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 Thursday, September 30, 2004 

Johnson takes 42km road to Olympic redemption

by SCOTT GULLAN

BENITA Johnson has found an unusual way of dealing with her Olympic Games disappointment -- she is going to run a marathon.

The reigning world cross-country champion will make her marathon debut in New York on November 7.

While most Olympians are still coming down from the high of the Games, Johnson is determined to erase the disappointment of her performance in the 10,000m.

Rated one of Australia's few athletics medal chances after her cross-country heroics, Johnson was struck down by tendinitis in her left shin in the build-up which severely affected her performance.

She then had to endure the embarrassment of being lapped in the final before finishing 24th. Tests afterwards revealed that as well as being anaemic, the 25-year-old also had a vitamin deficiency.

Johnson said yesterday the marathon was the next logical step in her career.

``I think it is a natural progression to step up to the marathon,'' she said.

``I don't think I'm too young to run a marathon. I'm 25 and some of the world's best performers have started younger than that.

``I've been quite successful over the three terrains I have run -- road, cross and track -- so this is the next challenge.''

Johnson showed she was back to her best by winning the Great North Run in Gateshead, England, on Monday.

Victory over some of Africa's top distance runners in the half-marathon was the confidence boost the Australian desperately needed.

``I was devastated for a week after the Olympics,'' Johnson said. ``I wasn't enjoying my training and there was a lot of negative thinking.

``But I was motivated by the strong support group I had around me so I got back out there and started training.''

Johnson will be joined by fellow Australian Kerryn McCann, who will be competing in her third New York marathon. The 37-year-old, who finished sixth in 2002, is also on the rebound from Athens, where she finished 31st in the marathon.

Hayley McGregor (pacemaker) and Andrew Letherby are other Australians running in New York.

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 13:44     [Perma-Link]

Athletes tackle Eaglehawk to Bendigo race

Athletics Bendigo will host the annual Eaglehawk to Bendigo Fun Run over 6500 m as part of the Keith Huddle Memorial Classic on Sunday.

The fun run will start at 11 am on Peg Leg Road, Eaglehawk, outside the premises of event sponsor, Fitzpatricks Home Timber and Hardware.

The field will run along Eaglehawk Road, Barnard Street, View Street and finish in Pall Mall at the RSL Memorial Hall. Presentation of age group and spot prizes will be presented about 12.30 pm at the the Bendigo Athletics Club clubrooms at the Tom Flood Sports Centre.

In recent years, the event was run in May or June, but was switched to October in a bid to increase numbers and possibly brighter weather conditions.

The Hilson Builders Keith Huddle Memorial for registered amateur athletes has drawn competitors from across the state.Postal entries closed yesterday, but late entries will be accepted on the day up to 10.30 am outside Fitzpatricks Home Hardware.

Entry fees on the day are $15 for 18 years and over, $7.50 for under-18.

Geelong's Mark Tucker will be chasing back-to-back wins in the Keith Huddle Memorial.

Last year he raced to victory in a time of 18.57 minutes.

The women's event was won by Ballarat's Victoria Mitchell in 23.09.

A $1000 bonus is being offered by Hilson Builders and Purtills Nursery for the men's record which is held by Olympic representative Bill Scott.

The record time of 18.07 minutes was achieved in 1975.

The fastest athlete in recent years was 2002 winner Steve Moneghetti of Ballarat in 18.32.

A $500 bonus for the women's record also exists, courtesy of Hilson Builders.

Megan Sloane set the record of 22.01 minutes in 1984.

Tania Warrick's time of 22.07 in 2000 and Susan Michelsson 22.14 in 1998 have been the closest in recent years.

Entry forms are available at all Bendigo sports stores, Fitzpatrick's Home Hardware, the Schweppes Centre, Bendigo Regional YMCA, and in The Advertiser on Saturday.

For more information, phone Greg Hilson on 5448 3846 (ah)

Complete article at the Bendigo Advertiser
Posted at 11:18     [Perma-Link]

Benita Johnson to run NYC Marathon

Reigning world cross-country champion Benita Johnson will make her marathon debut next month in the United States.

The Australian, who won the Great North Run at the weekend, will compete in the New York City marathon on November 7.

"I think it is a natural progression to step up to the marathon," said Johnson, who was third in last year's half-marathon world championships.

"I'm looking forward to it and took the decision to compete after my performance in the Great North Run where I beat some very talented runners."

Johnson also announced she will compete in a major international cross-country meeting in Edinburgh on January 15 next year.

"Obviously at that time it will be the summer back home and as I want to defend my world cross title it makes sense to come to Edinburgh for this meeting.

"I've seen the names of the past winners and obviously there are going to be many of the athletes I will be racing against at the World Championships in March so it will be an early opportunity to test myself out.

Complete article at the SMH
Posted at 01:28     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, September 29, 2004 

Newcastle race for research fun run

IT is time to lace up those runners and stretch your legs in preparation for the annual Race for Research fun run at the Newcastle Foreshore on October 24 from 9am.
All proceeds of the five-kilometre fun run/walk will go to the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia to support clinical research in the Hunter.

Breast Cancer Institute race director and development manager Julie Callaghan said it was hoped to raise $30,000 from this year's event.

