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 Friday, November 29, 2002 

Susie aims for Athens in long run

By MICHELLE AINLEY
29nov02

FRANKSTON runner Susie Power is a master of going the distance.

She has run, and won, nearly every 10km run of note in Australia. And this year she won a bronze medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games at that distance.
But as she prepares for Sunday's Sussan Women's 10km she has revealed plans to step up to the marathon for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

"I've always wanted to try a marathon," Power said. "I think it's an amazing race and it must be a great feeling after you finish.

"I look at a lot of the Australians who have had good success like Lisa Ondieki, Kerryn McCann, Mona (Steve Moneghetti) and Deeks (Robert de Castella) - there's a lot who have run world-class times and that gives me confidence."

Power has earmarked the London Marathon in April for her first attempt at the 42.2km distance.

She also has her sights set on Ondieki's 10,000m Australian record. Power's personal best of 31min 26.34sec at the Zatopek Classic in December 2001 was within 10 seconds of Ondieki's time.

Results will dictate which distance she runs in Athens, but either way the 27-year-old is determined to make it to her first Olympic Games.

Power was the world cross-country champion, third-fastest Australian woman at 5000m and on the verge of qualifying for the Sydney Olympics Games in early 2000, when she fell pregnant.

Son Jai, born in December 2000, was her gold medal.

"I chose to have Jai rather than go to the Olympics and what seemed like a big decision then wasn't, because the Olympics always come around again," Power said. "I definitely want to see Olympics first-hand this time."

Power's shift towards longer distances in training and pending marathon debut come as she tries to stay injury-free.

An achilles injury sustained when she made a hasty return to running after Jai's birth, flared again earlier this year.

Despite a shortened preparation for the Commonwealth Games, Power won bronze in the 10,000m.

"My biggest goal basically for the next two years leading up to the Olympics is to stay away from injuries," she said.

"Sometimes I think my injuries are a bit of a blessing in disguise, but unfortunately they've come at the wrong time.

"Hopefully a change of training and more distance work, more longer, slower stuff will enable me to keep injury-free."

But it won't be longer, slower stuff when she lines up for the 10km fun run.

A win this year would be her third on the trot – and expect her to set a cracking pace with challengers such as national 5000m champion Haley McGregor, 23, nipping at her heels.

"At this time of the year, in the lead-up to the Zatopek Classic and the domestic season, it fits in well as part of my training," Power said.

"But it's always been my favourite race. It's a great atmosphere and there's something special about it. I'd encourage anyone to get out there and have a run or a walk. And if you've got kids, bring the stroller."

Entry forms for Sunday's fun run (5km or 10km) can be found at www.supersprint.com.au.

The race starts and finishes at St Kilda's Catani Gardens.

Article from the Herald Sun




Posted at 09:10     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, November 27, 2002 

Regional Hubs Network Athletics

Athletics Australia has launched a bold move to increase the livelihood of its sport with the announcement of Australia's first regional Hub for athletics.

The University of Queensland Athletics Centre has been named the nation's first Hub for athletics in a move that will offer unprecedented participation, coaching and development opportunities in South East Queensland.

More at the Athletics Australia website


Posted at 13:25     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, November 25, 2002 

Chiba Ekiden Results

A group of Australians took to the streets of Japan over the weekend, for the Chiba, Ekiden Relay.

Australia placed 6th in the men's competition clocking 2:03.35, and 7th in the women's event in 2:21.13.

More at the Athletics Australia website


Posted at 18:22     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, November 23, 2002 

Aths Australia Contemplates Change Of Season

Athletics Australia will shift its competition program to streamline Athens 2004 Olympic preparations for athletes and improve marketability.

Officials this week will decide whether to move the domestic Telstra A series forward three months to run from November to February or to delay until early April the seven-event 2003-04 season.

More at the Sydney Morning Herald
Posted at 12:14     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, November 18, 2002 

Olympic Dream comes true

By MANDI ZONNEVELDT

THE man himself admits he is "getting a bit old", but former Olympic distance runner Steve Moneghetti yesterday took out the Herald Sun Olympic Dream for the fifth time.

Moneghetti was the first of more than 8700 competitors across the finish line at Birrarung Marr yesterday morning, clocking 29min 34sec despite the morning heat.
Moneghetti, who turned 40 in September, beat Simon Field (30min) and Craig Semple (30:38) but fell short of his 1994 course record of 28:15.

While slightly disappointed with his time, Moneghetti was more than happy with the win and said he kept running because the Olympic Dream was such a good cause.

