Hoppet – Do It Your Way … a huge success
The Australian and international skiing community has rallied around the 2020 Kangaroo Hoppet, with 1894 participants from 37 nations taking part in the virtual “Do It Your Way” version of the event. Previous record from the mid nineteen nineties was just over 1600 from 24 nations.
Entries included 475 internationals with their activities spread across all seven continents. In what is probably a world first for a virtual sporting event there a couple of people doing the Hoppet their way in Antarctica. Past event winners from Norway, Germany and the USA also took part. Activities included running, walking, cycling, swimming, roller skiing, inline skating, paddling, canoeing, mountain biking, exercise machines, unicycles and a tricycle, and, for the limited number of Australians with the opportunity to ski at Perisher, Falls Creek and Dinner Plain, cross country skiing.
Feedback from participants to the organisers has been overwhelmingly supportive of the virtual edition of the event, with many Victorians in stage 3 and 4 lock-down saying how great it was to have something positive to work towards while living with coronavirus restrictions.
- Committee — Thanks to Ben Derrick (race director) and his team for the pre-season work that went into thinking up the virtual event idea and making it a reality. What a success.
- Entries & Results — Thanks to Michael Trnka of Alpine Timing for all the IT skills associated with this task.
- Merchandise — Thanks to Trish Cross for all the ordering and for the arranging of the helpers to distribute the T-shirts and Buffs.
- Race Secretary — Thanks to Kerry Lucas for keeping the Hoppet Office ticking over during the season.
- Media Liaison — Thanks to Allan Marsland for the work he does to put the Hoppet out there.
- Entry — 1,894 as of 2nd September, 1,419 Australians, 37 nationalities completing their activities in 40 countries including Antarctica and 377 entries from the Upper Kiewa Valley. Countries with more than 20 participants – 123 USA citizens in 20 states, 66 Canadians, 46 Germans, 31 Finns, 28 UK, 22 New Zealand and 20 Swiss.
- International entry — 475
- No 1 Bib Holder — Marg Hayes (Mount Beauty). Congratulations.
Hoppet – Do It Your Way Facebook page. View photos, comments and video [HERE].
Results – Participant photos available on the results webpage at https://www.alpinetiming.com.au/results/r135/
Hoppet Buffs — Many ways to wear your Buff. Click [HERE] to view a short 2-minute video of 14 ways to were it.
We all know the normal modes of Hoppeteering but there have some unique ones as well as illustrated above. We are also aware of a Melbourne lady (Sarah Low) swimming in the ocean for her 7km Joey challenge over a few days.
Committee Meeting Happenings
The Committee has been meeting monthly via video link using ZOOM. Items of business have included the following:
- Constitution review.
- Birkie Award Policy review.
- Race Committee to develop a draft MOU with Snow Australia re conducting National Junior & Senior Championship Races.
- Registering the club with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC)
- Discussion on the installation of a Webcam in the Nordic Bowl.
- Search & Rescue Group have good numbers (20+).
- Investigating options to remotely switch the clubhouse power on/off.
Colleen Bolton (NSW) — Snow Australia Medal Recipient
Colleen competed at 1980 Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid – the first Australian women to be selected for a Winter Games. Two remarkable achievements that stand out and are not well know about her was the second-place finish in the 1980 Swedish Vassaloppet and second in the 1982 Norwegian Birkebeiner. Leading up to the Olympics Colleen completed in the USA National Championships finishing 4th, 5th & 6th in individual races and 4th fastest time in the relay. For her consistency, she was made the overall women’s champion at the titles. Nationally she won eight 5km and six 10km championship titles. She was a tough lady!
To view Colleen’s ski profile click [HERE]. It makes interesting reading.
Merino Muster (NZ) Virtual Event
The Virtual Merino Muster (NZ) is open until 20th September 2020. Many New Zealanders supported the Hoppet – Do It Your Way so let us support our neighbours across ‘the ditch’ by entering the Muster. Click [HERE] to enter. Look for the green button. Follow the action on the Virtual Merino Muster Facebook page. Click [HERE].
Looking WAY Back
The Skiing Swaggie – 1936
Late afternoon on 21 August 1936 four ski tourers stumbled into Cope Hut. The scarcity of firewood was totally unexpected as it was a tradition that hut users ensured ample supplies were always left for those that followed. The lack of firewood was attributed to a “hobo” found in the hut when the group arrived. Click [HERE] to read about this unusual encounter that made it into the newspapers at the time.
The 1st Birkebeiner – 1979 including Results
The club was only in its second winter when the committee at the time decided to organise a large citizens race named after the Norwegian Birkebeiner from which the club took its name. The course started on the other side of the Dam Wall and went to Watched Creek, Fitzgeralds Hut, Edmondsons Hut, Heathy Spur and finished in the Nordic Bowl a distance of 25km. The classic technique was used in those days. Participants had to carry a 5kg pack that symbolised the crown prince from the Birkebeiner legend. We had 84 finishes. To read about the event and view the results click [HERE].
Editor’s note — It is interesting to note that the 15th place-getter (out of 84 finishes) was 14 year old Chris Heberle (time – 1:57:32). In 1988 in Calgary Canada Chris was our first club member to represent Australia at a Winter Games. In 1991 (1st Hoppet) he appeared on the official Kangaroo Hoppet poster (see below).