Burnley Half Marathon

A slightly overcast day greeted runners for the 8.00 a.m. start of the Victorian Half Marathon course at Burnley next to the Yarra River. The large field took off when the starter fired both chambers. About ten runners separated immediately from the rest of the field with Jason Woolhouse, Geelong, immediately opening up a break on the other athletes in contention. Box Hill was looking well below full strength. With only two athletes in the top 50 we were clearly not going to finish in the first three places.

Andrew White started out very conservatively, and after five kilometres started to move forward past opponents. Not far behind was John Meagher. Adrian Vincent as our third placed athlete, ahead of Steve Griffith and Chris O’Connor, who was running near Nikki Chapple, running in third place in the women’s race, behind Susie Michelsson, Collingwood, and Karen Thorp, Knox.

At the 12 k mark, Woolhouse had extended his lead over the rest of the field to 1 minute and 41 seconds, an unassailable gap. However, Andrew White, the 2007 event champion, had surged to second place (38:48), running side by side with Nathan Hartigan of Ballarat Harriers. Both runners looked composed. Magnus Michelsson, Collingwood, was fourth 19 seconds in arrears. Ben Toomey, Knox and Paul Eason, Ballarat Harriers, were next, followed by John Meagher (39:58) running stride for stride with Rod De Highden, Doncaster.

Steve Griffin was the next Box Hill athlete through the 12 k mark in 60th position, three places ahead of Adrian Vincent, with Chris O’Connor ten places further back in 73rd position. Box Hill’s Division 1 team was in around sixth place, behind Geelong, the leaders, Melbourne University, Doncaster, APS, Collingwood and possibly Knox.

The Box Hill women had a full team on the course. Nikki Chapple was making very good progress and had moved forward to be in second place, and soon after unleashed a burst that propelled her to the lead and she drew away from Susie Michelsson. Rachel Johnson was running sensibly further back in the field and Talitha Crawford was running in a group about twelve minutes further back.

Other Box Hill athletes running included Matt Coloe, Bill Dyer, Paul Boxshall, Scott Boxshall, Adam Pepper, Andrew Tunne and Dave Stevens. Jason Woolhouse maintained his lead to the finish, winning the race in 66 m. 13 seconds. Andrew White drew clear from Hartigan to place second in 68:16, ahead of his opponent by nine seconds. John Meagher placed 16th in 71:40. Other Division 1 team members were Steve Griffin, 58th in 77:46, Adrian Vincent, 86th in 80:47 and Chris O’Connor in 81:41.

Box Hill overtook APS and Knox late in the race.

Nikki Chapple won the Women’s race in 74:37, well ahead of Susie Michelsson, second and Lisa Dick, Ringwood, third who eclipsed Karen Thorp in the concluding section of the race. Rachel Johnson plugged on for 13th place and with Talitha Crawford completing the team. Box Hill women’s team claimed 3rd place, its best result for the year to date.


Place                      Club     Times
1.      Jason Woolhouse   Geelong   66:13
2.      Andrew White      Box Hill  68:16
3.      Nathan Hartigan   Ballarat  68:25
4.      Ben Toomey        Knox      68:56
5.      Magnus Michelsson C'wood    69:10
6.      Peter Eason       Ballarat  69:31
15.     John Meagher      Box Hill  71:41
55.     Steve Griffin     Box Hill  77:48
78.     Adrian Vincent    Box Hill  80:48
90.     Chris O’Connor    Box Hill  81:41
133.    Matt Coloe        Box Hill  85:29
155.    Bill Dyer         Box Hill  87:38
180.    Paul Boxshall     Box Hill  90:47
237.    Adam Pepper       Box Hill 100:12
254.    Andrew Tunne      Box Hill 107:23
258.    Dave Stevens      Box Hill 109:36

Men’s Division 1 Results
1.      Geelong         79 
2.      Doncaster      171 
3.      Collingwood    206
4.      Box Hill       240 
5.      APS            249 
=6      Knox           268 
=6      Sandringham    268

Men’s Division 3 Results
1.      Melbourne Uni       277 
2.      Coburg              378 
3.      Sandringham         486 
4.      APS                 505 
5.      Knox                611 
6.      Collingwood         625 
7.      Keilor St Bernards  656 
8.      Ballarat City       684 
9.      Box Hill            705

Men’s 40+ Results
1.      APS United           20 
2.      Athletics Waverley   41 
3.      Malvern Harriers     51
4.      Box Hill             62 

Women Individual Results
1.      Nikki Chapple       Box Hill     74:37
2.      Susie Michelsson    Collingwood  78:32
3.      Lisa Dick           Ringwood     79:19
4.      Karen Thorp         Knox         79:36
13.     Rachel Johnson      Box Hill     84:10
48.     Talitha Crawford    Box Hill     98:56

Women’s Team Results
1.      Knox        44 
2.      Glenhuntly  46 
3.      Box Hill    62