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2001 Masters World Cup
Mariazell, Austria - February 15-25

Report by Jeannette Hamilton
(Australian Cross Country News, Autumn 2001)
Report from 1999 Masters World Cup

The 21st Masters World Cup was held in Mariazell, Austria February 15 - 25, 2001, with 980 competitors from 25 Nations. Australia had 4 competitors, who all had accommodation within the Town Square where the Opening Ceremony, Medal presentations and Information offices were located. The cost of accommodation was cheap. Buses ran every 10 minutes to the Stadium which was 5 minutes from the Square.

For the first race the organisers had to prepare the tracks with no more than 5 centimetres of snow - it was all ice on arrival. The course looped its way in two large loops up and down the valley with a gentle rise all the way to the top, so that fortunately it was sheltered while you returned to the airstrip (Stadium). The organisers set an excellent course for both classical and skating, considering the conditions of heavy snowfalls after the first race. There were sporadic snowfalls during the rest of the competition, whilst on the last day it was pristine - clear skies and picturesque.

The Austrian hospitality was faultless. The many volunteers received a standing ovation at the banquet for their unselfishness and kindness to all competitors. Their attentions to the needs of the participants was, according to the president of the WMA Dieter Heckmann, the best effort ever by an organising committee.

The standard of racing was high. It was a pity Australia could not enter a relay - we had 4 male competitors, but the rules state that there must be 2 in the youngest age group to make up the relay of 4 x 5 km, 2 classical, 2 freestyle.

The Masters is open to all cross country skiers aged 30 years to 70+. There is no selection policy. There is a choice of Classical or Freestyle in 3 races plus the relay during the week of events. The distances raced depend on the age category.

Future Masters Locations and Dates:

2002 - February 20 - March 2, Quebec, Canada.
Located on the Valcartier military base at an altitude of 160 metres above sea level. The stadium is 30 minutes by shuttle bus from the Quebec city hotels. There is cheaper accommodation nearer the stadium: www.mwc.2002.com. I have information, Entry Forms and Accommodation Forms available now.

2003 - January 30 - February 8, Seefeld, Austria. Organised by SC Monte Kaolino Hirschau/Germany. www.sc-montekaolino.com.

2004 - Lillehamer, Norway. www.olympic.park.org.

2005 - ??. U.S.A. Bend, Oregan was rejected by the Masters because of its altitude of 1800 metres. 1700 is the maximum for Masters. Calgary went to 1500m and there were problems with the older Master skiers. Another venue will be decided.

2006 - Brusson, Italy.


Results

Age Group
Name, Time, Position

Freestyle 15 km

M 60 - 64
Stan McDonald, 53.05, 43/46
Winner: 39.20

M 70 -74
Andrew McCullough, 1.00.48, 16/20
Bill Hamilto, 1.04.01, 19/20
Winner: 47.38

M 75 -79
Len Harrison, 1.03.28, 9/10
Winner: 50.59

Freestyle 10 km

M 60 - 64
Stan McDonald, 38.01, 41/44
Winner: 33.28

M70-74
Andrew McCullough, 41.23, 15/18
Bill Hamilton, 41.33, 16/18
Winner: 33.27

M 75 -79
Len Harrison, 43.42, 8/9
Winner: 36.09

Freestyle 20km

M 70 - 74
Andrew McCullough, 1.38.33, 10/14
Bill Hamilton, 1.39.23, 11/14
Winner: 1.17.48

M 75 - 79
Len Harrison, 1.44.05, 6/6
Winner: 1.22.39


Janette Hamilton
National Director - World Masters
13 Minnamurra Road, Northbridge NSW 2063
ph 02 9958 7574
fax 02 9232 6166

A Competitor's Contribution

Andrew McCullough

A team of four Australians assembled in Mariazell, Austria to compete in the Master's World Cup.

Our youngest starter was young Stan, born 1938 and the oldest, Lenny the Lionheart, born 1925, with the other two in between.

We were not young but neither was the opposition who were probably born with skis on their feet and equipped with muscles of steel and sinews of carbon fibre. They had been skiing since before Christmas and competing in various races. So, they were a bit of a problem.

But, we had a good time, enjoyed the races, the international competition and the atmosphere and food of rural Austria.

We'll be back, and like good Australian wine, will improve with age.


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