The 10 K road race is the most competitive event of the Winter season every year, and, in 1999, there were some outstanding athletes standing at the start ready to commence. Box Hill had a fair-sized contingent who braved the freezing conditions. In fact, the only people who looked relatively comfortable were Ballarat runners, because it was 10 degrees warmer than they were used to.
The race started in extremely cold conditions; in fact, it was the coldest May day for 22 years, reaching only 10.8° C, according to the Weather Bureau. By the time the leading runners came into view after around 7 minutes, there was a pack of about 18 runners vying for the lead. Marcus Tierney has been running in excellent form this year, and he seemed very determined, before the race, to do well. Rod de Highden, Paul Patrick, Julian Paynter, Darren Lynch, Magnus Michelsson, Linton Gloster and others, were all in contention for the lead. Most pleasing of all, for Box Hill supporters, was Marcus Tierney’s position, 13th at this stage, only five metres behind the leader. There was a long break then, until Graeme Olden emerged, followed by Tom Waters, Scott Jackson and Glenn Tooze, all reasonably close together, some distance back. All our runners appeared to be running with a determination to improve their position.
Relative positions remained about the same towards the conclusion of the second lap, with Rod de Highden surging to the lead, Julian Paynter looking dangerous, and Darren Lynch, Craig Mottram (an U/20 runner, representing Geelong), Paul Patrick, Phil Sly and others, also in touch. Marcus Tierney was in 13th place, looking very comfortable in this leading bunch, which numbered 16 runners.
The third lap saw de Highden caught by four runners who then passed him, with Paynter establishing a clear margin over Lynch, second, with Mottram, third, in a splendid finish for a Junior, and Patrick, fourth. Marcus Tierney held 13th until about 2000 m from home, when he conceded three places before the finish. His excellent effort in finishing 16th was highly encouraging, and there is no doubt he is capable of even better placings as the Winter season progresses. Well done, Marcus, on your fine performance today. Tom Waters’s performance is also deserving of praise. He ran a very impressive race, improving his position throughout the whole race, and running one of his best 10k. races. Another athlete to improve both his time and position from 1998 was John Vaitkunas. He looks certain to have a splendid year, as well.
A foul change of weather in the third lap made running conditions as unpleasant as they have been in the last 24 years I have been attending this event. Low temperatures, icy and persistent wind, heavy rain and hail do not add appeal to competing on such a day. Nevertheless, our competitors toiled away until they completed the distance (see results below). The remaining Box Hill competitors completed the course, looking for somewhere to warm up their numb limbs and fingers at the finish.
Last year Glenn Tooze was in inhuman haste to leave the course in order to watch the football on the television. Sadly, this year, he couldn’t wait until the completion of the race before he jumped in the car to rush home. We can only assume it was the same reason as last year.
In the Juniors’ race it was most pleasing to see Simon Bromley and Simon McGuinness prominent in their respective races. Both recorded a top 10 finish. Well done both of you.
1 Julian Paynter GH 29 m. 20
2 Darren Lynch Geelong
3 Craig Mottram Geelong
4 Paul Patrick APS
5 Rod De Highden Doncaster
Section 1 (A Grade) Box Hill Performances
Position Name Time
16 Marcus Tierney 30 m. 26
50 Graeme Olden 32 m. 09
56 Tom Waters 32 m. 19
78 Scott Jackson 33 m. 06
83 Kynan Dawes 33 m. 18
94 John Vaitkunas 33 m. 34
Section 3 (C Grade)
100 Chris O’Connor 33 m. 53
Steve Dineen 34 m. 28
Chris Bunney 34 m. 54
Tony Bird 36 m. 34
Noel Dunstan 40 m. 31
Glenn Tooze Did not finish (Football?)
Please note that the placings and times are ours – official placings and times were not available at the time we left the course.
U/20 Grade 10 k. Road
8 Simon Bromley 35 m. 58
7 Simon McGuinness 36 m. 24
A cold day and a new course greeted athletes at Flemington, and in the open 10k Anna Thompson produced a pb to finish in 6th place with a time of 36.14. Rachel Johnson was next home in 10th with 37.18, and Gabby Bombell also ran a pb to finish 17th in 37.45. Georgina Connell show her versatility off the track and finished in 29th position with a pb of 39.11. Big improver Louise Oakley took 2 mins from her pb to finish 34th in 39.50. Megan Sloane ran another consistent race to finish 43rd in 41.07 and a welcome to Kerry Walker who finished 64th in 45.16.
The under 20 race had only one competitor from Box Hill – Rachel King who finished 7th in 43.41. Confusion over entries in the under 18 age group saw an unlucky Jess De Bruin finish 2nd in 40.20, however couldn’t claim the silver as she was running by invitation. Emily Smith ran a good race to finish 4th in 41.39 and Jocelyn Keage finished 7th in 43.05.