3 Podium Places for SwissROC at the 2017 Swiss Sprint and Long Championships

SwissROC was represented by 12 competitors during the weekend of 24/25 June. The Sprint on Saturday was held in the small town of Windisch, on courses that, apart from a cameo appearance by a Roman Amphitheatre, lacked much, both in the way of character and challenge. Liz landed her second Swiss W70 title for 2017, having won the Night Championships earlier his year. Christine Gathercole finished an impressive fourth in W35. Michele had elected to take on numbers one and two Sabine Hauswirth and Simone Niggli in WE. Nicholas faced the eventual 1-2-3 ME line up of Matthias Kyburz, Daniel Hubmann and Yannick Michiels. Predictably perhaps, both failed to make the lives of these orienteering superstars miserable. Richard was pleased with a good run that provided for a 17/58.

On Sunday, all of 1 585 competitors boarded busses to travel to their starts high up in the hills, to conquer some ferocious climbs and descents, as well as some very boring slope contouring and path running options.

The courses were not only physically demanding but also very long. For instance in W12, Hanna Gathercole was tasked with a course that measured 4.8 km distance and 70 m climb.

Nicholas finished just inside the 2:30 cut-off time in 40/44, having covered 13.8 km with a 680 m climb, the latter thrown in to cause some excitement.

SwissROC was awarded with two bronzes, earned by Christine and Liz. Coni, absent from orienteering for the past half year due to injury, upon her return finished an amazing 5th in W50. Michele could only run part of the WE course to avoid arriving late at the check-in at Zuerich Airport for her return flight to Johannesburg.

In the absence of Sabine, Simone comfortably won WE and our old friend Fabian Hafner took ME Gold. Swiss top orienteers had been instructed to opt out of the Long, so as to avoid ruining their preparations for the 2017 WOC in which we will see Michael Crone as Africa’s sole representative. Incidentally, we hope to welcome Michael to SwissROC when he takes up a position at the renowned Polytechnic in Lausanne after the summer. Hopefully he will recall the membership fee, a decent red and a dry white of Swiss or RSA origin.

So…., here then are the SwissROC results in Sprint and Long Distance order:

Stefan Hess, M45, 39/58, 3:40 off the pace. 49/56 in the Long

Andrea Hess, W16, 31/60 and 32/50

Coni Mueller, W50, 5/41, 4:45 in arrears for 1st place in the Long.

Marc Gathercole, M10, 27/29 and a much better 20/28

Hanna Gathercole, W12, 27/41 and a DNF

Christine Gathercole, W35, 4/17 and 3/14.

Richard Gathercole, M45, 17/58 and 23/56

Nigel Killeen, M80, 18/19 and then pulled his socks up: 13/20, just 20 mins off the pace.

Liz Mulder, W70, 1/20 and 3/22.

Pieter Mulder, M75, 30/37 and then bailed on the Long, unable to overcome apathy.

Michele Botha, WE, 37/41 for the Sprint. 12-13 hours back to JNB..

Nicholas Mulder, ME 56/60 and 40/44 respectively.