Some Olympic Games News Headlines are here.
Running websites join forces to encourage runnersToday the CoolRunning Australia website and the 28 Racing Team have announced that they will join together in 2005.
Daniel Green, the current Australian Marathon Champion and director of the 28 Racing Team said "Over the last year, the 28 Racing Team has been successful in supporting many hopeful Olympians. A partnership with Cool Running Australia will increase our exposure, allow the team to support more athletes and encourage distance runners of all levels to improve".
Kevin Tiller, the owner of CoolRunning added that "Running outside of traditional track and field has been massively ignored by Athletics Australia and any other formal body, so over the last 7 years we have been looking after ourselves and gradually improving what we do. Daniel has built a great site and is covering areas that we don't have expertise in".
"CoolRunning styles itself as a website by runners for runners with the addition of an elite section, we will provide information on another aspect of distance running currently not catered for on the CoolRunning site. The training programs and progress of Australia's elite distance runners including have proven to be very popular and will be a exciting addition to the CoolRunning site".
The new racing team, known as the CoolRunning Racing Team, will be developed and will replace the 28 Racing Team. The goal of the Cool Running Racing Team is to help develop the quality of distance running within Australia by providing exposure, equipment, product, and financial assistance when available. Details on joining the CoolRunning Racing Team in 2005 are available from the 28 Racing Team website (www.28racingteam.com).
Daniel adds "I am really excited by this - when we started the 28 Racing Team we had no idea how it would turn out, but there has been great support from our sponsors, team members and the running community in general. In 2005 we are going to be able to directly assist 30 athletes, while helping to promote all elite runners involved in distance running in Australia. In addition we are hoping we can generate further interest in distance running by conducting a series of training camps for runners of all levels, the novice to the elite".
For the last two years, CoolRunning has been unchallenged as the Australian focal point of running related information, the website is even more popular than Athletics Australia's (as measured by the independent expert Hitwise). CoolRunning exists to improve, inform, promote and encourage all things related to running. In 2005, the addition of an elite section will add yet another dimension to the CoolRunning site. It is an exciting time for CoolRunning and we look forward to providing information and promotion for Australia's distance running elite. The 28 Racing Team website will be merged with CoolRunning over the next month.
CoolRunning Australia www.coolrunning.com.au
28 Racing Team www.28racingteam.com
Posted at 13:52 [Perma-Link]
Tamsyn Lewis drops pommy coaches for homegrownTamsyn Lewis yesterday admitted training with Olympic greats Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson hadn't worked out as she had hoped and that she had found a new coach in Melbourne.
Winner of the past seven Australian 800m titles, Lewis, 26, was eliminated in her heat at the Athens Olympics. She had a run-in with Athletics Australia's chairman of selectors David Culbert, who questioned her priorities and criticised her for being overweight on the eve of the Games.
Despite spending half of each of the past two years training fulltime in London, Lewis's fitness suffered because of chronic injuries to her hamstrings that ruined her Olympic dream.
"I was thinking what the hell am I going to do. I was very stressed," Lewis said yesterday. I knew changes had to be made.
Complete article at The Herald Sun
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John Landy awarded Law degreeVictorian Governor John Landy received an honorary doctorate of law from Deakin University today.
Mr Landy was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Laws for his distinguished services to sport, the environment and the community. Former QC and Athletics Australia president Allan McDonald was also conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws for his services to law and the community.
Deakin University vice-chancellor Sally Walker said both men had made an outstanding contribution to the Victorian community.
"Governor Landy has made a significant contribution to Australian society and as Victorian Governor continues to deliver important and valuable public service," Ms Walker said.
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Commonwealth Youth Games team unveiledAthletics Australia has unveiled a classy and experienced track and field team for next months Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo.
The 30-strong team comprises 14 athletes who competed at the 2004 world junior championships, including bronze medallists Sally McLellan (100m) and Annabel Thomson (javelin).
Other top performers from the world juniors who will compete in Bendigo include long jumper Chris Noffke, hammer thrower Simon Wardaugh and discus thrower Ronnie Buckley.
The Commonwealth Youth Games is open to competitors under the age of 18 and, held for the first time in 2000 in Edinburgh, has started a solid breeding ground for future athletes.
Complete article at Sportal
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Mounties to Cabra-Vale Fun RunTHE Mounties to Cabra-Vale Fun Run held on Sunday, October 17, was a runaway success.
The event, organised by the Vietnamese Australian Welfare Association (VAWA) and the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA), is held each year to promote community spirit and fitness in the local area.
The 8km run attracted about 110 starters.
This year the overall race winner was Ben Dubois with a time of 23 minutes 59 seconds, just point three of a second ahead of his nearest competitor Jeremy Morne.
The first female runner to cross the line was Stephanie Bilic with a time of 30 minutes and 36 seconds.
Mounties Fitness Centre's Jackie Bolger entered the fun run as part of her overall fitness plan.
``Even though I didn't get a place I managed to take two minutes off my time from last year and I was very happy with that,'' she said.
Organiser Tri Tran from VAWA described the event as ``successful''.
``This was the third consecutive year we have held the event and we are very pleased with the response,'' he said.
``In addition to the runners we had had more than 40 volunteers and an additional 50 friends and family members supporting the competitors.''
Mounties sports director Marilyn Price said it was important to support events which promoted health and fitness.
Article from the Fairfield Advance.
Posted at 13:30 [Perma-Link]
Star Dane to compete in Colac six-day raceby DENIS CRAVEN
DANISH long distance runner Jesper Olsen will compete in Colac's six-day race next month as part of his run around the world.
Olsen, 33, began a 26,000km global run from London early this year.
He has done almost 13,000 and is expected to arrive in Sydney late this month.
Olsen will run into Colac the day before the race, now known as the Cliff Young Australian 6-Day Race, which starts on Sunday, November 21.
Race spokesman Bill Sutcliffe said Olsen would run out of Colac on his way to Camperdown on November 28.
Olsen is at present on his leg through Japan.
After Colac he will head towards Perth before flying to Vancouver, Canada.
Sutcliffe said it was a positive sign for the Colac race that four newcomers were among 18 entries so far.
A couple of spots were still left for the race, he said.
The event will also carry the inaugural running of the Australian 6-Day Championship.
Sutcliffe said the Australian Ultra Runners Association realised the prestige the Colac event now held in the world ultra-marathon community and would provide trophies.
Queenslander Graeme Watts was favourite to repeat last year's victory, Sutcliffe said.
``Graeme would have to be the best multi-day runner in Australia at present but he would not want to get injured because Tasmanian Peter Hoskinson will be chasing him every step of the way,'' he said.
``The battle for third to fifth place could be a real tussle with George Audley, Vlastik Skvaril, Olsen and John Timms all capable of beating the 600km mark.''
The event was renamed early this year in memory of Colac legend Cliff Young, who helped pioneer ultra running in Australia with a magnificent win in the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne race in 1983.
Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 13:26 [Perma-Link]
Overseas runners to help boost local seriesAustralia's top sprinters may get to test themselves against 2004 Olympic 100m finalists Kim Collins and Asafa Powell this summer as part of bold plans to revive the local circuit.
Athletics Australia is likely to target Commonwealth stars, in particular the gifted Caribbean racers, to boost fields with international talent during the upcoming season.
As well as lifting the profile of the flagging domestic series, the move would raise awareness of the premier athletes before the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
The only question mark is whether AA, which lost $1.3million in the 2002-2003 financial year, has the funds to lure top international athletes.
The newly appointed chief executive of AA, Danny Corcoran, said the organisation would be limited by its financial problems.
"The priority is financial stability," Corcoran said. "It is risk versus gain, it is about how much money we spend to put on a really good meet. But with the focus moving very quickly towards Melbourne 2006, we would like to invite international athletes here if it is financially possible. We would like to showcase some Commonwealth hopefuls across the spectrum from potential medallists to potential team members, and whet the public's appetite and put the sport back in the gaze of the general public."
Corcoran didn't specify athletes. However, Collins, who won the world 100m title in 2003 and was sixth at the Athens Olympics, is one of those likely to be invited.
He hails from the tiny Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis, and trained in Australia before the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Powell, who finished fifth in Athens, is part of a new breed of Jamaican sprinters who have recently come to prominence.
Others who might be targeted include talented Jamaican 400m runners Michael Blackwood and Brandon Simpson, who would provide competition for Australians including Clinton Hill and Patrick Dwyer who won a 4x400m relay silver medal in Athens.
Sprinters from Britain, who won the Olympic relay gold medal, as well as Kenya's band of brilliant distance runners, would also be welcome additions to the circuit.
The Telstra A series of domestic meets begins in Perth on January 9, then continues in Adelaide (January 22), Canberra (February 5), Melbourne (February 19), culminating in the national championships in Sydney on March 4-6.
Complete article at The Australian
Posted at 09:30 [Perma-Link]
Marathon man outruns hero in Nike runGeelong runner Mark Tucker gives his victory salute after winning the You're the Run that I Want 10km run in Melbourne.
What goes through the mind of the winner just before he crosses the finish line?
"I was thinking what victory salute will I do about 10 seconds before the finish line," Newcomb runner Mark Tucker said.
Opting for the "standard one finger in the air" the 25-year-old winner of Sunday's 10km Nike You're the Run That I Want Melbourne fun run clocked a fairly comfortable 30 minutes 12 seconds.
The win was all the sweeter for Tucker because he was racing against marathon legend Steve Moneghetti.
"It was good to beat him, even though he is a lot older than me," Tucker said. "I love (fun runs). I probably do it more than most of the elite runners."
The main reason is the cash prize - $2000 for Sunday's race - a handy income supplement for the casual relief PE teacher.
Tucker will compete in another road race, the Sydney version of Sunday's fun run, although he's not as confident this time around.
"It's going to be a bit harder this time with Craig Mottram and maybe Lee Troop in this one," he said.
Complete article at Geelong Info
Posted at 08:53 [Perma-Link]
Rottnest marathon and fun runATHLETICS Mark Page won his sixth straight Rottnest Island marathon in windy conditions yesterday morning in 2hr 42min 30sec, more than six minutes clear Perth marathon champion Will Withers. Dawn Penney took out the women's title in 3:24:30. The 5km fun run title went to Dave Manning in 15:56 with Todd Ingraham won the 10km title in 33:24.
Todd's trifecta will have to wait another year. Yesterday morning's wind blew away the bid by Perth distance runner Todd Ingraham for an unprecedented collection of race records on Rottnest Island. Ingraham holds the records for the annual marathon (2:29.24) and 5km fun run (15.33), and wanted to add the 10km mark to his collection. He won but was more than a minute outside the record because of the breeze.
Article from The West Australian
Posted at 11:46 [Perma-Link]
Runner dies in Relay for Lifeby Sarah Wotherspoon
RUNNER John Beck died raising money for research into the deadly disease that took away his only companion -- his beloved wife.
The Mentone man, 67, collapsed during the Cancer Council's Relay for Life at Murrumbeena yesterday and couldn't be resuscitated.
He was running in honour of his wife, Edith, who died of cancer in August last year.
His only known relative is his brother in England.
After the death of his wife, Mr Beck's life was consumed by his passion for athletics.
A member of the Mentone branch of Victorian Masters Athletics, Mr Beck was competing in the 24-hour fundraising event at the Duncan McKinnon Athletics Track when he collapsed just before 6.30am.
St John Ambulance officers and MICA paramedics were unable to revive him.
The event involved teams of 10 or more people keeping a baton moving for the 24 hours from noon Saturday until noon yesterday.
The manager of the Mentone branch of Victorian Masters Athletics, Ted McCoy, said after his wife's death Mr Beck's only family were the members of the club he devoted his time to.
"He was terribly devoted to her. She was the only one in his life," he said.
"When she died the Mentone Masters were his only family, the club was his life."
Mr Beck, a quiet man who enjoyed keeping fit, worked as a cleaner at the athletics club and ran a Saturday afternoon fitness group as well as competing on regular masters meeting nights.
Relay runners observed a minute's silence at the closing ceremony and the award for most laps was named in Mr Beck's honour.
Relay for Life has raised more than $8.5 million for cancer research and support.
Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 14:37 [Perma-Link]
World Run - Australian T-ShirtsAs a way of defraying the support costs of the Australian leg of the World Run, Derek Foley of "The Right Track" has designed a Special T-shirt to act as a souvenir for those people that meet or run with Jesper Olsen on the way.
The t-shirt will sell for $25 and this will include postage and handling costs as well. Derek will print the t-shirts up and get them out to people. So it's a great opportunity to purchase a great memory of a great run.
So if you would like to order a t-shirt now or would like further information, please reply to this email and I will get back to you.
The T-shirt design can be viewed here .
Thanks Everyone and a reminder that he leaves from the Sydney Opera House on the 31st of October at 7am. Sydney people - hope that you can there to run with him out of Sydney.
Posted at 14:12 [Perma-Link]
Athletics Australia plea to Pittman for seriesAthletics Australia will try to persuade Jana Pittman to take part in this summer's domestic A series in an effort to renew the competition's credibility.
Pittman's coach Phil King has revealed that she is to skip the series as part of longer-term planning for next year's world championships in Helsinki and the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Athletics Australia's attempts to woo sponsors and television coverage for the A series would be damaged if Australia's highest profile athlete did not compete. New chief executive Danny Corcoran said he would make contact with King in the hope of striking a compromise.
"I know Phil pretty well and I'll talk with him," Corcoran said. "We have to keep in mind what the coaches think is the best interests of the athletes. There has to be some balance there and we're working toward that. I'm not sure if it's part of their plans and we have to work through it. My understanding is that Jana is very keen to work with the kids and do some promotional activities and that's great."
Corcoran is urging athletes to recognise their responsibilities to the sport and the local scene that nurtured their rise to the top. "Changing the culture is about athletes knowing their sport needs them and that people need to see them,"
Complete article at The Age
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Pittman snubs AUS Domestic SeasonOn the day a report was released aimed at revitalising athletics, Australia's top drawcard Jana Pittman confirmed she has no plans to compete at home this summer.
"Jana's going to prepare for the Beijing Olympics. She'll put three years training into two," Pittman's coach Phil King said.
"That being the case she won't do the domestic season in 2005."
Pittman can still defend her 400m hurdles crown at the world championships because title-holders receive automatic entry.
While proposing the importation of foreign stars to provide an added attraction and opposition for local competitors on the Telstra A-Series, the review – carried out by the Australian Sports Commission and Athletics Australia – admits no costing has been conducted for this or any other recommendation.
Last summer the domestic circuit had no TV coverage for the first year since its inception in 1989 and Pittman's absence won't help.
Complete article at Fox Sports
Posted at 08:15 [Perma-Link]
Review into Australian AthleticsThe board of Athletics Australia has been warned it must act quickly on recommendations contained in a wide-ranging review of the troubled sport or risk a significant cut in federal government funding.
The long-awaited report into athletics in Australia was made public yesterday, and the 52-page document was noticeably devoid of any bombshells.
Having received 133 written submissions and conducted 76 interviews, the review panel produced 128 recommendations.
Among them was a call to have controversial national head coach Keith Connor's job re-classified and re-titled national performance director, and a push to reinvigorate the sport's sagging domestic showpiece, the national grand prix series.
But as review steering committee chairman and Olympic champion Herb Elliott pointed out, few of the recommendations were revelatory.
"A lot of these recommendations have been around for a long while," Elliott said yesterday. I don't think anyone would think there's any bolts from heaven here. There's no great creative inspiration or anything like that."
Comments by Coolrunners:
ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA REVIEW and Will the Elliot review achieve anything ?
Posted at 22:53 [Perma-Link]
Rivals go head to head at Alice Springs Masters GamesAlice Springs distance runner Eli Melky last night threw down the gauntlet to Territory rival Stephen Blake on the eve of the 10th Masters Games.
Melky, who is entered in four races at the Alice Springs Masters Games along with the legendary Darwin runner, wants a clean sweep for redemption of previous losses to Blake. Melky said: "I'm shooting for an outright win and I want to win everything. That's my aim and what I have been training for."
Melky, 38, and Blake, 45, will also compete in the Optus Masters Mile, 6km and the 10km races -- almost 39km of racing.
"In training we probably cover 80-90kms a week but it's racing so it will be hard," said Melky, heading off for a massage yesterday.
Blake, winner of 20 Darwin City to Surf races, finished ahead of Melky in two races in Darwin earlier this year and will be the favourite over the longer distances.
"I'm looking forward to squaring it all up. He whooped me all the way to China in Darwin," Melky said. "The course runs straight past my house so I'm very familiar with it. It should work to my advantage but I'm not underestimating him because he is phenomenal. If I get anything less it will be back to the training board for next Masters Games. In the spirit of the Masters Games I'll be shaking the hand of someone else if they beat me."
A field of 58 male and 32 female competitors will be among the half marathon showdown at dawn, starting at 6am.
The half marathon run over 21km starts at Ilparpa Road and finishes just over an hour later for the front runners at the Araluen Arts Centre.
Other first-day events include a stableford golf competition, shooting (full bore, pistol and sporting), lawn bowls, darts, equestrian events and tenpin bowling.
The "Friendly Games" will be officially opened by Chief Minister Clare Martin at the opening ceremony at Anzac Oval, from 5pm.
The ceremony entertainment is headlined by Australian music legend Billy Thorpe along with Frankie J Holden and Wilbur Wilde.
Alice Springs Masters Games website at www.alicespringsmasters.nt.gov.au
Posted at 14:27 [Perma-Link]
Connor declines to take leading roleIn a follow-up to yesterday's new article, Athletics Australia set to lose head coach, it is unclear whether Connor was considered unsuitable by UK Athletics or whether he has returned to Australia, where he is head coach of Athletics Australia, in the hope of securing a role there under restructuring plans, but he will not be pursuing the role with UK Athletics.
Complete article at the UK Times
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Melbourne Marathon 2004 - Summary
Posted at 13:39 [Perma-Link]
Athletics Australia set to lose head coachAthletics Australia's (AA) head coach Keith Connor has been tipped to take over the role of UK Athletics performance director.
Connor, who won bronze in the triple jump at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles for Great Britain, is the favourite to replace outgoing director Max Jones.
His main competition for the position, Charles van Commenee, has dropped out of the race after accepting a job in the Netherlands.
AA said it was unaware if Connor had applied for the job, which is expected to be filled in the next fortnight. Connor is currently on leave from his position with AA.
Former Olympian Herb Elliot has urged Keith Connor to stay on as the head of Australian athletics. "Keith would be a great loss if he went to Great Britain," Elliott told the Australian Daily Telegraph newspaper. "In my view, we should do everything possible to keep him. He's done an excellent job under difficult circumstances."
More at the BBC
Posted at 13:35 [Perma-Link]
Uproar over bid to alter PE in schoolsTeachers, parents and high-profile sporting identities have banded together to fight contentious changes to the Victorian curriculum that they fear will "downgrade" physical education in schools.
Hundreds of people last night attended a protest meeting over State Government plans to reclassify physical education in the school curriculum for years prep to 10.
Under sweeping changes to be launched next month, physical education will not be classified as a traditional discipline. Instead, it will be categorised as a "social and personal" skill, while maths, science, language, arts and humanities will be the five "core knowledge" subjects.
The State Government has denied the revamp will downgrade the way PE is taught. But critics fear the changes could result in the subject being devalued, or even reduced in government schools.
Sporting clubs and identities such as Athletics Victoria, VicSport, and AFL identity David Parkin have also thrown their weight behind the concerns.
"This is an intolerable situation," said Mr Parkin. "Physical education must be an absolute core element for the school curriculum and any move to marginalise the subject needs to be challenged."
Mary Wilson, executive director of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, said redefining PE - instead of grouping it with core subjects such as maths and English - could result in it being viewed as less important.
"We feel that this is a very risky step to take given the childhood obesity statistics," Ms Wilson said.
Complete article at The Age
Posted at 13:32 [Perma-Link]
No rest for Geoff after Melbourne MarathonHaving just begun to recover from last Sunday's Melbourne Marathon, Bendigo's Geoff Moulday will now turn his attention to the Portland Marathon.
Moulday finished 10th in the Melbourne Marathon, which was run in gruelling heat from Frankston to Albert Park Lake. The 40-year-old ran a personal best of two hours and 43 minutes to finish 16 minutes behind winner Magnus Michelson.
"I finished 19th last year, but it was a bit hotter this year, which made it tougher," Moulday said.
He has run the Melbourne Marathon for the past five years and his 10th placing was his best finish in the race.
He put his successful run on Sunday down to a consistent training program, which kicked into top-gear 12 weeks ago. Moulday has been using a training plan devised by distance runner Pat Carroll for the past 12 months and since taking it up, his times have continued to improve.
The program entails a long run on a Sunday of a maximum of two hours and 40 minutes, a 90-minute run on a Wednesday, while the rest of the week is made up of 60-minute runs and speed work.
Moulday only had three rest days in the 12 weeks leading into the Melbourne Marathon. "I don't like to go in half-prepared. I like to go in feeling confident on the day, knowing I've done the training," he said.
So, why would someone want to put their body through 42.2 km of torture.
"It's the sense of achievement," Moulday said. "It hurts a bit, but when you cross the finish line, it's just a natural high. You're on a high for about a week when you've had a good marathon."Moulday, who has run 10 marathons, believes the race starts to take its toll on his body at the 30 km mark. Your body just wants to stop, but you have to keep pushing to get to the finish," he said. "Sunday was probably the hardest I've done it though, because it was pretty warm; there were a lot of people taken to hospital.
"Melbourne is my favourite course; it's a point-to-point course, which psychologically is better because you're running from one point to another.
"At about 30 kms, you see the buildings of Melbourne and know every step you're taking you're getting closer to the end." It normally takes Moulday about two weeks to get over a marathon, but once he is recovered from last Sunday, he will try his luck in the Portland Marathon on October 31.
Moulday won in Portland in 2002, was runner-up last year and third in 2001.
Posted at 13:28 [Perma-Link]
Deborah De Williams walk around Oz finishesDeborah De Williams has worn out 35 pairs of shoes in the past year and walked through two tropical cyclones.
She has also set four world records, and will today achieve a fifth.
The Altona woman set off 12 months ago on a mission to walk around Australia.
She will finish the journey at Federation Square, Melbourne today, becoming the first woman to do so.
The gruelling challenge has seen her travel about 16,700 km, or an average of 45km a day.
"I just had a dream and went for it," Ms De Williams said. "That's what drives me forward."
