Albert Park 10km Road Race – Preview

This Sunday will be the fifth running of the Albert Park 10km road race with over 1000 men and women set to face the starters gun at 9.00am.  The Sunday forecast is cold, overcast and windy and will not assist in producing fast times around the two lap course with potential  gusts making the journey home from the turn around point challenging for the entire field.

The 10km event is the third individual race of the XCR’17 Season with Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo Region) and Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) currently leading the Open Men’s and Women’s Championship respectively. Both Buchanan and Moloney have two individual wins each so far, but Moloney is expected to be in great form after her magnificent effort at the Gold Coast Marathon posting the third fastest time this season in 2.29.14.  Moloney also holds the third fastest time over the Albert Park 10km which she set last year in a time of 33.53. Others to watch will be Alexandra Patterson (Old Xaverians) currently second behind Moloney in the Womens Individual Championships and Glenhuntly’s Karinna Fyfe who ran 33.56 in 2015 when the record of 32.33.6 was set by Courtney Powell.

The Mens competition is consistently more open with potential challenges for Buchanan to come from Liam Adams (Athletics Essendon) and Dejen Gebreselassie (Mentone) – both likely to be up the front after finishing second and third respectively in the Half Marathon on the Gold Coast two weeks ago.  Adams won this event in 2016 and holds the fastest time for this course in 29.48.1.

The teams competition is also up for grabs this weekend especially in Mens Premier. After a successful win at Sandown Road Relays, St Stephens (45 pts) are in striking distance of current leaders Box Hill (50pts) with Melbourne University third on 43 points. In the Womens Premier, Glenhuntly lead with 51 pts over Knox on 45 pt and Frankston third on 39 pts.

If you are feeling like a weekend challenge around Albert Park over 10km you can enter on the day from 7.00am. Head to the Athletics Victoria Administration tent located outside Lakeside Stadium Gate 1. Entries are $50. For more event information, head to the XCR Round 6 event page.

#XCR17

Sandown Road Relays – Wrap

Cold.

So cold.

I feel as if it’s always cold at Sandown. Then again, it would have been cold just about everywhere in Victoria today, so we can’t blame Sandown. In fact, let’s not play the blame game at all. Let’s just get into the wrap of what was an awesome day of running by all (brave) competitors who fronted up, threw the trackpants and hoodies to the side, and gave it a red hot crack. Sidenote: It truly is inspiring watching everyone of all ages tackle the tough 3.1km circuit on a day such as today!

Warning – upset alert! That’s right, St Stephens Harriers took out Men’s Division 1 for the first time since 1974! And it was all thanks to Thomas Thorpe, Samuel Quirk, Lachlan Aspinall, Sean Guiney, Mitchell Cashion and Lachlan Connell. Each lad ran exceptionally well, and managed to beat favourites Box Hill. However, MUAC and in particular Nicholas Earl, put in a courageous effort. Heading into the final leg a good 20 seconds behind Box Hill, Earl managed to catch William Potter and ensure his team of a silver medal!

Over in Women’s Division 1, it was Knox who were too strong for Glenhuntly, taking out the win with impressive performances from all. It was great to see Melissa Duncan back running – and running very strongly. Melissa got her team off to a flying start, which allowed teammates Kate Seibold, Natalie Rule, Katie Gamble and Anna Macdonald to bring it home.

The Men’s 40+ saw APS United bring home the chocolates. Sam McLean was a real standout running the first leg, before allowing teammates Luke Goodman and Mark Frater to do their thing, and ensure their club would reign supreme.

Up in the Men’s 50+ it was Box Hill who were too dominant. Kicking things off was John Meagher who smashed the first leg, which meant for a easy job for Peter Stefanos and Garth Calder, who were able to get into the perfect rhythm and hold strong for the club which is used to winning things in cross country.

The Women’s 40+ was won by Athletics Waverley, with Niamh O’Reilly, Sally Lim and Kirsten Jackson all running very well. Ballarat Region and Mentone rounded out the top three!

Down with the younger competitors, and in the Men’s U20 saw Box Hill have a convincing win! Thomas Sellwood, Mac Anderson and Alexander Ritchie were too strong for their rivals, winning by a good two minutes.

The Women’s U20 was taken out by MUAC. With Emily French, Sarah Lloyd and Ciara Boyd-Squires Long running with great pace and confidence, which allowed them to just pip Knox at the line – in what was a seriously exciting finish to a race!