The fun run, in its 13th year, raises money for the Australian Olympic team.

But Moneghetti said it also encouraged young athletes to strive for their best.

"It's a cause close to my heart," he said. "Here are all these kids who hopefully one day can follow through and realise their Olympic Dream."

Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan won the women's 10km run in 34:16 from Clair Fearnley (35:12) and Kate Siebold (35:47).

Paralympian Louise Sauvage took out the women's wheelchair event in 28:41 while Australian champion Kurt Fearnley won the men's in 22:13.

Australian women's basketball champion Michelle Timms was happy with her time, running the 6km race for the first time. "It's the first fun run I've ever been in," she said.

But the Olympic Dream was not just about the winners or celebrities. Hundreds of families participated, some aiming to improve on last year's time, others just hoping to finish.

Preston's Con Mellos ran the 10km race with five-year-old son Jordan in a pram. His wife Marita did the 6km course with four-month-old son James. Con, an Olympic Dream veteran, said Jordan had competed in every race since he was born. "I used to come here to compete," he said. "It's a bit of a family day for us now."

Article from the Herald Sun

Posted at 13:34     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, November 15, 2002 

Inspired champion, record field help Sydney start Series' 27th year

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia, Nov. 13, 2002 – Cathy Freeman, Australia’s own 2000 Olympic Games gold medal sprinter, stood on the starting stage as an inspiration.

But Blair Martin, a first-time JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® participant from Allianz, was drawing his power from another source.

“When I learned this event was raising money for cancer research,” Martin said, “I knew I had to enter. I lost my mum to throat and lung cancer earlier this year and I feel she has been with me every step I’ve run ever since. I want to do everything I can now to make a powerful statement about leading a healthy lifestyle.”

On this night – the premier of the 27th season of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® Series and the third annual in Sydney – Martin was overpowering. His time of 16:16 over the 3.5-mile Centennial Park course bested Youcef Abdi of Focus International by nine seconds.

Martin’s winning time would have been the fourth fastest over the entire 2002 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® Series and was 19 seconds swifter than last year’s Sydney winner, Pat Carroll of NRMA.

“This was a very impressive event, in terms of competition, in terms of all the companies here,” said Martin, a member of a project team at Allianz that is currently composing a requirement document for the company’s IT system. “I’ve competed in two World Cross Country Championships for my native New Zealand, but this race gave me a special thrill, everything considered. I hope it’s a springboard for a great run of races, all with my mum watching from above.”

A total of $5 from Martin’s entry, and all of the 4,178 entrants, went to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. The Institute has been the primary beneficiary all three years the Corporate Challenge® has been in Sydney.

Pre-race rain ends long drought in Sydney

The 202 companies who took part also thoroughly enjoyed a pre-race rain and the cool winds. It had not rained a drop in Sydney in more than three months and Centennial Park was parched brown.

“We’re proud to be here tonight,” said Peter Mason, Chairman for JPMorgan in Sydney, “and we’re most glad we broke the drought.”

The conditions certainly suited defending women’s champion Suzy Walsham of Symantec. Walsham was the fastest woman of them all in this international Series last year, running a sizzling 19:14 on this same course. Now she looks like she will have an unbeatable record this season after running an other-worldly 18:48. In the entire 27 years of the Corporate Challenge® Series, less than a dozen women have broken 19 minutes for the 3.5-mile race.

“I was disappointed with my time last year,” Walsham said, “so I had a bit of an easy day yesterday and did my hard training Monday. I was quite focused and ran with a bunch of guys who really pushed me along.”

Walsham switched jobs last December, moving on to an accounting position at Symantec. Suitably impressed that they now had a world class runner in their midst, the company quickly mobilized a team for the Corporate Challenge® so Walsham could defend her title.

“I have to say I was a little concerned with I joined Symantec that maybe they would not field a team,” Walsham said. “But they’ve been great to me with my training and tonight our Managing Director John Donovan came out and ran in the race. That helped us put a team together. So my hat’s off to my Symantec colleagues. It was great being out on the course with them and representing them well.”

Walsham’s performance drew a rise from Freeman, the Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion who served as the patron for this event for a second consecutive year.

“I’m a sprinter,” she smiled. “I can’t imagine running 3.5 miles that fast, like Suzy. What a performance.”

A fit Freeman joins in pre-race warmups

And Freeman was pretty impressive herself. Now in training for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, Freeman looked gold medal fit in leading a group of CEO’s through a pre-race stretch. Throughout the night she signed hundreds of autographs and lit up photos with her trademark, genuine smile.

