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 Tuesday, October 31, 2006 

Sports stars to test stamina

by Jane Metlikovec

FORGET gruelling sessions at the gym: Formula One ace Mark Webber has been preparing for his six-day endurance challenge in Brazil, Japan and England.

Fitting in bouts of cycling, paddling and hiking around the international F1 circuit has been tough, but the golden boy of Australian motor racing is now fighting fit for his namesake event -- the 2006 Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge -- which runs from November 5-10.
"I've been doing all the disciplines whenever I can and now it is all systems go," Webber said.

"I think I am fitter than last time, but I know it will get really tough by day three when the body starts breaking down."

Webber will be joined by 47 other sports stars, celebrities and big business executives pushing their bodies to the limit during the 600km challenge, which combines cross-country trekking, mountain biking, road cycling and kayaking.

They hope to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Victorian-based charity TLC for Kids as well as Cancer Council Tasmania's Cancer Plus program.

Australian distance runner Craig Mottram is the latest to sign on, joining two British sporting greats, rowing champion James Cracknell and record-breaking yachtswoman Dee Caffari, have also signed on.

The hiking won't be a problem, but Mottram knows he is a little out of his depth, saying: "I have been kayaking a while ago, but never competitively.

Complete article at the Herald Sun

Posted at 09:15     [Perma-Link]

Mottram's nightmare hairdo

CRAIG Mottram's crazy new mullet continues to attract as much attention as his running. We kid you not. In the latest edition of Athletics Weekly magazine — and remember this is an English publication — a reader, Anna Mitchell of Newcastle Upon Tyne, won herself a T-shirt when her comments about his hair were adjudged letter of the week. They were hardly complimentary, though. Not only was she shocked that the magazine's recent article on Mottram's hair had used the words "mullet" and "cool" in the same sentence but she said images of his hairstyle had "disturbed my sleep and distracted me from my daily living".
Complete article at The Age

Posted at 09:14     [Perma-Link]

Stawell Gift lands new sponsor

Australia’s richest athletics event, the Stawell Gift, will be sponsored by the Victorian Government for the next two years.

The Government announced yesterday it would tip $120,000 into the four-day sprint carnival held over the Easter weekend under the two-year deal.

Stawell Athletic Club secretary Robert Irvine said the sponsorship deal would ensure the event could maintain $10,000 prizemoney for the women’s gift, as well as increasing carnival prizemoney by 15 per cent overall.

The Stawell Gift will be held from April 7-9 next year. Their website still shows the current sponsor - Australia Post.

Posted at 01:27     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, October 20, 2006 

Geelong set for athletics treat

Geelong is in for a three-day smorgasbord of athletics when the second Ron Clarke Classic starts on November 30. It kicks off with the Ron Clarke Classic 2006 Sportsman's Dinner on Thursday, November 30 at The Mercure, then on Friday, December 1, the athletes will take part in Geelong's famous Gala Day Parade.

On the Saturday the $10,000 Nathan Deakes challenge will be held, followed by the athletics meeting at Goldsworthy Reserve, Corio.

The guest speakers at the dinner will include Clarke, four-times Olympic marathon runner Steve Moneghetti, Olympic bronze medallist and four-times Commonwealth gold medallist Nathan Deakes, Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth gold medallist Jane Saville and Sarah Jamieson, Commonwealth Games silver medallist and Australian 1500m record holder.

Jamieson, who is coached by Geelong's Bruce Scriven, broke Marg Crowley's long-standing record in July this year.

The showpiece will be the Australian 50km race walking championships, the first major athletics event in Geelong in many years. It is set to feature the world's best, with $10,000 on offer to anyone who can beat Deakes.

The Nathan Deakes Walking Challenge will be raced around a waterfront course starting at The Wharfshed Cafe.

Australia's best walkers will be competing, including Commonwealth Games silver medallist Duane Cousins and possibly several of China's top flight walkers.

There will be a walking race for the women over 20km with Commonwealth gold medallist Jane Saville competing for 10km and then providing the expert commentary. Her sister Natalie, a Commonwealth silver medallist, will be competing along with bronze medallist Cheryl Webb. There will be incentive lap prizes to ensure the pace is always on.

