Du Bois and Thompson Australia’s leading hopes in World Mountain Running Championships this Sunday
The World Mountain Running Championships will be conducted on Mt Olympus in Turkey this Sunday, 10th September.
Australia has high hopes for Wollongong’s Ben Du Bois and Canberra’s Scott McTaggart in the senior men’s 12 kms, Victoria’s Anna Thompson and Canberra’s Emma Murray in the senior women’s 8.5 kms, and Wollongong’s Ryan Gregson in the junior men’s 8.5kms.
Australian champion in 2003 and 2004 Du Bois has been in superlative form in uphill races in this year’s World Mountain Running Association Grand Prix Series, with two thirds and two fourths, placing him 3rd in the points table, an improvement on 2005 when he was ranked 7th. McTaggart, the 2005 and 2006 Australian champion, led the field in the early stages of last year’s World Championship in New Zealand and would have placed 6th if he had replicated the time he clocked in the Australian championship but faded to 28th. With more experience this year, a performance in the top ten is well within his capability.
Australian cross country and City to Surf champion Anna Thompson is being tipped by Jackie Fairweather to be a strong contender for a medal in the women’s race. Last year the veteran Fairweather finished 12th in the World Championship in her debut mountain race, only 2 minutes off a bronze medal. She argues that Thompson’s 10km speed, cross country proweress and experience in contesting World Cross Country each year since 2001 will be major assets. Dual world long distance mountain running champion Emma Murray has jetted off to Turkey only a week after arriving back in Australia from her victory in the Pike’s Peak marathon. If she can overcome the fatigue factor and run with fresh legs on the day, she can also be a serious contender.
In the junior men, Australian champion Ryan Gregson has been in great form all year in track, road and cross country and could well improve on the 11th placing achieved by Gosford’s Ben Guest in 2005.
Race program on Sunday:
– 09:00 Open Race for members of the public
– 09:45 Junior Women 3.4kms 395m ascent
– 10:30 Junior Men 8.5kms 895m ascent
– 11:30 Senior Women 8.5kms 895m ascent, 30m descent
– 12:00 Senior Men 12.0kms 1275m ascent, 30m descent
Ben du Bois, Scott McTaggart, Stephen Brown, Barry Keem, Stuart Doyle
Emma Murray, Anna Thompson, Jessamy Hosking, Cindy King
Ryan Gregson, David Mainwaring, Dominic Perry