Malvern Harriers Athletic Club – 125 Year Retrospective Exhibition

The Malvern Harriers Athletic Club was established in 1892 after several members of the Malvern Gymnastic and Athletics Club enjoyed a run together after gym practice and is one of Australia’s oldest athletic clubs. This initial run soon evolved into organised cross country and hares & hound events throughout the local area. In 1994 Malvern Harriers amalgamated with the Malvern Glen Iris Women’s Athletic Club, which had formed in the 1920s.

To celebrate this milestone, Malvern is hosting a 125 year Retrospective Exhibition showcasing photos, news articles, trophies, uniform and other memorabilia from 1892 – 2017.

Opening hours: 12noon – 4:00pm

Dates: Saturday, 2nd September & Sunday 3rd September 2017

Venue: Northbrook Pop-up Gallary

Located behind the Malvern Library & Northbook House, 1257 High Street, Malvern


2017 Australian Half-Marathon Championships

With temperatures sitting in the low 20’s, the Victorian Half-Marathon team ventured to the Sunshine coast to contest the Australian Half-Marathon Championships.

With injuries striking the women’s team of Virginia Moloney, Erchana Murray-Bartlett and Jessica Lees (all Collingwood Harriers) late in the week, the Victorian men’s team remained healthy enough to storm home with the national team title.

Three scoring athletes are used to determine a state versus state scoring system, the Victorian Men’s team of Mitchel Brown (Essendon), Michael Kernahan (Mentone), Zachary Newman (Melbourne University) and Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly) led a medal hopeful charge, with Melbourne University’s Nick Earl a late withdrawal due to illness.

A 6am race start greeted competitors for the 21.1km journey, in the team competition Victoria comprehensively defeated all other states, with Queensland 2nd on 23 points, Victoria’s 11 points were secured by 3rd, 5th and 7th place runs from Mitchel Brown (1:05:40), Toby Rayner (1:08:03) and Zachary Newman (1:09:15) respectively.

Athletics Victoria spoke with Brown following the race, Brown remarked that the race and early pace was dictated by individual entrant, two-time Australian Olympian Collis Birmingham.

Returning from a European training stint, Birmingham was targeting Pat Carroll’s 23-year old Australian all-comers record of 1:01:11.
Whilst Birmingham has run faster, clocking 1:00:56 in Marugame, Japan in 2013, the national championship setting ensured Birmingham’s run was completed without pacers. Brown told Athletics Victoria the early pace was strong, as only Chris Hamer (ACT) decided to chance going with Birmingham, a tactical move indicative of the former Box Hill runner’s current form, early bravery that paid dividends with a finishing time of 1:04:08, taking over 4 minutes off Hamer’s 2009 personal best.

Birmingham finished well clear of the field, victorious in a course record of 1:03:18, making a substantial breakaway following the early feature hill, appearing at 5km. Birmingham told the Sunshine Coast Daily that whilst he felt strong throughout the race, “When we turned around and were coming back there was a little bit of wind and it was pretty hard work but I’m happy with the effort.”

Brown elaborated on the race following Collis’ big move, suggesting that tactics quickly encouraged a race for 3rd place, as Brown engaged in a long-distance stoush with Queenslander Isaias Beyn, as New Zealand’s Aaron Pulford, a Zatopek 10 regular, set an honest pace for the chase group until fading after the 11km mark.

Brown kicked home over the final 400 metres, finally detaching himself from Beyn’s determined shadowing routine, whilst pleased with his tactical acuity, the Essendon stalwart mirrored Birmingham’s sentiments, in finding the second half of the race difficult in moderately windy conditions.

Athletics Victoria’s focus turns to Wollongong this weekend, with the Australian Cross Country Championships providing a grassy battleground for over 130 of Victoria’s best junior and open cross country runners, be sure to stay tuned to AV’s news and social media streams to keep up to date.

Notable Victorian Performances:

1st Collis Birmingham (Eureka) – 1:03:16 Course Record
3rd Mitchel Brown (Essendon) – 1:05:39
6th Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly) – 1:08:02
7th Dejen Gebresellassie (Mentone) – 1:08:59
8th Zachary Newman (Melbourne University) – 1:09:15
9th Michael Kernahan (Mentone) – 1:09:39


Anglesea Surf Coast Ekiden Relay Wrap

Round 8 of the AV XCR ’17 series saw competitors travel to the Anglesea Family Caravan Park, offering a picturesque racing backdrop, with a variety of surfaces and undulations to test runners throughout the 42.2km “Ekiden” relay event.

The Ekiden concept hails historically from Japan, with the first Ekiden taking place in 1917, covering 508km from the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, to the modern capital of Tokyo. A nationally popular event in Japan, the national university championships often draw crowds exceeding 1 million spectators along the New Year’s festival Hakone route, with network television covering the event live.

Athletics Victoria’s event differs slightly from the traditional stage race, with runners starting and finishing each leg at the same point, taking in some of the best views of Anglesea whilst traversing challenging uphill sections, sometimes lasting up to 600 metres in length.

The Premier division men’s competition was a close affair, with Essendon, Box Hill, Geelong and Knox all swapping leads throughout the race. The race begun with a blistering leg from Rio Olympian Liam Adams, swapping his usual marathon distance for a more conservative 9.8km leg (32:23), tagging teammate Mitch Brown with a 34 second lead on the field.

Brown held Essendon’s lead through the 8.8km leg (30:09), however Geelong’s Harry Smithers had closed the gap substantially, embracing his inner mountain goat across the hills, Smithers clocked 29:30, pulling back some 39 seconds.

