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 Monday, February 28, 2005 

City selects MUAC athlete for 2005 Osaka half-marathon

Melbourne University Athletic Club (MUAC) distance runner Andrew Selby Smith will compete for the City of Melbourne in this year’s City of Osaka half-marathon on 27 February.

Andrew and MUAC coach Tony Brain leave for Osaka this week, taking with them MU Sport, MUAC and University of Melbourne apparel and gifts. The gifts, including MU Sport shirts, caps, and lapel pins, will be presented to their hosts in Osaka.

Late last year, Osaka, Melbourne’s sister city in Japan, invited the City of Melbourne to send an athlete to compete in Osaka’s annual 21.1km distance event.

Complete article at Uni News
Posted at 15:56     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, February 27, 2005 

Tucker wins NZ title with four-minute mile pace

Geelong athlete Mark Tucker scored one of his biggest wins on Wednesday night, breaking four minutes in the John Walker Mile in Auckland. Tucker, 27, went-neck and-neck over the final 100 metres with New Zealand star Paul Hamblyn and won in 3:58.37.

Hamblyn, his country's national 1500m champion for the past two years, clocked 3:58.41.

Former world mile record holder and 1976 Olympic Games 1500m gold medallist John Walker presented Tucker with his medal.

Tucker, who is coached in Geelong by Bruce Scriven, also met the great miler Sir Roger Bannister when he ran third in 3.59.87 in a mile race in Ireland last year.

Tucker was joined by fellow Australians Collis Birmingham and Matt Griffin in the field against New Zealand's leading runners, Hamblyn, Rees Buck, Stuart Kerr and Ben Ruthe.

The night's racing at Ericcson Park was known as the John Walker Night of Miles.

Complete article at Geelong Info
Posted at 13:00     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, February 25, 2005 

Keeping a tight rein on Commonwealth Games athletes

Fears that athletes could use the Melbourne Commonwealth Games to illegally stay in Australia have prompted an African sporting body to impose security measures on its athletes, and the federal Immigration Department to consider upgrading scrutiny of international flights bound for Australia.

The Immigration Department confirmed it was considering increasing the number of "airline liaison officers" at foreign airports during the period around the Games in March 2006.

Australia now has 17 officers checking passengers at 12 international airports.

An Immigration Department spokesman said that figure could rise for the Games.

"Consideration is being given to extending the network to some other key hubs for a short time in 2006 to facilitate Commonwealth Games family members' onward travel to Australia," he said.

With the Federal Government set to commit $84.8 million to Games security, The Age has learned that Sierra Leonian athletes will be stripped of personal travel documents and chaperoned around Melbourne, under measures designed by the Sierra Leonian National Olympic Committee to avoid an illegal immigration controversy.

Committee president M. H. G. Moore said the measures would help prevent a repeat of the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, when 70 per cent of the 30-strong Sierra Leone contingent disappeared. "The (Sierra Leone) Government is very, very anxious to make sure people just don't run away," he said.

A British Home Office investigation found that four Bangladeshis and one Pakistani also used the 2002 Games to illegally stay in Britain.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 08:45     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, February 24, 2005 

Sydney Triathletes ready for the fun city races

Looking for the opportunity to try a triathlon? Then look no further than the Inner City Cycles Triathlons, commencing in Pyrmont on Sunday March 6.

The races are conducted over a 300m swim, 8km cycle and 3km run. Three races are on offer, over the following dates:

Race 1 – Sunday March 6, 2005
Race 2 - Sunday March 20, 2005
Race 3 - Sunday April 3, 2005

There’s great prizes on offer for all age group winners and place getters and fun, professionally-organised races are guaranteed. Online entry is available at www.GlobalEliteEvents.com, or call (02) 9999-6066.
Posted at 02:23     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, February 23, 2005 

Terrorists target Aussie athletes

Australia's elite athletes have been identified as prime terrorist targets.

