Hanny Allston

Hanny Allston – back on track

The Tasmanian found the balance in her lifestyle and trains hard for her comeback at the World Championships.

Hanny Allston won the gold medal in the sprint at WOC 2006. The Tasmanian wondergirl became the youngest world champion ever, beating Simone Niggli and surprising the whole orienteering community. But during the World Championship last year her name was missing on the results.

Mental and physical break
Last year Hanny moved to Auckland in New Zealand, where she took a Primary School Teacher-diploma and developed her running skills. She felt stale and really wanted to finish her studies, so a year off the international orienteering was the solution. In December 2008 she returned back to Melbourne and began working as a teacher – with her body and mind ready to race again.

Found the key
“My training is going really well!”, says Hanny for Orienteering.is She trains under a coach from Canberra, and they share the same principles – the progress has been exiting so far this year. But Hanny took another step further – despite of the running focus, she started focusing hard on her orienteering skills when racing.

Allston will represent the Aussies in both the World Games and the World Championships this year. She plans getting involved in some of the World Cup starts as well, but the global finance crisis causes problems for the o-community Down Under. Anyway, she is still hoping to find a sponsor for the Post Finance Race in Switzerland – the final stage of the World Cup.

Hanny Allston - Photo: Geir Nilsen / OPN.no
Hanny Allston won gold medal at WOC 2006. Picture : Geir Nilsen / OPN.no

Biggest goal – to enjoy the sport
Hanny has a dream of becoming world champion in the long distance. But it doesn’t need to be this year, “there are many years in front of me” – says Allston.

“I just want to enjoy the sport at the moment” – explains the Tasmanian, but she also mentions her experience and stronger legs now. Perhaps she can surprise the world again this summer?

“It’s hard to say in orienteering as it is not like we have personal best times and distances. I will wait and see” – finishes Hanny with a smile.