Now in its 51st year and held across the 22-23 March, Inward Bound is the highlight of the ANU Interhall Sports competition. Managed over 24 hours, the event saw 224 competitors, more than 150 volunteers and hundreds of spectators representing all Halls and Colleges. Organisers spent six months liaising with landholders, national parks, state and local councils, the ANU, the Interhall Sports Organisation, ANU Sport and individual residences to create one of the most successful courses in recent history with more than 85% of teams making it to endpoint culminating in an undisputed win for B&G.
Noticeable changes in this year’s race included cutting Division seven Indi, banning entry to private property and the introduction of live event tracking. This enabled friends and families to watch the race progress from around the world. We had parents from as far afield as Perth, Singapore and South Africa monitor the progress of teams throughout the night.
Once 5am rolled around all teams were running and everything was okay, the Organising Committee were able to sit down and relax for the first time in almost 24 hours. Little sleep was had at race HQ mostly because it was really bloody cold and windy. By 6am the sun was up and the team was closely monitoring the movements of each division— some movements were stranger than others, with Burgmann six and Unilodge five employing some creative navigation techniques early on.
It wasn’t long before End Point at Corin Forest was teeming with life and the first division to make it home was edging closer to the finish line. At 8:20am B&G seven made their way down the chute to the cheers of a raucous crowd. At this stage, aside from a few divisions, all teams had found a somewhat sensible route that would safely bring them to end point. The race was heating up.
By 10am teams were arriving every 15 to 20 minutes and we didn’t have to wait long before our first Division one side appeared on the horizon. B&G Division one had set off from the drop point first and maintained a blistering pace for the entire race that no other team was able to match. They officially arrived at 10:42am, the tenth division overall to finish and the winners of the Bill Packard trophy. Griffin Division one were the next team to arrive having picked up their pace at a phenomenal rate over the second half of the course, passing a surprisingly amazing effort by an under-prepared but inspired Fenner Hall in the final straight to claim second. Fenner Hall Division one rounded out the top three after stumbling over the finish line less than 20 minutes after Griffin following a mammoth effort, which included the absurdly brave move to put an untrained runner in the team at midnight on the eve of the event. Burgmann, Johns, UniLodge and finally Ursies finished fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respectively and while making it to end point, unfortunately Bruce Hall suffered a DQ for crossing private property.
By 5pm all remaining teams had arrived at end point with only eight of the 56 teams withdrawing. However it was much earlier in the afternoon that it became evident the event belonged to B&G. Finishing first, second, first, first, fifth, fourth and first in divisions one to seven respectively. It was one of the most comprehensive all round performances in living memory. A big congratulation is also in order for Griffin Hall and Fenner Hall. Griffin Hall placed second overall, which is very impressive given their short involvement in the event and confirms the townies as regular participants going forward. Fenner Hall also showed a newfound resilience to finish all divisions and place third, the best result for the Hall in many years.
Finally a huge round of applause for Ben Greenwood is desperately in order. Ben put in more effort than is conceivable to ensure the event went off without a hitch. He thought of everything, expertly managed his team and had the technical knowledge and experience with the course to allow him manage the event with unprecedented fluidity.
2013 was one of the best, well done to everyone involved, and lets gear up for an even better 2014.