World championship qualifying track events will be held at Goldsworthy Reserve instead of Landy Field.

One of the features of the meeting will be the battle for the Trevor Billingham Perpetual Trophy when little athletes from Geelong will battle it out with little aths representatives from Corio. Billingham, who died in January last year, was the father of Little Athletics and saw it spread from Geelong in 1965 to a world-wide phenomenon.

The Little Aths will battle it out over a series of individual events and relays and, if by the end of competition, they can't be separated, they will share the trophy.

Tickets are available from GPAC at $8 for adults, $4 for children or $20 for a family. Tickets bought on the night will cost $13, $7, $35.

Complete article at Geelong Info

Posted at 13:44     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, October 18, 2006 

Brichacek firing at Weston Creek Fun Run (ACT)

Now in its 29th year the WC Fun Run continues in its tradition of family fun and scintillating performances. A field of 180 lined up on a glorious Sunday morning, each with a goal in mind and many aware of the rich history of the event.

Weston Creek's 16 year old Emily Brichacek achieved another extraordinary result, finishing strongly and outright winner in a time of 20:32, just 5 seconds outside Sarah Salmon's 2002 time over the 6km course.

The Creek's Scott Imhoff continued his recent strong form to finish first male in a time of 21:16, ahead of Peter Zygadlo in 21:34 and Paul Considine in 21:37.

As if to emphasise the great family atmosphere of the event, Emily's mother, Jenny Brichacek finished second female, in a time of 23:12. Jane Zeller finished third female in 23:35.

It was wonderful to hear from volunteers on the course that participants were so cheerful in their comments and clearly enjoying the event.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers for making the event such a success.
This bodes well for the 30th anniversary in 2007.

Tim Sawkins
(2006 WC Fun Run Coordinator)

Posted at 07:21     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, October 17, 2006 

Birmingham follows in Mona's footsteps to win elite race

COLLIS Birmingham's star continues to rise after capturing Australia's premier 10km road race, the Burnie Ten, on Sunday.
Birmingham, 21, became one of the youngest race winners and follows in the footsteps of Ballarat Olympian Steve Moneghetti, a four-time winner.

He also joined an illustrious honour role of champion winners - Craig Mottram (two-time winner), Andrew Lloyd (three-time winner), Shaun Creighton (two-time winner) and Pat Carroll.

Back home in Mt Helen yesterday Birmingham pulled up a bit sore, but was pleased with his performance - especially considering the 10km was not his pet event.

"Certainly lots of good runners have won it in the past, so it's pretty pleasing," Birmingham said.

"It was a good, high quality, field, mostly guys from the national cross country championships.
"The top five to six runners are close in standard and any one of us could have won it."

The middle-distance specialist won the event in 29 mins, 20 secs, just two seconds ahead of Queenslander Michael Shelley from a field of 3677 competitors.

Complete article at the Ballarat Courier

Posted at 16:54     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, October 16, 2006 

Burnie Ten: Gillard is ecstatic with performance

Launceston's Kim Gillard put in one of the best performances in a distinguished career to finish a creditable third in yesterday's Skilled Burnie Ten.

The 36-year old former world cross- country and world championship marathon runner ran an outstanding race against a high-quality elite men's field to finish only six seconds behind the eventual winner Victorian Collis Birmingham, in a time of 29.26.

Gillard was ecstatic with his performance after yesterday's race.

"It was a bit of a shock to me actually to run third in that sort of time with the quality of the field that rolled up," Gillard said.

"It was probably one of the strongest men's fields as far as depth was concerned for some time and when I saw it I thought to myself a top 10 finish would be good.

"To finish third in front of the ones that I did was a big bonus," he said.

Gillard said his recent form, and the fact that he had not trained fully for the event, made it one of his best-ever results.

Complete article at The Examiner

Posted at 18:36     [Perma-Link]

Burnie Ten: Troop comes in fourth

LEE Troop emerged yesterday from one of Australia's hardest road races - the Skilled Burnie Ten - with fourth place and a smile.

``I didn't win, but at least I didn't come second again'' he said wryly.