"We raised $28,500 last year and we had about 1500 participants," she said. "We're hoping to get even more people involved this year."

All competitors will receive free sunscreen for protection.

Entry forms are at Newcastle Permanent branches, online at www.bcia.org.au or the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia on 49253022.

Article from the Newcastle Herald.
Posted at 13:29     [Perma-Link]

Totti Goldsmith competes in a fun run

MOST parents try to set good health examples for their children by having early nights or opting for muesli bars over chocolate.

But Melbourne entertainer and socialite Tottie Goldsmith has chosen a different way to inspire health in her 11-year-old daughter Layla -- competing in Nike's 10km fun run, You're the Run that I Want, on October 24.

The singer and former TV sex-show host, 42, says fitness can help teach children to look after themselves.

``Playing sport helps children better understand their bodies and look after them,'' she said.

``As a mother, I believe fitness is one of the most important things for children to learn.''

Goldsmith's daughter with ex-husband and former ski champ Steve Lee spends one term each school year at Falls Creek training to be a winter Olympian.

``Sport gives her enormous focus and something to work toward -- it shows in her personal growth every year,'' Goldsmith said.

The daughter of Melbourne nightclub pioneer Brian Goldsmith said she kept fit by dancing when she was young -- and it helped her cope with difficult family issues as a child.

``I was brought up without a mum and I was a bit wayward when I was young,'' she said.

``But I was right into sport and I know that stopped me falling off the rails and getting into trouble because it gave me a purpose and the team vibe mimicked the family vibe.

``And even though I was peer-pressured, I never smoked cigarettes because it would have stopped me from running properly.''

Goldsmith says she has a special place in her heart for Mission Australia, the charity for disadvantaged young people set to receive $5 from every $30 fun run entry fee.

``It made sense for me to be a part of this run because I believe in the philosophy that sport gives you a passion in life and teaches you life skills at an early age,'' she said.

Goldsmith is one of dozens of celebrities taking part in the 10km run and its training sessions.

Her weak knees will keep her from running, but Goldsmith plans to power walk the 10km track like Olympic racewalkers.

``I wouldn't trade my fitness for anything,'' she said.

``I'm happy with my weight, I have the right amount of fat and through affirmation I have grown to like my body.

``But physical activity is as important a part of my day as having a coffee or picking my daughter up from school.

``Fitness is a responsibility and a part of life that I don't feel right without and when you get to your 40s it helps hold your body together.''

REGISTER for the run by visiting www.nikerunning.com.au

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 13:22     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, September 28, 2004 

Jockey wins Ewan fun run

by Daniel Bateman

ONE of the weekend's annual Ewan races was won by a jockey on foot.

Townsville-based jockey Mick ``Forrest Gump'' Harris substituted his mare for a pair of sneakers to win the annual fun run on Saturday, living up to his nickname by leading the pack of energetic morning runners by several yards and finishing the traditional race in quiet accomplishment.

Harris claimed running was all part of the lead up to each horse race, however, he had a bit of a headstart, regularly running the distance between Townsville's Jupiters Casino and Cluden racetrack and also as a member of the Townsville Road Runners in order to maintain his fitness.

For many, Ewan this year was not so much about the races, rather that one time a year to catch up with old friends and meet some new faces, while camping in the leisurely Outback surroundings.

Camp Taj Pearly Shells demonstrated Ewan really can be a home away from home.

In addition to its multiple fridges, kettles and microwave, campers also brought a DVD player and projector on which they screened some of the latest blockbusters.

The Charters Towers collective also entertained themselves and several others with a karaoke machine, which was dominated by a certain cordial salesman.

Another camp took charge of entertainment on Friday night, hosting their own live band.

For racegoers, however, Ewan 2004 was a moment to reflect on the recent loss of longtime Ewan Amateur Turf Club member Mac Core, who was honoured with two poems recited before the Saturday Calcutta and naming of the Mac Core Memorial Ewan Cup.

The form off the field was as fine as it was on the track, with many using the weekend as an opportunity to display the latest racing fashions.

A vivacious display of fashions of the field by several well-dressed Charters Towers lasses turned several heads away from the well-attended bar and drew many wolf whistles.

While prizes for best dressed ladies were well earned by Loretta Grant and Selesti Smith, unofficial prizes should have gone to a pair of larrikins who also turned heads in their formal/informal combinations of bow ties and stubbies.

Article from The Northern Miner.
Posted at 13:54     [Perma-Link]

Countdown to Melbourne Marathon

THE countdown to the Melbourne Marathon is on, with the event on track for a bumper field.

At least 5500 will contest the 27th anniversary of the race on October 10, with hometown star Magnus Michelsson out to defend his 2003 crown.

A half marathon, 10km marafun and a team relay will be held in conjunction with the 42.2km event.

Enter online at www.melbournemarathon.com.au.

Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 13:52     [Perma-Link]

Johnson quick to get back in swing

by David Powell

WHILE Paula Radcliffe contemplates what to do next, Benita Johnson has wasted little time in putting her own harrowing Olympic experience behind her.

Johnson, having caught the Africans off guard and beaten them to the world cross-country title in Brussels in March, was Australia's big hope for the 10,000 metres at the Olympic Games in Athens five weeks ago. She finished 24th.

