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 Monday, May 31, 2004 

Channel Seven's Olympic Line-up

Channel Seven has the Australian free-to-air broadcasting rights for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Sporting recruits Tony Squires and Matthew White will have prominent presenting roles at the Games, in favour of old hands Sandy Roberts and Bruce McAvaney.

While McAvaney and Roberts played key presenting roles at the Sydney Olympics, both appear to have been sidelined this time. Roberts is believed to be presenting the graveyard midnight-to-dawn shift while McAvaney will serve solely as commentator for swimming and athletics.

The shift is part of a long-term strategy by Seven to use younger faces at the network in order to appeal to a younger audience.

Squires is expected to host the prestiguous primt time spot and White, who is serving out his contract at Channel Ten until June, is tipped to present the afternoon slot.

The female face of Seven Sport, Johanna Griggs, is understood to be presenting the morning shift of the Athens coverage.

A Seven sports insider said Squires would take a "prominent role" in the Olympics coverage along with his 110% Tony Squires co-pannelist Rebecca Wilson.

The two week sports-fest is due to kick off with the Opening Ceremony on August 13th, guaranteed to give Seven the ratings boost it needs.

Posted at 07:48     [Perma-Link]

Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon Round-up

The following is a summary of all the information we have on this year's event:
- Complete Results
- Runner Feedback
- Bezabeh and McCann take big strides (SMH)
- In this contest, the view is half (SMH)
- SMH Runners on track for Athens (The Age)
- Bezabeh tipped to win SMH Half (SMH)
- Cartwright's plan: to go for glory (SMH)
Posted at 07:30     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 30, 2004 

Athletics stumbles on to Athens

By 9 o'clock every morning, Benita Johnson is up and running alongside the Thames River in London, on her way to the race of a lifetime in Athens. The 25-year-old world cross-country champion is one of Australia's best medal prospects at these Olympics, and when she trains there is only one thing on her mind: being first across the line in the 10,000-metre final.

But in her few breaks between running, Johnson admits she sometimes wonders what is happening back home, and how much longer Australian athletics can stumble along before the sport collapses.

Despite record funding in recent years, Australia has fewer top-10-ranked athletes than at any time since the mid-1980s; the nation's athletics team has shot down the rankings at the past two world championships; and the team for Athens is expected to finish with its worst medal tally in 24 years.

And that's just at the elite level: grassroots athletics is also struggling.

Change may be on the horizon. A report on a national review of athletics is expected soon after the Olympics in August.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 14:35     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, May 28, 2004 

Master of cross-country

MOST Australians who travel overseas for work try to give themselves as much time as possible to have a bit of a break.

But when 37-year-old Paul Wilson, of Emerald, lived and worked in Germany for seven years, he found a different way to spend his spare time.

The four-time gold medallist in the cross-country section at the recent Australian Masters championships held at Olympic Park, found himself competing out on the road when he wasn't in a classroom teaching.

``I used to race for money in Europe and it took a lot of effort,'' Wilson said.

``There was money there in the '90s, but not so much these days because of the economy and the drop in prizemoney.''

Wilson's haul of four gold medals at the Masters championships came in the 1500m, 5km, 10km and 8km cross-country events.

He also added a touch of silver to his collection, finishing second in the high jump.

``I went in the high jump for a bit of fun and came second, which was a bit of a surprise,'' he said.

Wilson began running in his early teens and moved to Germany in his 20s.

``I was a teacher as well and that's a little different in Germany, because you start at 7.30am and you finish at lunchtime, so I had the afternoon to myself for training,'' he said.

Wilson said he was running more than 240km a week at his peak and he still manages to get out on the road six days a week. ``I was competing in the Athletics Victoria season, but I did my hamstring and I'm just coming back from that,'' he said.

His next major event is a half marathon on the Gold Coast in July.

Wilson is this week's nomination for the Free Press Senior Sports Star. To make a nomination phone 9762 2511 or email freepress@ldr.newsltd.com.au.

Article from the Free Press Leader
Posted at 16:47     [Perma-Link]

Athletic feats

by Robert Kelly

A CHANCE encounter at a Bethesda Christian College sports day may have set three Sudanese refugees on the road to athletics glory.

Sophera, Dave and Grace Guel, who live in Warradale, were at Santos Stadium for the school sports day.

They were seen by Athletics SA development manager Rick Wilson who noted the potential of the three teenagers.

He says the trio have been in Adelaide for around three years, after previously living in refugee camps in Africa.

``What has been amazing is the response we have got from people around these parts wanting to help them.

``Brighton Lions have given money for track gear for them, the IAAF solidarity program and the Office of Sport and Rec among others have done their bit to help give these kids a chance.''

Wilson, of Somerton Park, says the three will train once a week during winter with his elite squad to prepare for the spring athletics season.

``We gave some thought to trying them out at cross-country, but after what they have been through thought it would be better to ease them into it and start them on the track instead,'' he says.

``The way these guys lived for the first few years of their lives means it was always going to take some time to get things like diet back in order.''

Wilson says as far as he is aware this is the first time anything like this has happened for young athletes.

``In other parts of the city I've heard of it being done for young soccer players, but I think it's an athletics first,'' he says.

The three will train with the squad Wilson and running coach Judy Daly look after in the winter.

Wilson says after that they will most likely join the Western Districts Athletics club, where his daughter Sally Wilson is one of the rising stars.

Article from the Messenger-Guardian.
Posted at 16:45     [Perma-Link]

Bellarine Rail Run attracts Olympic Star

Victorian Ultra-marathon runners, Phil Essam and Kevin Cassidy have great pleasure in announcing the first Bellarine Rail Trail 64km/32km Fat Ass Event. It will be held on Sunday 20th June 2004 starting at 7.30am from the Geelong Showgrounds.

More information can be found at the race website. The Event is being conducted in the "Fat Ass" tradition which means that there is no entry fees, no prizes and no assistance given on the day.

The Organisers are also pleased to announce that Geelong Olympic Marathon runner, Lee Troop is to help start the Event on the day and is going to run with competitors for the first 32km as part of his preparation for the Olympic Games in Athens in August this year. Lee is happy that an Event is being undertaken on one of his favourite training routes and is hoping that it becomes an annual sporting event in the Geelong area.

The Event is 2 weeks before the Gold Coast Marathon and Pitchi Ritchi Marathon on the 4th July, so it hoped that quite a few aspiring Marathon runners from around Victoria will come down to Geelong and sample one of the best running courses in Australia on the day.
Posted at 15:49     [Perma-Link]

Good run for Olympic marathoner

Marathon runner Sisay Bezabeh used to train with gunfire in the background.

These days, Canberra's Australian Institute of Sport is home for the 26-year-old Ethiopian-born athlete who will represent his adopted country at the Athens Olympics.

"I saw them (soldiers) everyday when I was going to school or running," said Bezabeh, who last weekend won the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon and placed 13th in the recent London Marathon.

"Whatever place you go you can see them."

In a country ravaged by war and stricken with poverty, Bezabeh was lucky to be born into a middle class family. Even then, he cannot describe it as a great life.

"There are people on the streets and begging. (But) we (my family) had enough to eat."

Complete article at NineMSN
Posted at 15:45     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, May 25, 2004 

Mini-AIS to be set-up in Europe

A mini-Australian Institute of Sport is to be set up in Europe, possibly as early as the end of this year, to provide a central accommodation, training and sports medicine base for Australian athletes.

Chief executive officer of the Australian Sports Commission, Mark Peters, said yesterday negotiations with "a couple of countries" for a Euro-hub to cater for 50-60 Australian athletes from all sports were well advanced and hopefully would lead to the host country providing the bulk of the multi-million dollar establishment costs.

"They want us to go there because they believe our reputation will help them set up a sports tourism base," Peters said. "If we move into an existing facility, it probably will be up by the end of the year. If some elements of it have to be built, then we would expect it to be operational at the end of 2005, at the latest by early 2006."

Complete article at The Courier Mail
Posted at 11:20     [Perma-Link]

Mottram upstages record holder

Australian Craig Mottram has upstaged the world marathon record holder to win England's biggest 10,000 metre race and put himself in serious contention for an Olympic medal in Athens.

The 23-year-old Victorian roared to a superb win in 27 minutes, 54 seconds at the Great Manchester Run, gaining some notable scalps along the way, including world marathon record holder Paul Tergat, who finished fourth.

"There were plenty of big names out there and it was important that I won against them before moving onto the track," Mottram said.

Complete article at Seven News
Posted at 11:14     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 24, 2004 

Give him 10 kilometres, he'll take 35

Untested by 10 kilometres, Australian Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop yesterday displayed the improved mental and physical strength he hopes will lift him into the top 10 at the Athens Olympics.

After leading mentor Steve Moneghetti into the MCG to win the annual Run to the 'G charity event, Troop just kept on running.

He warmed up for yesterday's event by running 17 kilometres. Then, after completing the 10-kilometre Run to the 'G in 29 minutes and 57 seconds, pipping Moneghetti (29.59 minutes) and Mark Jackson (32.31 minutes), he returned to the pavement to run another eight.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 01:31     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 23, 2004 

SMH Half Marathon 2004 Results

Please see the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Tues 25th May, for full results.

Men

1st Sisay Bezabah 65.16
2nd Brett Cartwright 65.17
3rd Scott Westcott 66.30
4th Rod de Highen 66.46
5th Glen Guzzo 67.24
6th Russell Dessaix-Chin 68:45
7th Damon Harris 68:51
8th Jermey Horne 69:35
9th Robin Whitely 70:24
10th Nigel Adkin 71:42

Women

1st Kerryn McCann 72.17 (14th overall)
2nd Anna Thompson 75.48
3rd Serena Gibbs 76:51
4th Liz Miller 79:24
5th Jane Miles 80:32
6th Jenny Truscott 80:43
7th Renato Dandrea 81:32
8th Bilinda Schipp 82:32
9th Jacinta Worland 82:55
10th Jenny Wickham 83:06

Many thanks to Dan Green and the other elite runners at 28racingteam.com for the assistance in gathering these.
Posted at 14:39     [Perma-Link]

5000 on Run to the G

More than 5000 participants will step onto the venerated MCG today to finish the 10th Age Run to the G.

Celebrities, families, work teams and enthusiastic individuals will have the chance to pit themselves against Olympic marathon runners Steve Moneghetti and Lee Troop.

The course allows contestants to take in some of Melbourne's most significant landmarks, including Flinders Street Station, St Paul's Cathedral, Federation Square, the Yarra River and the parkland at Birrarung Marr.

