Race to the MCG – Week Eight Review

TWO months through our Race to the MCG with O’Neills and we’re nearing the finish line in both the men’s and women’s competitions!

As the Wales men’s look to approach the MCG in a matter of days, Germany’s women’s are not too far behind in reaching the 16,900km finish line.

Led by two enormous efforts from Jana. E (237.3km) and Leila. M (232.2km), Germany’s team in week eight have continued on at full throttle.

Extending their lead to almost 4,000km, they sit clear of Scotland (2nd) and Wales (3rd) both who have now passed the halfway mark.

Week eight saw six of the women’s teams improve from their previous week’s tally, as five still remain in the draw to win free entry into the 2021 Euro Cup.

France have shown steady improvement over the past month, continuing to beat their previous week’s tally with help from Haralyaa. Q’s 54.2km.

The AFL Europe Umpires team have put on their best weekly performance yet, finishing in 9th place.

The team is represented by a number of nationalities and locations across the world, logging runs and walks from a total of seven different countries.

Renowned AFL Europe umpire and winner of the Golden Whistle at the 2018 Champions League, Katrina Stopinski, said the team has very much enjoyed participating in the competition and keeping active.

“We have a small team of umpires taking part in the race, many of whom regularly run and walk to keep active,” Stopinski said.

Fresh off their best result in the competition, Stopinski was thrilled to see how far the team has come since the start of the race.

“I’m really proud of the group to have covered some of the distances they have.

“Those who have taken part have made significant contributions to our weekly total!

Joel from Melbourne, Christoffer from Sweden and Josh from Wales have all been huge contributors to our cause.”

Along with the umpires, Switzerland in 4th and Germany in 2nd have also finished week eight with their best placings yet.

Germany’s week of 1,240km had them crack the 10,000km mark whilst still sitting amongst the top three.

Carrying on in first position, a 1,700km week from Wales has them steaming towards the finish line.

Austria, Germany, Poland and Wales all remain in beating their week one benchmarks.

Jon. S from Wales (211.4km), Dan. S from Germany (172.6km) and Mark. H from Wales (170.5km) were some of the standout runners in week eight.

Whilst no changes were seen in the overall leaderboard, Ireland, France, Norway and Poland all managed to improve from their previous weekly total.

President of AFL Norway, Sébastien Muller, said the competition has been great for the Norwegian players to keep engaged as a team.

“It’s been an extra way to keep connected. Some of the members go for runs together or meet up afterwards for celebratory beers,” said Muller.

“I’m proud of everyone for keeping going while we continue to lead the pack from the back,” Muller joked.

With Wales closing in on first prize, this could be the last week for our men’s teams to make an impact on the ladder.

Over in the women’s, there’s no settling yet as we look forward to a few more long days of gut running to be had. Stay tuned!

Share with us your journey to the Melbourne Cricket Ground by tagging @AFLEurope and using the hashtag #RACETOTHEMCG.

O’Neills was founded in 1918 as a manufacturer of Gaelic Footballs and is now the largest and leading sportswear manufacturing company in Ireland. O’Neills are an 100% Irish owned organisation, specialising in the design, manufacture, personalisation and supply of performance multi-sportswear, leisurewear and sports equipment globally.

2020 marks O’Neills fifth consecutive year as the official Apparel Partner of AFL Europe. Over the five years, the entire team at O’Neills have been extremely supportive of AFL Europe and contributed to promoting the game by ensuring teams are provided with quality playing gear and equipment.

Jackson Jones – AFL Europe