Yesterday (AEST), Johnson succeeded Radcliffe as the women's winner of the world's biggest half-marathon, seeing off the Africans in the BUPA Great North Run in the manner that she had in Brussels and as she had hoped to in Athens.

``I had a good start to the season, winning the world cross-country, and from there I thought I could win the Olympics,'' Johnson said. ``But injury and illness put me back a long way.'' As in Radcliffe's Greek tragedy, Johnson's stemmed from an interruption to training caused by injury and an inability to cope with the setback.

It could have been Radcliffe speaking yesterday when Johnson said: ``I got very stressed in the months leading up to the Olympics. In future, I will have to handle being injured better than I did. Unfortunately, my emotions got the better of me.'' Sidelined with shin tendinitis, the stress of the injury, more than the injury itself, was probably the cause of Johnson's Olympic nightmare.

``She got herself run down by not being cool about it,'' her coach Nick Bideau said. As a result, Johnson became anaemic.

At least Johnson finished in Athens, while Radcliffe completed a double drop-out, having quit the marathon five days before the 10,000m.

``Lots of things are going through your mind when you are running that badly, but you are running for your country,'' Johnson said, without any slight on Radcliffe intended.

``I am the sort of athlete who never gives up. To finish was probably an achievement.

``But I was devastated for a week and I have done well to rise above it and get back on top of things.'' Johnson pulled clear of four accomplished Africans a little more than 1500m from the finish of the run from Newcastle to South Shields, to win by 32sec.

Johnson, 25, who owns a house in Hampton Wick, which she uses as her training base from March to October, recorded 67min 55sec. Edith Masai, of Kenya, three times the short-course world cross-country champion, was second in 68:27, with her compatriot, Susan Chepkemei, third in 68:32.

Article from The Australian
Posted at 13:49     [Perma-Link]

Benita bounces back in Great North Run

by LIZ BYRNES

BENITA Johnson's Olympic troubles taught her a valuable lesson which she believes helped her to bounce back with a resounding victory in the Great North Run in Gateshead, England yesterday.

The Australian travelled to Athens confident of her medal chances in the 10,000m after she had become the world cross-country champion.

But tendinitis she suffered in her left shin in the build-up to the Games severely affected her performance, and she was distraught to finish 24th.

Tests then revealed that, as well as being anaemic, Johnson also had a vitamin deficiency which had wreaked further havoc with her performance.

Following iron injections, the 25-year-old returned to training and put up a determined display in the half-marathon in the north-east.

Despite being confronted with the might of the top female distance runners from Africa, Johnson executed a perfectly planned race and eventually won comfortably -- ahead of Kenyan pair Edith Masai and Susan Chepkemei.

Johnson was among a group of runners who signalled their intentions from the start, going through the first mile in 5min 5sec -- faster than Paula Radcliffe en route to her half-marathon world record last year.

After 10 miles (16km), Johnson had only Berhane Adere and Chepkemei for company.

Approaching the 12-mile mark she broke away, no doubt mindful of Adere's fast finishing speed, and went on to win easily in 1hr 8min 27sec.

Article from the Daily Telegraph
Posted at 13:45     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, September 27, 2004 

Benita Johnson recovers from anemia, wins Great North Run

By Simon Turnbull

It was a great north run for the London club, Thames Hare and Hounds, if not exactly for British distance running. While Dejene Berhanu ran away with the men's prize and the course record as the first Ethiopian winner of the Great North Run yesterday, the club which sounds like the name of a public house, could take a measure of reflected glory in Benita Johnson's success in the women's section of the world's biggest half-marathon.

The Australian spends eight months each year living and training in London and has been a member of the Hare and Hounds for the past two years. Johnson also owns a flat at Hampton Wick and yesterday she made herself at home on the roads of Tyneside, breaking clear with a mile remaining to win in 1hr 7min 55sec, finishing 32 seconds ahead of Kenya's Edith Masai.

Johnson was never a threat to Paula Radcliffe's year-old women's record, a phenomenal 1hr 5min 40sec, but with her victory over a world-class field, the 25-year-old took a significant step forward from the wreckage of her own broken Olympic dream - something that Radcliffe has yet to do.

Unlike the leading lady of British distance running, Johnson managed to finish the 10,000 metres final in Athens, placing 24th. That, however, was scant consolation, after starting the track season with high medal hopes in the wake of her victory in the long-course race at the World Cross Country Championships in Brussels in March.

Complete article at The Independent website
Posted at 16:54     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, September 26, 2004 

World Walking record broken in Sydney

A Melbourne businesswoman has broken the world record for the longest distance walked in the shortest time after arriving at Martin Place in Sydney at 4.45am Thursday morning.

She had walked 15,644km in 343 days, breaking Nobby Young's previous record set in 1994.

Ms De Williams left Melbourne on October 17 last year and when she completes her walk there she will become the first woman to walk around Australia.

Ms De Williams sold her business to help fund the walk with her ambition being to raise $45,000 for the Kids Help Line.

More details at www.walkaroundoz.org.au

Posted at 22:29     [Perma-Link]

Australian Paralympic Marathon Win

Kurt Fearnley was so determined to win the Paralympic marathon, he pushed his wheelchair for the past five kilmetres with a flat tyre!

