After finishing a very close second to Glenhuntly in the Open men’s race last year, the Box Hill team had great hopes of placing again this year however illness and unavailability of some of our key members weakened the team somewhat and we were only able to manage fourth place which we held from the end of the first leg run by Dale Bickham to the end of the race. Graeme Olden lost one place near the start of the climb over Mt Alexander but gained it back further up the hill to hand over to Luke Yeatman just in front of Ballarat. Luke had an epic battle with “Ned Kelly” before gaining control on the final hill to maintain our placing which Paul Boxshall maintained on the “flat” fourth leg. Scott Jackson extended our lead over fifth place on the next leg and despite strong runs by Marcus Tierney and Sam Hassett in the final two legs we were unable to catch the third placed APS.
The Division 3 team had an epic battle with Waverley for the whole race. Tony Bird ran a strong first leg to hand over in a close third place. Patrick Kelly defied the effects of a cold to pass both the runners in front of him along the aqueduct to take the lead which Chris O’Connor extended despite injuring his calf during the run. Adam Pepper ran gamely but was incapacitated by the effects of numerous vaccination injections during the week and lost the lead to Waverley and handed over to Matthew Slater about two minute behind. Matt took full advantage of his local knowledge to reel in the Waverley runner and as he passed his parents place with less than a kilometre to go unleashed a huge finishing sprint which took him to within 12 seconds of catching the Waverley runner at the finish.
Steve Murphy showed great determination and Club spirit to run both the first and second legs for the Division 6 team but unfortunately we were not able to fill the remaining legs.