For the second consecutive year, the 15 kilometre road championship was held in fine but quite cold conditions. Box Hill was represented by ten male and three female athletes in the Open Men’s and Women’s 15 K. road race. There was a new course this year which had a completely different starting point. Runners completed four circuits of the course, which is a flat course on asphalt paths and roads with trips through tunnels under roads.
The race commenced five or so minutes late. The leading group off seven runners separated quite early and was comprised of two Geelong athletes, Louis Rowan and Scott Rantall, Nick Harrison, Dave Ruschena and Scott Nicholas all from Glen Huntly, Magnus Michelsson, Collingwood and Grant Schmidlechner, Doncaster. John Meagher and two other athletes comprised the second group pursuing the leaders. Box Hill’s leading male contenders were John Meagher 8th, Andrew White, 13th, Simon Watson, 18th Adrian Vincent 20th, with Graeme Olden, 50th, John Vaitkunas 65th, and Chris O’Connor 66th in the first lap. Alan Craigie was a little further back in the seventies, with David Ayers and Adam Pepper some distance behind. Glen Huntly held a clear lead in the Section 1 teams’ race with Box Hill vying for second place in the team’s race with APS at this stage.
Positions did not vary markedly in the second lap, though Andrew White paid for running too energetically in the first lap and started to lose positions, whereas Simon Watson, who had started more conservatively started to pass runners. Adrian Vincent maintained his position, as did Graeme Olden. John Vaitkunas slipped behind Chris O’Connor, who commenced a gradual move forward in the field, with Alan Craigie running steadily.
The completion of the third lap saw Louis Rowan from Geelong split the pack with a sustained surge which caused all other athletes to drop away, although Nick Harrison and the second Geelong runner, Scott Rantall, were having an intensive battle for the silver medal position. John Meagher still held 8th position, with other Box Hill athletes maintaining their relative positions in relation to our club’s place in the Section 1 team order.
At the finish, Rowan held his lead to finish in 45 m 56, with Harrison just being shaded by Rantall of Geelong for the silver medal. John Meagher was overtaken by two athletes in the last kilometre but held 10th position, running over half a minute quicker than in 2004 to record the excellent time of 48 m. 36. Simon Watson maintained an excellent tempo and cadence and completed the course in 16th position recording 50 m. 08, just over a minute clear of Andrew White who recorded 51 m. 11 in 24th place. Adrian Vincent our next athlete, held onto 26th place in 51 m 19. Graeme Olden managed to pass several athletes towards the end of the race and placed 45th in 53 m. 04, with Chris O’Connor crossing the line soon after in 55th place recording 54 m.17. Alan Craigie ran steadily placing 67th in 55 m. 03. In 106th place, John Vaitkunas was pleased to complete the journey, recording the time of 56 m. 56. David Ayers appeared next in 62 m. 12, with Adam Pepper, our final male athlete to complete the course, recording 65 m. 20.
Provisional placings Club Time Place Louis Rowan Geel 45:57 1 Scott Rantall Geel 46:06 2 Nick Harrison GH 46:06 3 Dave Ruschena GH 46:23 4 Magnus Michelsson Coll 46:25 5 John Meagher BH 48:37 10 Simon Watson BH 50:08 16 Andrew White BH 51:11 24 Adrian Vincent BH 51:19 26 Graeme Olden BH 53:04 45 Chris O’Connor BH 54:17 55 Alan Craigie BH 55:03 67 John Vaitkunas BH 56:56 103 David Ayers BH 62:12 196 Adam Pepper BH 65:20 223 Provisional Teams Result Division 1 1 Glen Huntly 58 pts 2 Box Hill 174 pts 3 APS 203 pts
Lisa Jane Weightman won the Women’s race in 51 m. 11 from Susie Michelsson, from Collingwood, second. Jessica de Bruin was our first athlete home in the female section in 61 m 16, in 19th place, a little slower than she completed the course in 2004. Joc Keage placed 24th recording 63 m. 46 for the full distance. Amanda Harper ran 65 m. 55 for the 15k distance in 41st place.
Provisional placings Club Time Place Lisa Jane Weightman Knox 53:09 1 Susan Michelsson Collingwood 54:00 2 Kylie Dick Doncaster 55:30 3 Jess de Bruin Box Hill 61:17 19 Joc Keage Box Hill 63:45 24 Amanda Harper Box Hill 65:55 41 Provisional Teams Result Division 2 1 Coburg 73 pts 2 Box Hill 84 pts 3 Essendon 119 pts
The junior 5km race was held in chilly conditions at 8:30am before the 15km event.
Provisional placings Time Place Hayley Tomlinson Under 18 18:24 5 Harriet Hodgkinson Under 16 19:09 7 Coreena Cleland Under 18 19:42 11