Race Report by Director Geoff Williams – edited by Tim Miller
The Historic Village at Caboolture saw an influx of competitors on Thursday afternoon setting up what they would call home for the next few days. While tent poles were being erected & pegs hammered into the ground, the volunteers from the Village were working away positioning light poles & filling over the water drains around the track.Come Friday morning competitors & crew were again busily constructing more tents & covers for their long endurance event ahead. We were honoured to have our past Deputy Mayor Greg Chippendale who is the local Councillor for the area start the event with our traditional ringing of the cow bell.
Sixteen ladies & gents strolled away from the start line, followed shortly after by Tony Collins whose late flight arrival had delayed him by about 10mins. In the seventeen, three were from abroad. Torill from Sweden, Norio Ito from Japan & Cheng from Taiwan. The remainder were local or interstate competitors. Some have been here before while for others, this was their first event at the village as well as their first 48hr endurance event. Everyone started steady knowing this 48hr event is not only a physical challenge but a mental one too.
Just think for a moment, how you would like seeing the same scenery for 48hrs, even though running the other way every hour. Some must have known every drain pipe on each building as they passed. At least there was “pleasant music” (depending on tastes) to sing along with, helping to pass the hours & keep thought some habitation must be close by. (Some people thought there was way too much of Elvis. Ed.)
The weather on Friday was referred to as Melbourne weather, for it was neither hot or cold, wet nor dry. I remember Tamyka saying she did not know how to dress as it continued to change throughout the day. I think for the competitors, it was best suited without being too hot. For the onlookers a bit bleak. Everyone pushed on steadily though Friday clocking up many laps in good running conditions. Kevin Muller started steady but strong leading the way with what appeared a set plan as did Torill and Peter Bennett our local champion walker.
Saturday morning saw the start of the State 24hr & 12hr events. Thirteen toed the line, one being a relay team member. Deb Nicholl started strong & fast, obviously a set plan. She holds the 12hr record here & all could see she was out to set a 24hr one too. Laurie Laine also was stepping into new territory by entering the 24hr after a bold 2nd to John Pearson in February here earlier in the year.
Isn’t it amazing the performance of all these athletes in circling around this 500m track obviously going nowhere yet travelling so far?
Sadly some withdrew for whatever reasons, some needing attention for injuries, while others like Billy Pearce & John Timms had fun chatting & socializing after pulling out. Whatever your reason, thanks for your support.
As Saturday progressed so did the start of other events, the 6hr, 3hr & 1.5hr, all with challenging competitors.
But what of that wind in the afternoon blowing tents, tarps & umbrellas around? I wonder what the competitors thought of that? Fortunately it did not last for long, but I think it did justice in blowing away a bad storm heading our way. After the wind settled, some light rain was felt through the night yet the temperature did not fall as in past years. No matter what the weather was doing Kevin, Torill, Deb & Laurie pushed on increasing their kilometres and setting records. As did Peter Bennett walking.
Sunday saw a new dawn with sunlight. Those last few hours brings out the mongrel in everyone as they push further & further into areas of pain their body has never experienced. Although they smile, is it with happiness or pain, as they lift their legs to take yet another step? We must be blessed with the good weather. Although we had showers which made the track slightly muddy, neighbouring areas had hours of heavy rain. Must be those running gods looking after all these great athletes.
No matter how ones looks at it or summarises the weekend, you must applaud the athletic endurance of the winners. I can not record seeing Kevin stop running. Congratulations to everyone for setting so many records.
Following are some short transcripts from others attending the event, showing you how amazing these people really are:
- Best 24 hour performance by a woman on Australian soil…Deb Nicholl (NZL, but soon to be an Aussie) with 239.564km (previous Stanger Helen NSW 229.080 Coburg, VIC 23-Aug-98 48 track)…just 2km outside the world age group record (40-44).
- Also for Deb Nicholl world record for W40 for 100 mile split in 14:54:45 surpassing the previous mark of 15:05:52 held by Sue-Ellen Trapp since 1990.
- World personal best (M40) to Kevin Muller for his 48 hour performance of 407.560 surpassing the previous mark of 371.475 km held by Simon Schmid.
- Nordic record for Torill Fonn for her performance of 341.559km in the 48 hour.
- Jodie Oborne ran the 12 hour with the objective of running 100km in sub 9 hours for a qualifier for the Australian 100km team. She achieved this in 8:53:11 and went on to run out the 12 hours with 123.188, breaking the W?? record (not sure what age group she’s in, but it will be a new record regardless)
- I think that Stephanie Burrell may have also got an age group record for her 105.546km in the 12 hour but I don’t know her age group
- 3 women surpassing 300km in 48 hours Torill Fonn 341.559, Tamyka Bell 305.512 and Annabel Hepworth 301.500.
- After reading those performances without forgetting the records set by Peter Bennett walking, I will let you be the judge on how great these athletes are.
Full results are up on the Timing Plus website at this link
Many thanks to –
- Timing Plus for another great weekend of timing, live updates & visual laps to competitors.
- Tim and the team from Dreamsport Photography capturing you at your best & worst.
- Tim again this time wearing a different hat Jethro Consultants for managing my website and social media to this high standard.
- Healthworld for supplying all the Endura drinks & promotional products for random prizes.
- Kerrie & Paul Morris for all their assistance in preparing & dismounting the event and also their First Aid knowledge assisting competitors during the event.
- My wife Betty, although not seen as much this year due to illness, thanks for your support.
- Historical Village Society for all your volunteers helping to prepare the venue, and then packing it all away till next time. For the use of your beautiful grounds.
- Greg Chippendale for taking time from his busy morning to start the event.
- The competitors:
- For your travelling from all corners.
- For your faith & belief in me to bring you this event.
- For your great sportsmanship manner on & off the track. Three times over the weekend I was told how polite, warm & encouraging all the competitors were to each other.
- Crew people & support people for helping each other & being there when needed.
- Thank you everyone involved for making this event the success it has achieved.
Running & walking is a great way to keep your body fit, healthy & strong. Never overlook the thought of injury, it comes to us all one day. So in saying that may your journey through the ups & downs of this great sport be rewarding through all your years associated with it.
Here’s to our great sport.