And the Federal Government is considering building a bomb-proof fence around the Australian Institute of Sport. A risk assessment study commissioned by the AIS in Canberra found swimming stars such as Jodie Henry and Petria Thomas could be a bigger target for terrorists than MPs at nearby Parliament House.

The finding has prompted the Australian Sports Commission to ask the Government for several million dollars for better protection.

The AIS is home to some of the country's top athletes, including triple gold medallist Henry and other high-profile swimmers, including Alice Mills and Justin Norris.

While there has been no specific threat to athletes, the AIS is concerned that extremists could try to make their point by assassinating world-famous stars of the track or pool.

"Sadly, the terrorism issue is a real issue that we have had to address," Australian Sports Commission chief executive Mark Peters told a Senate committee.

Complete article at News.com.au
Posted at 14:55     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, February 21, 2005 

Pittman chasing 400m hurdles record

Jana Pittman has changed coaches this year, preferring to work with her fiance Chris Rawlinson rather than her world championships and Olympic coach Phil King.

That has brought changes - some of which both Pittman and Rawlinson touched on after she competed in the 100 metres hurdles and 200 metres here.

But what has not changed is the coach's assessment of Pittman the athlete. Just like King, Rawlinson believes Pittman can break the world record in the 400 metres hurdles. King prepared her to do it for Athens before a knee injury wrecked those plans.

Rawlinson says Pittman can do it anyway. "It is definitely achieveable this year," the English Commonwealth men's champion said. Tightening up her technique would mean Pittman would not lose as much speed as she came into and out of each of the 10 hurdles, Rawlinson said.

"She's losing a 10th of a second a barrier," Rawlinson said. Ten hurdles, one second, Pittman's best is 53.22 seconds, the world record is 52.34 by Yuliya Pechonkina of Russia. Simple as that.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 06:41     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, February 18, 2005 

Cautious approval for drug searches

The Australian Sports Commission faces legal barriers to its determination to make more than 700 elite Australian athletes submit to random raids of their rooms by anti-doping officials.

ASC chief executive Mark Peters told a parliamentary committee this week that all Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holders would be required to permit room searches along guidelines developed in consultation with the Australian Federal Police.

The rights of athletes to privacy and a double standard about the comparable level of anti-doping surveillance of non-AIS athletes are two issues that could make the ASC baulk away from introducing the searches.

"We are in discussions with the Attorney-General's department, ASDA (Australian Sports Drug Agency) and the Federal Police about legal and privacy issues," an ASC spokesman said.

Peters said he hoped a conclusion could be announced within a month on what form the room searches for traces of banned substances or drug-taking equipment would take.

He said all 700-plus AIS scholarship athletes would be required to sign a contract agreeing to the searches.

Complete article at The Courier Mail
Posted at 09:33     [Perma-Link]

Batman claims both sprint titles

Daniel Batman, a sprinter with a turbulent past, reckons he has been calmed by marriage, fatherhood and the realisation that it is more important to enjoy his sport than to rage against whatever circumstances he finds himself in.

Batman may be calmer, but he is certainly not becalmed. Last night, he hit the highest point of his most recent comeback by taking the sprint double at Melbourne's International Association of Athletics Federations grand prix meeting.

He turned back Ambrose Ezenwa, Patrick Johnson, Matt Shirvington, Marlon Devonish and Kareem Streete-Thompson to win the 100 metres in 10.33 seconds and then came back to beat most of them again in the 200 in 20.56, a personal-best and his third world championships A-standard in the event this season.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 08:21     [Perma-Link]

Minus hurdles, Pittman a winner again

Jana Pittman made a winning return to the track at Olympic Park last night when she took out the 800 metres at Melbourne's IAAF Grand Prix meeting.

The distance may have been twice that of her flagship event, the 400 metres hurdles, but the absence of the 10 barriers probably brought it back to parity for effort.

Looking fit and strong, Pittman followed pacemaker Katerina Dressler - one of the country's top 400 runners - through 600 metres, by which stage she was 10 metres clear of the rest of the field. Pleasingly, Pittman held that margin to the finish, crossing the line in two minutes 4.03 seconds. Her coach and fiance, Chris Rawlinson, was there to greet her, having won the 400 metres hurdles in the race immediately before hers.

"I'm just pleased I made it all the way around," Pittman said. "It's a long way."

Rawlinson said Pittman had told him just before he headed off for his race that she had run only one two-lapper previously, in a relay when she was 16.

Last night, then, was both a personal best and a benchmark for Pittman's fitness. She is due to race again on Saturday, over 100 metres hurdles and perhaps 200 as well, in Adelaide.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 08:02     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, February 17, 2005 

Benita Johnson inspires Craig Mottram's return

Craig Mottram needs to look no further than training partner Benita Johnson for inspiration in the leadup to next month's World Cross-Country Championships.

It was during their annual training camp at the Victorian ski resort of Falls Creek last year that Johnson laid the groundwork for her history-making victory at the world cross-country titles.

Mottram is in Melbourne to run the 5000m at tonight's A series meet at Olympic Park, Melbourne.

It will be his first track race since the Athens Olympics, when he finished eighth in the 5000m final behind distance legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele.

"It's going to be a great opportunity to find out what sort of shape I'm in," said the Australian 5000m record-holder. I'm hoping to get an indication of how fit I am and how strong I am."

The field at Olympic Park also includes the experienced Lee Troop and Tanzanian duo Patrick Nyangelo and Samwel Mwera.
Posted at 14:42     [Perma-Link]

Queensland Marathoners to take on Japan's best

A Queensland marathoner is tapering her training and packing her bags in preparation for this weekend's Senshu Marathon in Japan (20th February).

Helen Stanton won an all expenses paid trip to compete in the event by being the first Queensland female to cross the finish line at last July's 2004 Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

The Gold Coast event has a 'sister event relationship' with the Senshu Marathon which sees the best-performed local male and female runners in both marathons being flown across the world to compete in the respective overseas events.

Helen will be joined on the starting line in Senshu by her partner and coach Scott Carlson.

She says she is hoping to turn in a personal best on her second trip to chilly Japan after competing in the 2002 Inuyama Half Marathon.

"I have been training really well and I'm hoping to run a personal best time in Japan," Helen said. "My personal best is 2:45:45 which I achieved on the Gold Coast on debut last year. Although it's winter in Japan, I'm anticipating good conditions for the Senshu Marathon. But if the temperature is down a bit, originally coming from Victoria I'm used to running in the cold," she said.

Thirty two year old Brisbane resident Helen has been a competitive runner for the past four years. She regularly trains on the Gold Coast when visiting family who live at Ashmore.

After taking up the sport, which 'grew from a hobby', she has managed to win the 2004 Australian Half Marathon Championships in Sydney and placed a creditable second in the 2004 Queensland Half Marathon Championship.

Air traffic controller Scott has been running competitively for fifteen years and is a former training partner of Australian running legend Steve Monaghetti. Although preferring to run over 10 kilometre and half marathon distances, he is looking forward to running in a marathon on international soil.

"My training has been going well and I'm really looking forward to representing the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in Japan. I'm feeling confident of a strong run next week," he said.

Gold Coast Events Management General Manager, Cameron Hart, said the Gold Coast-Senshu twinning provided "enormous incentive for elite local athletes to perform at their best."

"It's a great prize and the athletes virtually become ambassadors for their home events while overseas," Mr Hart said.
Posted at 08:02     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, February 16, 2005 

CoolRunning launches the Competitive Edge

Today, CoolRunning has made public it's newest section: The Competitive Edge at www.coolrunning.com.au/competitiveedge.

The Competitive edge page is dedicated to all things relating to running races and competitive running. It will have a specific focus on Australian athletes, but will also include a wide range of results from around the world. It is intended to be a one-stop spot for all information on competitive distance running in Australia.

