XCR Round 9 – Burnley Half Marathon

September 8, 2019

By Ian Sloane

Congratulations to all those who participated in the Burnley Half Marathon on Sunday. There were good individual results and Box Hill was 3rd in the women’s division 2 and 40+. The men’s 50+ team also scored a 3rd place.

We were greeted with blue skies and chilly temperatures.  The Burnley course is flat and fast.  There were 140 female finishers in the open race and 402 male finishers.  More started, but withdrew during the race. 

Box Hill had fewer representatives in the half marathon than we have had in previous winter races this year, with a number of our best performers out with injury or unavailable.  When the race started just after 8am, the runners had to complete multiple laps to finish the 21.1 kilometre course. A group of five or six athletes led out after a couple of kilometres.  Dave Ridley (Doncaster), Ryan Geard (Western), Liam Adams (Essendon) and Matthew Hudson were some of the prominent athletes.  Leading Box Hill runners at this early stage were Klarie McIntyre, 19th, Nick Baggott, 24th, Alex Ritchie, 35th, John Meagher, 45th and Josh De Stefanis, 50th. John Dutton was obscured when he ran through, and he was in the top 10% as was seen the next time the runners ran past the finish point. Steph Kondogonis was the leading female athlete, with Pia Hunter, June Petrie, Kat Foley and Kaman Ip making up the rest if the team. 

Geard, and Adams were running in close proximity to Ridley and Hudson, and Matthew Johnsen (Doncaster) had moved into fifth position and was moving well. Klarie McIntyre was in 16th position, Nick Baggott was in 21st position, John Dutton was in 32nd position, Alex Ritchie was in 42nd place, Josh De Stefanis was 54th and John Meagher was 57th.  Steph Kondogonis was he best placed female Box Hill athlete, so way ahead of Pia Hunter, June Petrie and Kaman Ip.

The next time the leaders appeared, Geard and Adams put the foot down on the accelerator and broke up the pack, with Ridley, Hudson and Johnsen the next three competitors. Klarie McIntyre was 17th, Nick Baggott 22nd, John Dutton held 31st, Alex Ritchie was 40th with John Meagher 62nd, Jos De Stefanis, around 65th and Russell Clowes about 95th.  The race becomes difficult to follow in the concluding laps, because slower runners are being lapped by the quicker runners.  There is a constant stream of human traffic and it is easy to miss runners buried within a larger group. 

Adams and Geard remained in front, with Ridley and Johnsen the next to to pass where the finish would be.  Klarie Mcintyre improved his place two positions and was 15th, Nick Baggott was 23rd, John Dutton was 36th, Alex Ritchie was 40th, Jos De Stefanis was around 65th and John Meagher was around 68th.  Russell Clowes, Dylan Perera, Michael Vaughan, Jackson Deane, Shane Holt, Tony Langelaan, Steph Kondogonis, and Jack Hill were the next Box Hill runners to pass by, before the writer had to move to the finishing chute when the leaders emerged in the distance.

Geard put in a surge and Adams didn’t respond, so Geard won the race by 14 seconds from Adams, with Ridley coming back at Adams, seven seconds further back.  Johnsen too fourth with Hudson fifth.  Klarie McIntyre’s strong finish carried him past two more competitors, so he finished 13th, with a two minute PB, no mean feat. Nick Baggott picked up more places as well to finish 20th.  John Dutton also finished strongly and came 33rd, with Alex Ritchie placing 47th. Jos De Stefanis, 64th, John Meagher, 72nd and Russell Clowes, 100th, made the top 100 as well.  Tony Langelaan ran well in his age group0 and time wise to finish159th.  Simon St Hill saw the benefit of his relatively new running shoes to knock six minutes off his PB, finishing 298th. Anna Kelly (Invitation) won the women’s race from Kiah Fry (Frankston) and Fasika Metafriya (Essemdon) was third. Steph Kondogonis placed 23rd, Pia Hunter was 60th, June Petrie was 69th and Kaman Ip was 77th

Post-race analysis showed that St Stephens won the men’s team race from Western Athletics and Geelong were third.  Box Hill recorded its leanest placing of the season and finished fourth in the Premier Division.  SSH have now secured the Premier Division Premiership, their first overall victory since 1966 when they won both Cross Country and Road pennants.  They won the VAAA Cross Country Championship in 1967 (when there were separate Cross Country and Road Championships). Box Hill’s Women’s Division 2 team finished third. 

Kushi Deol came 13th in the under 14 Women’s race.  

Jack Ewison was 5th in the under 14 Men’s race.

Kennedy Chenplaced 21st in the under 20 Men’s race. 

Male Individual placings

1 Ryan Geard Western Aths 64:59

2 Liam Adams Aths Essendon 65:13

3 Dave Ridley Doncaster 65:20

13 Klarie McIntyre Box Hill 66:45

20 Nick Baggott Box Hill 67:50

33 John Dutton Box Hill 70:22

47 Alex Ritchie Box Hill 72:24

64 Josh De Stefanis Box Hill 74:11

72 John Meagher Box Hill 74:51

100 Russell Clowes Box Hill 76:43

107 Dylan Perera Box Hill 77:17

113 Michael Vaughan Box Hill 77:38

118 Jackson Deane Box Hill 78:18

148 Shane Holt Box Hill 80:22

159 Tony Langelaan Box Hill 80:46

234 Jack Hill Box Hill 87:17

298 Simon St Hill Box Hill 93:21

331 Chris O’Connor Box Hill 98:48

392 Andrew Tunne Box Hill 119:20

Female Individual placings

1 Anna Kelly Invitation 74:22

2 Kia Fry Frankston 85:44

3 Fasika Metafriya Aths Essendon 76:35

23 Steph Kondogonis Box Hill 85:44

60 Pia Hunter Box Hill 93:07

69 June Petrie Box Hill 95:56

77 Kaman Ip Box Hill 97:31

Junior races

Under 14 Women

13 Kushi Deol Box Hill 22:58

Under 14 Men

5 Jack Ewison Box Hill 18:00

Under 20 Men

21 Kennedy Chen Box Hill 20:01

Division 1 Team Scores

1 St Stephens Harriers 91 

2 Western Athletics 104 

3 Geelong Region 127 

4 Box Hill 165 

5 Melbourne University 210 

Division 2 Team Scores

1 Frankston 173 

2 Bendigo Region 220 

3 APS United 263 

4 Mentone 402 

5 Box Hill 406 

Division 3 Team Scores

1 Victorian Cross Country League 336 

2 Athletics Waverley 421 

3 Malvern Harriers 484 

7 Box Hill 626 

Men 40+ Team Score

9 Box Hill 106

Men 50+ Team Scores 

1 Old Xaverians 33 

2 APS United 36 

3 Box Hill 38 


Division 2 Team Scores 

1 Glenhuntly 65 

2 Mentone 94 

3 Box Hill 135 

Women 40+ Team Scores

1 APS United 26 

2 Mentone 36 

3 Box Hill 50