The Carcoar, NSW, student won the gold medal in a time of 1 hour 25 minutes and 37 seconds across the 42.2km course that finished in the old Athens Olympic Stadium dating back to 1896.

The win adds to the gold medal he notched in the 5000m wheelchair event on Friday.

Australia has now claimed 21 golds in its overall total of 72 medals.

"This is very emotional...just unbelievable. I gave every bit of me out there…there is nothing left in the tank," an exhausted but relieved Fearnley said later.

"After finishing fourth four times (in different events) during the past two Games, I was determined to put everything on the line...I wasn't going to finish out of the medals."

Fearnley explained that he was starting to feel the heat and strain when, five kilometers from the finish, he noticed the air going from the leftside tyre.

"I thought no way is this going to stop me...thankfully I had a three minute lead at the time and just kept plugging on. By the time I hit the finish line the tyre was down to the rim...it wouldn't have lasted much longer and to tell you the truth, nor would I."

Visually impaired long distance runner Roy Daniell, of Canberra, claimed silver in the T13 class of the marathon in a time of 2:42:01 hours, around four minutes behind the winner.

The Seymour-born physiotherapist won the bronze at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

"It was a very special treat running on this course, starting at the original site of Marathon and then finishing in the old stadium – a real magical experience. I was pretty happy with my performance."

Wheelchair competitors Paul Nunnari, of Sydney, finished 19th and Newcastle's Christie Dawes came in ninth in the women's division.

Posted at 22:09     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, September 25, 2004 

Mark Latham turning to jogging ?

Sick of being asked about his health after suffering from pancreatitis, Mark Latham has set a new rule for journalists joining him on the campaign.

Anyone who asks him how his health must find out for themselves by joining the Labor leader on a run.

Herald Sun journalist Gerard McManus became the first victim yesterday. He joined Mr Latham on a jog by Brisbane River but lasted only a few minutes before pulling out with a calf injury. This information culled from the Daily Telegraph (Friday 24th September 2004).

There is another article discussing his weight & diet here.

John Howard is well-known to be a competent walker, going out every day, seemingly without fail, at a fair clip. He has been sighted by many runners around Kirribilli in Sydney, and often on the TV at other locations.
Posted at 19:23     [Perma-Link]

Athletics NSW appoints new chairman

Athletics NSW announced today that John Patchett, former CEO of Athletics NSW, has been appointed the new Chairman of Athletics NSW - effective immediately.

Mr Patchett’s appointment comes after an extensive search by the Athletics NSW Board for a Chairman to replace Olympic legend Ralph Doubell.

"Few people know the sport of athletics and understand the stakeholders better than Patchett. He brings a wealth of leadership and experience to the role", said current CEO of Athletics NSW, Greg Doyle.

"There is no doubt that John will make a very substantial contribution to the organisation, as he did in his former capacity as CEO, where he was instrumental in transforming Athletics NSW to its current position of sound financial capacity and strong management."

The appointment coincides with the formulation of a new business plan, ‘Setting the Standard’ 2005-2007, which will be operational in January 2005. ‘Setting the Standard’ will enable Athletics NSW to continue its high quality delivery of competitions and development initiatives, as well as providing a strong focus on effective communication and servicing of members.

Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 13:36     [Perma-Link]

Australia's paralympic golden glory in Athens

Australia has sprung back to the top end of the medal tally after an array of top performances on day five of the Paralympic Games in Athens.

Our track and field team secured a medal haul of two gold, three silver and one bronze on day five of competition.

Sydney's Amy Winters claimed Australia's first gold medal in athletics with a new Paralympic record of 12.50 seconds in the final of the women's 100m (T46) – a fraction outside her world record mark – to defeat Poland's Anna Szymul (12.64) and Russia's Elena Chistilina (12.76).

One of the stars of the Sydney 2000 Games, the victory gives Winters back to back gold medals in the sprint.

If she wins the 200m for arm amputees later in the week she will be the first Australian woman athlete to claim both titles consecutively since Betty Cuthbert in Melbourne (1956) and Rome (1960).

Gold also came courtesy of Tim Sullivan, who took gold in the men's 100m (T38) in a new world record time of 11.37 seconds.

The 29-year-old, who claimed five gold medals at the Sydney Games, is looking to repeat the Herculean feat competing in five events at Athens.

Paralympic veteran Louise Sauvage was forced to settle for silver in the the final of the 800m wheelchair race.

Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 13:34     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, September 24, 2004 

Adventure racers not crazy risk takers

Nigel Aylott died doing exactly what he wanted to do: scrambling down a remote gully, in the leading team in a 650-kilometre adventure race in Washington state.

A champion adventure racer and ultra-marathon runner, Aylott died instantly on Tuesday when he was struck in the head by a 135-kilogram boulder while he and his three Australian teammates battled for the lead in the Subaru Primal Quest race.

The 10-day race - which includes ocean kayaking, orienteering, mountaineering, mountain biking and trekking - was suspended after the fatality.

But it was restarted, in a shortened form, yesterday.

Competing as a team, the four members, including one woman, are not allowed to be more than 100 metres apart. Sleep is optional, and the official race website says many competitors sleep for only an hour or two in the first five days, leading to "hallucinations, hunger, injuries and exhaustion".

At least four racers from the two leading teams were making their way along the bottom of a steep gully when large rocks began raining down. Several other competitors narrowly escaped serious injury.

