Albert Park Road Races


Running conditions in 2001 for the 15K road race around Albert Park were about as favorable as one would ever expect; no rain, still conditions and temperate.  There were a number of Box Hill competitors in the early 5 K road race, including Andrew White, Nicki Chapple, Hayley Tomlinson, Jess de Bruin and Audra Papworth.  All our athletes were prominent in their particular section, with Hayley winning her race, Jess de Bruin placing second and Audra Papworth placing ** in her division.  Official times and places were unavailable at the time of leaving the course.

The Open Men’s and Women’s 15 K. attracted 12 athletes representing Box Hill.  Unfortunately we fielded only one senior men’s team being one athlete short of a second team and there were only two female competitors.

There was an extremely strong field this year with four runners, who will represent Australia at the forthcoming World Championships in Edmonton, contesting the race.  Paul Fenn, running for Eureka, surprised the field with his early display of bold front running and he opened up a lead of 30 or 40 metres over a small second group comprised of five or so athletes.  These included Magnus Michelsson, Nick Harrison, and Rod de Highden, with Darren Wilson, Phil Sly and Greg Lyons further back.

These athletes held their positions at the end of the first lap.  Box Hills leading contenders were John Meagher, Marcus Tierney and Kynan Dawes all within a second of each other, but some distance behind the leaders.  Graeme Olden was 20 seconds behind this group.  Dale Bickham was running a prudent race half a minute behind Graeme Olden in advance of Paul Boxshall, Adam Pepper and Tony Bird.  Patrick Kelly, having realised that the race distance had one more “0” in it than he would have preferred, and Steve Murphy were further back.

The leaders were still in two groups and Fenn’s lead had diminished at the end of the second lap.  Rod de Highden went through in second place, looking a threat.  Michelsson and Harrison were in close contention.  Marcus Tierney ran through in 19th place less than two minutes behind the leading group, with John Meagher, looking confident, 16 seconds in arrears in 20th position.  Kynan Dawes had surrendered a number of positions, but he was clearly running well, in 27th position, just in front of Graeme Olden in 29th position.  Just behind these two runners was Susie Power, the leading female contender.  She put in a stunning performance in the second half of the race to pass a number of the leading male runners in the race, in what surely could be described as an international class performance.  Dale Bickham was running steadily, 30 seconds down on Graeme Olden, holding 34th position.  A minute and a half behind was Adam Pepper, closely followed by Tony Bird and Paul Boxshall, who was suffering from a stitch.  Patrick Kelly had improved his position significantly in the second lap to be just over a minute behind this group.  Marion Gamble and Megan Sloane were the next athletes to appear, close together mid field in the women’s race.

At the conclusion of the third lap the leading runners had changed their order and Paul Fenn had withdrawn from the race.  Darren Wilson had surged to the lead followed my Michelsson, de Highden and Harrison, all relatively close together with the leader running through in 33 m. 37.  Marcus Tierney continued to hold 19th place, just in advance of John Meagher, 21st .  Graeme Olden had picked up Kynan Dawes to be in 28th position with Kynan one place further back.  Three places further back was Dale Bickham, who had improved his position during the third lap.  Tony Bird had lifted slightly and ran through two seconds ahead of Paul Boxshall and 13 seconds in advance of Adam Pepper all of whom were in close touch.  Patrick Kelly fell away a little in this lap but was striving to beat those around him.  Marion Gamble drew a small distance in front of Megan Sloane in the third lap.

The finish of the men’s race saw a very powerful finishing kick from Nick Harrison pull him pull four seconds clear of Darren Wilson, with Rod de Highden, sprinting hard a further three seconds further back.  Magnus Michelsson was 15 seconds further back, unable to match the resurgent pace of the placegetters in the concluding stages of the race.  John Meagher lifted in the last lap to reach 19th position, in the respectable time of 48 minutes 40 seconds, 19 seconds in advance of Marcus Tierney, perhaps short of a race.  Marcus registered 22nd, unofficially.  Graeme Olden held 29th place, just dipping under the 50 minute barrier.  Kynan Dawes ran one of his better 15k races finishing 32nd in 50 m. 12, unfortunately by invitation, with Dale Bickham placing 33rd a further 11 seconds in arrears. This was a fine effort from Dale, particularly as he ran evenly and in a measured manner for the full distance, and he had every reason to be well satisfied with the result.  Paul Boxshall finished in 76th position in 54 m. 03.  Our Section one team was completed when Adam Pepper, unable to match Chris’s finishing lap, finished in 82nd place in 54 m. 52 s.  Tony Bird finished, a further four places behind in 54 m. 05.  Patrick Kelly lifted in the last lap to record a time of 55 m. 52 s.  Marion Gamble finished her race in 63 m. 22 s., ahead of Megan Sloane in 63 m. 52.  Steve Murphy battled on to finish in 69 m. 37 s.

Susie Power’s effort in completing the course in 49 minutes 28 was outstanding in the women’s race.  It is to be hoped that she can find an international road race shortly, being in such brilliant form. She would be competitive with the best athletes in the world on this performance.

In the team’s race, Glen Huntly clearly won the Section 1.  Box Hill’s performance was much improved compared to earlier Winter races and we believe that we finished fourth.  Results will be on the Athletic Victoria Web site in the near future.

It was pleasing to see a number of Box Hill supporters at the road side including Keith Routley, life member, Julie Milner, Wes Windsor, and Chris O’Connor, all giving strong encouragement to our athletes, with a number of parents of runners.

Ian Sloane

Unofficial Results and Times of Senior Men’s Race

Name Lap 1 Place Lap 2 Place Lap 3 Place Lap 4 FinalPlace
N. Harrison GH 4 4 34:38 4 44:31 1
D. Wilson APS 6? 5? 34:37 1 44:35 2
R. De Highden Don 2 22: 21 2 34:38 3 44:38 3
M. Michelsson Coll 5 3 34:37 2 44:53 4
P. Sly PRR 45:28 5
J. Meagher 12:11   24:09 19 36:42 19 48:40 18 (19)
M. Tierney 12:12   24:25 20 36:44 21 48:59 20 (22)
G. Olden 12:32   24:54 29 37:23 28 49:58 25 (29)
K. Dawes 12:12   24:51 27 37:36 29 50:12 Inv (32)
D. Bickham 13:00   25:24 34 37:53 32 50:23 28 (33)
P. Boxshall 13:19   27:32   41:00   54:03 67 (76)
A. Pepper 13:21   27:08   41:11   54:52 74 (86)
T. Bird 13:48   27:17   40:58   54:54 77 (89)
P. Kelly 14:46   28:47   42:53   55:54 89 (102)
M. Gamble 16:04   31:47   47:40?   63:22 27 (217)
M. Sloane 16:12   31:57   47:57   63:52 31 (226)
S. Murphy 16:49   34:01   51:44   69:37 208 (272)

Please note, lap places and times listed are our estimates, not official results, which were not available when we left the course.  (e = estimate; ? = approximate placing or time on the running watch). Placings before the brackets are scoring positions and placings in brackets are overall placings.

Unofficial Team results

Glen Huntly – 59
Doncaster – 178
PRR – 201
Box Hill – 242