With large numbers expected, this year's timing system for The Age Run to the G will be the ChampionChip - a small disc that runners tie to their shoelaces which will record their race time.

Organisers hope this will minimise congestion and crowding at the start of the race.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 10:16     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, May 22, 2004 

Bezabeh tipped to win SMH Half

Many athletes describe the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon course as the toughest on the international calendar. But to Sisay Bezabeh, the meandering run through the Rocks and Botanic Gardens seems pretty tame compared with the Ethiopian mountain terrain on which he learnt his trade.

Bezabeh, who will represent Australia in the Olympic marathon this year, is warm favourite to win the half marathon tomorrow, even though he is unfit and has yet to see the course. "It doesn't bother me if I see it or not," he said. "If you see, you're going to run; if you don't see, you're still going to run."

The Ethiopian-born Australian first came to Sydney in 1996 as a competitor in the World Junior Athletics Championships. After the meeting, he was accepted as a refugee because of war and civil strife in his homeland, and later became eligible to compete in the green and gold. Distance running has been a constant in his life.

"I was a teenager when I started training," Bezabeh said. "I was 16 years old and I started running with my uncle. He took me on different types of running: uphill, downhill, in flat, in the forest and road. If you are training up and down and in different kinds of weather, you get very strong."

Training with coach Dick Telford at the AIS, Bezabeh has cracked some memorable times, including 61 minutes 54 seconds in the London half marathon this year. He faces tough competition tomorrow from fellow Australians Scott Westcott, Brett Cartwright and last year's winner, Rod De Highden.

Complete article at the SMH
Posted at 14:26     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, May 21, 2004 

Mottram mulls British switch

Athletics infighting could cost Australia a prized scalp, with champion distance runner Craig Mottram considering switching allegiances to Britain.

UK Athletics have already met with Mottram's coach Nic Bideau to detail their plans for the 23-year-old Victorian, and Bideau has no qualms in telling his charge the British offer beats Australia.

The only good news for Australia is Mottram has committed to wearing the green and gold at the Athens Olympics – after that it's up in the air.

"I have considered it and I will consider it again after Athens," said Mottram.

"Up until Athens all I'm going to do is concentrate on performing the best that I can for Australia."

Mottram's grievances lie with Athletics Australia (AA), the political bickering and their failure to support athletes by luring world class competitors to Australia for the domestic season.

Complete article at FoxSports
Posted at 15:22     [Perma-Link]

Fun Run for Red Cross (Sydney)

The 2004 Fun Run for Red Cross will be held at Homebush on Sunday July 18. Last's year's race attracted some 720 runners, so this year's is set to surpass this figure.

The event's organisers have moved this year's race from Centennial Park to Homebush, given the easier access to parking. In addition, as Homebush is closer to the geographical centre of Sydney, the event's new location is easily accessible to runners from all parts of the city.

Online entry will be available shortly for the 5km run/walk and 10km fun run.

For more information go to www.GlobalEliteEvents.com.
Posted at 13:28     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, May 20, 2004 

Tackling The Mountain

The 2004 Victorian Mountain Running Championships will be staged in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne on Sunday 23 May.

One of the challenges race organiser, Athletics Victoria, face is finding a suitable mountain. In choosing a Championship Course it is necessary for it to have an ‘uphill’ component ensuring that competitors have climbed an overall gain of 1000m from the start to the finish. The course itself must also be ‘runable’ ensuring that it is not limited to mountain goats, nor is it a rock scramble on all fours.

Mt St Leonard in the Yarra Ranges National Park fits the bill and will again be the venue for the 13th Annual Mountain Run. The 13km course is held on walking trails through the Yarra Ranges National Park from Healesville’s Maroondah Reservoir Dam to the top of Mt St Leonard, which stands 1010m above sea level. Emphasis is on participation and Fun Runners are encouraged to enter too. A range of SPOT PRIZES have been donated by local businesses and all participants will be eligible to win these.

The event is set to attract record numbers with pre race entries already up on last year.

Last year’s race winners were Australian Mountain Running representatives Kevin Laws (NSW) and June Petrie (VIC). As a member of the Ringwood Athletic Club June also took out the Open Womens Victorian Championship; and Mal Grimmett (Waverley Athletic Club) was the Open Mens Victorian Champion.

Competitors can expect the run/walk to take anywhere from 1-2 hours. For keen supporters and spectators there is vehicle access to within 500m of the finish line, and the chance to share in the spectacular view from the top of Mt St Leonard.

So bring your running shoes and take in our great outdoors and a wonderful piece of Victoria on Sunday 23 May!

More information here
Posted at 17:01     [Perma-Link]

People of all abilities encouraged to enter Barossa Half

Over the past 23 years, more than 4000 people have donned their running shoes to take part in what has become an institution in the Barossa Valley.

This year's Brauer Natural Medicine Barossa Half Marathon and Fun Runs are again expected to attract more than 250 runners and walkers and their families from across South Australia and interstate (on Sunday 30th May 2004).

As well as the traditional 21.1 kilometre half marathon, competitors will also walk and run 5.5 or 10 kilometres of the course, which passes through some of the region's most picturesque scenery and starts and finishes at the Barossa Recreation Centre.

The events have built a reputation as the best rural running and walking events in South Australia, because of the excellent facilities and professional organisation. It is believed to be the oldest surviving country running event in South Australia.

"Local businesses have benefited over the past 23 years by the influx to the region of participants and their families, and local community organisations have received generous donations for their assistance," race director Trevor Miller said.

This year's charity to be supported is Camp Quality.

Camp Quality passionately believes in the power of fun in bringing laughter, hope and happiness into the lives of children living with cancer, their families and their communities. They run 25 camps and recreational activities in South Australia every year for children from 0-18 years old and their families.

Part proceeds of the Brauer Natural Medicine Barossa Half Marathon and Fun Runs will be donated to Camp Quality and there will be a provision for walkers and runners to make a tax deductible donation to Camp Quality on the entry form.

People of all abilities are encouraged to take part. Fill out the attached entry form, have fun while undertaking a healthy activity and raising money for a much-needed charity.

Beginning as a challenging 17 kilometre run from the former Kaiser Stuhl Winery (Penfolds) to Marananga and return, the Barossa Half Marathon has become an event for all ages and fitness levels.

While the initial event started in 1982, the Apex club took control in 1985 and it was changed to the half marathon distance of 21.1km.

The Barossa Runners Club then took the reins in 1989, before changing the course in 1992 to start and finish at the Barossa Recreation Centre, Tanunda.

During 1993 the Runners Club was awarded the right to incorporate the Athletics SA State Half Marathon Championships in the event, which has retained the championship ever since. The course has been measured to International Amateur Athletic Federation/Athletics Australia standards, allowing runners to gain a place in the national rankings.

In 1995 the program was expanded to include 5.5km and 10km events, allowing further participation by a wider range of runners and walkers. The events are increasingly popular with walkers and their families.

In 1996 the Barossa Half Marathon Committee became the new organisers of the events and continue to this day. Members have continued their predecessors' policy of awarding medallions to place getters in numerous age group categories, sponsor's bags to all finishers and random draw prizes.

Walkers of the 21.1km start at 8am, runners from 9am, while runners and walkers of the 10km and 5.5km set off from 9.10am.

Trophies will be awarded to both male and females in varying age categories of the three distances. Each participant will also receive a sponsorship bag, and there will also be a range of lucky prize draws on the day.

Anyone interested in participating can fill out the coupon attached and send it to the Barossa Half Marathon Committee, PO Box 521, Nuriootpa SA 5355, or contact race director Trevor Miller on (08) 8562 1257 A/H or 0419 845 712 for further information.

Barossa Half Marathon website
Posted at 16:43     [Perma-Link]

New CEO for Athletics NZ

Jeremy F Kennerley of Wellington has been appointed the new CEO of Athletics New Zealand, replacing the current General Manager, John Stewart, who leaves at the end of May.

Kennerley, 41, a Chartered Accountant by profession who is currently the CEO of the Nursery & Garden Industry Association of New Zealand, has a 12-year background in senior management roles with organisations such as the New Zealand Racing Board and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Athletics New Zealand Chairman, Craig Purdy, was delighted by the interest in the position and the number of strong candidates that put their names forward. "We are very much at a crossroad in our sport, and of the high calibre shortlist we felt that Jeremy provided us with the balance of skills, attributes and fresh thinking that we need in a CEO as we head deeper into our revitalisation programme in partnership with SPARC," said
Purdy.

Kennerley said, "I have long held the belief that the business of commercially run sport has a significant part to play in the future of New Zealand's continued local and international growth. Consequently, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to employ my management skills to assist Athletics New Zealand to further develop its grass-roots programmes and uphold its international tradition of producing successful world class high performance sportsmen and women."

Athletics New Zealand's partner, SPARC, commented that Athletics has been identified as an important sport to New Zealanders and one with much potential. Working closely with Athletics on a revitalisation programme, SPARC sees that the sport is in a very exciting phase with some new and exciting initiatives planned that will positively impact the sport at every level.

Kennerley is an Associate Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management, holds of Bachelor of Science (Hons.) Economics and is a CA member of Institute of Chartered Accountants both in New Zealand and in England. Kennerley is married with three children, who keep him very much in touch with the grassroots of sport through his coaching of junior soccer at the Miramar Rangers Soccer Club and junior interclub
tennis at the Miramar Tennis Club. He himself is a very competitive sportsman with
interests in a wide range of Sports.

Athletics New Zealand website
Posted at 16:36     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, May 14, 2004 

Around-Australia walker strides into Darwin

A walker attempting to be the first woman to walk around Australia has arrived in Darwin.

Deborah De Williams started her charity walk in Melbourne in October last year and has been through Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia before arriving in the Northern Territory.

Ms De Williams says she is on track to break the record for a continuous walk around the country. "I'll definitely get to the record," she said. "I've been through two cyclones, a robbery, a big major detour and I'm still four days ahead of the world record. I will be home on October 9 as I've got a wedding to go to on the 10th, and my girlfriend would kill me if I wasn't there."
Posted at 14:55     [Perma-Link]

Blackmores Sydney Marathon Festival

We wish to announce - the Blackmores Sydney Marathon Festival is on again, Sunday 12 September 2004 incorporating the Blackmores Sydney Marathon, Blackmores Half Marathon and the Sunday Telegraph 10K Bridge Run. On-line entries are available at www.sydneymarathon.org/newonlineentries.asp.

