Burton & Garran Hall will be looking to defend their title as Inward Bound (IB) champions after a convincing victory last year, when the biggest event of the ANU’s sporting calendar kicks off next week.

On Friday, 6 October, the ANU colleges will farewell their teams at B&G in the initial send-off event. Each college can enter up to seven teams of four runners, which will run distances ranging from 40 to 100kms. There are seven divisions, with Division 1 having to run the longest distance.

B&G has won Division 1 every year since 2013. In 2016, the college won five of seven divisions. ‘While there is still some pressure on B&G, Division 1 is very much up for grabs,’ one of the B&G coaches, Charlie Henshall, told Woroni.

But this year, they’re without IB guru David Baldwin, who has been in B&G’s Division 1 team ever since their winning streak began. Baldwin is serving as Course Setter on the IB Organising Committee this year.

Of B&G’s 28 person team, 22 are making their IB debut. ‘Yes, B&G has lost its strength and experience from previous years, but we’re still very much in the hunt for Division 1 and the overall win,’ Henshall told Woroni.

The event runs for two days. On Friday, the teams are blindfolded and driven to their drop-off point. Once at their drop off point, the runners have to determine their whereabouts using only the environment around them and simple navigation techniques.

If a team makes a mistake in determining the location of their drop-off, they can end up running in the wrong direction. Last year, several Division 1 teams initially ran in the wrong direction, costing valuable time.

After determining their location, runners begin their journey to to the end point. The end point is kept a secret to everyone, including the runners, until the day of the event.

Last year, the end point was at Delmeny Beach, south of Bateman’s Bay. Division 1 runners had to run around 100kms to get there.