The competitive edge will focus on the following topics:
- results at domestic and international races
- race reports
- information on upcoming domestic and international races
- updates on the movements and plans of Australia's elite athletes
- product reviews of new or improved running related products
- interviews with a broad range of Australian and International athletes
- a forum allowing individuals to discuss issues related to distance running

Whilst CoolRunning has previously just focussed on "the everyday runner", during 2004 it announced a partnership with the management of the 28 Racing Team to add a much closer link to Australia's best fun runners / road runners, in addition to all the current sections. The intent is to create a running site, owned and operated by runners for all other Australian runners, regardless of how fast or slow they may be.

In due course the 28 Racing Team website will be fully migrated into the Competitive Edge and will cease to be a standalone website. Dan Green, the 2004 Australian Marathon Champion, is the driving force behind the Compeititive Edge section - the first fruits of this can be seen in the opening interviews Dan has completed with Benita Johnson, Phil Sly and Susie Power.

Currently the 28 Racing Team forum is still operational but will be merged into the CoolRunning Messageboard system to expand the current competive edge offering.

A key part of the Competitive Edge will be news and information about the Supported CoolRunners - a virtual team of "hopeful Olympians", elite grade runners that currently receive little help or assistance outside of what they win on the Australian road-racing circuit.

We hope that everyone enjoys this new section of the CoolRunning website and participates in providing race reports, race results and discussions on the message boards.
Posted at 13:12     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, February 11, 2005 

Games swamped by volunteer interest

Organisers of Melbourne's 2006 Commonwealth Games have closed online applications for volunteers after being swamped with more than 20,000 in a little over a week.

Games chief executive John Harnden today said the organising committee had been overwhelmed with interest, which has included about 200 applications from overseas.

The Games must recruit 15,000 volunteers for a more than 400 roles at more than 80 venues, ranging from administration to transporting athletes and officials, spectator care and medical support.

"Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Games," Mr Harnden said. "They will be the face of the Games. I expect they will be critical to the success of the Games."

More than 9,000 applications were lodged on the day the volunteer drive was launched on January 31. Some applications by mail will still be accepted until March 15, and a number of specialist volunteers are still needed.

About 15 per cent of the volunteer applications came from interstate, with interest from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia particularly strong.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 09:11     [Perma-Link]

PM unveils Commonwealth Games relay baton

A high-tech baton will be passed through 71 countries in the lead-up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The Queen's baton relay will start at Buckingham Palace in March and finish in Melbourne a year later, covering more than 180,000 kilometres and crossing every continent and ocean.

Prime Minister John Howard unveiled the baton at a ceremony in Canberra, saying it has some impressive features.

"It is made of gold and magnesium and incorporates the latest technology, including a satellite tracking device and 'baton cam'," he said.

He says it will be the first time the baton has visited many nations. "A little under five years ago the Olympic torch was enthusiastically greeted as it travelled through the Pacific on its way to Sydney, and I have little doubt that the Melbourne 2006 Queen's baton will likewise be well received as it travels throughout the Commonwealth before arriving in Australia just before Australia Day 2006," he said.

Posted at 09:03     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, February 09, 2005 

CoolRunning USA & Australia biggest months ever!

Both CoolRunning USA and CoolRunning Australia received their largest ever website traffic in one month during January 2005.

CoolRunning USA has been online since 1995, making it the longest-running website dedicated to the sport. Headquartered in New Hampshire, CoolRunning reached a distinctive high point in its 10-year history this past month. It became the first running site to eclipse the one million-visitor mark for a single month. During January the CoolRunning site reach 1,012,553 unique visits with 6,368,202 pages downloaded from the site.

CoolRunning Australia, which was started in 1997 had approx 1.5million pages viewed during January. A summary for January is here.

Announcement from CoolRunning USA here
Posted at 17:52     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, February 08, 2005 

Gold Coast Marathon in running for Tourism Award

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon has the finish line in its sights as it looks to snare a prestigious Australian Tourism Award this Friday evening (11th February) in Alice Springs.

