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.