Marathon World Cup 2014, Bohinj, Slovenia

Team; Seniors; Tom Sharpe (RIC) Albert Hicks (NOR) Mark Wilkes (CLM) Paul Yates (WEY), Juniors: Zyggy Chmiel (NOT) James Russel (CLM) Trevor Thompson (EAL) Luke Bowyer (ELM). Staff Melvin Swallow, Sarah Akerman.

Fantastic venue in the heart of Slovenia’s Alp national parkland, a lake 4k long 500mts wide surrounded by mountains. The lake was flat whilst we were there but I’m told can get windy. The local canoe club operates from there and has a 2k line of buoys every 10mts for training. There are no powered craft allowed other then electric, we saw one pleasure tourist boat around 7mts in length that operated from one end of the lake to the other. The trips were a 2 hour turnaround and the boat travelled around 5km/h, with little wash.

The race control area, portage, start/finish and athlete area were all in one location with enough room for a world cup, but needs some more development for a major championship. Our accommodation was 6mins walking away, so no transport problem. The course was out and back for both events, for the short course Ok but some thought needs to be put in for the long course to make some improvements especially the portage.

The organizer was very enthusiastic and in general done a good job and the results were available soon after each event.

New format short course racing which is based on a 1000mt circuit involving a portage, a course which has the furthest point at 500mts; 3 laps and a mini lap making 3.7k with 2 portages. Each class does a heat in the morning to qualify for a final in the afternoon with 50% of the entry being eliminated from the heats.

The Bohinj entry was around 20 senior men so 2 heats of 10 were drawn, with the first 3 over the line from each heat straight to the final and then the 4 fastest losers, making 10 for the final. Junior men had 2 heats of 10, women, girls and C1 were all straight finals. The competitors were a mix between sprint race guys and marathon. The junior men and senior men events were won by sprint guys that did not take part in the races on Sunday (marathon events).However the marathon guys were a close second, Matais Hamar (Nor) who won the race on Sunday was 4th in the short course race on Saturday. With the juniors Zyggy Chmiel (GBR) who won the marathon was 2nd on the short course. The event was well received by athletes and spectators, and after discussing with the athletes competing in the 2 events did not affect their performance on the sunday.

Sunday marathon: a marathon of laps in our normal format with 8 3.7 K laps for sen. Men and 6 for junior boys. Our development team of 4 boys and 4 men all performed well which gave us a chance to see what they could do against some good competition. Outstanding performances for the juniors Zyggy 1st and Trevor 3rd. Sen men Tom 6th.

(Full results at http://www.bohinj.si/worldcup2014/rezultati.php)

Dyson Pendle, Team Manager.