One bright spot at AV Ballarat 15km road
Never let it be said the sun never shines on Lake Wendouree.
There was a moment at the AV 15km road championships on Saturday, 6 June when the scene was positively idyllic. The sun broke through the clouds, the wind dropped and sailing boats glided past in the background.
Unfortunately, it was late in the day, after the race had finished (even for us slowcoaches) and it didn’t last any more than 15 minutes, tops. But as we tucked into the afternoon tea and looked back towards Ballarat City, it was a welcome interlude indeed.
It’s always an interesting trip to Ballarat. The 15k road has found a home in recent times at Lake Wendouree. And, the vagaries of Ballarat’s wintry weather aside, an hospitable home it is. The road is flat, the lap long enough that you don’t have to run too many of them to make up the distance, and windy enough that you don’t run into the wind for any length of time as you follow the edge of the lake.
This year’s event was run in cold and windy conditions with drizzling rain falling at times – especially just before the course turned into the wind at its city end. The effect of cold wind suddenly hitting wet skin was bracing, to say the least.
Twenty-eight Hunters completed the event, enough to fill five open teams, but nowhere sharp enough to place higher than the seventh position recorded by Division 1 and Division 5.
In a surprisingly large field of almost 420 runners, our best finisher was Josh Papanikolaou in 19th place in a time of 48:38. It’s been great to see Josh back at the forefront in the early part of this season.
Further back in our division one team was another returnee – Peter Hulbert. Once a regular among our top finishers, Peter is back this year and a solid contributor to our top teams again. Peter was 101st and will no doubt be finishing higher as the season progresses.
Jamie Cook, in 47th, was our only other finisher inside the top 50 with our other div.1 team members being the consistent Beau Lang (65), Jake McCahon (66) and Andrew McEvoy (109th).
Individually, Shane Davin ran just over three minutes faster than last year, Michael Comport a massive seven minutes quicker and Victor Cook snuck the right side of the hour this time, improving his 2015 time by over 40 seconds.
Father Joe Murphy won the battle of the Murphies coming back after son Eamonn made a bold attempt to psyche him out with a fast start. Both beat the unrelated Chris Murphy with battle to be resumed at Bundoora this coming weekend.
Completing the team results, division two was 13th, division three 11th and division four ninth. We finished two 40+ and two 50+ teams, with Andrew McEvoy, Graham Coutts and Jon Evans taking ninth place in the former and Victor Cook, Mick Ryan and Joe Murphy sixth the latter.
On to Bundoora for the 12km cross-country on 13 June. Lucky for some, no doubt.
The 15km road run hit much earlier than last year, unfortunately it didn’t stop the wind and cold, but the women were up to the challenge.
-Amelia, Cassie, Stacey and Kara all ran huge personal bests. -Rebecca and Kara made their debut in the premier division team, helping the girls to 4th place. -We had 9 women competing, including new member Kim Nanscawen who ran extremely well. -Kara, Kim and Lisa formed the masters team who finished 8th and our division 2 team were 10th.
Numbers were quite down at Lake Wendouree and we were lucky to cover two divisions. It would be great to see more girls out running in the next few rounds, Bundoora is a week away and a great course to look forward to-hope to see you there!
JUNIORS 5Km ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS @ BALLARAT 2015
The Club was represented by eleven junior boys and girls at this year’s championship. On a typical Ballarat day; with a cold wind, some sun and mostly overcast, and with a bit of drizzle, the race produced some top efforts from our runners. When we left Melbourne for the trip to Ballarat, it was a sunny 17 degrees but by the time we arrived in Ballarat at midday it was just 10 degrees and cloud was forming. It proved a challenge for the competitors. All junior age groups (U14, U16, U18 and U20) and both boys and girls all ran in the one race at 2.00pm. Ben Kelly was third overall in the race; a great effort just 9 seconds behind the winner. The boys managed to finish teams in the U20 and U16 team races but we fell one runner short in both the U18 boys and girls teams. We had no runners in the U14 race. U20: It appears our team finished equal second with Western Athletics, just 6 points behind Knox. Apart from Ben’s great run, Jack was also strong in finishing 9th in a very competitive age group. Daniel was a terrific addition and is showing the benefit of regular training after a long period on the injury list. Ben Kelly 3rd Jack Bullock 9th Daniel Loader 28th. Sadly, Dana Dekkers was our only girl competitor in this age group and she finished well in 9th placing. She has been very active in her school sports recently with wins in 400m, 800, 1500m, 3000m, some in school record efforts. U18: Some excellent runs here from Sam Toll 3rd and Will Ockenden 7th to show there continued development. It was a pity we couldn’t attract a third team member. Nevertheless, both Sam and Will are beginning to stamp their mark on this age group. Kaitlin Barr 9th, and Jess Clark 17th were also solid performers without a third team member. Both girls continue to show promise for the future. U16: Our three boys all showed good form and managed a very encouraging third placing in the team’s event. Well done boys. These young boys are all training regularly and therby showing the benefits of this. We can expect continued improvement here. Jasper Pickering 10th, Liam Halloran 15th, and Beau Sciberras 18th.