The Arthur's Seat Challenge (6.7km) - Victoria
My adrenaline was still pumping after the previous nights basketball game when my beloved Victoria Titans went down in a close and exciting finish but, as I motored on towards the seaside town of Rosebud, I was pleased that I got all the way through Melbourne without once being harassed by the tin rattlers and window washers that seem to infest all of the major intersections. The only unusual thing to occur on the drive was having to stop in Mordialloc when a mother duck and her ducklings appeared from nowhere and decided to cross the highway.
Arriving at the start, it sure was crowded with over 500 entrants crammed into the start area in the small car park between the Rosebud Pier and the cafe on the highway corner. As with all runs, you always catch up with old and regular faces, there were several ex Coburg runners now proudly sporting their yellow Peninsula singlets and obviously enjoying the slower pace of peninsula life. Also present were several old Ultra faces in Mad Max Gibbs, Kon Butko and multiple Sydney to Melbourne finisher Ron Hill. Ron now works part time operating the chair lift that travels up the mountain face to the summit but the chair lift was off limits for everyone today. I even managed to spot a few South Australian Road Runners singlets but none of them resembled the incomparable Phil Essam......
The Arthur's Seat Challenge may only be 6.7km but after the first flat kilometre along the Nepean Highway it is all up hill to the summit and it gets steeper and steeper. I caught sight of Lindsay "Always" Beaton doing point duty on the highway corner and commented that at least I would not be beaten by him today!! "No way" Lindsay retorted, I am driving to the top and I'll get there before you [and he did]. I was staggering my way to the top on the zig zagging road that winds along under the chair lift cables and wondering why a mountain is called Arthur's Seat????? Well, there IS a seat at the top so one can only assume that it was put there by some guy named Arthur!! It really was lung busting stuff until Heather McDonald [a local] exclaimed 'The last bend, you beauty", It sure was good to reach the top. WOW, what a view....it was crystal clear and you could see from the city of Melbourne to Sorrento and all the way over the bay to the You Yang Mountains, Port Phillip Bay sure is beautiful. It was at the summit that I caught up with Mike Kennedy, Mike had his 15 minutes of fame a few years ago when, in his capacity as CEO of the Boroondara Council, he was the public face of a media campaign to stop the pay TV cables being strung through the suburbs.......A campaign that saw Mike score a victory. Two notable non starters were Ross Shilston and Alan "Half" Witt........Kon reckons he had them teed up to run but they wussed out at the last minute!
The Arthur's Seat Challenge is a fund raiser for a student driver awareness program and, as I jogged back down the road to the Rosebud Pier, I was thinking how ironic it would be if a young driver were to come passed and run me over!..........Money well spent!
Eventually I, and several others, arrived back at our cars before making a beeline to the Rosebud Jetty Cafe. I have enjoyed good pizza here in the past but a diet coke was all I wanted right now
It had, indeed, been a good day on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsula