Victorian Mountain Running Championships
Dandenong Ranges National Park
Saturday 16 August
Weather: Cold, showers, 11 degrees.
There was a large field last year for the inaugural running of the championship on this picturesque Ferntree Gully course. Not so this year after cold, showery weather the day before and on race morning. The 4.1 km circuit goes up the steep Lyrebird track, ascending 200m in the first kilometre, and descends gradually on the Bellview Terrace Trail, with some more climb over the last kilometre.
New Zealand international Jason Woolhouse, running for Geelong, dominated the open men's 12.2 kms at Ferntree Gully on Saturday 16 August. Woolhouse has a World Mountain Running Championship teams bronze medal to his credit and impressive track form in recent years from the USA. He clocked an impressive 52:48, with Adrian McGregor second in 55:12 and Jogi Mori third in 58:48.
Kathryn Ewels from Traralgon, just back from finishing 14th in the World Orienteering Championship, had a scintillating run to blitz the women's field and be just behind the first three men over the first two laps. She clocked a world class 40:01 for the 8.2 kms, with Australian ultra running representative June Petrie second in 43:07 and Isobel Bespalov, 13th in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in 2007, third in 43:39. Ewels was selected in the Australian team for this year's World Mountain Running Championship after finishing 3rd in the Australian championship in May but had to decline selection because of the financial cost of a second trip to Europe within a few months.
The junior girls 4.1 kms was won by Melissa Bell in 21:21 by half a minute from Briony Shaw in 21:56. Adam Percy had an impressive win in the under 16 boys 4.1 kms in 17:54, with Cameron Smith second in 18:15 and Sean Guiney third in 19:09.
The Championships were organised by Vince Patton and the Knox Athletics Club, with support from Athletics Victoria. Vince is a graphic designer and the race entry form and all of the event signage, including the course turn arrows, were very professionally done.
Open women's 8.2 kms: 1 Kathryn Ewels 40.01, 2 June Petrie 43.07, 3 Isobel Bespalov 43.39, 4 Alison Couper 44.29, 5 Lucy Carter 45.37, 6 Mary-Louise Sloan 46.27, 7 Bronwyn Morris 47.00, 8 Ruth Dover 49.30, 9 Sally Atkinson 50.20, 10 Andrea Gough 58.49, 11 Kelly James 72.50.
Junior women's 4.1 kms: 1 Melissa Bell 21.21, 2 Briony Shaw 21.56.
Open men's 12.2kms: 1 Jason Woolhouse 52.48, 2 Adrian McGregor 55.12, 3 Jogi Mori 58.48, 4 Stuart Watson 59.15, 5 Noel Eastwood 60.49, 6 Brock Hogan 61.54, 7 David Carson (M40) 63.46, 8 Ernie Lim 63.50, 9 Tim Kenington, 10 Tim Keeble 64.50, 11 Jason Koenen 68.19, 12 Steve Hyde (M45) 70.35, 13 Stephen Gilbert 72.57, 14 Peter Mitchell 73.40, 15 Steve Reid (M40) 74.25, 16 Peter O'Halloran (M40) 75.16, 17 Michael Booker 80.58, 18 Daniel Parnell 85.53, 19 Rik Taylor 90.50, 20 Simon Brewer 90.51, 21 Luke Johnston 91.50.
U16 men's 4.1 kms: 1 Adam Percy 17.54, 2 Cameron Smith 18.15, 3 Sean Guiney 19.09, 4 Luke Percy 20.17, 5 Nathan Percy 20.49, 6 Liam Dell 25.13, 7 Joel Eastwood 25.22.
M55 men's 8.2 kms: 1 Tony Bird 44.23.
M50 men's 8.2kms: 1 Greg Adams 67.32.
M60 men's 4.1 kms: 1 Keith McIntosh 28.01