The race spokesman, Gordon Wright, acknowledged adventure racing carried risks but said it was not intended to be dangerous. The day before Aylott, 38, died, the race director had cancelled the entire mountaineering section because he felt the glacier was too dangerous.

A fellow racer, Ian Adamson, of Sydney, said Aylott had lived a "short but intense life".

"We're not people who give up. We're not going to throw our hands in the air and say 'there was an accident ... so we're going to stop'," Adamson said.

"Nigel was out there leading the race. He was doing exactly what he wanted to do, being exactly where he wanted to be."

Aylott, a former Telstra business analyst, had quit his job to focus full-time on his sport.

Adamson said: "Most of us race because it's what I call a distillation of life. We get a very highly amplified and compressed segment of life which is hard to replicate in any other way." Competitors were not crazy risk-takers but "highly intelligent, educated and fairly affluent". The risk was both minimal and assessable.

Tom Crebbin, another member of Team AROC, Aylott's team, said riding a bicycle in the city was more dangerous than adventure racing.

Aylott would not want the race cancelled or for anyone to stop competing in adventure races, he said.

"As tragic as this is, people love the sport, and the positives you get out of it absolutely outweigh a tragedy like this. You just had to mention the word race to Nigel and he was there. This really was his life; he loved it."

The race has re-commenced after Nigel's family expressly requested this to happen, declaring "Adventure racers never quit".

Complete article at the SMH
Posted at 06:43     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, September 21, 2004 

Monaco no-show highlights Australian T&F poverty

The shock Olympic silver medal won by the men's 4x400-metre relay team and the bronze medals of walkers Nathan Deakes and Jane Saville may have rescued Athletics Australia from mediocrity in Athens, but at the following big event, last weekend's IAAF world athletics final in Monaco, there was not an Australian to be seen.

The results sheets made for dismal reading, with not one Australian in the starting lists let alone on the podium. So while 36-year-old Namibian Frankie Fredericks was running his last 200m - placing second behind Jamaica's Asafa Powell - and Briton Kelly Holmes was renewing her status as the darling of middle distance, the three Australians with the top-seven ranking required to qualify were sitting on the sidelines.

Distance runners Craig Mottram and Benita Johnson have taken a break following the Olympics and long jumper Bronwyn Thompson injured her knee in Italy earlier this month. To qualify, athletes have to be regular performers on the European circuit or be rated highly enough to earn a wildcard.

But the Australians weren't the only ones missing. Also absent were Olympic sprint champions Yuliya Nesterenko from Belarus and American Justin Gatlin, while Greek mystery woman Fani Halkia could only manage fourth in the 400m hurdles.

Australian chairman of selectors David Culbert said his preliminary analysis after Athens - where a lot of discretionary selections failed to step up to the Olympic mark - led him to believe there would be a "very small team of very high-quality athletes" attending the world championships in Helsinki next August.

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 14:23     [Perma-Link]

Craig Mottram to run UK Half Marathon

All eyes in the UK will be on the North East of England this weekend when the BBC brings live coverage of the CBBC Junior Great North Run Party and BUPA Great North Run.

Chart topping bands such as Girls Aloud, V and Peter Andre will be performing at the Gateshead International Stadium live on The CBBC Channel on the eve of the September 24 Great North Run, the world's largest half marathon, which will be broadcast on BBC One.

Sue Barker (ex-Tennis star) presents live coverage of the road race in which nearly 50,000 runners will attempt to complete the famous 13.1 mile course starting in Newcastle and finishing at the coast in South Shields.

Once again millions will be raised for charity and this year the runners will be inspired by the Olympic achievements of Kelly Holmes who will start the race and Matthew Pinsent who will be competing in the event for the third time.

BBC Head of Major Events, Dave Gordon, who has just returned from Athens where he brought the BBC's coverage of the Olympics to our screens, said: "The Great North Run shows the North East at its very best and this event has grown to become one of the highlights of the sporting calendar."

Other celebrity runners include Charlie Dimmock of Ground Force, chef Gordon Ramsey, jockey Richard Dunwoody, Simon Thomas and Angellica Bell from CBBC, Rob Bonnet from BBC News, Ray Stubbs and Mark Bright from BBC Sport and a large team from the BBC Weather Centre including David Braine, Philip Avery and John Hammond.

And stars of BBC's Byker Grove are taking part in the Junior Great North Run on Saturday in aid of children's charity Barnardo's.

The women's elite field includes two times winner Sonia O'Sullivan from Ireland, World 10,000 metres champion Berhane Adere of Ethiopia and Australia's world cross-country champion Benita Johnson.

They're joined in the men's race by Great Manchester Run winner Craig Mottram and double winner Tushar Patel leads the wheelchair field.

The BBC's commentary team of Steve Cram and Brendan Foster will be joined by Liz McColgan, while viewers from the North East & Cumbria region will recognise Look North presenters Carol Malia and Wendy Gibson reporting on the race alongside Sally Gunnell, Dianne Oxberry and Graham Anderson.

Posted at 14:07     [Perma-Link]

Diamond Valley run well at Vic Half Marathon champs

MARYANNE Murray finished the Athletics Victoria Half-Marathon in fifth place to be the highest-placed finisher for the Diamond Valley Athletic Club.