For 2004 we will see some major changes to the course for both the marathon and half marathon. We will have a new start area for all three events which will be at Bradfield Park, Milsons Point. The finish area for all events this year will be the Sydney Opera House with the Recovery Village being in the Royal Botanic Gardens where bag collection and a whole range of post race activities will take place. For further information regarding the new course please click on www.sydneymarathon.org/Default.asp?Id=272.

If you're wondering where your 2003 certificate is, certificates will be sent with the 2004 entry form, these will be sent together and should arrive within the next three weeks. Apologies for the delay, however it was necessary to hold off on sending the certificate until this year's entry forms were available.

Happy Training,

Frontiers Group

Runner comments here - please read or add your own
Posted at 14:46     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, May 13, 2004 

Late rush of entries expected for fun run

WITH only days to go before the seventh annual Eagle Vale Fun Run, organisers are expecting a late flood of entries to boost the total number of participants in the popular event.

Organiser Maurice Tobin said entries had been received from around the Macarthur area, Fairfield, Caringbah, Padstow and a good number from the Step Into Life Fitness Group at Glenmore Park. He expected up to 450 runners competing in either the 2km walk/run, the 5km walk/run and, for the more adventurous, a 10km run.

The event, set down for Sunday, starts at 9am from St Mary's Primary School, Emerald Drive, Eagle Vale.

There is a 2km walk/run taking in two laps of the Eagle Vale Farm Lake, with participants generally accompanied by the local ducks and other wildlife.

The 5km walk/run is over a slight undulating and flat course along Emerald Drive crossing Eagle Vale Drive, turning left towards Badgally Rd and return. The more challenging 10km run takes in part of the 5km course.

Entry forms can be obtained from major sponsors Starr Partners, Campbelltown, C91.3, Campbelltown library and leisures centres or at www.stmarys.woll.catholic.edu.au/2004funrun.

Article from the Macarthur Chronicle.
Posted at 13:53     [Perma-Link]

Challenge finds home

by JULIEANNE STRACHAN

THE Central Coast's newest race is expected to find a permanent home on the NSW calendar next year, after the successful launch of the Crackneck Challenge and community fun run.

Organiser Peter Ford said Sunday's debut was so successful he expected it to become a landmark on the coast sporting scene.

``The feedback we had was extremely positive and we think it will only get better from here,'' he said.

``We had 288 people run and I think it will only get bigger in coming years.

``A lot of people said it had those key elements of a successful event, like beautiful scenery to go through and testing areas as well.

``One of the great things about it is that it is only two weeks before the Sydney half-marathon, so it gives people a chance to tune up.''

The event also raised about $8000 for coast organisations.

``We still have to finalise the financial side, but as this was a Rotary event all of the proceeds will go to worthy causes,'' Ford said.

``We selected two groups surf lifesaving clubs on the route of the run, which were Toowoon Bay, The Entrance and Shelly Beach clubs.

``They were a great help on the day. And the other group is Coast Shelter, which provides emergency accommodation.''

Ford said prizes given away included a mountain bike, running shoes, resort accommodation and sunglasses.

``The Rotary Club of The Entrance decided to hold this to improve physical activity for people living on the Central Coast,'' he said.

``About two years ago I saw an article in the paper that said 60 per cent of Australians were overweight and obesity was set to become the single biggest disease of this century.

``That started us off on this. We wanted to do something to encourage people to become more active.''

Article from the Central Coast Express.
Posted at 13:52     [Perma-Link]

Lacing up for fun run

THE Monash community is lacing up for the 19th Garry Rogers Jells Lake Fun Run/Walk on Sunday to raise money for charity.

Event organiser Terry Nugent said over the past 18 years, Mulgrave's Good Shepherd Joggers had raised more than $43,000 for Interchange Inner East, a respite service for children and young adults with disabilities.

``It is one of the longest-running fun runs in Melbourne and has many attractions through the lovely surrounds of Jells Park, all on tracks,'' Mr Nugent said.

Avila Catholic Secondary College cross-country coach Melissa Harvey said the event was a training opportunity for students preparing for the interschool cross-country season.

``At the same time the runners will be putting their best feet forward for others, as funds raised from the event are donated to charity,'' Mrs Harvey said.

``Avila's association with the event goes back many years.

``This year's four-member team of organisers from the Good Shepherd Joggers all had daughters attend the college.''

The fun run, which has a 5km or 10km course, starts at 9.30am at the Ferntree Gully Rd entrance of Jells Park.

For more information, phone: 9273 2445.

Article from the Oakleigh Springvale Dandenong Times.
Posted at 13:51     [Perma-Link]

Stride for Sight River Run

RUN, walk or stride to Kooyong's Vision Australia Foundation to take part in the Stride for Sight River Run.

People of all fitness levels are encouraged to take part in a 10- or five-kilometre run or walk to raise money for people who are blind or vision-impaired.

The fun run will take place on Sunday, May 30.

Andrew Tunne, a blind runner from Croydon, will take part in the event and expects to enjoy the day.

``I am looking for a running partner on a long-term basis, so if anyone is keen to run with me, contact the Vision Australia Foundation,'' he said.

The day will incorporate a breakfast, information displays on healthy living, masseurs, warm-up aerobics and games.

For more information or to register for the run, phone Vision Australia Foundation on 1800 250 800.

Article from the Malvern Prahran Leader.
Posted at 13:50     [Perma-Link]

Jessica stuns top runners

MARATHON champion Pat Carroll says he believes a 12-year-old Gold Coast schoolgirl is on the way to stardom on the athletics track.

Carroll, a four-time winner of the Gold Coast Marathon and an online running coach, was almost speechless after witnessing Jessica Gilfillan's emphatic victory in Queensland's largest charity fun run on Sunday.

It was not so much Jessica's time that astounded officials and spectators but the fact that the unassuming schoolgirl from AB Paterson College won the 4km race outright, leaving a huge field of men and women in her wake.

The annual Mother's Day Classic at Brisbane's South Bank attracted 2000 entrants and Jessica stopped the clock at 14 minutes 38 seconds. Her time was 27 seconds ahead of open men's winner Cameron O'Farrell and almost a minute ahead of the second-placed female, Australian schoolgirl cross-country and athletics champion Genevieve Lacaze.

``I've never seen that happen before - a woman winning outright," said Carroll, before realising Jessica was hardly a `woman' but a mere slip of a girl, half the size of many of the men.

The feat didn't attract much fanfare in the Brisbane media, perhaps because the event was a `fun run', not a major title meet. And perhaps because her parents, also athletes, do not like to push their children into the spotlight.

Gilfillan has won state and national titles in her age group for the past few years and was only 11 when she rewrote the record books by running one of the fastest 3000m times in the world for her age group last November.

Jessica ran 9min47sec at a low-key meet at Brisbane's QEII Stadium - a time that would have won the Australian 17 years and open girls titles at the Australian national championships.

The time attracted the attention of national athletics officials and was remarkable given that it was only the youngster's second race over 3000m. And according to her mother Karen, she did it `so easy'.

Sunday's fun run was aimed at raising money for breast cancer research and was held at the same time in Sydney and Melbourne, attracting 15,000 people to the three races.

Jessica is the youngest in a family of three girls and a boy.

Ashlea, the oldest, was the third female across the line in the open women's 8km race.

Ashlea clocked 30min13sec - just two seconds behind Gold Coast marathon runner Helen Verity-Tolhurst. Caloundra's Jenny Young won that race in 28min55sec.

Young finished fourth outright, three minutes behind overall winner Christopher Reeves, and Verity-Tolhurst and Ashlea were sixth and seventh.

Article from the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Posted at 13:49     [Perma-Link]

Ready, set ... go for Sugar Rush

PLANTATION Park is the place to be on Sunday morning.

It will mark the start of the annual Burdekin Sugar Rush running and walking event which has more than $2500 worth of prizes this year up for grabs.

Burdekin Roadrunners and Walkers Club president Tony Felesina said with the range of activities the Burdekin was a good place to be.

``There will be no better place to be this weekend than in Ayr with the number of events which will attract locals and visitors alike,'' he said.

``Following the success of the Fashion Bash and upcoming The Burdekin Grower Race Day, this is another opportunity for visitors to contribute to our local community and economy.

``We have entrants from Cairns, more than 100 from Townsville and more from Proserpine, the Whitsundays and Mackay.

``Last year 96 local residents participated and we are hoping for more than 100 this year.''

The event is expect to attract more than 200 walkers and runners.

This year's half marathon, 10.5km fun run and 5km run or walk will be staged around the streets of Ayr and will include the Jiru Walk in Plantation Park.

``Participants will be encouraged by the numbers of locals who will cheer them on,'' Mr Felesina said.

Markets will also be held in Plantation Park to coincide with the event.

People can still enter on the day with the half marathon starting at 6.45am and the 10.5km fun run and 5km walk/run starting at 7.30am.

The Burdekin Shire Council will hold the RSPCA Million Paws Walk to coincide with the Sugar Rush festivities.

Article from the Ayr Advocate.
Posted at 13:48     [Perma-Link]

City to Casino family affair

by AMANDA COOMBE

THE City to Casino fun run is the largest of its type in southern Tasmania and for many recreational and social athletes it is an annual pilgrimage.

The event is run over three distances, enabling families such as the Hniats to participate. This Sunday will be no exception with Phil, Sandy, Joshua, Nicholas and Emily all participating.

Between them the Hniat family has finished 51 City to Casinos over the various distances.

This year will be Phil's 21st successive City to Casino over the 11km distance. Each year for the first 10 years Phil improved his time. His slowest time for the 11km distance is 46 minutes, which he ran in his first year. In 1993 he ran his best time of 37m10s.

Being a self-employed plumber and having three children between five and nine years of age means time for structured exercise is not always possible for Phil.

Each Christmas he sets himself the challenge of running on every weekend and public holiday in preparation for the event. During this time he gradually progresses the intensity of this efforts.

Before becoming a father Phil would train five to six days a week, combining long runs and interval training. Now Phil would do about one third of the mileage he used to and focuses on quality of training as opposed to quantity.

The most challenging part of the course for Phil is the section up Davey St and through St David's Park and he tries to incorporate this into some of his training runs.

This year's goal is to complete the 11km course in 42 minutes, around the same time as last year. Phil believes that with a little more training in the next few years he still has a sub 40-minute effort in him before he turns 50.

Sandy has completed 12 City to Casinos, two by herself and 10 with her eldest son, Joshua. Some of these have been with Joshua, Nicholas and Emily in the pram in their early years.

