XCR15 – Round 5 – Albert Park Road Races – 28 June 2015

June 29, 2015

Albert Park 10 K Road Championship for Men and Women 28 June 2015

Weather conditions were absolutely brilliant for the running of the premier road championship of the AV Calendar, calm, temperate, high cloud, but bright; exceptional really compared with conditions in some recent years. There was a massive number of people at the course to compete or watch the athletes. There were 467 open age group male finishers and 218 female finishers.  With 25 under 18 finishers and 30 under 30 finishers, this meant that there were at least 740 athletes on the starting line.  Fortunately, there did not appear to be any falls at the start, which is always a risk with an enormous field like this one.

The first race was the underage 3 K road race, commencing at 8.30. Box Hill had a modest number of competitors.  In the Under 14 boys’ race both our boys ran particularly well, finishing one after the other.  Connor Ogilvie was seventh in 10:44 and Murray Lovass was eighth in10:46.4.  This was an excellent effort from both of them.

In the under 16 girls’ race Tamsyn Lovass placed fourth in 10:23, just four seconds behind the girl who claimed the bronze medal. This was an excellent effort.  Well done, Tamsyn.

In the under 20 women’s race Chloe Metzeling finished 12th in 11:31.

The Open men’s and women’s races were combined and the under 18 and under 20 men also started at the same time.  Division 1 and 2 runners (men and women) were afforded a priority start.  The gun was fired by Brendan Ferrari, and a huge field got underway.

The halfway point was in Lakeside drive close  to Albert Road on the return lap of the two out and back parts of the course. When the leaders reached the five kilometre mark, there was a leading pack of around nine runners.  Steve Kelly was marginally in the lead at this point.  Will Potter was holding sixth position.  The leading group recorded 15:04 to 15:05 as they passed through.  Other athletes prominent in this lead pack were Nick Wightman (Geelong), Nick Earl (Melb. Uni), Ryan Geard (Ess.), Josh Harris (Fra.) and Tim Norton (Ringwood). Ten to fifteen metres behind was a second pack of athletes, and there were four Box Hill athletes in or near this group, including Steve Dinneen, about 10th, Daniel Clark, perhaps 11th or 12th, James O’Connell 14th (15:11). Nick Baggott passed the 5 K mark in 15:24.  Peter Green was approximately 20th and Klarie McIntyre was around 21st, just ahead of Dion Finocchiaro, about 24th.  Others who were prominent were John Meagher,15:54, Michael Dowel, 16:33, Michael Vaughan, 16:46, Welday Mebrahtu, 16:56, and David Jimenez, recording a split of 16:58.  Courtenay Powell had opened up a very sizeable gap over Gemma Maini (Fra), with Karina Fyfe (GH) up in the field.  Julie Norney was running well and went through the halfway point 17:49. Grace Kalac also looked to running strongly, a little further back in the field recording a halfway time of 18:53.

By the time the leading runners reached the stadium, where they had about 250 metres to run, Nick Wightman was holding a lead of 10 metres of Mitch Brown, with Steve Kelly a further 20 metres behind in third place.  Steve was being shadowed by Nick Earl. Brown unleashed what could only be described as a withering finishing burst, with in twenty metres of unleashing this mighty sprint, he had caught and passed Wightman.  Wightman didn’t flinch and continued trying to cover all the way to the line, but Brown’s momentum was phenomenal.  Meanwhile, Earl momentarily closed the gap on Steve Kelly, who found extra which propelled him to the line to take yet another bronze medal.

Shortly after Will Potter raced into the stadium, with Josh Harris (Fra.) edging past him.  Will is having a brilliant season, and he raced to the line as fast as he possibly could, placing 8th, another really splendid effort.  The provisional results were inaccurate after fourth because the Ringwood runner, Tim Norton had a chip failure when crossing in 5th place.  There were at least five other athletes whose chip did not operate correctly on the finishing scanning device. Steve Dinneen was our next competitor to finish.  He was in tenth place.  James O’Connell emerged as our next finisher, sprinting flat out to defeat Zac Newman (Melb. Uni), a very accomplished athlete.  James has had a magnificent season to date, and is now an established member of the core of our Premier Division team. He has got himself so fit that we are now always on the lookout for a top 15 finish at each outing from him.  A short gap occurred before Klarie McIntyre reached the track and powered home strongly in 25th place. Dion Finocchiara was breathing right down Klarie’s neck in 26th place and missed catching him by a metre\ or so, with half a second or so separating them.

Almost immediately after these two finished, Daniel Clark came into the finish, 28th, followed by Peter Green, 29th and Nick Baggott, 30th. Michael Dowel was the next Box Hill athlete home in 49th place.  John Meagher was in 54th position, winning his age group title. David Jimenez, who is having a renaissance this season and running really well placed 74th.  Michael Vaughan was two places further back in 76th position. Welday Mebrahtu also made the top 100, placing 88th.

Just before John Meagher completed the course, Courtney Powell raced to the finish with a massive lead.  Courtnery ran a time that was of international quality, stopping the clock at 32:36.  This was an excellent performance.  Julie Norney also out did herself, placing 10th, and running a really fast time (35:58). This may well have been a PD for her. She had a massive win in her age group.  Grace Kalac placed 37th. Other Premier Division team members were June Petrie, 51st, and Meagan Harvey, who joined the club recently, 54th.

Box Hill had two representatives in the male under 18 race and three in the male under 20 race.  In the under 18 race, Alexander Ritchie ran well to place 9th in 35:22.  Lucan Pamminger recorded 37:29 in placing 20th. There were three Box Hill representatives in the under 20 event: Zac Hunter who ran well to claim 14th position in 33:57, Raymond Chan, 18th in 34:43 and Carlos Norman, 24th in 37:41.  It appears that Box Hill might have claimed the bronze medal in the teams’ race behind Western Suburbs, first, and Knox, second.