The Half-Marathon, held at Burnley on Sunday, was the final event on the Athletics Victoria winter program.

Murray completed the 21.1km race in a time of 84:26 and was pleased to record her best time for the event in a number of years.

The winner of the women's race was Kylie Dick.

Ruth Reidy and Lucy Richterjork completed the club's women's Division 2 team that was placed top of the ladder before the race.

In the men's race, Michael Chettle of Glenhuntly shadowed Magnus Michelsson of Collingwood for most of the race.

In the sprint to line it was Chettle who kicked home, 10 metres ahead of Michelsson, in a time of 65:37.

Grant Morgan of Melbourne University was placed third.

First home for the DVAC men's team was Philip Wakeley in a time of 75:19.

``I felt strong in the second half of the race and I'm pleased with the time as it is only 30 seconds off my PB,'' Wakely said after the race.

Completing the DVAC men's Division 1 team was Philip Champion, Chris Lynch and Gary Hammett.

The Diamond Valley Athletic Club is now preparing for the Athletics Victoria track and field season.

On, Sunday October 3, the club will be holding a Trials and Registration Day at Willinda Park starting at 1:00pm.

Athletes of all ages are welcome to come along and try the variety of events that make up the track and field program.

For futher information log onto the club's website (www.valleyaths.org).

Article from the Diamond Valley News.
Posted at 13:47     [Perma-Link]

Victorian Half Marathon Championships

THE Victorian Half-Marathon Championships were held in perfect conditions along The Boulevard in Richmond last Sunday morning.

Michael Chettle (Glenhuntly) and Magnus Michelsson (Collingwood) established an early lead and ran together for most of the race before Chettle was able to sprint home and win in 65:51, just ahead of Michelsson (65:54).

Tracey Hayles (78:44) won the women's race from Doncaster's Kylie Dick (79:40) and Malvern's Tracey Austin (81:32).

APS United athletes had a good day with Justin Wilson (69:21) finishing sixth, Tarquin Oehr running 86:22, Nick Wallace-Smith 88:48, Christopher Worsnop 91:51, Jon Holmes 96:23 and Stuart Facey 110:24.

Article from the Progress Press.
Posted at 13:29     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, September 20, 2004 

Westcott wins City-Bay

Westcott turned on the heat from the start of yesterday's Advertiser City-Bay Fun Run and kept it on as he stormed to victory.

Canberra's Westcott, 28, stepped clear of the field with last year's winner, Victorian Mark Tucker, by Victoria Square. The pair was nearly clear of the chasers as they crossed Greenhill Road.

Westcott then drew away from Tucker by the half-way mark and pushed on to complete the 12km course in 34 minutes and 53 seconds. Tucker was second in 35:15, edging out Michael Shelley (35:17).

"The plan was to go after 4km or 5km but I found myself in front early and I thought now's the time to go and I just kept the pressure on until I dropped everyone," Westcott said.

"This is my final hit-out before I run the marathon in Chicago in three weeks and I was out here to test myself, run hard for as long as I could. This was an ideal preparation."

Twelve kilometres seems the ideal distance for Westcott. He won the City-Bay at his first attempt after winning the national 12km cross country championship three weeks ago.

Complete article at The Adelaide Advertiser
Posted at 15:11     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, September 17, 2004 

No worries, mate - An American View of the Sydney City to Surf

An August trip to Australia for a race with 60,000 other runners set the stage for Beachwood senior Kevin Silver to run the fastest times of his cross country career.

The 2003 Division II state-qualifier already has broken the school record twice. In his first race, at Gilmour Academy, he finished in 16:42. In the next race, at Cuyahoga Community College West, he ran 16:30. He finished first in the Blue Division of the Kirtland Kiwanis Invitational on Saturday in 16:38.

Silver said much of his success can be attributed to an early August trip to Sydney, Australia. He trained for a week with a group of runners representing the World Sports Exchange, then ran in the 14-kilometer City to Surf race, which attracts close to 60,000 runners every year.

Silver recently talked with Plain Dealer Reporter Bob Migra about his experiences in Australia and the cross country season.

Q: How do they keep a race with 60,000 contestants from turning into total chaos?

A: The final count was like 56,000, and there were a lot of walkers, but it was still a huge race. It was pretty incredible. They had helicopters flying overhead. It's a big news event down there. They have three different starting lines. They have one finish line, but they have about 15 different chutes and they have people telling you where to go. Somehow they kept it all together. The toughest part was getting out at the beginning of the race. It's tough weaving in and out of all those people the first mile or two.

Q: Were you on your own or did you have a group to run with?

A: I was supposed to run with some people from the World Sports Exchange, but right before the race, I decided to go off to the side and stretch some more. When they gave the warning that the race was going to start, I couldn't get back to them. I got blocked out by the crowd. Everyone was squished together before the race started.

Q: How did you do?

A: I ran 50:28 and finished 151st. I was pretty happy. When I got to the 5K mark, I was right around my best time from last year (17:13). It took me about 30 seconds to get to the starting line after the race started, so I felt good about that.

Q: What did you think of Australia?