As well as being the first woman to walk around the country, the 35-year-old has broken the record for the world's longest walk in the shortest time (15,669km in 343 days) and the quickest walk over the longest distance (343 days to walk 15,699 km).
She has also set records for the longest continuous walk by a woman, and the outright record for the longest continuous walk by anyone.
She is due to finish the walk at Federation Square at 11am, where Sports Minister Justin Madden will congratulate her on the effort.
More info at her website www.walkaroundoz.org.au
Posted at 13:23 [Perma-Link]
Coburg Harriers grand final fun runTHERE was an increase in runners on last year for Coburg Harriers Athletics Club's traditional post Grand Final fun run on September 26.
About half the field chose to tackle the 6km and the rest ran the 12km circuit.
Paul Risely was the easy winner in the 6km race, while Blake third.
Wendy Grace-Williams was the first woman across the line.
In the longer race, Dhanbir Tamang showed his class to finish a full four minutes ahead of the second placegetter, while Rachael Murphy was the first woman home.
The next fun run will be on Sunday, October 19, at the Harold Stevens Athletics Track, from 9am.
Article from the Hume/Moreland Observer.
Posted at 11:01 [Perma-Link]
Tucker beats Troop in Burnie Tenby DENIS CRAVEN
GEELONG middle distance runner Mark Tucker took another major step in his blossoming career in winning the Skilled Burnie Ten on Sunday.
Tucker, 25, outsprinted several elite Australian road runners to record his biggest victory.
Fellow Geelong runner Lee Troop finished runner-up in the event for the third time.
It was Troop's sixth attempt to win the Tasmanian classic, which is ranked second to Sydney's City to Surf race as Australia's major road race.
A total of 2406 athletes took part in the Burnie Ten.
Tucker earned $3500 first prize and clocked 30:01 for the 10kms.
Tucker passed Troop in the final sprint after the Athens Olympian had led a bunch of about 10 runners from the outset. Troop had a 50m lead after 7kms.
Tucker said he felt slightly guilty for denying Troop his first win in the Burnie Ten, after Troop had run second to Craig Mottram last year.
``Troopie was disappointed but he'd just done the marathon in Athens six weeks ago and I thought this was my chance to beat him because I had the fresher legs,'' Tucker said.
The win comes after a successful European campaign where Tucker was based at St Mary's College, Twickenham, near London, and trained with an elite British middle-distance squad.
Tucker this year has shaved four seconds off his best 1500m time which is now 3:41.
Best known as a 5000m runner, Tucker is looking to specialise in the 1500m with the aim of representing Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
``But things are fairly flexible at the moment,'' he said.
Tucker plans to contest three big races in the next couple of months -- the Nike 10km race in Sydney on October 24, a 5km race at Noosa on November 6 and a Zatopek 10km championship at Box Hill on December 4.
Tucker became the 38th Australian runner to better four minutes for the mile when he ran 3:59.87 in Tullamore, Ireland this year.
Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four minute barrier, was in the crowd that day.
Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 10:53 [Perma-Link]
Benita Johnson Rockets Up The RankingsThe BUPA Great North Run (ENG) had the fifth most competitive women's half marathon field ever, behind only last year's GNR, two IAAF World Champs, and the 2001 Lisbon (POR) race. Five of the world top-ranked 20 women competed and were defeated by #93 world ranked Benita Johnson (AUS) who moved up 75 places into the #18 rank as a result of her win.
Edith Masai KEN with performances in the ISTAF 5000m and the Great North Run moved 12 places up the rankings.
Among the men Augustine Choge KEN was the biggest mover in the World list
Other major moves were made by Shinichi Watanabe JPN in the Real Berlin Marathon, Kazue Ogoshi JPN in the Japanese Corporate Champs 10000m and Irina Timofeyeva RUS in the IAAF World HfMar Champs (IND).
Complete article at Runnersweb
Posted at 16:12 [Perma-Link]
Benita Johnson just misses AUS 10 Mile recordWorld cross country champion Benita Johnson has narrowly missed breaking the long-standing Australian 10-mile record in the BUPA Great South Run in the UK.
Given no help whatsoever by the strong winds whipping off the Solent, the Australian was nine seconds shy of Lisa Ondieki's 1987 mark around the Portsmouth course.
The weather, and the fact she was running on her own for almost the entire second half of the race, slowed her to a winning time of 52 minutes and 32 seconds.
"I'm more than happy with my performance and I was hoping to tuck in with some of the men so they could help me out," said Johnson, who broke away from her rivals after four miles to complete a fine double, after winning last month's Great North Run.
She finished 24th overall in the mixed race.
Complete article at The SMH and the inside scoop from the 28 Racing Team
Posted at 13:06 [Perma-Link]
Tucker's Burnie Ten goes to planNEW Skilled Burnie Ten champion Mark Tucker knew if the early pace in yesterday's race was slow, he would have the finishing speed to play a huge part in deciding the result.
With a strong base of speed rather than endurance and with fellow Geelong resident and three-time runner-up Lee Troop settling in as sole pacemaker until the 9km mark in windy conditions, Tucker was feeling fresh and ready to sprint when he made his move approaching the old Burnie Hospital site.
"He (Troop) had spent his bickies working hard out the front in the wind on his own and I sort of had hoped the race would pan out this way," Tucker said.
"I had no plan as such but was very pleased to be able to settle into a nice relaxed pack of runners knowing 'Troopy' might be a bit vulnerable coming back from the marathon in Athens only six weeks ago."
Troop did his bit for Tucker, taking the lead by the 1km mark, and looked a likely winner as he opened up a 50-metre lead at the 8km mark.
But battling the strong wind alone took its toll on Troop who was aware of the small group of runners sharing the workload behind him.
The pack included Tucker, Clint Perrett (eventual third), Simon Field and former Tasmanian Michael Chettle.
"I had hoped to go a bit faster but found it tough," Troop said.
"But I have to keep going and will definitely be back next year trying again."
Tucker's time of 30minutes and one second was well outside Darren Wilson's 1997 record of 28:11 but has given him the confidence for the future.
"I'm struggling to think of anything else other than this as this is my best-ever road win and I'm just ecstatic with the win," Tucker said.
Tucker said the advice he had received from others was that while the course was relatively flat the run up Wilson St could take the edge off the best runners.
"I turned into the straight and the bit of a hill seemed to go on for ever," he said.
"The legs were screaming a bit but I had a grin on my face."
Article from The Advocate
Posted at 11:19 [Perma-Link]
McGregor sights set on three Burnie Ten winsHAYLEY McGregor has won her second consecutive Burnie Ten, but said she would not stop at two.
The 25-year-old Victorian is already aiming to use next year's race where she will attempt a Burnie Ten hat-trick as a lead-up to the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
And she predicts a quality line-up of elite athletes will contest Australia's premier 10km foot race next year.
"This will be a big race in our lead-up, it will be a very important one," McGregor said.
"I think the time will be very quick next year."
In her comeback race from the Athens Olympics, McGregor yesterday dominated from early in the race to finish in 33 minutes and seven seconds and place 12th overall.
Hot on her heels was Victorian Anna Thompson, who finished in 33:23 to narrowly take second from 37-year-old Kerryn McCann (33:29).
McGregor said her second Burnie Ten victory helped make up for not having such a great Olympic Games run.
"It's fantastic to get the double win down here," McGregor said.
"I was not very confident (going into the Burnie Ten). I had a bit of time off with injury around the time of the Olympics and I didn't have a great race there and sort of made a few changes to my training.
"I'm now training for a marathon, so everything is new and different, which knocks your confidence around a bit, and first race out when you're trying all these new things is always, I mean, you could totally blow up or you could be going really well."