Click here for a list of full results.

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We’re back next weekend at the beautiful Albert Park for the fastest 1okm Road Race Victoria has on offer! On-the-day entries will be availabe for the awesome price of $50, or better yet, pre-enter as a non-Member for the early bird price of $40 – before Wednesday…

#XCR17

 

 

XCR’17 – Sandown Road Relays Preview

After one round of relays it really is hard to determine who’s the team to beat. Jells Park seems like forever ago, and with a plethora of individual performances and kilometres under the belt for all athletes, Sandown really is anyone’s game. This weekend is all about fast times and even faster winds. Yep, it’s like doing a lap around Albert Park, but on steroids. Gusts of up to 30km/h are predicted which makes it sweet for half the track, but not so sweet for the other. Basically it’s fine if you’re sitting comfortably in a V8 supercar, but not so fine if you’re using your legs to get from A to B. The good news I guess is that (technically) you’re not going to be doing it alone – you’ll have your teammates there to receive the baton and cheer you on! I still don’t think it’s going to make things any easier though. However (in saying that) I don’t want any of you to take the easy way out! Or as I like to call it ‘doing a Bernard Tomic’. Although if you’re Virginia Moloney, I can see how winning all the time could become quite ‘boring’, but I’m not sure you’d want to retire (financially speaking) from XCR after 10 years. I could be wrong though because our boy Bernie isn’t winning anything, so maybe it’s incorrect to say ‘winning all the time creates boredom’. Or maybe in XCR there simply isn’t anything to get bored about – except for reading these previews!? No doubt your head is spinning and you’re thinking ‘what is this dude on’ and that’s fair enough, I can’t blame you. What I can do though, is guarantee the information below will be on point, unlike our friend Bernies serve – zing.

So let’s see who every team will be gunning for on Saturday…

Box Hill are flying in Men’s Division 1, which means they either had a super pre-season or they’re genuinely the team to beat this year. William Potter is the man leading the charge for Box Hill, with XCR legend Stephen Dinneen holding is own amongst the young-ens.

Western Athletics are on top in Men’s Division 2, which notably doesn’t feature kombucha enthusiast Michael Masseni, but rather the likes of Callum Drake and Liam Cashin, who are both in some solid form this year.

Men’s Division 3 has Athletics Nunawading sitting comfortably above their rivals, with Adrian Mclean the ‘go to man’.

Box Hill join the ‘leader party’ again in Men’s Davison 4, with Welday Mebrahtu holding bragging rights of being the quickest in the team – purely from a Jells Park perspective.

Men’s Division’s 5, 6 and 7 is a real Harriers affair with St Stephens and Richmond in the mix.

Over in the Women’s Division 1 ranking, it’s Glenhuntly who are sitting nicely on top with the likes of Anna Shaw and Karinna Fyfe who are in awesome form, and are dominating on the individual circuit.

Division 2 for the ladies, sees Essendon on the top, after having some help from Rio Olympian Linden Hall at Jells Park. Unfortunately Linden won’t be at Sandown due to European commitments, however, Charlotte Wilson and Emilie Guy are more than capable of getting the job done!

Williamstown look dominant in Women’s Division 3 with doppelgängers Michelle Mathews and Belinda Bozin leading the charge on the track whilst being a sports marketers dream off the track.

For the Women in Division 5 and 6, it’s Knox and Frankston who are looking solid.

Even though it’s a team event, there are always going to be certain individuals to look out for:

  • Nicholas Earl (MUAC) – Finished fifth in the Gold Coast Half-Marathon and has ran in just about everything this year, so won’t be surprised if he fronts up and competes for his team.
  • Zac Newman (MUAC) – Performs exceptionally well on the pavement!
  • Dave Ridley (Doncaster) – Became the Oceania Champion at the Gold Coast Marathon. However, may not be a feature on Saturday due to soreness.
  • Liam Adams (Essendon) – Finsihed second in the Gold Coast Half-Marathon. However, may also be a little sore come Saturday.
  • Dejen Gebreselassie (Mentone) – Won his first XCR event at Cruden Farm and finished third at the Gold Coast Half-Marathon. Looks to be in really good touch and is definitely shaking things up in the individual events this season.
  • Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) – Became the Oceania Champion at the Gold Coast Marathon and is in amazing form. However, may not be a feature for her team due to a well-deserved break.
  • Henrietta Lawrence (Frankston) – Smashed the Gold Coast 10km Road Race and looks to be hitting form at the right time of the season!
  • Gemma Maini (Frankston) – Ran very well at the Gold Coast 10km Road Race after having minimal competition preparation leading into the event due to injury. Looks to have found her groove again and will be a real threat for the back half of the XCR season.
  • Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) – Breakthrough win at Wandin Park, and has been in the mix for most individual events this year. Was recently selected to represent Victoria for the Australian Cross Country Championships in Wollongong and will no doubt be looking to give her team every chance of winning the gold!
  • Alexandra Paterson (Old Xaverians) – Finished second at the Gold Coast 10km Road Race, and has been up there in the top three for most of the individual XCR events this season. Looks to be in red hot form!