A: The city reminded me a lot of New York. The people were really friendly. Their accent is a little difficult to understand, but they were really nice to talk to. When we weren't running, we did some sightseeing. We saw a national park and the Sydney Opera House. We took a tour of the Olympic Stadium. It was all very nice.

Q: Did you see any kangaroos?

A: Only when we went to a petting zoo. I was actually disappointed about that. I thought we'd see them out in the park, but there was nothing.

Q: You've already run about 40 seconds faster than your best time from last year. How much did the trip to Australia help?

A: A lot. The training before the race was unbelievable. You don't think it's very hilly down there, but there were a ton of hills to run on. I came back feeling pretty good. When I got back here, I was just trying to maintain the shape I got in down there.

Q: Any chance you might be able to break that magic 16-minute mark by the end of the season?

A: That's one of my goals. I know I have a shot at first-team All-Ohio, and that's my main goal.

Article from the Cleveland (USA) Plain Dealer Newspaper, by Bob Migra
Posted at 13:49     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, September 16, 2004 

Melbourne Marathon Joins Running Australia Network

The ASICS Melbourne Marathon has registered with the Running Australia network, Athletics Australia's umbrella program for community fun runs / road races.

The prestigious event's affiliation now means that Australia's top four major city Marathons – Canberra, Gold Coast, Sydney & Melbourne – are all Gold Events within the RA network. Also recognised at the gold category in the 60+ strong network include Noosa Half Marathon (QLD), City-Bay Fun Run (SA), Burnie Ten (TAS) & Run to the 'G.

Running Australia aims to create a level of professionalism that encourages event organisers to focus on quality management. Running Australia has developed a structure for the industry that supports, and more effectively services, the millions of Australians who participate in running events.

Race Director of the ASICS Melbourne Marathon, Joe Murphy, was pleased to register his event with the network.

"Running Australia encourages event organisers to work together and create a stronger industry and for this reason, Event Wizard look forward to working with Athletics Australia's industry network to make our event even greater", Mr Murphy said.

Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 13:39     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, September 13, 2004 

Chettle wins Vic Half Marathon Champs

by Len Johnson

Michael Chettle completed a rare family double when he won the men's Victorian half-marathon championship at Burnley yesterday.

Chettle outsprinted Magnus Michelsson to take the title in 65 minutes 51 seconds after the pair had raced together pretty much the entire way around the six-kilometre loop up and down the Yarra Boulevard.

Kylie Dick won the women's title in just under 80 minutes.

It was almost 27 years to the day since Chettle's father, Dave, had won the corresponding state championship.

Complete article at The Age website
Posted at 13:41     [Perma-Link]

Jana happy with 333rd in fun run

It's probably the only time in her life Jana Pittman will be pleased with finishing 333rd in a race.

The Olympic 400m hurdle finalist yesterday ran 9200m further than she has ever raced before as part of the 8000 plus field inThe Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run.

In her first competition since the Olympic 400m hurdles final Jana was happy to leave other athletes to play the starring roles with Victorian Serena Gibbs, 36min 11sec, winning the women's race and NSW's Russell Dessaix-Chin, 31min 11sec, the men's event.

She came home in the bunch in a very respectable time of 44min 10sec at her first 10km endeavour.

"That's quite a long way," Jana said after crossing the finish line at the Sydney Opera House.

Complete article at The Daily Telegraph
Posted at 07:29     [Perma-Link]

Brief Sydney Marathon Results

Olympic triathlete Rina Hill finally won a senior Australian championship yesterday - but in a sporting event she hadn't contested for 12 years.

The Queenslander, who finished 33rd in the Olympic women's triathlon in Athens last month, won the Sydney Marathon, which doubled as the Australian championship.

Tanzanian Oswald Revelian successfully defended the men's event, completing the course in two hours, 21minutes, 13seconds, winning from the ACT's Daniel Green (2:23.06).

Hill won the Brisbane Marathon in 1992 but subsequently turned to triathlon. Her time yesterday of 2:39.46 was 12minutes faster than her time in 1992 and was a creditable effort in the windy conditions.

Hill was cajoled into contesting the race by friend Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher), the 2002 Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist and former triathlon world champion.

"She [Fairweather] had all the faith in the world in me and probably had a little bit more faith in me than I did," Hill said. "She said, 'I think you should go and do Sydney off the fitness you've accumulated for the Olympics."

Hill was pleasantly surprised to run under 2:40 after deliberately setting a blistering pace which left Chinese athletes Zhenying Han (2:48:59) and Miaomiao Yi, (2:52:22) scrabbling for the minor places.

Hill said she planned to "dabble" in both triathlons and marathons and hoped to train alongside Fairweather who moved from athletics to triathlon at the same time as she did.

Revelian ensured Tanzania won the men's race for the third straight year as he kicked away from Green over the closing stages.

"I gave myself a shot of winning, but it was just so tough the last five kilometres, I fell off and was struggling," said Green, who had the consolation of winning the national title as the first Australian finisher.

The half marathon races, which were also for Australian championships, were won by the ACT's Martin Dent (1:04m:49) and Queensland's Helen Stanton (1:19:30).

Stanton claimed she had run almost an extra kilometre because of confusion near the finish where the marathon and half marathon runners converged instead of taking different routes to the finish.