McGregor turned at the 5km mark with Thompson, McCann and 2003 runner-up Eloise Poppett in the lead pack.
"At about three kilometres to go I sort of thought I'd better make a move here or I'm going to leave it too late.
"And I put in a bit of a surge and the last 3km was very tough, I just dug deep.
"It was quite a strong headwind on the way back so the time out was actually quicker than the way back but I suppose I always expect a bit of a head wind on the way back, but the last 5km hurts no matter what.
Article from The Advocate
Posted at 11:17 [Perma-Link]
Tucker tops Troop in Burnie Tenby Mark Williams
BACK-to-back wins by tiny Hayley McGregor and a perfectly timed finish by Mark Tucker, which left favourite Lee Troop in the runner-up position for the third year running, highlighted the 20th Skilled Burnie Ten yesterday.
In sunny but windy conditions, a near-record 2406 athletes lined up for the race with both winners timing their runs to perfection.
The Victorians opened winning gaps over the last kilometre, storming to the Wilson St finish line and victory.
McGregor's 120-metre winning margin, beating home 2002 and 2003 third placegetter Anna Thompson, was substantial with triple Olympian Kerryn McCann taking third place.
For Tucker, the title was his best road win, giving him enormous confidence for future feature races.
His race plan to settle back just off the pace set by Troop before storming home over the last kilometre was masterly.
His blistering burst pushed the perennial runner-up 50metres astern into second place, with Clint Perrett third.
Both winners were rapt with their results with the 25-year-old McGregor promising to return next year for an attempt at a three-peat.
"I would not miss it and absolutely will be back again next year," she said.
"This makes up a bit for not having a great Olympic Games but this is just so good."
Tucker (25) also wants to return, saying his first trip to Burnie was special.
"My grandmother used to live here and this race has everything needed for a really fast time," he said.
"Today's time was not quick but it was very windy and I knew if we got away as a group slowly I could finish well."
For Troop, the result was hard to fathom as the dual Olympic marathon runner had done everything in his power to claim a win.
Article from The Advocate
Posted at 11:04 [Perma-Link]
Melbourne Marathon heat takes its tollby Mark Buttler and Sarah Wotherspoon
SIX overheated runners were sent to hospital and another 60 treated by ambulance officers at yesterday's Melbourne Marathon.
Metropolitan Ambulance Service operations manager Paul Holman said most of those treated needed help as they staggered exhausted over the finish line.
St John Ambulance Service teams were kept busy giving intravenous drips to rehydrate runners who had pushed themselves to the limit.
The runners, among them two women aged 45 and 30, and a 24-year-old man, were taken to either St Vincent's Hospital or The Alfred hospital.
Some others were helped while still on the course, breaking down in temperatures above the October average.
Mr Holman said the event was well-run but runners needed to be aware of the demands such a race placed on their bodies, especially in warm weather.
"It wasn't overbearingly hot, but this sort of weather creeps up on people," he said.
"It's no criticism of the organisers. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."
Six thousand people competed in yesterday's race which started at Frankston and finished at Albert Park Lake.
Now in its 27th year the marathon is run over 41.2km. The day also includes a half-marathon from Ricketts Point in Beaumaris to Albert Park Lake.
Melbourne runner Magnus Michelsson won the event for the second year in a row, fresh from representing Australia at the world half-marathon championships in New Delhi last week.
The event also saw ex-paralympian Ian Gainey compete in his 20th Melbourne Marathon.
The 52 year-old Werribee man, who competed in the 1984 and '88 Paralympic Games, said yesterday's race was his last.
"Years ago I set some short and long-term goals and one of them was to race in 20 Melbourne Marathons," he said.
"I believe I have achieved just about everything I wanted to achieve."
Article from the Herald Sun
Posted at 10:03 [Perma-Link]
Conditions play havoc with melbourne marathonUnexpectedly warm conditions led to a dramatic finale to the women's race in yesterday's Melbourne marathon, with the clear leader getting the staggers in the last few hundred metres of the race and losing first place.
Melbourne's Kylie Dick led by two minutes as she entered the last kilometre at Albert Park. But she became disoriented, fell several times and was passed by three rivals. Billinda Schipp of NSW won in two hours 54 minutes two seconds, from South Australian LeeAnn Turner (2:54:29) and Japan's Hihumi Fukuyasu (2:54.37).
Dick finished with the assistance of marshals and was taken to the recovery area. She was one of about 60 runners treated for dehydration and exhaustion after the race. Four runners were taken to hospital.
Marathon race director Joe Murphy said it was the warmest day in his six years with the race. There is little shade on the course around the bay from Frankston to Melbourne.
Complete article at The Age
Posted at 07:51 [Perma-Link]
Runners collapse in Melbourne marathonSix runners were hospitalised and 60 others were treated for dehydration during the Melbourne Marathon.
Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman Paul Holman said two runners collapsed midway and a further four at the finish line after suffering severe dehydration because of hot weather.
The runners, among them two women aged 45 and 30, and a 24-year-old man, were taken to either St Vincent's Hospital or the Alfred hospital.
The competitors braved unusually hot conditions for early spring, with the mercury hitting the mid 20s.
The 42.2km marathon course winds from Frankston, while a half marathon course started at Ricketts Point in Beaumaris. Both courses ended at Albert Park.
Mr Holman said ambulance paramedics and St John's Ambulance officers treated about 20 runners with intravenous fluid to rehydrate them at the finish line.
He said runners who didn't take in enough fluids and those who had not trained for the distance were unable to cope with the conditions.
Complete article at NineMSN
Posted at 18:36 [Perma-Link]
Older Australians shattering age stereotypesSome Australians are shattering stereotypes by being fitter and healthier than people half their age.
Wollongong runner Michael Hickman led a rather sedentary life until aged 51, when he decided to train for the 14-kilometre City to Surf with his youngest son (who, incidentally, no longer runs). Having never seriously exercised apart from some recreational tennis years earlier, Hickman eased into things.
"I started by jogging around the block, and then I ran a little further and further each day," he says.
At 54 he ran his first marathon in a time of 4 hours 29 minutes. Now 70, Hickman runs an average of 40 kilometres a week, a far cry from his days of looping the block.
Since that first marathon Hickman has finished nine others, including the gruelling 45-kilometre Six Foot Track race through the Blue Mountains earlier this year. Hickman was one of three runners over 70 who finished. "Running has made a big difference to my health. I'm slim, my blood pressure has dropped, and I feel much better," he says.
The internet is flooded with standardised, multiple-choice tests to help determine biological age from countless questions about risky behaviours such as smoking, lifestyle factors, and other incidentals like whether you floss regularly, have a fulfilling sex life or own a pet. Roizen even quantifies each activity, and by his calculations if you floss daily subtract 6.6 years from your real age.
The accuracy of these sorts of specifics is questionable, but the idea that chronological and biological age often do not match is not.
An 80-year-old who eats a healthy, balanced diet, exercises regularly and gets plenty of mental and social stimulation, among other factors, could have a body more typical of a 50-year-old than of other 80-year-olds, says Gary Andrews, professor and gerontologist at Flinders University in South Australia who is also a council member of the Australian Association of Gerontology.
Conversely, someone in their 50s who smokes, has a fatty diet and doesn't exercise might have a body more consistent with that of an 80-year-old.
Complete article at The Australian
Posted at 13:56 [Perma-Link]
Top runners at Burnie TenSix weeks after her first Olympic campaign, Melbourne's Haley McGregor has had time to relax and recharge the batteries and is raring to defend her Burnie Ten title in today's race.
