Grace Elson rounded off successful weeks by both taking the victory. Above: England on top in Australia! Photo Grace Elson