Posted at 01:47     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, September 10, 2004 

Jana Pittman to run Sydney Bridge Run 10Km

OLYMPIAN Jana Pittman faces a new hurdle on Sunday, racing her pet 400m distance 25 times without a break.

For her first outing since the Olympic 400m hurdles final - an event that outrated Ian Thorpe's 200m freestyle final on Australian TV - Pittman runs The Sunday Telegraph 10km Bridge Run.

And Pittman is sure to go home with a personal best time.

"It'll be a PB because I've never done a 10km before," she said.

"I'm not racing hard. This is for fun and I'm looking forward to it. Everyone supported me so much when I was away I wanted to get out with them and enjoy the spirit of just participating. I just want people to come out and run with me."

Complete article at Fox Sports
Posted at 10:41     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, September 09, 2004 

Thanks Olympians, now prepare for Melbourne

As Victoria welcomed its Olympians home yesterday, those basking in the afterglow of Athens 2004 were reminded by Commonwealth Games Minister Justin Madden that Melbourne 2006 was just 18 months away.

Because of the turnaround from a northern hemisphere Olympics to a southern hemisphere Commonwealth Games, the usual two-year hiatus between the events has been reduced. The opening ceremony for Melbourne 2006 will take place at the MCG on March 15.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 10:21     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, September 08, 2004 

Record number of international entrants at Sydney Marathon

The 2004 Blackmores Sydney Marathon Festival this Sunday, September 12, has attracted a record number of international entrants, representing 21 countries.

Almost 600 international runners have entered the three races - Full Marathon (42km), Half Marathon (21km) and Bridge Run (10km) with the overseas contingent comprising more than 15% of the Blackmores Sydney Marathon field.

Japan has the largest number with an incredible 360 runners registered, followed by New Zealand with 55 runners, United Kingdom with 46 and USA with 36. Registrations have also been received from runners coming from Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand.

Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 15:53     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, September 06, 2004 

Two minute interviw with Danny Corcoran - new AA boss

Outgoing Melbourne football manager Danny Corcoran is the new Athletics Australia boss. He speaks with Tim Lane.

In athletics, our only individual medals in Athens came in the walks. Has John Howard inspired a nation of walkers?

He certainly leads by example. To compete on the world stage is very tough. I thought Jana's effort to overcome surgery was super, as was Mottram's effort, given that we don't see many Kenyans or Ethiopians or Moroccans in the pool, but we see Australians spread across a whole range of sports and that's a credit to our country and the investment we have in our sport.

But in track and field on the Olympic stage, we have got a fair bit of work to do. Like a footy team, that revolves around very careful planning, the establishment of elite pathways and a domestic competitive structure that allows us to send our teams away in really good shape.

Cricket is really strong in this country because the state competition continually throws up first-class cricketers. In track and field we have to have a look at what is the best competitive structure. The sport has undergone a complete review and one of our real challenges is to examine that review carefully as a body and to implement its recommendations for the benefit of the sport.

Do you agree with Kevan Gosper's description of the sport as a basket case?

No, I don't. I'm always the eternal optimist in sport. We need everyone in our sport pulling together. It's really important that everyone pulls together and if you've got ideas put them up and we'll try to put together what's workable.

I think we can continue to develop our elite pathways and our competitive structure and out of that produce enough quality athletes to gain regular top-16 placings at major championships.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 15:23     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, September 02, 2004 

2004 Sydney Marathon & Half Pace Teams

With just one week to the Blackmores Sydney Marathon and Blackmores Half Marathon there are receiving a steady stream of runners eager to sign up for the Runner's World Pace Teams at both events.

Somewhat less eager are those willing to be Pace Team leaders for both events. The role of the Pace Team leaders is to set a fairly even pace through the event and bring the runners home just under the designated pace time.

Pace Teams are groups of runners who run together under coloured balloons and share a same finish time goal and help one another stay on pace - be it a 2 hour half marathon to a first time marathon hoping for a 4:30 hours finish time.

The Pace Team groups are led by experienced runners whose aim is to help you achieve your time and have fun on the run. The leaders are each team's personal coach, cheerleader, and guru for the day.

If you know of any runners who would like to be leaders we would love to hear from them.

For their efforts they will receive a Runner's World micro-fibre Pace Team singlet, free entry to the half or full marathon and a one year subscription to Runner's World magazine.

The times we are looking for are:
Half marathon: sub 1:20, 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00
Marathon: sub 3:00, 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:00, 4:30.

Anyone who is interested please email Joan O'Halloran at joan@ausrun.com.au

Complete article at Runners World website
Posted at 12:30     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, September 01, 2004 

Marathon broadcaster: Anton Enus

"South African Josia Thugwane... reduced me to tears of joy when he came from nowhere to win the Olympic marathon in Atlanta. He confirmed what running has demonstrated to me over almost 20 years: that you can achieve great personal goals even when the odds seem to be impossible."

...SBS newsreader, social campaigner & marathon runner, Anton Enus (pictured).

Anton Enus has run more than 30 marathons, including South Africa's famous 90km Comrades marathon, 10 times! He's also been a broadcaster and journalist for 20 years, working with CNN, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and - since his move from South Africa to Australia in 1999 - SBS TV World News. Recently, africanOz had a chat with him about his interest in running and work in Africa.

Complete article at African Oz website
Posted at 11:03     [Perma-Link]


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