World race walking greats Robert Korzeniowski of Poland and Nathan Deakes of Australia enjoyed the camaraderie of the unfamiliar experience of running up Mt Kosciuszko and finished together in 6th place in today’s Kosciuszko Run from Charolotte Pass Village to the mountain summit. Korzeniowski, the four-time Olympic gold medallist, was in Australia to help celebrate the 170th anniversary of the discovery of t Kosciuszko by Polish explorer Sir Paul Edmund Strezelecki. Deakes, the former world record holder and world champion for the 50 km walk, hosted his former Olympic rival.
A Polish television crew followed the race but the National Park ranger’s vehicle with the TV cameraman could not keep up with the sizzling pace set by 4-time Australian mountain running champion Scott McTaggart of Canberra who clocked 45.33 despite a fierce headwind over the final 5 kms. So McTaggart did a few re-runs of his finish sprint for the benefit of the cameras once the crew reached the summit.
The minor placings were filled by Australian mountain running representatives John Winsbury and Stuart Doyle of Canberra in 49.29 and 50.08 respectively.
Well performed Canberra distance runner Hannah Flannery ran 56.58 to be fastest female, with Darwin professional triathlete Ali Fitch second in 1.02.31 and Bronwyn White of Newcastle third in 1.14.54.
The race was sponsored by Strzelecki Heritage Inc, the Heart Foundation and Kosciuszko National Park, and organised by the Australian Mountain Running Association. Race organisers were John Harding, John Kennedy, Diana Schneider and Kerry Muir. The wind was so strong in gusts pre-start that when John Kennedy had the rear door of his van open to get his gear, a powerful gust blew out one of his rear side windows.
Males: 1 Scott McTaggart 45.33, 2 John Winsbury 49.29, 3 Stuart Doyle 50.08, 4 Robin Rishworth 55.36, 5 Simon White 57.18, 6 eq Robert Korzeniowski 59.54, 6 eq Nathan Deakes 59.54, 8 Jared Sullivan 1.03.31, 9 Greg White 1.04.36, 10 Matthew Darcy 1.13.53, 11 Michael Burt 1.27.12, 12 Kieran O’Connor 1.28.05, 13 Geoff Barker 1.28.37, 14 Jarek Odwazny 1.29.33, 15 William Chin 1.30.17, 16 Henryk Klocek 1.35.18.
Females: 1 Hannah Flannery 56.58, 2 Ali Fitch 1.02.31, 3 Bronwyn White 1.14.54, 4 Kerri Louttit 1.15.15, 5 Colleen Koh 1.30.17, 6 Kate Kasia Swaczynski 1.34.54, 7 Violetta Kazmierski 1.38.46.