Round 3 – Cruden Farm Cross Country – Preview

Regarded as one of the most scenic courses Athletic Victoria’s XCR series has on offer, Cruden Farm often plays havoc to its competitors with undulating hills, an unavoidable bog pit and its length (8km & 16km).

As Australia’s oldest race, Cruden Farm is featured as our Heritage Round, where athletes can dress in their old kit and embrace the history of their club, whilst tackling the course.

Last year there were 800 athletes entered in both the Women’s 8km Cross Country and the Men’s 16km Cross Country, creating a real buzz around the event. Tomorrow is looking to be very similar with a lot of athletes registered to front up and give Cruden a crack!

Anna Kelly (South Melbourne) is the in-form XCR competitor currently, after having a breakthrough victory at Wandin Park. Coached by Tim Crosbie, Anna will no doubt be turning to him for some sound advice on how the course will play out. She’ll be hungry to go back-to-back and really send a message to her fellow competitors in Virginia Moloney (Collingwood), Gemma Maini (Frankston), Karrina Fyfe (Glenhuntly) and Alexandra Patterson (Old Xaverians). If Anna, Virginia and Gemma all compete on the day, it will be the first time this year that the three World Cross Country representatives have battled it out individually.

Nick Wightman (Deakin) has been a notable absentee this year, which has opened the door for many athletes in the Men’s Division. Nick Earl (MUAC) has been exceptionally consistent thus far, but looks to be taking tomorrow off due to soreness. Andrew Buchanan (Bendigo) took out Wandin Park but isn’t a guarantee to start either, which means Dejen Gebreselassi (Mentone) will have a real chance to make his mark as a new-comer to the competition. Liam Adams (Essendon) has been taking things relatively easy as he prepares for the London World Championships in August, but depending how he feels on the day, should always be considered a genuine chance. He will be backing up a Sydney half-marathon if he lines up…

Like the AFL, the XCR’17 season and its events could be anyone’s to win. Tomorrow will be a true test of each athlete’s fitness and determination. We can’t wait to see how it unfolds!


Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a top of 18 degrees. There is 70% chance of rain which makes no sense as it’s going to be mostly sunny!? If (for some reason) it does rain, we’re only expecting between 1-5mil, so I think we can leave the umbrella at home. The UV index is coming in at low, but remember there’s nothing healthy about a tan, so be sure to have all the right clothing to protect yourself from the sun. For the third week in a row the frost risk is nil – which is fantastic. The wind will be traveling at 23 km/h from the north. So if you happen to be down the coast, make sure you get the board out and hit the line-up for some pure offshore heavenly waves. Finally, the relative humidity will be hovering around 75% so do with that information what you will…