This year Joshua and Nicholas will run the 2.7km event and Sandy will walk and run with her five-year-old daughter, Emily, who will complete her fourth City to Casino.

The Hniats' advice to people participating for the first time is to train in advance. It is really too late to start now -- so why not try Phil's strategy and start after Christmas?

Apart from running the Hniats enjoy bushwalking and bike riding as a family.

Article from The Mercury
Posted at 13:47     [Perma-Link]

Putting the fun in run

by KELLY SHAW

THE City to Casino fun run is on again this Sunday, to support the vital work of the National Heart Foundation.

With cardiovascular disease the major cause of death in Australia today, and lack of physical exercise being a big risk factor for heart disease, it is important to think about ways to increase your level of physical activity.

But this doesn't mean you have to aim to finish in the top 10 in the City to Casino.

As the name suggests, physical activity can be fun. You don't have to be a super athlete to participate. Walkers are encouraged to take part.

Introducing walking to your everyday life is an important way to develop a strong and healthy heart.

The decision to take up walking is an important one to make. If you have a goal to be fit for life, regular exercise should become an integral part of your life, no matter what your state of health. This is especially important for keeping your heart healthy.

Your heart is a muscle. It needs to be exercised regularly to keep it strong and healthy. Walking for 30 minutes a day on most days of the week benefits the heart muscle. It will also help keep the blood vessels clean and open, and reduce the chances of developing other factors that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure and excess body weight.

If you have had some recent heart problems you should check with your doctor before you start a walking program. The daily dose of walking you should aim for is 30 minutes a day on most days. If you can't manage your daily dose, try to walk for 10 minutes at least five days a week. This is enough to get your heart muscle working. You can slowly build up to 30 minutes a day over time.

To start off a walking program, try to few different routes for your walks, and find the ones that suit you the best. It is a good idea to start off with a few flat routes close to your home if you have not been active recently. Go as far as you can comfortably, take it slowly and stop as often as you need. Don't over-exert yourself early on -- the most important thing is that you have taken the first step and started a routine.

As you become more comfortable with this routine, start improving your heart function by walking for a little longer each time. Try to find a steady, comfortable speed.

These walks not only improve

your health but they give you more energy.

One way to measure your improvement is to walk a set route and time yourself from week to week. As you become stronger and your fitness improves, you will notice an increase in your speed.

There are warning signs to look out for that will let you know if you are overdoing it. These include pain and discomfort, particularly in the chest, upper body, neck or arm, breathlessness, dizziness or nausea, fainting and palpitations (heart racing).

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to stop straight away and seek medical assistance.

* Dr Kelly Shaw is the state's Public Health Registrar.

Article from The Mercury
Posted at 13:46     [Perma-Link]

City to Casino shaping well

ORGANISERS of Sunday's 32nd annual City to Casino fun run are hoping for final competitor numbers close to last year's record entry.

Already 1000 people have entered the event in either the 11km, 5.8km or 2.7km races.

Included in the total are 120 staff, mums, dads and children from Tasmania's in-vitro fertilisation program, 80 entrants from Oceania Health and Fitness and 54 competitors from Kingston Primary School.

Last year nearly 2600 people completed the event and, with entrants notorious for deciding on the day, organisers believe they may get close to last year's record.

Entries can be put in at Talays in Sandy Bay until 1pm on Saturday or on the day at the Glenorchy Council Chambers (11km race), Clare St Oval (5.8km) or Salamanca Place (2.7km) before the 10am start.

Article from The Mercury
Posted at 13:45     [Perma-Link]

Citizens honoured

COMMUNITY-MINDED Surrey Hills residents Sue Barnett and Andrew White were honoured at the Surrey Hills Festival recently.

The organiser, Burwood MP Bob Stensholt said Ms Barnett was named as the Surrey Hills Citizen of the Year for the work she had done for the Surrey Hills Festival and the Surrey Hills Historical Society.

Ms Barnett established the Junior Eastern Suburbs Theatre Group, which involved secondary students writing and producing their own plays, and she researched and wrote a history and organised school reunions for Chatham Primary School.

Mr Stensholt said Andrew, a Year 12 student at Koonung Secondary College, was nominated by his teachers, who said that he set a fine example for young people, as Young Citizen of the Year.

Andrew, who was last year nominated for a Leader Sports Star of the Year award, is a long distance runner.

His latest achievement was a silver medal in the 5000-metres under-20 event at the Athletics Australia championship.

Andrew plays four musical instruments and is active in his school's music program.

When he's not running or making music, Andrew is involved with a youth group associated with Box Hill Salvation Army.

Mrs Barnett and Andrew received their awards at the Surrey Hills Festival late last month.

Organisers said the festival, at the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre, attracted several thousand people.

Article from the Progress Leader.
Posted at 13:43     [Perma-Link]

Bekele finds distant glory

by Leo Schlink

KENENISA Bekele once complained to his sports teacher he did ``not have a talent for running''.

They were hardly the most prophetic words ever uttered.

Bekele, 21, has since won seven world titles -- including three consecutive world cross country long and short course doubles -- and potentially is the greatest distance runner in the world.

The farmer's son from Bukoji in the Ethiopian highlands of Arssi, south of Addis Ababa, Bekele is poised for Olympic glory.

Bekele is so good he is seen as superior to his compatriot Haile Gebrselassie, winner of the past two Olympic 10,000m gold medals.

Englishman Brendan Foster, who set the world 3000m record at Gateshead in 1974, is unequivocal about Bekele.

``I've always maintained Gebrselassie is the best distance runner ever,'' Foster said.

``But Bekele has the natural talent to surpass the master, which is the biggest compliment he could ever receive.

``He has eight years up to 2012 in which to achieve immortality. It's a tall order, but he can do it.

``Bekele has an unblemished record -- three times he's won double gold at the world cross country championships.

``He's won the 10,000m gold at his first ever world championships on the track in Paris and he is favourite to do the same in Athens.

``The boy is a frightening talent from a country -- Ethiopia -- which has produced a golden thread of distance greats.''

While Bekele is Gebrselassie's immediate successor, the lineage of Ethiopian distance gods, starting with Abebe Bikila, the emperor's guard who ran bare-footed to marathon gold in Rome and Tokyo, is stunning.

It also includes Miruts Yifter, who pocketed double gold in Moscow, Derartu Tulu, who twice won 10,000m gold -- and then the astonishing Gebrselassie, who has also won four world championships.

Bekele, who is yet to decide whether to run the 5000m or 10,000m in Athens, is touted as the best yet.

Foster said Bekele had achieved more at 20 than Tiger Woods, Bjorn Borg and Pele.

Bekele is not inclined to hyperbole, nor was he a running fanatic until Gebrselassie intervened to help his young rival race in Europe.

Bekele repaid his faith by promptly trouncing his idol in Hengelo in the Netherlands.

Bekele has since trod a path apparently paved in gold, somewhat incidentally.

``I wanted to excel in my studies and become a teacher, a doctor or a civil servant with a decent salary,'' Bekele, one of six children, recalled.

Bekele has unwittingly discovered fulfilment -- declaring his goal is to ``create a good name for both myself and my country''.

If the experts are right he will prove to be an Olympian of the highest ilk.

No runner in history has been able to win the cross country 4000m short course and 12,000m long course world titles on successive days. Bekele has managed the feat three times.

``When I saw Haile running, I thought perhaps one day I could be like him,'' Bekele said.

``My parents didn't encourage me to be a runner.

``They wanted me to be a good student and then hoped I would become a professional -- maybe a teacher or doctor.

``They are happy now, they have seen my picture on the television and read about me in the newspaper.''



BEKELE'S BEST

World cross country long course champion 2002-04

World cross country short course champion 2002-04

World 10,000m track champion 2003

World 5000m indoor world record holder

Olympic targets: 10,000m, 5000m

Age: 21

Birthplace: Bukoji, Ethiopia

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 13:42     [Perma-Link]

Geelong Cross Country Club Belmont Stereo's 6500m handicap

The Belmont Stereo's 6500m handicap was contested on a fairly fast last course on Sunday. After the first kilometre, which involved a few twists and turns, runners were able to establish a good consistent rhythm with only a few puddles to dodge along the remainder of the course.

Another good turn up of runners ensured the competition would be hot. The front markers took off at a merry pace challenging the rest of the field. The short gaps between runners and the formation of clusters of runners ensured everyone was pushing along at a good clip along the northern bank of the river. It was not until runners had reached past the halfway mark, at the Breakwater, that any runner looked to have a reasonable claim on the winners' sash.

Leopold doctor, Maurice Marshall had locked into a consistent stride and overtook the ever-improving Julie Elkin. The lead he had on the backmarkers was substantial. However middle marker Brenda Riley had other ideas and was making rapid gains. A kilometre and a half from home Brenda upped the tempo in an effort to catch Marshall. With 500 metres to go she collared Marshall and ran on strongly to the finish to record her second win with the club.

Marshall had to be content with second place, but a win cannot be too far away. World Deaflympic 5000 and 10000m titleholder, Joanne Lambert showed she is back in town with a scintillating run for third place. A shocking run with injury over the past two years has limited her racing, but a new training regime has seen her back on track.

Genevieve Pape has continued on from the good running at the end of last season and snared fourth place. Ron Thomas is showing some of the best form of his career and was impressive with his fifth place. Julie Elkin, after winning her maiden race last year, has bobbed up in the placegetters for the second week in a row. A result she must be pleased with.

A trio of evergreen over fifties crossed the line next to take seventh, eighth and ninth. Geoff Ryan, Vin Gasper and Dave Elward continued to show why they are among the best in the country for their age division, with a fascinating never say die run to the finish. Glenn Wrest showed a return to form to snatch 10th from a determined Gary Gibson.

The win for Brenda showed why she has become one of the premier female athletes in Australia in the 60-65 age division. In recent years she has shown the opposition a clean pair of heels, not only in distance running but race walking as well.

Her second win with the club has followed hot on the heels of these achievements. A solid program of running with a group of like-minded athletes around the river trails of the Barwon saw Brenda win her second race on home turf.

Mark Boxer showed that he is well on the way back from injury with a solid run to edge out former club champ Andrew Goodwin for fastest time honours.

Current female champ, Loretta McGrath ran well for fastest female time. However she may not have things all her own way this season, with former champ Jo Lambert and impressive newcomer, Rebecca Tweed serving notice of better things to come.

Results

B. Riley 38.28, M. Marshall 38.50, J. Lambert 39.01, G. Pape 39:08, R. Thomas 39.02, J. Elkin 39.22, V. Gasper 39.25, G. Ryan 39.26, D. Elward 39.32, G. Wrest 39.34.