Arriving in Burnie yesterday with fiance Simon Field, who is also entered in the race's elite field, 25-year-old McGregor appeared calm and confident but said she was expecting a very close race in the women's field.
"It's definitely going to be very tight, and I think it will come down to a race between four of us - that is, Kerryn McCann, Anna Thompson and Eloise Poppett," McGregor said.
"Kerryn is always tough, and she is preparing for the New York marathon.
"Anna ran a really quick time in Adelaide recently, and Eloise also ran a pretty quick 12km a few weeks ago, so I'm going to have to run better than I did in Athens if I'm going to get up tomorrow."
Despite being disappointed with her 10km Athens performance, McGregor said she'd had just enough time to recover from the gruelling experience.
"Although it was a fantastic experience, the Olympics were tough and I'd lost a lot of weight, but since then I've been on a see-food diet - you know, I see food and I eat it - and I'm feeling great," she said.
"And I think that's the key. I'm relaxed and I'm really enjoying my running, so now I just can't wait to get out there tomorrow."
The men's field is likely to be contested strongly by the race favourite, Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop, of Ballarat, who came second last year and has been dubbed the perennial bridesmaid of the event.
Troop, 31, is also fresh from Athens, where he came 28th in the marathon.
After arriving on the North-West Coast on Friday, Troop said yesterday that it would be his sixth Burnie Ten and, after coming second twice and in the top 10 in his other four races, he was extremely keen to "eradicate the hoodoo".
Complete article at the Tasmanian Examiner
Posted at 13:53 [Perma-Link]
Only one runner at all 27 Melbourne MarathonsShirley Young has never missed a Melbourne Marathon.
But she asks to be forgiven if she can't remember them all.
Mrs Young, 74, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago.
"I tell everybody I will still be running the marathon at 100," she said "Now I have got Alzheimer's they say, 'You might run it but you will never remember it'."
The Blackburn resident will become the only woman to complete all 27 Melbourne Marathons if she can successfully negotiate the 42km from Frankston to Melbourne tomorrow.
Mrs Young took up running at 47 while on a family holiday. A year later she completed the inaugural Melbourne Marathon. Mrs Young has now finished 67 marathons, two fewer than husband Ron, and holds 21 world age-group records for ultra-marathons.
Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 13:46 [Perma-Link]
Likely contenders at Melbourne Marathon eventsA good night's sleep and a favourable weather forecast are the keys to deciding the 2004 Melbourne marathon.
Given both, Magnus Michelsson will probably opt for the full 42.195-kilometre distance from Frankston to Melbourne and a performance to put him in line for selection for next year's world championships in Helsinki.
If Michelsson runs the half-marathon instead or the 10.9-kilometre "Marafun", the battle to become the 27th Melbourne marathon winner since the first race in 1978 will be thrown wide open.
The nominal favourite will probably be Glenn Guzzo, a runner from the same mould as the aggressive Michelsson.
Two years ago, Guzzo established a big lead in the first half of the race before being overtaken in the second half of a race won by Phil Sly. With a best time of two hours 20 minutes 54 seconds in Japan's Fukuoka marathon last year, Guzzo has a comfortable margin over his known competitors, though marathons are often more about the unknowns than the knowns.
The women's race is also a wide-open affair with Billinda Schipp, Stacey Pearson, Kim Van Den Heuvell, Kylie Dick, Lee-Ann Turner and Leanne Healey all among the chances.
Olympic marathoners Lee Troop and Kerryn McCann will return to racing in the Burnie Ten 10-kilometre road race tomorrow.
Complete article at The Age
Posted at 13:42 [Perma-Link]
Sour grapes & jealousy splits Glenbrook AthleticsA bitter dispute within Glenbrook Little Athletics Club (GLAC) has seen the Saturday seniors competition move to Springwood.
Coach of the senior athletics competition at Glenbrook Oval, Graeme Heape, said he received a letter stating the action was taken for safety and financial reasons, with none of his athletes directly notified.
Mr Heap was outraged with the decision, saying it was a case of "sour grapes and jealousy" against his squad.
"They just wanted to get rid of us," said Mr Heap. "It's personal, against me or the squad. There are some very angry people down there. They just wouldn't come to the party. I've put $26,000 of my own money into the senior athletics team."
Mr Heap said the GLAC went as far as to change the locks on the massage room and the cabinets at the oval.
"We have one of the fastest U20s in Australia, Melinda Vernon. Athletics Australia recognises Glenbrook Seniors. The senior competition is the development stage for these junior athletes - it's vital. And they're just saying as soon as you turn 15 `see you later'."
But president of GLAC, Adrian Cusack, said the decision was not personal, and that the two clubs were not co-operating effectively. He said the letter to Mr Heap "could have been handled better", but senior athletes were not directly notified because GLAC did not have their contact/registration details.
"The co-operation, and I use the term loosely, between seniors and juniors was very little. When they showed up for competition on Saturdays it was more like a training session for them.
"We are there for all the kids, not just the elites /d we're not there for glory. We just want to get the kids out of the lounge room and onto the race track.
"The locks on the cabinets were changed because there is expensive equipment used by GLAC and we can't just let anyone have access to it. All the rooms at the oval have council locks and Graeme can contact them for access at anytime."
Mr Cusack said registration shortfalls and unpaid uniforms for seniors accounted for 18 per cent ($855) of the club's net loss, which cut significantly into their funds.
He said with over 180 athletes in the juniors, and only 20 in the seniors competition, it could not be run successfully in its current form.
"There is a large drop off in the over 15 years age group in almost any sport - it is difficult at the best of times to retain kids at that age."
Mr Heap said he was not happy with the move to Springwood, but they had been welcomed with open arms and the move was something the seniors competition had to do to "stay alive".
Vice president of Springwood Athletics, Dennis Emery, said he understood the working relationship between GLAC and the seniors was "strained at best and non-existent at worst".
"When we were contacted about the situation these athletes were effectively orphans. We have taken them in, reregistered them and offered for them to train on Thursdays," said Mr Emery.
"We've gained from it - we've gained Graeme and we've strengthened because of it, but we've had to pick up the slack.
"We are over the moon that athletes like Melinda Vernon will be running with us. We are excited about them joining and I believe that excitement is shared with the incoming Glenbrook athletes," he said.
Mr Emery said for senior athletes wanting to know where to go, Springwood Athletics Club offers a range of events on Saturday mornings at Tom Hunter Oval, Faulconbridge starting at 7.30 am for the longer events and walks and the main program at around 8.30am.
For more information on Springwood Athletics Club you can contact Dennis Emery on 4737-8321 or visit www.springwoodathletics.org
Complete article at The BLue Mountains Gazette
Posted at 15:00 [Perma-Link]
Weather to influence Magnus's marathon decisionby Len Johnson
Magnus Michelsson will take a quick look at the weather forecast on Saturday before he decides what to do on Sunday morning.
Nothing unusual about that, but where the choice for the average punter is whether to spend the next day socialising indoors, Michelsson's options are whether to race flat-out over a marathon, a half-marathon or a 10.9-kilometre "marafun".
Michelsson won last year's Melbourne marathon in two hours 14 minutes and would like to run as fast or faster if he opts for the full distance on Sunday. To do that, he needs favourable conditions on the Frankston-to-Melbourne course. If the wind blows from the north, he will go for one of the shorter options.
Michelsson has just returned from New Delhi, where last Sunday he was Australia's only representative in the world half-marathon championships. He finished a solid 38th, well inside the top half of the field, in sweltering conditions.