The race was won by Collis Birmingham, two seconds ahead of Michael Shelley with Kim Gillard a further five seconds away in third spot.

On four occasions Troop has finished second, including last year when he surprised everyone including himself when he ran in severe discomfort and not properly fit to be leading with 100 metres to go but was run down by Martin Dent.

The four who finished in front of him yesterday were track middle distance specialist who had managed to hang on as Troop set a blistering pace, aided by a tailwind, on the way out.

``When we got to the turn and I looked around and saw four or five of them still there I knew I was in trouble, `` Troop said.

``We went out in 14.10 which for 5 km is extremely fast, I was just hoping to take the sting out of their legs.''

Complete article at Geelong Info

Posted at 18:35     [Perma-Link]

Birmingham and Thompson triumph at Skilled Burnie Ten

Victorian distance runners Collis Birmingham and Anna Thompson have taken out Australia's premier 10km road race, the 22nd Skilled Burnie Ten.

A record field of 3677 competed in Sunday’s event, which saw an exciting sprint to the finish in the men's elite race.

Young gun Collis Birmingham, the reigning national under 23 cross country champion, held off Queenslander Michael Shelley to win in a time of 29.20.

Birmingham and Shelley opened up a slight break from the pack with about 1km to go. Birmingham made his move at the bottom of the hill approaching the finish line in Wilson Street to just hold off Shelley.

Shelley, 23, the 2006 Australian cross-country championship bronze medallist, finished two seconds behind in 29.22.

Tasmania's Kim Gillard, 36, ran an excellent race to finish third in 29.26.

World-class marathon runner Lee Troop was unable to break his Burnie Ten drought finishing fourth in 29.30 with the reigning Telstra Zatopek 10,000m champion Brett Cartwright fifth in 29.31.

Birmingham, 21, a renowned track runner, was rapt with his first Burnie Ten win.

Complete article at Athletics Australia

Posted at 18:34     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, October 11, 2006 

Asics Research Project - Female research participants required

The Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine at the School of Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne is investigating the effects of female hormone fluctuations on running performance, muscle properties and foot biomechanics in a project sponsored by ASICS.

Women who meet the following criteria are invited to participate:

1. Age18yrs or over
2. Runs at least 3 times/week for at least 30-40min (running training or through team sport participation)
3. Not currently experiencing shin, calf, ankle or foot pain
4. Fits into one of the following groups
a. Group 1: do not use the birth control pill and have a consistent menstrual cycle (24-35 days)
b. Group 2: have been using the monophasic contraceptive pill for at least 12 months consecutively

More information and common questons in this flyer

To register your interest to seek further information, please contact:

Phil Au Yeung
Physiotherapist / Research Fellow
Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine
School of Physiotherapy
Tel: 8344 7715

Posted at 17:48     [Perma-Link]

World Rogaining Championships in Warrumbungles (NSW) this weekend

The 7th World Rogaining Championships will be held in and around the Warrumbungle Mountains within the Warrumbungle National Park and adjacent farm land on the 13th and 14th of October. The field size was recently increased to 700 to cope with demand.

Updates will be posted regularly to the web site and blog before during and after the event. You can follow the event on the Rogaine web site.

Provisional results and final results will be published on the web site
( and blog
( as soon as possible
after the event. Provisional results within an hour after the rogaine
finishes and final results within 2 to 3 hours after the event finishes.

Complete details at

Posted at 12:04     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, October 09, 2006 

Melbourne's aim to overtake

IT'S a big run for thousands of Victorians, and organisers are hoping to make the Melbourne Marathon the biggest in Australia.

With 7300 competitors for yesterday's Marathon (42.195km), Half Marathon (21.1km) and MaraFun Run/Walk (7.5km), organisers are hoping the successful day was a sign of things to come.
First-time event director Dallas O'Brien said bigger marathon events in Sydney and the Gold Coast had better look out.

"We can see Melbourne's marathon has got great potential," he said. "Currently, our friends in Sydney and the Gold Coast have the biggest marathons, but I can't see why we can't be up there as the biggest."

Yesterday, Kazunari Suzuki won the Frankston-to- city race in a time of 2:23.55, and first-time participant Karen Natoli was the first woman across the line, in 2:53.06.

