High Performance Update

Australian Mountain Running Association


High Performance Update

March 2011

 1. 2011 Australian Mountain Running Championships

The Australian Championships will be held on Camp Mountain, close to Brisbane city, on Sunday 29 May. The race program is:

8:00 am Australian junior women’s 4.8 km

8:45 am Australian junior men’s 8.2 km; Australian M55, M60 and M65+ men’s 8.2 km  

9:00 am Australian open women’s and W35 to W65+ 8.2 km

9:20 am Australian open men’s and M40 to M50 13.2 km

Full details are at http://www.coolrunning.com.au/calendar/public_html/2011/2011e023.pdf Online registration will be available by mid-March.

A slideshow and video of the course are being loaded at www.ashgroverangers.org

Please make sure you enter before the closing date and if you wish to be considered for Australian selection, complete and send in a team application form.

2. The 2011 international calendar

The major events on the international calendar, with links to websites, can be found on the WMRA website at www.wmra.ch

Excluding the WMRA Grand Prix races, the major events are as follows: 


18 June

World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship




25 June

WMRA International Youth Challenge

Gorenja vas



11 Sept

World Mountain Running Championships




17 Sept

Masters World Mountain Running Championships




24 Sept

Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships

Snowdon – Gwynedd



16 April New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Wellington

3. Australian team selection races

A. 2011 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship, 18 June, Slovenia

Event website: http://www.gm4o.si/english/


The primary selection races for the 2011 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships are:

2010 Kepler Challenge, New Zealand

2010 Deep Space Mountain Marathon, ACT

2011 Six Foot Track 45km marathon

Performances in previous World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships and similar events such as the 2011 Bogong to Hotham, 2011 Cradle Mountain and the 2010 North Face 100k (but not 2011 North Face 100k) will also be considered.

The maximum numbers that can represent a country at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships are 6 men and 6 women.

Australia has never had a full team as runners will only be selected for the Australian team if in the view of the selectors their performances demonstrate that they will be competitive, and team members must largely self-fund their trip (see part 4). As a guide, experience in recent World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships has been that, to be competitive, male team members must be of a standard where they have completed Six Foot Track in under 3hrs 26 mins and female members under 4hrs 7 mins. However, reaching this standard does not guarantee selection as the best team will be selected from the various selection events.

Not being a member of the Australian team does not prevent any Australian runner from contesting the event on 18 June in Slovenia. Every year a number of Australians of various abilities run in this Championship. They are responsible for their own entry and travel arrangements.

The 2012 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship will be run on the Jungfrau race (Switzerland), probably on 8th September.

B. 2011 World Mountain Running Championships, 11 September, Albania

The primary selection race for the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships is the Australian Championships on 29 May on Camp Mountain in Brisbane.

Performances in previous World Mountain Running Championships, the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, in World Mountain Running Association Grand Prix races, in state mountain running championships and in national and international cross country and marathon running will be considered. There is a high correlation between elite performance at the international level in cross country, marathon running and orienteering and elite performance in the World Mountain Running Championships.

The maximum numbers that can represent a country at the World Mountain Running Championships are 6 men, 4 women, 4 junior men and 3 junior women.

Australia seldom has a full team as runners will only be selected for the Australian team if in the view of the selectors their performances demonstrate that they will be competitive at the World Championships. In the World Junior Mountain Running Championships, 16 and 17 year olds are, in general, unlikely to be competitive against 18 and 19 year olds at the Championships because of the very high standard internationally now at these Championships.

C. 2011 Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships, 24 September, North Wales

Event website: http://www.cumbriacommonwealthchampionships.org/

Selection principles as per the World Mountain Running Championships. Up to 6 men and 6 women constitute the team for the Commonwealth Championships.


D. 2011 World Masters Mountain Running Championships, 17 September, Italy

Event website: http://wmmrc2011.org/index.php?lang=en

Age groups and race day program

9.45  –  Start MM35/MM40 (2 long courses)

10.00 – Start MF35/MF40 (2 long courses)

11.45 – Start MM45/MM50 (2 long courses)

12.00 – Start MF45/MF50 (2 long courses)

13.50 – Start MM55/MM60 (1 short + 1 long course)

14.00 – Start MF55/MF60 (1 short + 1 long course)

15.50 – Start MM65/70/75 (1 short + 1 long course)

16.00 – Start MF65/70/75 (1 short + 1 long course)

Age on the day; persons who have turned 80 are not permitted to compete.

Long course

Length: km 5.490 Max height difference: m 125 Total height difference: m 310

Up to MF/MM 50 Female/Male cat. 2 Long Courses

Short Course

Length: km 3.190 Max height difference: m 87 Total height difference: m 183

From MF/MM 55 Female/Male cat. 1 Short + 1 Long Course

Australian Masters age mountain runners and trail runners are encouraged to contest these championships but are fully responsible for entering themselves and for all costs of participation. There are teams of 3 from each country in each age group for men and women. Australian teams are not selected and so Masters runners in Australia are encouraged to find others in their age group and organise a trip together to the Championships.

The German city of Buhlertal is bidding to conduct the 2012 World Masters Mountain Running Championships.