“I wish I could be out there running with everyone,” said Freeman. “I’m a big believer in this concept of teamwork and a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I can see this being huge in Sydney.”

Indeed, the Centennial Park gathering represented the fourth largest turnout for a third year event in JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® history. Chicago (5,122 participants in 1984), Boston (5,000 in 1986) and London (4,864 in 1988) are the only cities to draw more in the third year. All three are still in the Corporate Challenge® Series and in 2001 collectively drew 50,000 participants.

In other words, the future looks very bright for this event in Sydney.

“It looks like a small city out here,” said Tracey Bluett, the fourth female finisher and an employee for the Environmental Protection Agency. “Two years ago, it was a small race with maybe one or two corporate teams in marquees. Now it has taken over all of Centennial Park and it’s fantastic.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers tops record participation

PricewaterhouseCoopers, with 190 total participants, led the way in company participation in an event that featured 2,430 men and 1,748 women, including 31 Chief Executive Officers. Among that elite group, Mark Carmody of Focus International Freight was the fastest male boss in 20:05, while Learned Friends’ Rhonda Livingston earned the women’s CEO crown in 29:59.

Carmody, whose time will be difficult for any other CEO in the 2003 Series to beat, was thrilled to have a tent full of his employees partying post-race in Centennial Park.

“People are there to work to live. If you can’t do it between 9 and 5 something is not right. We’re happy to have that balance in our company. It’s nice also there’s a good cause behind it too. It’s important that big business can come together like this to extract some of the success of capitalism and give it back to people who need it.”

Beneficiary Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia is the only organization in Australia solely devoted to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. The Children’s Cancer Institute aims to improve survival rates by investigating why current treatments are not always effective and by identifying new, more effective anti cancer therapies. For instance, iron-binding agents as anti cancer therapy is the most recent of the Institute’s research programs, with the arrival of NHMRC Fellow Professor Des Richardson and his team of 15 scientists.

The JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge® now takes four months off before resuming the 2003 Series in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, April 8. Keep checking back to www.jpmorganchasecc.com for the complete 2003 Series schedule, training tips, great photos and other exciting features. This site was one of the most widely-visited running and corporate fitness sites on the World Wide Web last year.

Article from the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Sydney homepage

Posted at 13:16     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, November 14, 2002 

Athletics NSW Competition Poorly Received

Despite a glowing media release published yesterday, the new Club Premiership competition structure announced by Athletics NSW has drawn howls of protest from regular athletes around the State. The 600+ member email list, Oztrack, (named after the website of the same name) is a well-used resource for athletes, organisers, officials, and media representatives, received the first negative message even before the public media release. It was posted by the Oztrack initiator and enthusiast Steve Bennett, himself a coach of numerous athletes.

It was quickly followed by other athletes from all points of the compass, quick to point out the relative downsides to the new structure. (These can read by accessing the first message and then clicking onto the rest).

A brief summary, is that last season, the interclub competition was held at Homebush, whereby athletes could turn up on the appointed day and compete for their club, even if they were the only member to compete for their club that day. This season, the Club Premiership competitions have been regionalised, so that effectively clubs compete at their closest regional venue (so they can field the strongest team). Should the club choose, or be unable, to enter a team, the individual is not allowed to compete. Not only has this led to a thinning on quantity and quality at each venue, as it is now a more complicated arrangement - more details here.

So far, the only response received from Athletics NSW, was when an athlete asked what would happen if a club is not going to enter a team, that it looks like the athlete cannot compete. The answer received was "We had not thought of that".

The information is being gathered by Oztrack to be passed on to the State governing body.

Posted at 23:16     [Perma-Link]

Power and McGregor Set the Pace with Sussan

Manchester Commonwealth Games Medallist Susie Power and national 5,000m champion Haley McGregor will set the pace with Sussan on 1 December, when they join a field of 4,000 women of all ages and levels of athletic ability in the Melbourne Sussan Women's Fun Run, Catani Gardens, St Kilda.

Victorian-born Power, current record holder and winner of back-to-back Sydney City to Surf's in 2001 and 2002, is currently ranked as the fastest Australian woman over 10,000m and 8th fastest woman in the world. Delighted with the opportunity to compete in the Sussan Women's Fun Run Melbourne event, Susie says "Being a women-only event, the Sussan Women's Fun Run is a rare opportunity for professional female runners to really test themselves against their contemporaries. In addition, the event is unique because it attracts so many women of all levels of ability. Frankly, it's just a great day out!"