Fastest Times

Open: Male -- M. Boxer 21.18. Female -- L. McGrath 23.57.

Veterans: Male -- K. Walker 22.04. Female -- P. Galvin 29.15.

Masters: Male -- D. Elward 22.32. Female -- B. Riley 26.33.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 13:40     [Perma-Link]

Geelong Athletics Cross Country Relay championships

Hi-Lite Cakes and Pies Geelong Athletics Cross Country Relay Championships were held at Barwon Valley Fun Park on Sunday over a 1.74km circuit. Athletics Chilwell No.1 Team won the Stuart Robley Trophy for the fastest team.

Lee Troop who had run 30km in training that morning jogged around the course to record the fastest time and also to give the Chilwell team a very handy lead.

It is great to see a very busy world class athlete assisting his club and also helping to promote athletics in Geelong.

Teaming with Lee were for Chilwell, Jeff Walker, Paul Ogilvie and Peter Adams.

Chilwell won in a time of 24.49 followed by Geelong Guild in 25.59 and third was Bellarine in 26.51.

A notable achievement was by Andrew Goodwin who ran for Bellarine and then completed a further two laps for a composite team.

Sam Withington under 16, in the Athletic Chilwell No.2 team ran exceptionally well against older and more experienced runners and recorded a time of 6.16 recording the fastest time for a junior. The fastest female time was recorded by Zoe Adams in a time of 6.55.

The next run for the 2004 season is at Balyang Sanctuary on Sunday, May 16 at 1.15 pm. The run will be held over three kilometres and six kilometres. All runners, joggers or walkers are welcome to participate. For further information contact Geoff or Mary McDonald on 5229 3920.

Results

Athletics Chilwell No.1 Team: First 24.49, J. Walker 6.11; L. Troop 5.30; P. Ogilvie 6.15 and P. Adams 6.53. Geelong Guild: Second 25.59, C. Colley 6.37; C. Bone 5.57; C. Byrt 6.46 and D. Byrt 6.39. Bellarine: Third 26.51, P. Lamb 6.28; A. Goodwin 5.40; K. Schutz 7.43 and C. Hoare 7.00. Athletics Chilwell No.2 Team: 27.47, S. Withington 6.16; E. Van Roosendael 7.24; M. Adams 7.12 and Z. Adams 6.55. Composite (Blue) Team: 28.43, R. Homewood 7.15; E. Byrt 8.14; A. Goodwin 6.07 and A. Goodwin 6.16. Composite (Red) Team: 32.52, N. Whitmore 8.06; J. Reynolds 16.38; S. Reynolds 9.00 and M. Reynolds 7.14.

Awards for the Week

Hi Lite Cakes and Pies: E. Byrt; Charles Crawford & Sons: C. Hoare and P. Lamb; Geelong Bowling Lanes: R. Homewood; De Grandi Cycle & Sport: M. Adams; COGG: C. Colley.

Article from the Complete article at the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 13:38     [Perma-Link]

Lee Troup to Run Gold Coast Half

Australia's leading male marathon runner, Lee Troop, will compete in the ASICS Half Marathon at this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon [4th July] as a final warm up for the 42 kilometre event at the Athens Olympic Games.

Melbourne-based Troop’s inclusion in the Australian Track and Field Team was confirmed earlier this week alongside fellow marathoners Sisay Bezebah , Nick Harrison and Kerryn McCann.

He promptly confirmed his intention to run on the Gold Coast – an event he has not competed in before.

"Once my selection was final it was a matter of deciding on an event I could use as a pre- Olympic training session," Troop said. "I was invited to run in the Sapporo Half Marathon in Japan on the same day as the Gold Coast event but thought it would be great to ingest some good old Aussie support before I leave for Athens. The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is an event I have wanted to run in for many years and it’s great to finally have the opportunity to compete there – it is a well respected event with a strong international field.

I will have just completed a four week block of intense preparation for Athens that consists of 240km per week runs, so I’ll be extremely fatigued for Gold Coast but still aim to put in a good solid race with every intention of winning. It is a great feeling to compete at a big event in front of a home crowd and I’m pretty chuffed about running on the Gold Coast at last" he said.

Troop (31) is presently recovering from an impressive run in the London Marathon where he placed 8th overall in a huge field of more than 32,000 marathoners from all over the world.

He is arguably one of Australia’s toughest distance runners and counts his coach, famous marathoner Steve Moneghetti, as one of his greatest mentors.

Moneghetti dead heated for a thrilling first place with Tadesse Gebre from Ethiopia, in the 1993 Gold Coast Half-Marathon in a time of 1.01:48.

Troop will have plenty to talk about with former distance runner and recently appointed Gold Coast Mayor, Ron Clarke, MBE – having broken the Mayor’s 33year national record in the 5000m in 1999.

It will be Troop’s second Olympic Games and a particularly poignant journey given Athens is the birthplace of his favoured discipline.

History relates that in 490BC a great battle for democracy took place in the Greek village of ‘Marathon’ and when the battle was finally won the Athenian messenger; Phidippides ran 24 miles to Athens to tell of the victory.

The modern marathon celebrates this achievement.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Sunday 4th July 2004 and will feature additional events that include Asics half-marathon, Telstra Countrywide 10 kilometre run, Gold Coast Bulletin 7.5km walk and the Norco Pauls Collect-A-Cap Junior Dash events.

For more information please contact:

Tamara Morris
Public Relations Coordinator
Gold Coast Events Management
Ph: (07) 5564-8733
Mobile: 0419 393 608

www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au
Posted at 12:24     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, May 12, 2004 

Sydney Marathon Festival - MEDIA RELEASE

The Sydney Marathon Festival has been confirmed as a Hallmark event by the NSW Government for the next three years. This coincides with the new course for the Marathon and Half Marathon which will now finish at the Opera House together with the 10k Bridge Run.

For the 2004 Sydney Marathon Festival there will also be wheelchair events for all three distances.

Course details for the marathon and half marathon are available on the website - full maps will soon be available.

The new start line will be under the “North Sydney Pool / Luna Park” arch just down from Milsons Point Station with the assembly area located in Bradfield Park.

On line entry is now available for all events.

For further details refer to the website or call the info line 02 8235 9425.

More information at www.sydneymarathon.org
Posted at 03:44     [Perma-Link]

Illawarra Athletes do well at NSW Road Championships

BlueScope Steel Individual Athlete scholarship holders Madeline Heiner and Jared Poppett competed in the NSW Road Championships at the Holdsworthy Army Base on Saturday.

Heiner, from Wollongong, led from start to finish was in the 4km, taking out the under 18 category in 13min 48sec.

Poppett, from Kiama, was struck down by an achillies injury while leading the under 20 mens 8km race, however still managed to complete the race, finishing a credible seventh.
Posted at 03:30     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 10, 2004 

Fun run on track to be shire's signature event

by GREG DANVERS
TWO icon athletes from the Central Coast gave the inaugural Crackneck Challenge fun run a ringing endorsement yesterday.

Paul Arthur won the men's race while athletics stalwart Margaret Beardslee was the first woman home and both sung the praises of the organisers.

Run over 16 kms on some of the region's most beautiful and clean landscape, the Rotary Club of The Entrance has come up with a signature event for the Wyong Shire.

``This has got to be the best run on the Central Coast,'' Arthur said, after winning the first Crackneck Challenge in a time of 57min 50secs.

``It's a great course with some of the best scenery in the world. Once at the front on the way back I able to enjoy where I was running.

``This has the potential to grow into the biggest fun run outside of Sydney, definitely. With a course like this we just have to let everyone in Sydney know about it.''

The event attracted almost 300 athletes from all levels of fitness for the 16km challenge that included the steep climb to the top of Crackneck Lookout and the more subdued 5km run, which in some cases was a leisurely walk.

Beardslee had a lot of local knowledge of the course which doubles as one of her training tracks as she prepares for this month's World Duathlon championships in Belgium.

``I love that track, I've been running that track since I was about 15,'' the 46-year-old running junkie told Extra Sport after being the first woman home in a time of 1hr 12.01secs.

``It is one of the best places to run on the Coast.

``The hills aren't too steep. It's a beautiful track with lovely scenery.

``Who'd want to be anywhere else?''

Three local surf clubs -- The Entrance, Toowoon Bay and Shelly Beach -- helped Rotary run the event and will share in the $8000 proceeds with nominated charity Coast Shelter.

``The beneficiaries of the Crackneck Challenge make this a signature event in its own right,'' Wyong Shire Mayor Brenton Pavier said.

``I think we can look forward to this event growing [in stature] in the future.''

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 14:42     [Perma-Link]

Arthur's heading to hill and back

by GREG DANVERS

PAUL Arthur has been getting up before dawn recently -- but his mind has been on saving lives rather than athletic glory.

Arthur started work in Sydney as an ambulance driver just over a week ago. It's an enjoyable occupation but one that has cut back on his training time ahead of tomorrow's Crackneck Challenge.

``My running career's basically to the point where things come before it,'' Arthur, 37, told Extra Sport. ``I'm not expecting too much at all this weekend.''

The race will see a field of perhaps 300 pounding out a round course of 16km, beginning and ending at The Entrance and with a steep climb up Crackneck Hill.

Arthur said he felt he would be off the pace, with an expected winning time of around 50 minutes, but said he was looking forward to running.

``I'm minutes off my best now,'' he said. ``But it's a damn good course they've got mapped out.''

It has been a good year for Arthur, who has already won the prestigious Six Foot Track race. He said he was hopeful of launching a strong defence of the Australian marathon title he sensationally won in Sydney last year before easing off his running.

``If I can get back into full training by June-July, get settled into my job and get into a good routine, I think I can be very competitive in the marathon,'' he said. ``When things go well for me, my training's on and I'm focused, I can compete with anyone in Australia.''

Another local aiming for a big weekend is Tara Wood. The impressive distance runner will contest a state 10,000m road race today at Holsworthy army base, then back up for the Crackneck Challenge.

Wood will be competing in class fields in both events, with top distance exponents like Jenny Truscott and Sarah Mycroft also expected to double-up on the weekend.

Truscott came third in the Australian half-marathon last year, while Mycroft finished second in that event in 2001 and 2002.

When told that the pair might turn out for the local race, Wood said: ``No! Don't tell me that, they're not supposed to be there.''

Calming down and setting the jokes aside, Wood said she was confident of a strong showing in the Crackneck race. ``I hope to do well because I do a lot of my training around there. In any case, it'll be a lot of fun,'' she said. ``But they [Truscott and Mycroft] are very good.''

