This year was the 15th Anniversary of the 5000 m handicap event, started to give Winter athletes a race hit out before the first event on the Winter calendar, and to give the selectors a mean of gauging club athletes’ form. Over the last few years, our club’s pole vaulters have done their best to make a fool of the handicapper, succeeding on a number of occasions. Mark Stewart again gave very phlegmatic estimates of a number of the pole vaulters’ predicted times with concise statements such as “not very good”, “pretty good runner”, “about the same as last year” (helpful when the person concerned hadn’t been a starter) and so forth.
35 starters were ready to commence in varying states of readiness, depending on when they had calculated the start would be. Several cut it fine, shall we say. This number of participants was virtually equal to the best turn up we have ever had, with 36 participants starting in 1998. If we were to count a passer-by who appeared to join in then it was equivalent. There were a large group of supporters and spectators including Fiona Buchanan’s dog, on hand to offer advice and guidance.
Dave Cross and his children, Courtenay, Brodie and Braeden, arrived as a family group and caused the organizers a challenge in order to calculate their estimated running times. After this was accomplished, the field was dispatched, with twelve-and–a-half minutes separating the first participants from the last runner.
By the time Andrew White, our back marker, set off, the first runners had nearly completed a circuit of the course. The runners were strung out over a long distance as they passed the finish for the first time in the (nearly) two lap course. As they emerged, it appeared likely that one of the pole vaulters had a good chance of reaching the line in first place, but Westly Winsor, Sam Dipnall, Michael Bourne, Tom Waters and Megan Sloane all appeared to have a chance as well. Others to look like they would be in the leading contenders were Dave Featherston, Heidi Riordan and Kate Wall, along with Harriet Hodgkinson’s father, Steve.
The backmarkers, Graeme Olden, Chris O’Connor, Chris Hamer and Andrew White were all running strongly, with Graeme Olden looking the most likely of this group to overhaul the runners dispatched earlier. It was very pleasing to see a few runners such as Tom Waters, Heidi Riordan, and Kate Ackland attempting the distance after either a period away from the distance events or running for the first time.
By the time the recorders were at their stations to time and place athletes, Steve Hodgkinson, an invitee, emerged and crossed the line ahead of the rest of the field in the time of 22 minutes 30 seconds. Thirteen seconds behind was the race winner, Simone Carre, a member of the pole vaulting fraternity, who shocked the handicapper by running the time of 22 minutes 43 seconds, to be declared the official winner of the race. Ten seconds behind her was Heidi Riordan who recorded the time of 19 m. 38 s. A further eight seconds behind was Michael Bourne, officially third, recording the time of 17 m. 16 s.
Other notable performances came from Sam Dipnall, 16 m. 19 s., Chris Hamer, 15 m. 29 s., Andrew White who had the fastest time of the day, 15 m. 22 s., Cameron Baker, unencumbered by huge quantities of medals around his neck in 2006, 21 m. 39 and Brodie Cross, who recorded a very similar time to his father. Kate Wall gave an indication of what is to come this year as well, breaking 20 minutes for the distance, and Rachel Johnson ran 19 m. 09 s., a pretty fair run as well.
Athletes were treated to a BBQ organised by Julie Milner at the venue after the race, which was much appreciated. All in all this year’s event was a great success and we look forward to some excellent performances during the rest of the Winter season.
Thanks to Doug Bourne, David Jimenez and Julie Milner for their assistance at the finish, to Megan Sloane for providing tea, coffee and afternoon tea, to Ian Sloane for setting the handicap marks and recording times, and to Graeme Olden for setting up the course yet again.
|Place||Name||Elapsed Time||Handicap||Act. race time|
|1.||Simone Carre||26 m. 28||3:40||18 m. 45|
|2.||Heidi Riordan||26 m. 38||7:00||19 m. 38|
|3.||Michael Bourne||26 m. 46||9:30||17 m. 16|
|4.||Dave Featherston||26 m. 51||8:10||18 m. 41|
|5.||Kate Wall||26 m. 52||7:00||19 m. 52|
|6.||Tom Waters||26 m. 56||8:35||18 m. 21|
|7.||Megan Sloane||26 m. 57||6:45||20 m. 12|
|8.||Chris Wall||27 m. 03||9:30||17 m. 33|
|9.||Graeme Olden||27 m. 14||10:30||16 m. 44|
|10.||Leigh Miller||27 m. 25||8:35||18 m. 50|
|11.||Harriet Hodgkinson||27 m. 25||7:20||20 m. 05|
|12.||Wes Windsor||27 m. 25||6:45||20 m. 40|
|13.||Sam Dipnall||27 m. 29||11:10||16 m. 19|
|14.||Rachel Johnson||27 m. 34||8:25||18 m. 43|
|15.||Chris Hamer||27 m. 39||12:10||15 m. 29|
|16.||Haley Tomlinson||27 m. 42||9:15||Didn’t run full distance|
|17.||Chris O’Connor||27 m. 44||10:35||17 m. 09|
|18.||Brett Nuske||27 m. 44||6:45||20 m. 59|
|19.||Brodie Cross||27 m. 51||6:30||21 m. 21|
|20.||Andrew White||27 m. 52||12:30||15 m. 22|
|21.||Barry Whittle||27 m. 59||8:10||19 m. 49|
|22.||Cameron Baker||28 m. 09||6:30||21 m. 39|
|23.||Courtenay Cross||28 m. 22||3:40||24 m. 42|
|24.||Jess de Bruin||28m. 22||8:15||20 m. 07|
|25.||Joc Keage||28 m. 28||8:10||20 m. 18|
|26.||Mark Stewart||28 m. 30||3:40||24 m. 50|
|27.||James Filshie||28 m. 44||5:30||23 m. 14|
|28.||Braeden Cross||29 m. 16||7:00||22 m. 16|
|29.||David Cross||29 m. 54||8:15||21 m. 39|
|30.||Kate Ackland||30 m. 02||7:00||23 m. 02|
|31.||Jacqui Williams||30 m. 29||Go||30 m. 24|
|32.||Jenna Jeffs||30 m. 29||Go||30 m. 24|
|33.||Charlotte Roberts||30 m. 58||6:10||24 m. 48|
|34.||Priscilla Barrington||30 m. 58||6:20||24 m. 38|
|Steve Hodgkinson||26 m. 10||3:40||22 m. 30|