More at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 17:36     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, November 13, 2002 

Regional Athletes Are On Track

For the first time in over 70 years, Athletics New South Wales (ANSW) is taking competition to the country, with the introduction of the RAMS Home Loans Club Premiership.

With a vision to producing more country stars in the calibre of Jacquie Munro, Patrick Dwyer, Andrew Currey, Kerryn McCann, Petrina Price and Nick Moroney, the competition encourages widespread participation from clubs in regional areas.

More at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 17:56     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, November 11, 2002 

ANSW Allcomers Meet - this weekend

Sydney Athletic Centre has confirmed that the ANSW Allcomers Meet scheduled for this Saturday 16-Nov-2002 will not be affected by the Worl Trade Organisation meetings being held in Homebush.

The program for the day is:

Time
1:00 400m/200m hurdles *, LJ Qualify 6.50m, HT 3 & 4kg
1:15 PV Start 2.00
1:30 60m *, SP (w) 4kg (qualify 11m)
2:20 LJ Qualify 5.50m
2:30 100m *, HT 5 & 6kg, SP (w) 4kg
3:00 PV Start 3.50
3:15 HT 7.26kg
3:30 Mates relay 2x400m *, LJ Qualify 4.50m *
3.45 200m *, SP (w) 3kg *
4.30 800m *

Little Athletics Orientation Day information session for parents and athletes at 11.15am in the Grand Prix Room. Athletes in the LAs age groups U13, U14, U15 are eligible to enter the asterixed * events using the same procedures as all athletes and wearing their LAs registration number.

Registration with ANSW is available from 11.30am-3pm

All athletes must enter their event/s 1 hour prior to the start time - entry is $5 - no gate admission charge.

Interstate athletes are welcome - please see the ANSW representative prior to entering.

Procedures, entry forms and programs for ANSW events are now available on the website - www.nswathletics.org.au

Posted at 16:57     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, November 09, 2002 

Athletes prepare for Macksville Gift

The oldest foot race in NSW, the Macksville Gift, will be held today on the state's mid-north coast.

The only longer running race is Victoria's Stawell Gift.

The Macksville Gift was first run in 1953. It covers 120 metres and this year 50 athletes will be competing.

The heats start at 1:00pm, with the finals getting underway from 8:00pm.

Posted at 18:11     [Perma-Link]

Brindabella Classic - Fire ban, but the show goes on

A message from the Race Director regarding the race on Sunday 10th November:
(Sent onFriday, November 08, 2002 at 19:59PM)

After much haggling and angst, I have approval from ACT Forests to run the Brindy on Sunday. I have a master key for the gates and a map of the course. I propose to start and finish the long run and relay from the Cotter pub commencing at 06:30 (if possible)and this will consist of an 18mile loop followed by a 15 mile loop. I am still working on the relay leg changeovers, but I think the first will have to be along Bullock Paddock Road for ease of car access and offroad parking.

I would hope to start the shorter race at either 08:00 or 08:30 and this will be the 15 mile loop.

More advice later tonight if not tomorrow after we mark the course.

You might broadcast this message far and wide please.


Regards
Robbie Robbie Costmeyer
Race Director
rcostmey@exportex.alphalink.com.au

Race web page is here

Posted at 12:39     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, November 06, 2002 

McCann + Nunnari Make Their Mark In New York

Several Australian's took to the streets of America's 'Empire State' last weekend, for the famous New York Marathon.

More at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 13:40     [Perma-Link]

Gold Coast Marathon Flies into the Future

The Gold Coast Marathon will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Sunday 6 July 2003 with a new long-term naming rights sponsor, the Gold Coast Airport – a partnership that is set to bring a wave of new visitors from international markets.

During the last 25 years the Gold Coast Marathon has grown to become one of Australia’s premier marathon events and the future only looks brighter with the announcement that Gold Coast Airport will be the naming rights sponsor in a long-term commitment of up to six years.

The Honourable Peter Beattie MP, Premier of Queensland, made the announcement on Friday 1 November 2002 at the Broadwater Events Parkland – the site for the start and finish of the 2003 Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Gold Coast Airport Limited Chairman Jim Tolhurst said an assessment of the Gold Coast Marathon established a synergy between key markets for the marathon and locations to be serviced directly into Gold Coast Airport.

Two key markets for the Gold Coast Marathon are Japan and New Zealand, with the event having close relationships with both the Senshu Marathon in Osaka and Auckland Marathon.

"An event such as the marathon which has demonstrated high levels of interest and involvement from all these regions, gives us the opportunity to further develop our presence and recognition there, said Tolhurst.