Now training under top local athlete Margaret Beardslee, Wood said she wanted to crack 40 minutes in her 10,000m event today. Her next goal is a strong showing in the upcoming Sydney half-marathon.

This year will be about the sixth time Wood has entered the Sydney event and she is aiming to run a time between 86 and 89 minutes.

The Crackneck Challenge is in its inaugural year, starting at 8am today.

It will begin and end at The Entrance's Memorial Park, with entries welcome today.

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 14:38     [Perma-Link]

Our Craig takes jubilee mile

GEELONG is stamped in history at Oxford's Iffley Road track, the home of the four-minute mile.

It is said Sir Roger Bannister broke the finishing tape while imagining star runner and Geelong student John Landy at his heels.

Fifty years later to the day, Australian champion Craig Mottram has also broken the magical barrier.

He even went to the same school as Landy, Geelong Grammar, and he didn't have to look over his shoulder.

The anniversary race yesterday went off at the identical time of 6pm and Bannister rang the very bell used in 1954 to signal one lap to go.

Mottram easily won from British runner Mohammed Farrar who would have finished behind Bannister in 4:00.07.

Bannister presented Mottram with the gold medal and told the 5000 metres specialist he should ignore the longer event and concentrate on running the mile and 1500m.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 14:37     [Perma-Link]

Mottram wins mile race held in Bannister's honour

by Len Johnson, with Jacquelin Magnay

Australian 5000 metres champion Craig Mottram won a mile race at Oxford University on Thursday night to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister's first breaking of the four-minute mile on the same track.
With Sir Roger ringing the bell used in the 1954 attempt to signify the last lap and Victoria's governor John Landy - the second man to break four minutes - watching on, Mottram streeted the field with a 57.7 seconds third lap to finish over three seconds clear in 3:56.54.

Another Australian, Fraser Thompson, finished seventh in 4:07.88. Thompson is president this year of Oxford University Athletics Club, which hosted the commemorative race.

Complete article at The Age website
Posted at 14:33     [Perma-Link]

Runner fed up and fielding offers

by KATE JOHNSTONE

SCOTLAND is trying to nab Geelong Olympic distance runner Craig Mottram.

According to British reports, Mottram is disenchanted with athletics in Australia and the lure of big money in England could be enough for him to defect after the Olympics.

Mottram's coach Nic Bideau yesterday admitted Mottram was fed up with the current system in Australia and had been offered big bucks to swap colours.

The 23-year-old was born in Britain, with an English father and Scots mother, and he still holds a British passport.

Bideau said Mottram would run for Australia in Athens, but would not rule out the champion running for another country in the future.

``He does get very frustrated with the way athletics is run in Australia and he does sometimes think it would be better for him if he didn't have to deal with it,'' Bideau said.

``He could easily run for Great Britain if he chose to, but at the moment he doesn't.

``Still, all he has done is admitted it would be possible for him to represent Britain and there are times when he has considered it as an option as he does base himself in the UK for much of the year.''

The Scotsman newspaper reported its country's best hopes of future success in middle-distance running was presently wearing the green and gold.

``And with his British passport in his backpack, he is seriously considering making a switch,'' the newspaper reported.

The claims were made before Mottram ran a sub four-minute mile at a commemorative race in Oxford yesterday.

Under the headline Aussie Mottram prepares to Waltz into Team GB, it was reported Britain could offer the athlete far more money than his homeland.

``It may not happen immediately, but it is a definite possibility,'' Mottram was quoted as saying.

The Scotsman reported British funds for athletic champions far outstripped anything Canberra could afford and Mottram was considering his options.

Like Natalie Harvey, who made the switch from Australia to Britain and was part of the bronze medal-winning cross-country squad in Brussels, Mottram saw definite advantages, the report said.

Mottram's mother Dorothy yesterday said her son was flattered that Britain wanted him on its team, but he was a true blue Australian.

``Craig is very Australian, he's definitely Australian through and through,'' she said.

Mrs Mottram has been living in Australia for the past 24 years and describes herself as Australian with strong Scottish links.

``He likes his Scottish background and I suppose he would be flattered, but I can't see him running in anything but the green and gold,'' she said.

The newspaper reported that after Mottram placed ninth at the world cross-country championships in Brussels in March he declared his intention to switch nationality to British.

Mottram was quoted as saying ``It's not as crazy as it sounds.''

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 14:32     [Perma-Link]

Computer-controlled shockies in a shoe

by William McCall

SPORTS clothing company adidas yesterday said it had created the world's first ``smart shoe'' by mating it with a computer chip that adapts its cushioning level to a runner's size and stride.

The adidas 1 is the product of a three-year secret project the German company developed at its US headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

Adidas yesterday opened its research lab to reporters from around the world for a first peek at a shoe the company claims will revolutionise distance running and training.

``This is the first intelligent shoe ever,'' said Erich Stamminger, global marketing director for Adidas. ``It senses, understands and adapts.''

After thousands of hours of testing, adidas is confident the computerised shoe will endure the wear and tear of running in almost any condition -- from hard pavement to dirt trails, and dry streets to wet beaches.

The microprocessor is located in the arch of the shoe, and drives a tiny screw-and-cable system that adjusts the heel cushion depending on the signals sent back by an electric sensor coupled to a magnet.

It is powered by a battery that conserves power by adjusting the shoe while it is in the air during a runner's stride, avoiding resistance from the ground.

The entire assembly weighs no more than 40g -- just 10 per cent of the 400g total weight of the shoe -- to keep it light enough for distance runners.

But the $US250 ($347) price tag is likely to make it a luxury item when it goes on sale in December, according to Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre at the University of Oregon.

``It's something that doesn't necessarily seem to have massive market appeal, but from the company standpoint speaks volumes about its technology capabilities,'' Mr Swangard said.

Article from the Courier Mail
Posted at 14:30     [Perma-Link]

Mottram crushes Kenyans on road to Athens

by BILL MELVILLE

CRAIG Mottram put his Olympic preparations into top gear with his second victory in as many days winning the Balmoral 5km road race in Scotland.

The Geelong man bettered his own Australian road record for the distance by over 20 seconds as he crossed the line in 13 minutes 21 seconds.

``I came here just to go hard and see what I could do,'' said Mottram, who won the Roger Bannister Four-Minute Mile Anniversary race on Thursday.

A hard drive up the hill into the second kilometre helped him break 15 metres clear.

Kenyan aces Jon Kibowen, Julius Kimtai and Daniel Komen were left trailing in his wake.

``The Africans have ruled distance running for the last 15 years,'' said Mottram.

``This is the turning of the tide. It is early season. They are doing the same sort of training as I am. We are all in the same boat and I came off the better.

``It doesn't mean they won't come back bigger and better the next time,''.

Kibowen, who finished runner-up in 13:29, had threatened a comeback with 1000m to go.

``The crowd yelled he was coming,'' said Mottram.

``I relaxed downhill then went hard for a 60-second final 400m. I'm happy with that. I never say I've done better than I expected but I can say that was as good as I could expect.'' Australia's world cross-country champion Benita Johnson pulled out of the women's 5km with a tight calf.

In her absence, Athens-bound Hayley McGregor came fith behind Ethiopia's world 10,000m champion Adere Berhane (15:04) and Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan (15:11) after clocking a roads PB of 15min 36sec.

``I've just come off five weeks at altitude and it's nice to get out there and do a fast time,'' she said.

And with ``everything focused on August 27th'' in Athens, fifth place in such exalted company gave her something to celebrate.

``That was great,'' she said. ``I'm rapt. They were in my sights today.'' But 1500m specialist Georgie Clarke faded to sixth in the mile in 4min 41sec -- her best on the roads but 10 seconds down on her track best on Thursday in Oxford.

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 14:25     [Perma-Link]

Can't hear but I can run

Joanne Lambert can do anything other world champion and Olympic runners can do - except hear the starting gun.

The four-time Deaflympic Games medallist and three-time world record holder will compete in this month's 10th Run to the G, which will make provisions for hearing-impaired athletes for the first time.

On May 23, the traditional starter's gun that signals the race has begun will be accompanied by a waving flag. Distance markers will also be highly visible on the 10-kilometre and four-kilometre courses. "It's little things that put the deaf and hard of hearing on a level playing field," Melbourne 2005 Deaflympics marketing co-ordinator Emma O'Halloran said.

Lambert was asked to lead the deaf community in the run, to raise awareness of the Games and promote participation of the hard of hearing in such events.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 00:22     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 09, 2004 

Lee Troop back on track

Australia's premier marathon runner Lee Troop has been "to hell and back" battling athletics politics, broken friendships and debilitating injuries during his preparation for the Olympic Games in Athens.

A torn stomach muscle and stress fractures in the leg forced Victorian-based Troop to start running from scratch after the Sydney Olympics, and being embroiled in a battle with his former manager caused him to become depressed.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 11:02     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, May 08, 2004 

Ballarat snubbed over Olympic Torch Relay

Olympic organisers have snubbed Ballarat by declining its last-minute plea to play host to the torch.

Despite Ballarat's Olympic city status after hosting the rowing and canoeing at the 1956 Melbourne Games, the torch will not be passing through the city next month.

Mayor David Vendy said it was now important that Ballarat was represented when the torch passed through Melbourne on June 5.

"I told the Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates this week that there are only three Olympic cities in Australia, as I count Penrith as a suburb of Sydney," Cr Vendy said.

"I said in terms of importance, they are Ballarat, Melbourne and some place in New South Wales, but he didn't think that was very funny."

Year 2000 host Sydney will be the first city to host the torch when it arrives on June 4, before it's carried to Melbourne the next day.

The torch will then head to Tokyo, host of the 1964 Olympics, meaning Australia's two other Olympic cities - Ballarat and Penrith - will miss out.

Complete article at the Ballarat Courier
Posted at 10:14     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, May 06, 2004 

Walk classic kicks cancer

READY, set, go. Join thousands who will gather to run or walk in this year's Mothers Day Classic fun run which helps raise funds for breast cancer research.

The annual Women In Super Mother's Day Classic sponsored by Schroders, attracts more than 13,000 participants.

It will kick off at Sydney's Domain at 7.30am on Sunday, May 9.

The Classic gives the community a chance to support vital breast cancer research while celebrating Mother's Day with fitness and fun.

It was inaugurated in 1998 by Women In Super, a group that provides networking opportunities for all women in the superannuation industry.