The 2004 Queensland Tourism Award winner for Major Festivals and Events will compete alongside such events as Adelaide's Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar motor race and Victoria's Equitana for national honours.

"Just getting to this point has been a mini-marathon in itself and a major achievement for everyone who has been involved in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over the past quarter of a century," Gold Coast Events Management General Manager, Cameron Hart, said today. "The Queensland Tourism Award we won last November was actually for our hugely successful 2003 event - our 25th anniversary - but a win on Friday night would give our Board, staff, volunteers, sponsors, competitors and legions of other supporters a huge boost as planning continues for the 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon," he said.

"Last year over 11,800 people competed in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and associated races. Win, lose or draw on Friday night, the added national exposure of the Australian Tourism Awards should send our participation figure to a staggering 12,000 plus runners for our 3 July event."

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon spearheads a high calibre Gold Coast assault on the Australian Tourism Awards with Dreamworld (Major Tourism Attraction and Tourism Marketing), Harbour Town Outlet Shopping Centre (Tourism Retailing) and Albert River Wines (Tourism Wineries) all vying for honours.

"Sports tourism is a major source of income for the Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is one of the main reasons this region does so well and has the impeccable events reputation it has," Mr Hart said. "It helps put the national and international focus well and truly on the Coast at what would otherwise be a fairly quiet time of the year," he said.

Gold Coast Events Management Board Chairman, Kerry Watson, said the Gold Coast Airport Marathon was an outstanding international sporting event that 'appeals enormously' to local residents, interstaters and visitors from the Asia-Pacific region.

"The Marathon reflects the energy of Australia's Gold Coast and is integral to marketing the colour and sophistication of our destination," he said.

Posted at 19:56     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, February 07, 2005 

Pittman back on track

Jana Pittman will run in the final three meetings of the track and field domestic series this season, starting at Melbourne on February 17.

Pittman, the reigning world champion in the 400 metres hurdles and fifth in the Olympic final, will race against Tamsyn Lewis and Jamaica's Novolene Williams over 400 metres in Melbourne.

She will run in the Adelaide meeting on February 19 and the national championships in Sydney on March 4-6.

Athletics Australia chief executive Danny Corcoran said it was great news for the series. "Our world champion, running before our crowds," said Corcoran.

Pittman's participation in the series was in doubt when she left Australia for England at the start of the year to train with her fiance, English 400 metres hurdler Chris Rawlinson, at Loughborough University.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 07:17     [Perma-Link]

Benita Johnson wins Five Mills cross-country race in Milan

Australian Benita Johnson has claimed victory at the Italian cross-country classic Five Mills race near Milan.

The world cross country champion won the women's race ahead of Hungary's Aniko Kalovics and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya.

Saif Saaed Shaheen of Qatar survived a fall and a bruised leg in the final kilometres to win the men's race.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 07:13     [Perma-Link]

Race is on to entice Freeman back for another run

The fans would love it, her teammates want her and the organisers would love to have her; but Cathy Freeman's comeback to the track for the 2006 Commonwealth Games is no certainty.

Freeman's 4x400m relay teammate Tamsyn Lewis has begged her to make a return for the Melbourne Games, while Commonwealth Games chairman Ron Walker has also encouraged a Freeman comeback.

Lewis thinks Freeman would need little preparation for the 4x400m relay if she were to make a bid to run next year.

"I've been trying to convince her to run the relay at the Commonwealth Games since she retired," Lewis said yesterday. "She's always brushed it off when I've suggested for her [to] come back or not answered it seriously. Everyone wants her to come back. Everyone on the team wants her to come back. She's a fantastic motivator, a fantastic competitor, we want her back. We need her on the track.

"Athletics Australia needs her. The sport was so popular when she ran. The sport needs her. She has to be involved in the sport on or off the track because we need her to be."

Freeman told The Sun-Herald: "If there was overwhelming support for me to come back - even for the relay - I would think about, but not if it was just for myself."