"Our commitment is long term. We look forward to joining with the Gold Coast community, the event participants, the organizers and our fellow sponsors to ensure the Gold Coast Airport Marathon remains the pre-eminent marathon race in Australia and a major component of the city’s impressive events calendar."

Gold Coast Marathon Chairman Kerry Watson said the success of this year’s event secured the relationship with Gold Coast Airport.

"The event re-established itself as a leading international marathon, a healthy and positive community event and a product that the Gold Coast can rightly take ownership of," said Watson.

"We have seen entry levels rise significantly in the past two years thanks to increased support by the Queensland Government, and a more professional approach across all facets of the event.

So when booking your flight to the 2003 Gold Coast Airport Marathon ensure your flight is to arrive at the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta.

For more information on the Gold Coast Airport, please log on to www.goldcoastairport.com.au

Article from the Gold Coast Marathon website.
Posted at 09:14     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, November 04, 2002 

Fun-run winner crossed line and kept on running

By DAVID KIRKPATRICK

It was a bit like a scene from the movie Forrest Gump yesterday when the winner of The Canberra Times Family Fun Run, Gemecha Woyecha, just kept running.

After crossing the finish line in 29min 31sec, Woyecha slowed down long enough to check his stopwatch before taking off again through Commonwealth Park.

It seemed the 10km distance wasn't long enough for an athlete more accustomed to running marathons.

So while the rest of the 2475 entrants straggled across the line and drifted into the comfort zone for some fluids, fruit or a massage, Woyecha went missing.

Plenty of people suggested that he might have been running back to Woden to pick up his car, but that has not been confirmed.

He became an international man of mystery, as race organisers and fellow runners speculated about his origins and previous credentials in his absence.

At first it was thought he was from Kenya, then Qatar, but it turned out he was born in Ethiopia and is going through the process of becoming an Australian citizen.

Later, in broken English, Woyecha explained that he had gone for a lengthy warm-down run because the race had been a "little short".

It was tough to find him even when the prizes were being handed out and, it took the announcer a couple of minutes to bring him running from the crowd.

He was in a bunch sprint to the finish and crossed the line ahead of unlucky losers Martin Dent and James Barker.

"I'm a long-distance runner, but I want to improve my times, so I run short distance as well," Woyecha said. "It was a little bit windy, but I am very happy, it was great. I wanted to win, but everyone feels the same way."

He came to Australia for the Sydney Olympics and decided to stay.

He lived in Melbourne for two years and moved to Canberra a month ago to train alongside another Ethiopian-born runner, Sisay Bezabeh.

He's run in the previous two Canberra marathons, and now hopes to improve his times under the coaching of Dick Telford.

For Dent, second place is becoming a habit. He managed to win the event in 1998, but for the past three years he's been beaten to the line.

Woyecha opened up a 20-second lead in the final kilometre of the race, and Dent couldn't run him down.

"I'm running a marathon in four weeks, so I will see how that goes," Dent said.

"If it goes well I might stick with marathons or go back to the track."

Runners endured temperatures in the low 20s and windy conditions that ensured Rob de Castella's race record of 29min 1sec was not under threat.

England's Sarah Salmon was the first woman home in 34min 26sec, and showed plenty of the men a clean pair of heels to finish 11th overall.

Salmon moved to Canberra to be with her boyfriend, track athlete Corey Tucker, but is not planning to switch her allegiances to Australia in the near future.

She has represented England at school level in cross- country and track, and then moved to the under-23 level and participated in the World Cross Country titles.

"My coach is Australian, all my training partners are Australian, but I don't know what my family would think if I swapped," Salmon said.

It was a clear victory for Salmon, who finished more than three minutes ahead of Jane Zeller and Angela Bateup.

Article from the Canberra Times website.
Posted at 13:11     [Perma-Link]

McCann seventh after fall

AUSTRALIA's Kerryn McCann has overcame a nasty fall to finish seventh in the New York City marathon.

Kenya's Joyce Chepchumba won the women's event in 2hr25min56sec.

More at the Herald Sun website
Posted at 12:27     [Perma-Link]

Mottram Bolts To An Australian Best

The action was hot on the streets of Noosa this weekend, as Australia's best middle distance runners battled it out in the New Balance 5k bolt. The huge crowd lining Noosa Parade witnessed defending champion Craig Mottram slice three seconds off the Australian 5km road best* to clinch victory in 13 minutes 43 seconds.

More at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 09:15     [Perma-Link]


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