 E. WMRA International Youth Challenge, 25 June, Slovenia

 Event website: http://www.iymrc2011-slo.si/


WMRA race


Born 1994 – 95



3.6 km

150m / 150m



4.6 km

170m / 170m

Teams are not selected for this event as juniors cannot afford to go to Europe twice in the one year and the Australian priority is the team for the World Junior Mountain Running Championships on 11 September in Albania.

Juniors wishing to gain additional international mountain running experience are encouraged to contest the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships in Wellington on 16 April.

4. Australian mountain running team funding

Persons selected for the Australian mountain running teams to the World Long Distance Championship, World Championships and Commonwealth Mountain Running Championship must largely self-fund their travel expenses.

The Australian Mountain Running Association organises the Bush Capital Bush Marathon Festival each year (30 July 2011) to raise money for the Australian mountain running team and this provides a subsidy of $200 to $500 per team member plus cost of team uniforms, depending on both the dollars raised from the Festival and numbers of members of the team. AMRA also pays team members $100 each time they help out in organising major AMRA events during the year and AMRA pays for a team manager for the World Championships because of its duty of care to junior team members.

In addition the World Mountain Running Association provides a subsidy to the Australian team for the World Championships (usually around $US2500) and the costs of accommodation and meals are covered from the Thursday to Monday morning of the Championships. The Commonwealth Mountain Running Championships are also hoping to provide some assistance. The World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships sometimes provides accommodation assistance and has prize-money available for the leading finishers.

Team members usually receive a subsidy from their athletics clubs and can conduct other fund raising themselves.

5. Application form for selection

An application form for Australian mountain running team selection is available in the High Performance section of the AMRA website. Ensure that you are registered member of an athletics club for 2011-12 as this is a pre-requisite for selection.

6. Race news

We have been endeavouring to put news reports plus results for all major mountain runs in Australia on the AMRA website www.mountainrunning.coolrunning.com.au

In addition reports are regularly published in Run For Your Life magazine and WILD magazine.

Stuart Gibson is working on launching an Australia-New Zealand edition of Trail Runner magazine in the near future. See http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Trail-Runner-Magazine-Australia_NZ/172967106065428

The USA Trail Runner mag http://trailrunnermag.com/index.php has had lots of interesting stuff for many years and also sends out an interesting newsletter called Inside Dirt.

 7. Training tips

To give an example why Trail Runner mag and its Inside Dirt newsletter are worth subscribing to, the following mountain running training tips are from the 18 August 2010 edition of Inside Dirt. The Teva USA mountain running team has been performing very well in recent World Mountain Running Championships.

Eight Tips for Mountain Runners
By Clint Shultz

Mountain running requires specific training techniques. Here are my top training principles, developed from my experience as a cross-country coach and competitive athlete, to will help you reach your peak mountain-running form:

1. Use distance running to increase aerobic capacity. Mountain running requires whole-body strength and endurance to hold off muscular oxygen debt as long as possible.

2. Develop mental strength. You can physically condition your body to meet the demands of racing, but your mental strength is what gets you across the finish line. Develop your mental toughness by increasing your mileage and workout intensity to simulate mountain running’s pain, stress, and pounding.

3. Overload some days, recover others. Increase your aerobic endurance by overloading your muscles and depleting your glycogen levels with high-intensity efforts followed by recovery days (involving low-impact activities such as walking or yoga) during which your body repairs and strengthens. An example workout is hill skipping (recommend once or twice a week): skip up a hill using exaggerated, dynamic arm and leg movements to increase the strength and flexibility of your upper and lower body.

4. Cross train on two wheels. Road and mountain biking strengthens the legs and abdomen without contributing to lower-body fatigue. Biking once or twice a week also adds variety to your routine.

5. Strengthen your core. A strong abdomen supports the spine, reduces back pain, chance of overuse injury to the hips. Strengthen your abs with sit-ups, leg raises, flutter kicks. Push-ups and holding a plank position are particularly beneficial.

6. Stretch to prevent injury. Running one to three hours a day may leave little time to stretch, but the importance of taking 10 minutes to stretch before and after a run cannot be overstated. Running uphill and downhill involves full extension of the front and back legs muscles, calf muscles and the Achilles, so these muscles groups must remain supple. Maximize your speed, assist in recovery and prevent injuries with a thorough warm up followed by stretching.

7. Upper/whole body lifting. Achieve muscular strength in the upper and lower body by lifting weights for 30 to 45 minutes, three times a week. The goal of the upper-body workouts is to add strength, not bulk. A strong upper body will help you with steep ascents and assist in maintaining good form during your long runs.  

8. Mix it up in the off season. Employ these training principles for only three months, as any longer increases your chances of overuse injury. In the off season, cross train to develop other muscles through hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, or indoor sports like basketball, volleyball and martial arts.

8. ASC European Training Centre

The Australian Sports Commission has just opened a European Training Centre in Italy.

Cost of accommodation for members of national teams is currently 75 EUR per person per night. This includes meals and use of facilities including, recovery and strength and conditioning etc.

Please take a look at the website http://www.ausport.gov.au/supporting/european_training_centre/about

which outlines further details. The ASC says it will be very popular in the European summer and it is recommended that bookings be made 3 months in advance.


John Harding


Australian Mountain Running Association

42 Stanley St

Hackett ACT 2602

Ph 0427107033 mobile; 02 6248 6905 ph

Email: hackettrunner at hotmail dot com