Complete article at The Age
Posted at 15:28 [Perma-Link]
Students challenge teachers in Burnie Tenby Cathy Alexander
LATROBE High School teachers are confident that age will triumph over youth in this Sunday's Burnie Ten.
There will be three teacher teams and one student team lining up at the start of the race, and PE teacher Rebecca Bellchambers is predicting a teacher victory.
"It'll be pretty close ... the students think they'll beat us," she said with a laugh.
She said the Latrobe High School entrants had been training together in PE lessons and at lunchtimes, although most had focused on individual training after school.
Miss Bellchambers said teachers enjoyed entering the Burnie Ten because it was a fun way of encouraging children to be active.
The students were part of the school's leadership team and had decided to participate after hearing of the teachers' entries.
Miss Bellchambers said the fastest Latrobe High School runner would probably be Shaun Conkie or Brent Armitstead both teachers.
Article from The Advocate
Posted at 13:26 [Perma-Link]
Long road leads to marathonBy Marty Shevelove
EIGHT months ago Libby Bennett could barely run 100m. On Sunday she'll run in the Melbourne Marathon.
Lara Zeccola hadn't done any serious running since her high school days 15 years ago. She too will run in the Melbourne Marathon and is looking at having a go at a triathlon within the next year.
Both women say that without a group exercise training program called Step into Life, they would still be huffing and puffing just chasing after their children.
Bennett, a 39-year-old mother of three, suffered a slipped disc in her back four years ago. Looking at getting back in to shape, she joined the Step into Life program in her Chelsea Heights neighbourhood late last summer.
Under the guidance of personal trainer Lisa Taylor, Bennett started slowly, and then increased her training to three days a week as she steadily built up her stamina.
``When she started, I thought to myself, `I don't know if she'll last,''' Taylor recalled. ``She had pulled up (from a short run) and was in a lot of pain due to her back. But she started off jogging, did a few fun runs and now has her sites set on the half-marathon at Melbourne, which is 21kms.''
Zeccola will join Bennett in the large field on Sunday.
After having three children, the 32 year-old Bonbeach resident was itching to regain her fitness. She too joined the Step into Life training program and almost immediately noticed results.
``The first time I ran a couple of hundred metres and I just conked out,'' Zeccola said. ``It's been a complete change in my lifestyle. There's no drink and I've been eating healthy. I reckon I am in the best shape of my life and I owe a lot of it to Lisa. She challenges us.''
Zeccola and Bennett had their first long-distance run at August's City to Surf 14km run in Sydney. Taylor joined them and all three pulled up without without a worry.
``It was pretty hilly and really hard but we managed to run the whole way in good times,'' Zeccola said. ``Libby and I have been building up to our next challenge, the Melbourne half-marathon, and we know we can both do it,'' Zeccola said. ``I ran 20km two weekends ago. I was just a little sore, but it was very gratifying. It gives me a boost to know I can do something like that.''
Bennett said she had recently run 21kms by herself. ``I didn't stop once. When I have a goal in mind I keep going until I reach it. Hopefully having already run 21kms will make the half-marathon easier. I ran a 2:25:55 and was happy to relax afterwards,'' she said. ``Lisa is a good teacher. She motivates me, pushes me to do my best.''
Zeccola has added swimming to her running and will soon take up bicycle riding to train for her first attempt at a triathlon. ``It's my next sort of challenge,'' she says.
Bennett says she'll leave the triathlons to Zeccola. ``I'm sticking with running.''
* Those interested in group personal training and increasing their fitness can contact Taylor on 9776 4656.
Article from the Mordialloc-Chelsea News.
Posted at 13:14 [Perma-Link]
De Lima wants gold medalLAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has received a request from Brazilian runner Vanderlei de Lima that he be jointly awarded the marathon gold from the Athens Games in August. According to CAS, de Lima, who was attacked by a spectator while leading after 37km of the race and eventually finished in the bronze medal position, wants to be awarded a gold medal to ``overcome the damage suffered'' by the incident.
Article from The Australian
Posted at 13:08 [Perma-Link]
Marathon Running MP in HospitalHealth Minister Tony Abbott was rushed to hospital today after being struck by stomach pains caused by a kidney stone.
The ultra-fit minister was having an operation to have the kidney stone removed at about 1800 (AEST) tonight but expects to be back on the election campaign tomorrow.
Mr Abbott, 46, was campaigning in the northern NSW electorate of Page, held by Nationals MP Ian Causley, when he began suffering stomach pains and was taken to Lismore Base Hospital.
A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said the minister was diagnosed with a small kidney stone. Mr Abbott was later admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital in Lismore for an operation to remove the blockage. He is expected to leave hospital first thing in the morning and rejoin the campaign trail.
Before falling ill in Page, Mr Abbott had been in the seat of Richmond with Children and Youth Affairs Minister Larry Anthony, where they announced the opening of an after hours GP clinic in Tweed Heads.
St Vincent's chief executive Trevor Sanders said Mr Abbott had appeared in relatively good shape when he was admitted to the hospital.
"I saw him when he was admitted, he walked in ... he came in a private car," he told AAP.
Mr Abbott is renowned for his fitness regime, often going for a run in the mornings before the sun has come up and is an oft-sighted figure in the gym at federal Parliament during sitting weeks.
And two weeks into the arduous six-week campaign, Mr Abbott was running the 42km Sydney Marathon in under four hours.
But the Health Minister is not the only politician to fall ill in recent months.
Opposition Leader Mark Latham was admitted to hospital in August after being struck with stomach pains during a meeting with former prime minister Bob Hawke. The Labor leader was diagnosed with pancreatitis but has made a full recovery.
Posted at 22:37 [Perma-Link]
Lee Troop determined to break Burnie droughtLee Troop will compete in this year's Skilled Burnie Ten after running in the Olympic marathon in Athens.
Athens Olympians Lee Troop and Hayley McGregor are definite starters in the 2004 Skilled Burnie Ten with more elite athletes expected to confirm their attendance in the coming week ahead of the race on October 10.
After finishing second and first respectively in the men's and women's sections of the Burnie Ten last year, race organisers are thrilled to have two of the genuine stars of Australian running already signed.
Troop, who won plenty of admiration with his gutsy 28th placing in the gruelling Athens marathon in August, is understood to have some unfinished business on the 10 km loop from Wilson St to Wivenhoe and back after finishing second to Craig Mottram in 2002 and again in 2003.
Mottram will not take part in the event this year.
''He's really pumped to come down and win it this year because he keeps on finishing second,'' Burnie Ten elite athlete coordinator Marion Taylor said.
''I was speaking to him the other day and he said: 'I'll be there to try and get it this time'.''
Taylor said 2004 had been a great year so far for the 31-year-old Victorian.
Article from The Advocate
Posted at 15:18 [Perma-Link]
Johnson ready to tackle the Big AppleHot on the heels of her victory in the BUPA Great North Run,
Benita Johnson has announced she plans to make her marathon
debut at the 2004 ING New York City Marathon in November.
The reigning World Cross Country Champion made the announcement at a press conference in Edinburgh, where she also confirmed her entry in the Great North Cross Country event to be held there early next year.
Fellow Aussies Kerryn McCann, Andrew Letherby, and Haley McGregor will also join Johnson in the prestigious event.
The 25-year-old took out the world's biggest half-marathon - the BUPA Great North Run earlier this week in 67:55s, holding off three times short-course champion Edith Masai, who finished the race second in 68:27s, with fellow Kenyan Susan Chepkemei third in 68:32s.
Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 15:16 [Perma-Link]
Olympians head to Apple Isle for Burnie TenAthens Olympians Lee Troop, Hayley McGregor and Kerryn McCann will be on the starting line in this weekends 2004 Skilled Burnie Ten (Sunday October 10), with more elite athletes expected to confirm.
