|Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2012|
|Falls Creek prepares for the Kangaroo Hoppet|
Preparations are well under way for the 22nd annual Kangaroo Hoppet.
|Only one international snow sports event takes place in the Southern Hemisphere each year. On the last weekend in August, Falls Creek will again host more than 1,000 competitors from over 20 countries in Australia’s premier long distance cross country ski race, the Kangaroo Hoppet. This year marks the 22nd running of the event at Falls Creek. |
In the lead up to the event Falls Creek has been home to five skiers from the Russian Cross Country team, including Alexander Legkov, 3 time World Cup winner ranked 5th in the world. The group is accompanied by their Swiss coach, Reto Burgemeister, who competed in 3 Olympics, their Manager & physiotherapists and even their own wax technician. The group are living and training in resort and taking advantage of the Resorts high attitude and 65km of Cross Country trails during the Russian summer.
“In addition to raising the standard of our competitions it has also been incredibly valuable for our athletes to train with these world class athletes,” said Australian National Team Coach Finn Marsland. “The Russian athletes and their coaches have been very welcoming, and for the general public just seeing skiers of this standard out on the tracks can be very inspiring.”
Esther Bottomley, who has represented Australia in two Olympics, will also be preparing for the Hoppet at the final events of the 2012 Australian Open and Junior Championship being held at Falls Creek on Saturday, 18th August. Other Australian favourites include Callum Watson and Alex Almoukov, who have already won Australian Championship events this season, and also local up and coming Mt Beauty skiers Phillip Bellingham and Anna Trnka.
The event comprises three courses; the elite 42km Kangaroo Hoppet, a shorter 21km course known as the Australian Birkebeiner and the “fun run” course , the 7km Joey Hoppet.
The Hoppet courses are all designed on Falls Creek’s groomed cross country trails and historically take in the picturesque “Sun Valley Loop” around the Resort’s unique Rocky Valley Lake precinct and into the Alpine National Park.
|Members of the Russian National Team training at Falls Creek|
Pic - Chris Hocking