Peter Kerr (Geelong) swapped his usual Australian triathlon kit for the navy blue of Geelong, pulling the team into the lead over the back section of the course (28:39), Kerr changed ahead of Knox’s Nathan Percy, who had run the equal 2nd fastest time for the 3rd leg (28:18) to keep Knox in the mix.

Knox’s 4th leg involved a trump card of sorts, with 3-time Olympian Jeff Riseley narrowing the gap to Geelong’s Nick Wightman over the 6km loop, Riseley’s time of 20:23 proving the fastest of the day.

After 32.5km of racing, Knox and Geelong were locked in a proper stoush for the Ekiden title, as mere seconds separated Knox’s Mark Richards and Geelong’s Jarrod McMullen. Richards changed with David Friend in the lead by less than 30 seconds, whilst Mitch Thompson of Geelong closed much of the gap on Friend down over the final 4.6km leg, less than 10 seconds separated the two teams after 42.2km of racing, as Knox claimed a narrow victory after an enthralling afternoon of racing.

The Women’s competition involved fewer lead changes, yet still featured an exciting two-team chase in the final stages. Early stages of the race pitted Frankston, Geelong, Glenhuntly, Western Athletics and Knox against each other.

Kiah Fry of Frankston made the most of the hilly loop, developing a lead of over a minute on the trailing Geelong and Glenhuntly teams. As Frankston lacked the numbers to complete the relay event, the ensuing legs saw Glenhuntly build a healthy lead through Anna Saw, Amelia Aslanides and Rebecca Beagley. However, Knox’s strategical arrangement of runners threatened to pay off late in the day, combining Australian representative Melissa Duncan’s pace with Katie Gamble and Kate Seibold’s experience, Knox began to reel back Glenhuntly.

At the final change Knox remained in 2nd, with Glenhuntly’s making a mad dash for the finish line. Glenhuntly’s Dana Dekkers kept calm under pressure, as Knox’s efforts throughout the second half of the race couldn’t quite close Glenhuntly’s dominant early lead. Western Athletics finished 3rd, an encouraging result, marking the first Premier division relay medal for the club.

A day of fortunate weather conditions ensured the challenging course was enjoyed by all competitors throughout the day, with thanks to Brett Coleman and his local Geelong team, proving instrumental in set up, course marking and marshalling throughout the event.

With only two events left in the XCR’17 series, the penultimate round is the Burnley Half Marathon on September 10, a great lead in to the Melbourne Marathon on October 15, pre-entries close Midday September 6, with entries available on the day at a higher rate.

Anglesea Surf Coast Ekiden Relay – Preview

Ever wanted to compete in a marathon but felt you were not quite up to it? Ekiden is a Japanese term which generally refers to a long-distance relay running race, typically conducted on roads. An Ekiden Relay is commonly held over the marathon distance of 42.195km with teams of runners completing legs of varying distances. Even better, you can enjoy the views of the surf coast from the Great Ocean Road course.

^That’s how the event is described on our website. It’s a fair assessment, but doesn’t do the day much justice with regards to the breathtaking views and overall atmosphere which is created at the Anglesea Family Caravan Park. Quite frankly, it’s a rad day out of the city!

Coming off a breakthrough victory for St Stephens Harriers in the Men’s Premier Division at Sandown, there is no doubt the day will be closely contested, with ladder leaders Box Hill and third placed Melbourne University in the mix to claim Ekiden bragging rights. There isn’t much separating the top teams, and with only three rounds to go, there really is no way of knowing who’ll be crowned champions after Princes Park.

In the Women’s Premier Division it’s Glenhuntly who are sitting nicely on top, with Knox Athletics and Frankston not too far behind. Knox currently have the form after taking out the Sandown Road Relays, with help from Melissa Duncan who ran beautifully to record the fastest time in her team. No doubt Knox will be hoping for a similar result come Saturday.

The Men’s Junior Division (under 20) is being dominated by Western Athletics who find themselves well clear of second placed Athletics Essendon with Glenhuntly sitting comfortably in third place. Over in the Women’s Junior Division (under 20) it’s Melbourne University who pretty much have the whole competition wrapped up, sitting 50 points clear of second placed Knox Athletics. Down a place in third sits Glenhuntly, who are only 4 points off Knox, which means the last three rounds will be extremely important if they want to grab a runner-up position at the duration of the XCR’17 season.

Click here for a full list of current ladder standings for all age groups.

It really is the pointy (no pun intended) end of the season, where every athlete’s performance counts towards the final tally. There is no question relay events are a great platform for teams to grind it out, work together and achieve a collective goal, which could eventually be the difference between finishing first or second. If there was ever an event to stamp authority over the competition, the Anglesea Surf Coast Ekiden Relay would be it!

Good luck to all who’ll make the trip down, and may the best team win.


Tribute to Betty Cuthbert

The athletics community today pays tribute to Betty Cuthbert who has passed away at age 79.  Winning four gold medals from two Olympic Games, Cuthbert was the golden girl of athletics. Athletics Victoria acknowledges and pays tribute to the life of Betty Cuthbert.  We acknowledge the recent statement from Athletics Australia President, Mark Arbib below.

Athletics Australia President, Mark Arbib, has made the following comments about ‘Golden Girl’ of the track, Betty Cuthbert.

“Betty was an icon of Australian and international athletics and it is with great sadness that we learned of her passing this morning.

“Athletics Australia, and indeed the Australian athletics community, extend our most sincere condolences to Betty’s family and friends, including her dedicated carer Rhonda Gillam, at this sad time.

“Betty’s history of success in athletics is inspiring. She is the only athlete, male or female, to win Olympic gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m, with her trophy cabinet also including three medals from the Commonwealth Games.

“Betty was tragically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969 and she has battled the disease courageously. She will be forever remembered as a legend of the sport and a trailblazer for our female athletes.”