Troop, who won plenty of admiration with his gutsy 28th placing in the grueling Athens marathon in August, has some unfinished business on the 10 km Burnie Ten loop course, after finishing second to Craig Mottram in 2002 and again in 2003. The Geelong athlete’s main rivals this weekend include Shane Nankervis, Simon Field, Clint Perrett, David Ruschena, Russell Chin, Mark Tucker and Scott McTaggart. Mottram will not take part this year.
Victoria’s Hayley McGregor won the women’s event at last years Burnie Ten, and in 2004 expects a battle on her hands from fellow Olympian Kerryn McCann, who will use this event in her preparation for the New York marathon next month.
Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 15:15 [Perma-Link]
Michelsson strong at World Half Marathon ChampsAthletes from a record number of 64 nations contested both individual and team IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Sunday 3 October.
Victoria’s Magnus Michelsson was Australia’s only entrant in the event, finishing in 38th place clocking one hour seven minutes and 41 seconds, just over five minutes behind the leader, Kenya’s Paul Kirui. Kirui crossed the finish line in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in one hour two minutes and 15 seconds, to claim the World Half Marathon title.
Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 15:14 [Perma-Link]
Peter Lahiff is a marathon grandadTAHALIA LAHIFF, a Year 4 student at Southern Cross Catholic School writes about her grandfather, Peter Lahiff who at 69 likes to run ultra marathons.
OUR Grandad, Peter Lahiff is 69 years of age and is running longer marathons than he has ever done.
When he is not running up Castle Hill, Mt Stuart or along The Strand he has his eyes glued to a good book or is having fun working on challenging maths problems.
However, his most favourite pastime is spending time with his grandchildren. Although he is a very serious runner he always finds time to come to our school and sporting functions. We spend a lot of time at the park, on The Strand, having breakfast at McDonald's or just in the back yard with him.
You will always find him at the finish line of the running track at the Southern Cross Catholic School's fun run and sports carnivals where his grandchildren, Tahne in Year 1, and myself, go to school. This year's sports carnival was especially memorable as my brother and I both came first in our races.
Grandad first took up running when he was aged 35. Since that time he has been a member of two running clubs. the Townsville Roadrunners and The Australian Ultra Runners Association. As well as being a member of two running clubs he runs everyday to keep fit and healthy. Grandad runs between 40km and 50km on a normal week.
When training for a particular event his schedule changes depending on what the event is. If it is going to be a hill run he does lots of hill work before the event and if it is going to be a long flat run he stays off the hills and just runs on the flat.
The other important part of his training is his intake of food. If he is training for an ultra marathon it means that he is going to use a lot more energy and his diet needs to change so that he takes in more food, more kilojoules every day otherwise he will lose too much weight. If you have ever spotted him running around North Ward somewhere you will see he sometimes carries a belt full of tins of baby food and a plastic spoon.The reason for this is when he is doing a big run he needs to keep up his intake of kilojoules otherwise he will collapse.
In July this year I travelled to the Gold Coast with my Dad to cheer him on in a 100km run called the Gold Coast 100 which took him about 11-and-a-half hours to complete -- something that most people his age would not attempt. As our family doctor said: ``I get exhausted just driving that distance.''
This was the longest distance Grandad had run by about 40km. Before the race I asked him if he thought he would finish within the allowable time and he said he thought he had a 50/50 chance.
The race had to be finished within 12 hours. He was pleased with his run that day because he finished within the allowable time and set several new Australian age group records along the way.
He said after the race that the thing that helped him finish was the support he got from his family. My Dad and I were at the race all day cheering him on and keeping up his food intake. Also in his cheer squad was my Aunty Jo, Aunty Rose, Uncle Burnie, Uncle Terry and my cousin Kai.
Grandad said this was the greatest achievement of his running career because he managed to set several records. The records were for the 50km, 50 miles, 100km and for the six hours and 12 hours in his age group. He was the oldest person running on that day.
Along with the local races that he has completed, he has tackled the Six Foot Track race, from Katoomba to the Jenolan Caves in 2001 and 2003 without much trouble.
He is currently training for another 12-hour race in a couple of weeks time in Adelaide.
The race on the Gold Coast was to run 100km within 12 hours. This race is how many kilometres he can run in 12 hours. If he runs the Gold Coast 100 again in 2006 my brothers Tahne and Tahran, my Mum and Dad and myself hope to be there to cheer him on.
We are very proud of our Grandad's achievements. He has ``so lucky'' inscribed on the inside of his watch because he feels so lucky to be able to get out and about and meet people of a similiar mind. But we think that we are the ones ``so lucky'' to have a grandad like him.
Article from the Townsville Bulletin.
Posted at 14:10 [Perma-Link]
Retired olympic rower takes up runningWITH REBEKAH DEVLIN, ELIZABETH ROWE AND GRETTA LESLIE-ALLEN
SO much for retirement. Fourth-placed Olympic rower at Athens Sally Newmarch has traded her lightweight double skull for a pair of running shoes and is in training to become a marathon runner.
The now-retired rower is taking up running seriously and is being coached by marathon-icon Steve Moneghetti.
And she has The Advertiser City to Bay fun run to thank for it.
``I came fifth without any training, it surprised me and I thought why not give it a go properly?,'' Sally says. ``I just decided last weekend, so it's all very new, but exciting.''
The 29-year-old has always been a runner, long before she took up rowing, and to be coached by one of her idols is ``amazing''.
``Steve has always been my hero, I couldn't ask for a better coach or inspiration,'' she says.
Mona is based in Ballarat, Victoria, so he e-mails her a training regime. However she's still a little unsure about opting for the longest of Olympic running events. ``Steve's suggested the marathon, which sounds very daunting to me but he's in charge, so I'll just trust his opinion,'' she says.
``But it's a bit of a change from a seven minute rowing race to a three-hour race.
On whether we could see her competing at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Sally is cagey. ``I can't predict anything yet, I'm just going to give it a try and see how I go.''
Sal has been letting her hair down since returning from Athens.
``Everyone keeps throwing parties so I've been going interstate a fair bit catching up with everyone,'' she laughs. ``It's a good time of the year because no one is competing or training too heavily, so we can afford to party a little before it gets serious again.
``Though I think everyone's put on a few kilos, so we'll have to lay off it soon.''
Article from The Advertiser
Posted at 13:56 [Perma-Link]
Magnus wins Dingley Dozen Fun RunBRAESIDE Park was buzzing last Sunday as the Dingley Village Lions Club staged its annual Dingley Dozen Fun Run.
The overall winner of the men's 12km event was Magnus Michelson of Aspendale. He was followed by Andrew Scott of Box Hill South and Christopher Worsnop of North Balwyn.
The overall winners of the ladies' 12km event were Sarah Grahame of Parkdale, Kate Weeks of Aspendale Gardens and Bronwyn Hanns of Patterson Lakes.
The overall winners of the men's 6km event were Craig Appleby of Cockatoo, Eric Drummond of Parkdale and Gavin Burren of Dingley.
The overall winners of the women's 6km event was Sara Lund of Bentleigh East, Ashleigh Stevenson of Endeavour Hills and Courtney Weeks of Cheltenham.
``We were told by one of the participants that it was one of the best organised events she had attended and we hope that next year's event will be bigger and better,'' a Lions' spokeswoman said.
The Lions Club of Dingley Village meets at the neighbourhood centre on the second and fourth Monday of every month, at 7pm.
Article from the Moorabbin/Glen Eira Standard.
(Wednesday 29th September)
Posted at 16:12 [Perma-Link]