Australian Mountain Running Championships preview

Australian Mountain Running Championships
Mt Tennent ACT
Saturday 22 May

North Canberra-Gungahlin Athletics Club’s Scott McTaggart is poised to win a record 5th Australian Mountain Running Championship this Saturday. The Championships are being held on the steep Mt Tennent fire trail south of Tharwa and two years ago McTaggart had a commanding win on the same 11 km course in achieving his 4th national mountain running title. NSW mountain running champion Stephen Brown from Kembla Joggers is likely to be his main rival.

In form Weston Creek runner Vanessa Haverd is expected to face strong opposition for the women’s 8 km title from Queensland’s Deahne Turnbull and Albury’s Colleen Middleton. Haverd has been in record breaking mode for several months in uphill races in both Thredbo and Canberra while Turnbull has won both the Mt Pomona and Pyramid runs in the sunshine state. Haverd finished 7th and Middleton 8th in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in 2009.

Several strong hill runners from Victoria have entered the 8 km Junior Men’s Championship and are expected to dominate the placings. The Junior Women’s 6 km Championship is expected to see a fierce duel between former Australian representative Madison Sternbeck-Rutter and NSW open women’s champion Audrey Amiya-Hall.

The oldest competitor will be 82 year old Rad Leovic of Phillip in the ACT, an extraordinary athlete in running, triathlon and duathlon with a number of world Masters medals to his name. The Championships include all the veteran age categories up to 70 and over.

Start times are between 12 noon and 1pm on the fire trail off Apollo Road south of Tharwa.