This Saturday really is going to an exciting day out at Sandown, with the competition looking as close as it’s ever been – much like it is in the AFL. The atmosphere is already set to be electric with Little Athletics Victoria hosting their Victorian Road Relay Championships at the same venue! That being said, parking may get a little trickier as the day progresses, so be sure to allow yourselves plenty time to find a spot for your vehicle. The weather is looking likely to be fairly chilly, so please dress accordingly. We don’t want anyone to catch a cold a week before Victoria’s fastest 10km road race out at the beautiful Albert Park, where in case you were wondering, on-the-day entries will be made available to all those who wish to compete – at the very generous price of $50!

Good luck to all those competing on Saturday, and may the best team win!

#XCR17

 

 

 

Gold Coast Marathon 2017

If there was ever a Sunday in the last twenty (or so) years to be up on the Gold Coast, yesterday was it. Boiling a kettle first thing in the morning for your car instead of your tea is about as cold/ridiculous as it gets. Guaranteed the thought of Victorian’s waking up in a shiver would have had every Gold Coaster laughing as they casually tucked into a nice barrel at Duranbah (whilst in their boardshorts). However, there were a few who were smart enough to foresee the future, thus entering themselves into either the Marathon, Half-Marathon, or 10km Road Race.

Virginia Moloney (Collingwood) had a race to remember, crossing the line in 28th position overall, and 5th in her grouping. Moloney ran the marathon beautifully and became one of nine Australian females (ever!) to break 2 hours 30 minutes, claiming the Oceania Title in a time of 2:29:14. An truly inspiring race which came as no surprise given Moloney’s incredible form during the current XCR season…

Karinna Fyfe (Glenhuntly) was solid in the Marathon, just as she has been this year during each XCR event. Fyfe ran well to record a time of 2:50:25, which placed her 112th overall and 14th in her grouping.

Alexandra Paterson (Old Xaverians) ran exceptionally well in the 10km Road Race, finishing 2nd overall with a time of 33:10. Henrietta Lawrence (Frankston) and Katie Gamble (Knox) also ran amazingly, recording PB’s of 35:27 and 35:47 respectively. And after a bit of time off with injury, Gemma Maini (Frankston) is back running which is great to see! Maini finished 96th overall and 10th in her grouping with a time of 35:55. Olympian and 2015 Zatopek Champion, Eloise Wellings (NSW), took out the title…

Dave Ridley (Doncaster) was dominant in his Marathon efforts, becoming the Oceania Champion whilst finishing 15th overall and in his grouping respectively. Ridley finished in a personal best time of 2:24:59!

Olympian Liam Adams (Essendon), XCR newcomer Dejen Gerbreselassie (Mentone), MUAC veteran Nick Earl and state representative Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo) all entered into the Half-Marthon, with all four running true to form. Adams finished 2nd overall in a time of 1:03:49, which was slightly off his personal best achieved in Brisbane back in 2012 (1:03:28). Gerbreselassie, who took out Cruden Farm honours (and has been a real threat to the Men’s Open field this year) ran a great race finishing third overall in a time of 1:04:12. Earl, who just seems to keep getting better each year, ran a brilliant race finishing 5th overall with a personal best time of 1:04:52 – cutting just under 2 seconds off his previous PB achieved last year on the Gold Coast. Buchanan, who has already taken out two XCR’17 events in Wandin Park and Bundoora, ran solidly to finish 13th overall with a time of 1:06:12. It was a step-up for Buchanan after competing in the Gold Coast 10km Road Race last year.

A huge congratulations to all who competed!

Click here for a full list of results…