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 06:43     [Perma-Link]

Westcott second in Japan

Australian runner Scott Westcott finished an impressive second at the Beppu-Oita marathon in Japan. The 30-year-old New South Welshman clocked a personal best of 2 hours 11 minutes 36 seconds, behind only Japan's Satoshi Irifune (2:09:58).

Another Australian, Sisay Bezabeh, was fifth in 2:13.14.

Westcott's time bettered the A qualifying standard for the world championships in Helsinki in August.

Lee Troop is the only other Australian man to have recorded an A qualifier for the world championships marathon.

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 06:38     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, February 05, 2005 

Top Runners at Canberra Athletics Grand Prix

Joshua Ross, the new big thing in Australian sprinting, will try to consolidate on his breakthrough run in Perth last month in the second leg of the Australian domestic series in Canberra today.

Ross became the third-fastest Australian in history when he ran 10.12 seconds in Perth two weeks ago. Only Patrick Johnson, national record-holder at 9.93, and Matt Shirvington, 10.03, have run faster.

Shirvington was among the defeated in Perth, though former 400 metres runner Daniel Batman was the surprise second-placegetter that day. This pair will confront Ross again today. Johnson also has entered both the 100 and 200 metres, though he may restrict himself to the longer sprint.

At the other end of the track distance spectrum, the women's 3000 metres boasts a field that lacks only national record-holder Benita Johnson to make it a virtual national championship.

Sarah Jamieson, the fastest Australian at the distance last year, heads the line-up, but she will face strong opposition from the in-form Anna Thompson, NSW pair Emma Rilen and Suzy Walsham, Georgie Clarke and marathoner Kerryn McCann.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 09:31     [Perma-Link]

AA Staff feather nests in side-deals

Sebastian Coe missed a $1.7m windfall when he left an Australian business that provided the backbone of Athletics Australia. Lord Sebastian Coe didn't know it at the time, but his decision last year to relinquish a directorship in a West Australian mining company has cost him $1.7 million. But his former colleague directors in the company, Fortescue Mining - ex-Olympic champion Herb Elliott, former Optus and Commonwealth Bank IT guru Russell Scrimshaw and the man who pulled it all together, one-time Alan Bond stockbroker Andrew Forrest - are sitting on multi-million dollar and rapidly swelling paper profits.

If some of these names are familiar to sporting types, it is because all of them have links to Athletics Australia, where lap times are the normal conversation starters, not iron ore grades.

But how they got together and developed this successful business network - all the while overseeing a tumultuous time for one of the flagship Olympic sports - is a fascinating tale.

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 09:22     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, February 04, 2005 

2006 Commonwealth Games - Call for Athletics Technical Officials & Sport Specific Volunteers

Expressions of interest are sought from persons wishing to be considered for a technical officials position or sport specific volunteers position in athletics at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Further information and nomination forms are available on the Athletics Australia website - select link from homepage 'check this out' section or go directly to: http://www.athletics.org.au/athletes/coaches/index.cfm

Nomination forms should reach the Athletics Australia office by no later than 31st March 2005 (by mail, fax or email: tina.folmer@athletics.org.au).

Those of you who wish to apply as technical officials should complete only the technical officials form , indicating in the appropriate place on that form whether, if unsuccessful, you would also wish to be considered as a sports specific athletics volunteer. Note: that it is not necessary (or appropriate) to also complete the sports specific athletics volunteer form.

Those of you who wish to apply only as a sports specific athletics volunteer, please only complete the sport specific athletics volunteer form .

GENERAL VOLUNTEERS PLEASE NOTE that if you only or also wish to apply as a general volunteer, you should do so immediately by visiting the Melbourne 2006 website: www.melbourne2006.com.au as applications for general volunteers are expect to close "very soon".

Posted at 22:46     [Perma-Link]

Lee Troop getting married

Olympic marathon runner Lee Troop runs most days of the year. But he's giving himself March 13 off and for a very good reason.

