Box Hill 5 km Handicap

2003 Box Hill 5 k Handicap Won By Dion Pocklington Pole Vaulters Join Distance Runners

The annual Box Hill 5000 m. Handicap race was run on Saturday April 26 at our usual Bennetswood course adjacent to Gardiner’s Creek. The weather conditions were very sunny and warm (25° C), which probably accounted for the slower times recorded this year. Most of the runners drove to the course, although several starters ran down from the clubrooms.

This year’s field of 31 starters was the largest field since 1998 (36 starters), bolstered by a large contingent of pole-vaulters, who had been putting in some special secret training immediately prior to the event on the runway. It was great to have the vaulters join us, although the distance runners eyed the marks given to the vaulters very suspiciously at the start.

After his compelling 2002 effort to persuade everyone that he had been severely disadvantaged with a crook mark, young club legend, Cameron Baker, turned up, 12 minutes after the start, and was reluctant to join in with the other vaulters. This was very puzzling to spectators, given the leniency with which he had been treated this year. Wes Winsor turned up close to the start time, on a bicycle, claiming that he intended to use it to complete the course, until a kilogram of nails was produced from the starter’s car boot. (N.B. Wes, the only acceptable form of wheeled transport for this race is a wheelchair. We can arrange one for you for 2004, if you would like.)

The earlier starters were dispatched and a number of the better-accomplished runners looked to the other side of the creek expecting some of the earlier starters to come into view, having completed their first lap before the quicker performers had started. This didn’t happen, which was a pleasant surprise. The spectators and recorders then traversed the creek to reach the finishing line.

Dion Pocklington emerged to cross the finishing line for the first time well ahead of his rivals. Mark Stewart, with whom he had started had undertaken to exercise some control over his charges, but when Joel Pocklington came into view clearly in second place and no sign of the coach, it was pretty clear that Mark has much to learn about disciplining and imposing some sort of control over young athletes. Shortly after Wes Winsor, minus bicycle, rushed through, looking like he was a chance to overhaul Joel. Then a number of distance runners (including Amanda Harper, Barry Lynch, Chris Hamer, Chris O’Connor and Tony Bird) strode past looking like they were making good progress, plus versatile sprinter and field games exponent, Dave Featherston, who looked like he might be able to pick up others ahead of him. Further back, Andrew White and Graeme Olden impressed as they flashed through chasing the frontrunners, with Andrew holding a small margin over Graeme. Previous dual winner of the event, Michael Bourne looked to be moving well as he completed the first lap, but concentrated his thoughts on a third victory in 2004 in the second lap. Several of the vaulters were not moving quite as impressively as they had appeared to be whilst on the artificial surface at Hagenauer’s Reserve, and were asked if first aid was required. This offer was ignored.

The second lap saw Dion and Joel Pocklington maintain their positions in first and second place. Dave Featherston claimed third place late in the second circuit, in breaking 20 minutes for the distance. Chris O’Connor unleashed a powerful finishing burst but narrowly failed to catch fourth- placed Wes Winsor. Promising junior, Chris Hamer showed he has great potential in recording the very impressive time of 17 m. 25 for the journey. There is no doubt that he will run extremely well in the Winter season.

Amanda Harper was the next to finish, showing the benefit of the good background that she has accumulated over the last two years. One of our more remarkable club athletes, Tony Bird finished just behind Amanda, in a time that athletes 20 years younger than Tony would have been proud to have recorded.

Andrew White, next to cross the finishing line, recorded the fastest time of the day, having drawn 10 or 12 metres clear of Graeme Olden, who staged his own struggle to just defeat Mark Stewart by centimetres on the line. Had Mark actually run on the course over the last 150 metres, Graeme’s victory would have been by nowhere near as small a margin. Spectators wondered that if Mark had put as much energy in to the rest of the race as he did into the finish, how far would he have won the race by? A very long way was the general consensus. Andrew White looks to have a great Winter season in front of him, after his second placing in the 5000 m. in the Nationals.

It was very pleasing to see Beth Bird running the 5K after such a successful finish to her track season, and it was great to have Tom Waters return to race after recovering from an accident. Barry Lynch drew comment for his excursion across the creek on a bridge a considerable way from the correct turning point. He was insistent, however, that he retraced his steps and ran the full distance, after being reminded that his deviation had been observed. It was also pleasing to have a number of new club members join us on the day and to see Rachel Johnson getting her fitness level up, and to see Jess de Bruin back on the track.

Thanks to Graeme Olden for setting up the course, Julie Milner for providing the post-race BBQ supplies, and Doug Bourne for cooking the BBQ.

2003 Box Hill 5 K. Handicap Race Performances


Place 1.



Dion Pocklington


Elapsed Time 22 m. 51


Handicap 1:25


Act. race time 21 m. 26


Joel Pocklington

24 m. 33


23 m. 08


Dave Featherston

24 m. 47


19 m. 52


Wes Windsor

24 m. 57


20 m. 57


Chris O’Connor

24 m. 59


16 m. 29


Chris Hamer

25 m. 05


17 m. 25


Amanda Harper

25 m. 24


20 m. 39


Tony Bird

25 m. 30


17 m. 40


Andrew White

25 m. 40


16 m. 00


Graeme Olden

25 m. 43


16 m. 03


Mark Stewart

25 m. 43


24 m. 18


David Ayers

25 m. 46


18 m. 46


Barry Lynch

26 m. 04


16 m. 39


Beth Bird

26 m. 08


21 m. 13


Jay Parmanasche

26 m. 15


19 m. 00


Tom Waters

26 m. 26


18 m. 56


Melinda Missen

26 m. 33


21 m. 08


John Vaitkunas

26 m. 50


19 m. 25


Michael Riera

26 m. 54


21 m. 44


Jess de Bruin

26 m. 59


20 m. 39


Rachel Johnson

27 m. 04


21 m. 39


Alex de Greenlaw

27 m. 22


19 m. 32


Michael Bourne

27 m. 35


20 m. 10


Catherine Allen

27 m. 59


21 m. 34


Steven Hooker

28 m. 32


24 m. 27


Sara Oldfield

28 m. 57


28 m. 32


Jessica Turner

29 m. 19


28 m. 09


Fiona Buchanan

29 m. 58


25 m. 33


Kate Ackland

29 m. 58


25 m. 33


Rosanna Ditton

32 m. 11


32 m. 11

History of

our race




Previous Winners

Leigh Miller


17 m. 06


Fastest Time

Graeme Olden


14 m. 56


Nick Luxton

16 m. 48

Graeme Olden

15 m. 09


Dale Bickham

17 m. 16

Scott Jackson

15 m. 08


Sam Hassett

18 m. 38

Graeme Olden

15 m. 17


Michael Bourne

24 m. 40

Graeme Olden

15 m. 27


Michael Bourne

20 m. 50

Glenn Tooze

15 m. 58


Ashley Boyd

20 m. 11

Graeme Olden

15 m. 07


Tom Waters

15 m. 38

Marcus Tierney

14 m. 34


Jocelyn Keage

17 m. 40

Graeme Olden

15 m. 21


Liam Rourke

17 m. 40

Scott Jackson

15 m. 36


Hayley Tomlinson

17 m. 44

Graeme Olden

15 m. 03