This year was the 18th time this race has been contested. The Bennettswood course was set by Graeme Olden again in the morning. The course is run over about one and a half laps of the track on either side of Gardiner’s Creek.
There were over 60 entries by the time entries closed on Wednesday night, and a number of other starters indicated their intention to run after that deadline.
42 starters set out in very good conditions. Thanks to Mark Stewart’s enthusiasm, there was a very large contingent of Box Hill Pole Vaulters present, most of whom departed within four minutes of the start. At the conclusion of the first (partial lap, Five athletes looked to be the possible winners, including Holly Baxter, Melanie Adams, Dave Stevens, Julie Norney and Chris O’Connor an outside chance.
Holly Baxter finished well in front of the field, but as a last minute entrant is not eligible to win the race and consequent bragging rights. That honour goes to Melanie Adams who entered the race in the prescribed way. Melanie ran well under her estimated time. Both the Evans boys ran well for underage runners. Dave Stevens ran significantly faster than his previous year’s effort and finished in 5th place but was second overall, with Eloise O’Brien next across the line. Other notable efforts included Megan Sloane who turned the clock back, recently joined member Julie Norney, who recorded a Personal best for 5000 m, June Petrie who backed up after recently running a 50 mile race in Canberra, and Andrew White who recorded the fastest time of the day in running 15 m. 32.
Special mention must be made of the exceptional performance of Rosie Ditton in this year’s event. For the first time Rosie broke the 28 m. 00 handicap threshold and ran the whole way; a most impressive effort. Mark Stewart also impressed running within 5 seconds of his predicted time. His finishing visage probably wouldn’t have sold newspapers, but his time was up to near his best. And Joel Pocklington appeared destined, at one stage to challenge performances at the lower end of the continuum. Next year’s handicap mark for Joel will no doubt reflect his nearly 27 achievement.
We experienced technical difficulties with the placings after 12th and before 34th. Using excellent detective work, Colin Organ ensured that the results were reconstructed after the race and we believe that we have managed a 95% level of accuracy. So many runners finished at or around the same time that the recorders ere simply unable to write names down quickly enough. Colin Organ made a splendid effort in managing to get the finishing time of each placegetter, and we then had to match who finished in front of and behind each participant, a task complicated by the disappearance of a number of runners immediately after the race. We will adopt a different approach next year, and will probably employ a video camera at the finish to assist in getting places and times right.
Kate Beever very generously organised the ingredients for the post-race barbecue and cooked it as well. Thanks, Kate. Megan Sloane also cooked her usual post race contribution as well, which was also appreciated, especially by the hungry pole vaulters. Thanks to Chris O’Connor for his administrative assistance, Graeme Olden for setting up the course and to Colin Organ and Cam Sherry for their assistance at the finish and with recording.
|Place||Name||Elapsed time||Handicap||Actual time|
Fastest time: Andrew White