It's the day he marries long-time girlfriend Frieyja Scott.

Troop barely has a spare page in his diary leading up to the big day with the Japan Marathon the week before, his buck's night a week before that and the London Marathon pencilled in just after the wedding.

His hectic two months begin tomorrow night when he heads to Canberra for round two of the Telstra A Series.

Troop, who finished 27th at the Athens Olympics, will contest the 3000m race in his first serious hit-out since overcoming a torn calf muscle late last year.

"Coming back from injury the first two or three months are a big roller-coaster of ups and downs so I want to get out there and race as fast and as hard as I can," Troop said. "Obviously if I didn't think I was going to run half decent, I wouldn't bother going so I want to go there and do well."

Complete article at Geelong Info
Posted at 09:10     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, February 03, 2005 

Kim Gillard breaks one hour record

What was meant to be a relaxing break with family and friends has turned out to be a pretty busy schedule for national representative Kim Gillard.

Visiting his childhood residence in Tasmania from his Boulder, Colorado home, Gillard, who represented Australia in marathon and cross country while living in NSW, won the Cadbury Tasmanian marathon early last month.

His most recent effort was an assault on the Northern Tasmanian One Hour Run record held by Launceston’s Simon Phillips since 1996.

With the aid of pacemaker Mark Jackson, a placegetter in the "Run to the G" fun run, Gillard covered 18548m to break Phillips’ record by less than 350m.

Phillips, who was present at the record attempt at Launceston’s St Leonards track was the first to shake Gillard’s hand and said that he was surprised at the narrow margin and honoured that it took a runner of international standard to break his record after almost ten years.

"As I was four years older than Kim is now when I set it and did it on my own, I expected him to find it much easier than he appeared to" said Phillips after the event. "I feel quite special that the event has received such attention!" he laughed.

Posted at 13:40     [Perma-Link]

Fountain smashes indoor Australian mile record

Mark Fountain, the middle-distance runner at the centre of a controversy involving former national distance coach Said Aouita just over a year ago, set an Australian indoor record for the mile in Boston at the weekend.

Competing at the Boston Indoor Games, Fountain ran three minutes 54.77 seconds in the mile race, taking almost two seconds off the record set by Mike Hillardt in 1986. It was also Fountain's best time, indoors or out, by some five seconds and intrinsically superior to his outdoor best for 1500 metres.

Laban Rotich of Kenya won the race in 3:53.18, ahead of Olympic 1500 metres silver medallist Bernard Lagat of Kenya and Elkanah Angwenyi of Ethiopia.

In 2003, the Australian Institute of Sport and Athletics Australia held an inquiry into allegations Fountain made about Aouita's conduct at a high-altitude training camp in the US. In clearing Aouita, the inquiry found that he had not breached the AIS anti-doping policies or coaches' code of conduct.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 11:53     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, February 01, 2005 

Vale Trevor Billingham

The Little Athletics family across Australia is in mourning with the passing of their founder Trevor Billingham in Geelong on Thursday 27th January 2005.

The Little Athletic movement began in Geelong 40 years ago when a group of children approached Trevor at an athletics meet and wanted to compete. There was no formal competition for children offered by Senior Athletics. Trevor could not see these children lost to the sport when they were so keen so Little Athletics began. The concept was so successful it quickly spread to all parts of Australia.

The trophy at the Australian Little Athletics Championships is named after Trevor and his commitment to the movement will never be forgotten.

We send our deepest heartfelt wishes to Trevor's widow Christine and his family as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

Funeral details are as follows:
The Memorial Service for Trevor Billingham will be at Landy Field Geelong on Friday the 4th of February commencing 1.30pm. For further details, please contact the VLAA office direct on (03) 9676 3633 or mobile 0407 095 824.
Email: graham.lucas@vlaa.asn.au


David Edwards
Committee
Melton South Little Athletics Centre
www.mslac.homestead.com

Posted at 10:21     [Perma-Link]


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