Hanny Allston was 20 when she won gold in the Junior World Orienteering Title in 2006. Not content with that stunning achievement, two weeks later she lined up to take on the seasoned pros and won the Senior World Orienteering Title as well. Hanny is the only athlete to have ever done this.
Since then she has not only continued to set records and achieve podium finishes in endurance events around the world, but in 2009 she founded a company called Find Your Feet in Hobart to create an opportunity for mature aged runners to socialise while learning the basics of running.
Over the past six years, Find Your Feet has grown exponentially and now includes – amongst other things – a retail shop that sells ultra running gear – the only one in Australia to do so – group and one-on-one coaching services, camps and tours. Find Your Feet is a one-stop-shop for serious trail runners and Hanny’s entrepreneurial spirit saw her awarded Tasmania’s Telstra Young Business Award in 2015.
It is a real coup for the CBR100 Challenge to name Hanny as a competition advisor for the 2016 event. For her part, Hanny said there were a number of reasons she was attracted to being involved.
The first thing she said impressed her about the event was that ‘it is really trying to cater to people getting started’. She said ‘a lot of the other big events are in frightening environments such as the Blue Mountains or Tasmania and I think they’re a lot rougher and tougher and intimidating for people starting out in the sport’.
Second, she said she liked the fact there is a conscious effort to make the event family-friendly. ‘It’s really hard to get into ultra-running when you are a parent and you want to bring your family along, so I love the fact the CBR100 is localised and there is plenty for families to do while the races are on.’
Third, Hanny said she liked the fact the event ‘is strongly promoting women in sport because it takes a certain personality to go and take part in an event like this. To create an event women feel supported in is really exciting and this event is having great success in that.’
Finally, Hanny said that from an elite perspective, the course is very fast. ‘For an ultra-distance course over 100km it’s a very quick course, so I think down the track there is potential to attract elite runners and clock some good times early in the year.
‘I think the event has the potential to grow and attract a very broad community of runners’, she said, ‘and I’m really excited to be part of it.’