The Sydney Metropolitan Turkey Trot headed west, to the foothills of the Blue Mountains, for the 13th edition. Temperatures were hovering around zero at sunrise, making beanies and puffer jackets a necessity. However, the freezing morning conditions warmed into a beautiful winter’s day for running in the bush. The courses took competitors through a myriad of bush tracks on both sides of the highway in both Lapstone and Glenbrook.
The favourite for the Long Course was Glenn Horrocks, who has run in all 12 previous events. Once again he did get to the finish first, however he had unwittingly omitted #18, opening up the field for the following contenders. The next three runners reached the last map within 30 seconds of each other. Alastair George, who won the Medium Course last year managed to edge in front of Andy Hill and hold on to win by 40 seconds. Bart Vonhoff rounded out the podium another 2 minutes back. Paula Shingler dominated the small Women’s field leading from #1 over Nicole Mealing and Ellen Braybon.
Two young guns fought it out in the Medium Course. Both Duncan Currie and Ewan Shingler will be vying for JWOC selection in the coming years. Duncan had built a lead of almost 7 minutes but Ewan came home strong to claw back half that time. Peter Fozo out sprinted Mark Shingler to the finish to claim third by 2 seconds. Aniko Fozo-Kertesz claimed 18 of 19 splits to easily win in the Women’s race. Rebecca George got home in second and Sharon Lambert got a piece of the Rocky Road action too.
To round out quite the successful day for the George family - Simon George won the Men’s Short Course. Alex Kennedy and Nick Stanley would have been wishing he hadn’t switched from the Medium at the last minute as they were relegated to second and third after finishing first and second respectively last year. The battle for the Rocky Road was the closest in the Women’s Short with only 3 minutes 26 seconds separating first and third. Georgia Jones, in what was probably her last Austrlalian orienteering outing before moving to the UK, was another to switch to the Short Course from the pre-entered Medium. It proved a good move as she showed a clean pair of heels to stay in front of Nikolett Halmai. Alitia Dougall was just a few minutes further behind to finish in third.
Congratulations to all runners and volunteers. We hope you had a great morning orienteering in Western Sydney. This year was much more bush than last year and there were plenty of stories to tell at the finish. Over the bridge or under? North or South around the Lagoon? What about those steps! Where will we take it next year? Stay tuned. Same time, different place.