The event has raised $910,000, all being contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The goal is to break the $1 million mark this year and have more than 15,000 participants.

Mavis Robertson, from Women in Super, said: ``Walking, running or strolling the 4km or 8km course is also a great way to pay tribute to those who have been through the breast cancer journey and to help those who face it right now.

``If participants in the event all asked a friend, colleague or family member to sponsor them, we can significantly increase the funds raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.''

Schroder Investment Management Australia Limited is a world leader in asset management and corporate superannuation investment planning. For more information or to register, visit www.mothersdayclassic.org or phone: 9439 6060.

Article from the Liverpool Leader.
Posted at 10:02     [Perma-Link]

Runners set to kick on

MORE than 400 pupils and staff from Fairfield Public School will lace up their running shoes and pace it out for the school's first fun run next week.

It is hoped the fundraising event, which encourages pupils to raise money for their school by offering prize incentives, will allow the school to buy some new resources.

``We want to raise money that we can put back into our sport and fitness programs,'' teacher Mandy Wells said.

``The kids are very motivated and excited about the whole thing.

``We want to try to encourage all the children's family and friends to get involved, too.''

The staff and children will assemble at Fairfield Park next Wednesday.

Junior pupils will run a 2km course while seniors will run a 3km one.

For information on becoming a sponsor, call 9724 1064.

Article from the Fairfield Advance.
Posted at 10:01     [Perma-Link]

Geelong Athletics Cross Country

Geelong Athletics conducted its first Sunday Cross Country run for this season last weekend with a gentle run along the Barwon River starting from Zillah Crawcour Park. The blustery conditions and threat of rain did not seem to put many off as we had a good field of 85 runners and walkers.

First to cross the line for the three kilometre run this week was Steven Wishart in the time of 11.6 and Harriet Brown was the first female home, she completed the three kilometre course in 11.46. Barry Johns ran well to finish the six kilometre in 22.37 with Sharon Schnyder finishing first for the women in 27.12.

Our Sunday runs are aimed at all levels of our community, from those who wish to have a good hit out, to those who would just like to get a little fitter and run or walk with a group.

Everyone is timed so that they can see their own improvement. Points are allocated for your position in your age group and trophies are awarded at the end of the season. Each week we distribute spot prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Anyone is welcome.

Next week we will be conducting our Cross Country Relay. All Geelong Athletics Clubs are invited to enter as many teams as they wish. To be eligible for a Club team an athlete would need to either be registered for the current season or for the summer season just completed.

Members of the general public are welcome to come along and we will assist them to make up some scratch teams. Each leg is approx 1.7km around Barwon Valley Fun Park. We start from near the car park on Barrabool Road opposite the caravan park at 1.15pm, with registrations taken from 12.30pm. Cost is $3 for seniors and $2 for under 18 or $2 per family member if there are two or more from the one family. If you have any queries please ring either Mary McDonald on 5229 3920 or Elizabeth Bauer on 5278 6614.

Results

Women

3km Junior: H. Brown 11.46, K. Landy 11.49, A. Brown 11.50, A. Wilson 13.18, C. Quinn 14.03, S. Walker 14.35, K. Quinn 16.23, A. Crowley 16.24, I. Russell 16.24, B. Russell 16.33, M. Crawford 16.52, P. Crowley 18.11, J. Sinkans 25.22.

Open: J. Tierney 16.52, L. Stein 19.39.

Veteran: M. Cole 14.11, C. Crawford 16.52, J. Reynolds 16.54, N. Bellew 17.13, J. Smith 17.33, D. Shelley 19.38, M. Quinn 19.45.

6km Open: C. Hoare 30.13.

Veteran: S. Schnyder 27.12, D. Fanning 28.02, C. Brown 30.59, D. Lewry 31.34, C. Kenny 32.01.

Men

3km Junior: S. Wishart 11.06, J. Schnyder 12.57, B Shelley 12.58, C. Smith 13.37, B. Taylor 14.15, M. Reynolds 15.07, S. Bellew 15.28, J. Crawford 30.35.

Open: D. Crowley 13.24, P. Anderson 15.01.

Veteran: M. Hearsch 11.35, P. Lamb 12.30, N. Whitmore 15.36.

6km Open: B. Johns 22.37, T. Anderson 24.08.

Veterans: C.Wilson 25.18, M. Pankridge 25.48, S. Crowley 27.07, A. Wishart 27.17, T. Crawford 30.07, C. Quinn 30.12.

Spot Prizes: Hi Lite Cakes and Pies: B. Shelley; Charles Crawford and Sons: T. Anderson and S. Schnyder; Geelong Bowling Lanes: C. Smith; DeGrandi Cycle and Sport: M. Crawford; COGG: J. Reynolds; T-Shirt: B. Johns.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 09:53     [Perma-Link]

Great start to winter for APS United

APS United had a great start to the Athletics Victoria winter season at the Victorian Cross-Country Relay Championships at the Werribee Equestrian Centre.

The APS No.1 team was second in Division 1, just behind Glenhuntly which has dominated cross-country in recent years.

Nigel Adkin led the APS team with a time of 17:56. Others in the team were Robbie Schwerkolt 19:20, Paul Wilson 18:46, Justin Wilson 19:53, Peter Simm 20:24 and Julian Marsh 18:35.

The APS No.2 team went one better and won Division 3, after beating Essendon and Waverley in a tight struggle over the last lap.

Nick Bowden led with 20:53 and was followed by Sean Olsen 21:25, Derryn Bray 20:33, Christopher Worsnop 24:46 and Andrew Pirrie 23:27.

APS also won bronze medals in the 50+ Division behind Collingwood and Eureka. The team consisted of Stuart Facey 25:53, Tarquin Oehr 23:54 and John Holmes 25:38.

Article from the Progress Leader.
Posted at 09:50     [Perma-Link]

Clarke tops her best run

KATE JOHNSTONE

GEELONG track star Georgie Clarke has recorded a 5000m personal best at the Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto.

The middle-distance runner clocked a new best of 15:34.52, still 14 seconds behind the Olympic B qualifier she needs to earn a berth at Athens in August.

Coach Nic Bideau said he was confident Clarke still had a good chance to qualify for both the 1500m and 5000m for Athens.

``Each time she has run this event, three times, she has set a new personal best,'' Bideau said.

Clarke won the national 5000m championships, but still has to run a 15.20.45 before June to secure her place in the Australian team for the event.

The race was won by Clarke's training partner Sonia O'Sullivan from Ireland in a world leading time of 14.58.43.

Another Australian Emily Morris was 6th in 15.40.10.

Bideau said Clarke would now switch her focus back to her favourite event, the 1500m.

``She will pursue the A standard of 4.05.8 while we are in Europe and I am hopeful she can achieve it,'' he said.

``We've been focusing on 5000m since she won the nationals, her training load is the highest it's ever been for her and she is coping very well.''

Bideau said Craig Mottram had just put in the three biggest training weeks of his life and had coped well since winning the Great Ireland 10km in Dublin on April 3.

He said Mottram enjoyed his stint at Mt Laguna considerably more than his previous visit two years ago and was confident of showing the value of his training when he returns to racing this week.

Mottram plans to run the 50th anniversary of the first sub four-minute mile race in Oxford on Thursday.

Among his rivals will be top British mile John Mayock.

On Saturday he will run in the 5km road race around the Queen's Scottish holiday home at Balmoral and on May 23 he takes on Kenyan star Paul Tergat in the Manchester 10km road race.

Other Australians training with the Bideau team at Mt Laguna are Benita Johnson and Haley McGregor.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 09:47     [Perma-Link]

Feet cop it bad after 24 hours on run

by John Watts

ULTRA-DISTANCE runner Karyn Bollen after her most recent marathon effort jokes she may now be a ``little taller'' because of blisters on her feet.

Bollen, 49, competed in the Victorian 24-hour Track Championships conducted by the Coburg Harriers last month.

Previous luminaries in the event include Cliff Young and Yiannis Kouros.

While Bollen didn't go as far as she intended in the event, she was ecstatic about lasting the full 24 hours.

``There were 43 other people on the track,'' she said.

``Some did 24 hours, some 12, some six. I didn't go as far as I intended to go, but did the entire time.''

Bollen's past achievements include competing in the 24-hour walk in 2002 and the 12-hour walk in 2003, where she came first.

The athlete said the competitions were not so much about beating others, but setting personal goals.

``For me it is a challenge; it gives me something to aim for. I'm not fast but I can go for hours on end,'' she said.

She said the events were also a great chance to catch up with other competitors.

``There are a lot of people you see year after year. There is a fair bit of talking going around a 400m track,'' she said.

This year Bollen managed to clock up 140km and was placed 10th in her event.

``I'm pleased to have done the whole 24 hours and I think I might be about half-an-inch taller through blisters,'' she said.

Article from the Mordialloc Chelsea News.
Posted at 09:46     [Perma-Link]

With records to run for, minutes measure historic mile

By Robert Messenger

The Australian all-comers women's mile record will come under serious threat tomorrow night when ACT Athletics celebrates the 50th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister running the first sub-four minute mile.

Nineteen-year-old Lisa Corrigan will attempt to break a 17-year-old record, also set in Canberra, when she runs at the Australian Institute of Sport track at Bruce.

AIS middle- and long- distance coach Dick Telford said yesterday Corrigan, one of his charges, was well capable of beating the national record of 4min 31.2sec. Telford said Corrigan had improved her personal best for the 1500m by 13sec last year, to a time which equated to a mile in about 4min 30sec, just inside Krishna Wood-Stanton's record.

Wood-Stanton, silver- medallist in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games marathon, set the record competing for Canberra City Harriers in a mixed race on the old Canberra Stadium track on November 15, 1986.

Unfortunately, Canberra's world cross-country champion Benita Johnson, who turns 25 on the anniversary of the Bannister mile, will not be there to push Corrigan, as she is in California for altitude training.

Telford's leading male middle-distance runners, Michael Shelley and Andrew O'Neill, of the AIS, and Philo Saunders, of Weston Creek, along with the only person to have so far run a sub-four minute mile in the ACT, Shaun Creighton, will compete in a special invitation race at Bruce.

ACT Athletics has called on the community and other sporting bodies to join in the celebrations by taking part - walking, jogging or running - in one of the mile events which will be open to the public.

Event organiser Michael Thomson said, ''The first sub- four minute mile was an event that people all over the world recognised and celebrated. We would like to see the people of Canberra celebrate the 50th anniversary.

''Regardless of whether you are a sporting person, historian, you remember where you were when Bannister ran 50 years ago, or you just want to celebrate this event, we want you to come out and join us. We will hold however many miles we need to meet the demand of the Canberra community.''

Mr Thomson emphasised it would be a chance for ''anyone to have a go at the mile, not to run hard but just to take part and see what it is like running a mile on a proper track''.

The first events start at 5.30pm, with the invitation mile scheduled for 6.10pm, the same time Bannister ran his mile back in 1954. Registrations start at 4.30pm. Entry will be by gold- coin donation, with all proceeds going to the Paralympic Fund.

For further information contact ACT Athletics on 62471504.

Elsewhere in Australia, special events to mark the Bannister mile are to be held in Launceston and Brisbane.

Article from the Canberra Times
Posted at 09:42     [Perma-Link]

Consistent approach required in running

by Pat Clohessy

WHEN training for distance running there are key factors, whether you are running or jogging, whether you have an ambition to run 1500m, 10km, a half marathon or even the ultimate marathon over 42.2km.

Personal improvement requires consistency in your running and enjoyment and relaxation.

Enjoyment and relaxation are usually promoted by exercising with a group.

And there is a good group ethic in Townsville at Townsville Road Runners.

What distance should you run in training? This depends on your background -- and your ambition.

Many runners from social to ambitious in North Queensland plan to run at the Townsville Running Festival series and the lead-up races.

A general, practical plan is to aim to run four times a week for 45 minutes. This is very valuable whether you are young or old, whether you seek improvement over 1500m, 5km, 10km, even the half marathon.

Obviously if you are planning the marathon you definitely need longer runs and I will address that later.

When running these 45-minute sessions, jog out relaxed for 25 minutes and then pick up the pace gradually on return for 20 minutes.

Another routine is to run/jog for 15 minutes, then cruise for four minutes, do two minutes very easy, three minutes cruise, two minutes easy, two minutes cruise and then jog easy for 15 minutes.

For half marathon aspirants (and certainly marathon runners) the long run is necessary.

I advise running/jogging long runs and then building up along the following lines -- 60 minutes, 80 minutes and 90 minutes.

Marathon runners should aim to include a two-hour run -- preferably easy, with easy jogging periods, even walking for five to 10 minutes is fine.

Also include your road runners races and fun runs as scheduled.

Another key point is to include an easy or total rest session after a hard, strenuous session. Easy must be very slow and easy on the body.

Following is a training guide:

* Monday: rest;

* Tuesday: 45-minute run as described;

* Wednesday: 45 minutes to easy 60 minutes;

* Thursday: 45 minutes as described;

* Friday: rest;

* Saturday: Townsville Road Runners run;

* Sunday: long run (60-80 minutes as described).

Article from the Townsville Bulletin.
Posted at 09:37     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, May 05, 2004 

Doubts over Olympic team safety

The safety of sending Australian athletes to the Athens Olympics would be assessed in the light of today's bomb blasts, Athletics Australia (AA) chief executive Simon Allatson said today.

But he said AA would not jump to any conclusions by withdrawing from the Games. Mr Allatson said safety was more important than competing at the Games and the Australian track and field team would be guided by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), the International Committee (IOC) the Athens Olympic Organising Committee (ATHOC) and the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

He said that before today's bombings, athletes were confident all safety precautions had been made, but that would now be reassessed.

"Athlete safety is absolutely paramount," Mr Allatson said. "These issues are far more important than the actual sport itself".

Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 14:07     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 03, 2004 

ANZAC legacy alive and well at Lest We Forget Run

Thousands turned out for the third annual Lest We Forget run today (Sunday May 2nd), running to remember relatives, pioneers or members of the Armed Services, who served to give us the lifestyle we enjoy today.

In over 60 locations across Australia and Internationally, participants ran or walked in the name of remembrance and charity, over an 8km course - the same distance the ANZAC’s were required to capture when landing at Gallipoli.

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website.
Posted at 13:08     [Perma-Link]

Big G's big day

by Kelly Ryan

HE huffed and he puffed, but the giant man of steel was no match for mere mortals.

Puffing Billy's big brother, G42, tooted -- and his passengers hooted -- as they wound their way through the picturesque Belgrave countryside for the 23rd Great Train Race.

A record crowd of 2673 pitted mettle against metal.

The Great Train Race is run annually by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society to raise money to restore G42. The big locomotive yesterday ran its first race to mark its re-entry to service this month.

The train was beaten into Emerald Park Lake station by 532 runners.

The first woman to finish was Lisa Weightman, 25, of Preston, who is ranked fourth nationally over 10km. She ran 47min 12sec. Athens Olympics hopeful Mark Tucker was the first man home in 40min 16sec.

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 13:03     [Perma-Link]

Troops run for lasting legacy

MORE than 200 runners pounded out the 8km course in the third annual Lest We Forget Fun Run in Townsville yesterday morning.

The run had double last year's field and raised money for RSL welfare funds such as Legacy, which helps the widows and families of veterans.

``Hence the name (of the run), Lest We Forget,'' WO1 Stephen Ward explained.

He said the run was from Anzac Park along The Strand to Jezzine Barracks and back.

The national program is organised by Athletics Australia, with the local event coordinated by Townsville Roadrunners.

The inaugural perpertual trophy, offered to the winning military team, went to 2RAR.

The 8km distance represents how far the original Anzacs travelled in boats to land at Gallipoli in 1915.

WO1 Ward said although the event was only three years old, it had grown in popularity every year.

Article from the Townsville Bulletin.
Posted at 12:59     [Perma-Link]

Sport star a master of triumph and disaster

Despite rotten luck, Ron Clarke became an Australian athletic legend, writes FRANK CROOK

It was the best-kept secret in the sporting world. Not even the man at the centre of it was told until a mere eight days before the event. When 19-year-old Ron Clarke was informed that he had been chosen to light the Olympic flame at the Melbourne Olympics of 1956, he accepted the news with a mixture of elation and disappointment.

He was delighted to be given the honour of taking centre stage at the Games' Opening Ceremony in his home city, but was still hurting from the disappointment of missing a place in the Australian team.

Ron Clarke was an athletic prodigy, the under-19 world record holder in the 1500m, one mile, 3000m, three miles and 5000m. He had set his sights on the 1500m, but his training program for the Games had been interrupted by National Service, a three-month stint at the Puckapunyal military camp in Victoria.

When he completed his stint in the army, eight weeks before the Games trials, he was more than 15kg overweight and suffering from sinus problems. When the team was chosen, there was no room for the teenage sensation from the Melbourne suburb of Essendon.

It was an early setback for Ron Clarke, but the start of an athletic odyssey that was to take him to 19 world records and countless Australian titles. From 1963 to 1968 he was the dominant distance runner in the world. But the Olympic gods were not kind to him.

In the 10,000m event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he was run down by the American Billy Mills in the final lap and had to be satisfied with a bronze medal. Four years later, running at altitude in the 10,000m at the Mexico City Games, he collapsed after crossing the finishing line in sixth place, requiring 60litres of oxygen to regain consciousness. His Mexico City ordeal left him with a weakened heart that later required open-heart surgery.

Ron Clarke will always be remembered as the young man who lit the Olympic cauldron in Melbourne and the greatest athlete never to win Olympic gold. But his journey through life has been one of accomplishment. As a businessman, he introduced brand names like adidas and Nike to Australia.

He has been outspoken in his views on conservation and the weaknesses of sporting officialdom, particularly the International Olympic Committee. Earlier this year he began a different career as mayor of the Gold Coast at an age when most people are happy to retire.

Clarke was born in Melbourne on February 21, 1937 and grew up to idolise his elder brother Jack, captain of Essendon who was regarded as one of the club's great players.

Like his brother, he played Australian Rules football and it was Jack's dedication to fitness and training that inspired the youngster. The brothers were so close that he gets a thrill when people refer to him as Jack Clarke's brother.

Clarke began running cross-country events at Melbourne High School. At one stage in his teens he considered giving up athletics to concentrate on cricket.

He continued to improve his running times and at the Australian Junior Championships in Adelaide in January, 1955, he finished second in both the 880 yards and one mile to a mature 16-year-old called Herb Elliott.

The following year his talent blossomed and he set the first of his junior world records. Then, on November 14, 1956, he was informed he had been chosen as the final Olympic torch bearer with the responsibility of lighting the cauldron.

Athletics was a truly amateur sport and he had to supply his own uniform, white T-shirt, shorts, socks and shoes. He then caught a train home after the ceremony. There were no limousines for the lilywhites of 1956.

For the next few years athletics took a back seat. He married his wife Helen in 1959 and concentrated on building a career in accounting. He jogged at weekends with friends.

Then six years after virtually giving the sport away, Clarke made a stunning comeback. He finished second behind the great New Zealander Murray Halberg in the three-mile event at the Perth Commonwealth Games of 1962. Then world records began to topple.

When he ran a personal best by 54.8 seconds to break the world 10,000m record, there was scepticism in Europe, then the home of distance running. It was thought that Australian officials had miscounted the laps, or used a faulty timing mechanism.

He was the hot favourite for the 10,000m event at the Tokyo Games of 1964 and set a blistering pace for the first half of the race. Then he settled back to a steady rhythm, allowing his opponents to keep pace with him. In the final lap, as the leading group dodged around runners they had lapped, Clarke was passed by Mohamad Gammoudi of Tunisia and Billy Mills, the eventual winner.

The 1964 Games had come a year too early for Clarke, who blitzed the world during the next two years, shattering every distance record.

At the Mexico City Games of 1968, Clarke took part in one of the most dramatic races in Olympic history, the 10,000m, a killer event given the lung-bursting lack of oxygen in a city located more than 7000ft (2134m) above sea level. Of the 37 starters, there were seven from nations situated at higher-than-usual altitudes. They filled five of the first 10 places.

Clarke collapsed at the finish line and Dr Brian Corrigan, the Australian team's medical officer, pushed his way on to the track, vaulting a fence and moat around the oval. All he could do was administer oxygen and pray. Many of the spectators were in tears.

Later it was learned that Clarke had ruptured a valve controlling his heart muscle, requiring open-heart surgery, a risky and complicated procedure at the time.

From the time of his comeback to serious running in 1961 to his retirement in 1970, Ron Clarke ran 348 races for 283 wins, setting 19 world records and 35 Australian records over eight different distances.

His autobiography, written in 1966, was called The Unforgiving Minute. It comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem, If.

``If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run.''

* From The Measure of Success, by Ron Clarke, Thomas C Lothian Pty Ltd, RRP $34.95

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 12:57     [Perma-Link]


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