Complete article at the Herald Sun

Posted at 15:55     [Perma-Link]

Art of the long distance runner

Len Johnson
October 9, 2006

MORE than 7000 Melburnians took to the streets yesterday for the 29th Melbourne Marathon.

The wind blew (mostly in their favour), the sun shone (although not without one severe rain squall just on start time) and the roads were closed as the annual race wended its way from Frankston to the finish on St Kilda Road, just outside the Arts Centre.

Picasso's Love and War exhibition was on at the adjacent National Gallery of Victoria, perhaps a fitting metaphor for the marathoners who went into battle against the elements and 42.195 kilometres of bitumen in pursuit of a goal they love.

None did it faster than Kazunari Suzuki, from Hatano City just outside Tokyo, and Melbourne runner Karen Natoli, who were the first male and female.

Complete article at The Age

Posted at 15:51     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, October 08, 2006 

Suzuki, Natoli score first marathon wins

Japanese runner Kazunari Suzuki and local competitor Karen Natoli have won the Melbourne marathon, their first successes over the distance.

Suzuki, who lives near Tokyo, set an unofficial personal-best time of two hours 23 minutes and 49 seconds for the 42.2km course in his third marathon.

Natoli, a former Victorian junior netballer, ran her first marathon in 2:53.06.

When asked if she was surprised to do so well, Natoli replied: "no, I've done all the preparation and a lot of the long runs - I love long runs.

"So it just felt like a great long run to me and all the supporters were fantastic."

She beat second-placed Catlin De Santi by more than three minutes.

Suzuki broke away from the lead pack after halfway and he finished nearly three minutes ahead of second-placed Antony Rickard of Melbourne.

A former triathlete who has finished the Hawaiian Ironman, Rickard decided to switch to running full-time in March and this was his third marathon in just over three months.

More than 6000 entrants had a blustery tailwind for the Samsung marathon, half-marathon and 7.5km fun run events.

Complete article at Nine MSN

Posted at 18:16     [Perma-Link]

A dash of Spartan discipline can get you places

Today, provided the marathon gods are on his side, Daniel Gurvich will become a fully fledged Spartan. He'll join the elite bunch of runners who have finished the Melbourne marathon at least 10 times. A lawyer and early-morning trainer, Mr Gurvich, 33, views it as quite an honour to be a Spartan.

"I'm privileged to be part of that fairly small group of fellow runners," he said. "It's an achievement of persistence."

Mr Gurvich, of McKinnon, has a best time for the course of two hours, 58 minutes. He said running the marathon was always a buzz after months of hard training.

"People talk about the loneliness of the long-distance runner, but the marathon itself is anything but lonely, because there's a terrific camaraderie among the runners. The spectators get involved and help you over the duration of the course," he said.

"It involves training for six months to a year, and it's a real test of perseverance and discipline that I enjoy. I know the people who have come down to watch - including my wife, who started watching it five years ago - love it, and love handing out jelly beans."

Complete article at The Age

Posted at 07:25     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, October 07, 2006 

Australian Cross Country Selection Trial

The Australian Cross Country Selection Trial will be staged in Canberra on the 20th January 2007.

Men Open 8km
Men U20 8km
Women Open 6km
Women U20 6km

More details such as entry procedures and start time will be posted on the Athletics Australia web site: in due course.

David Gynther
Competition Manager
Athletics Australia

Posted at 12:22     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, October 05, 2006 

Soaring numbers at the Samsung Melbourne Marathon

With only a few days to go till Victoria’s running icon, the Samsung Melbourne Marathon kicks off, the competitor numbers are soaring towards an anticipated 7,000 people across the three events, the Samsung Marathon (42.195km), Asics Half Marathon (21.1km) and the Marafun run or walk (7.5km). The new look Samsung Melbourne Marathon managed by the experienced team at IMG along with naming sponsors Samsung Electronics are building this year’s event up to be bigger and better than ever before while IMG strive to put the rac! e back on the Marathon World Map. Samsung have over $20,000 worth of prizes on race day along with ASICS also providing over $20,000 worth of prizes including trips to the Marathon events in New York and Rotorua.

Joining the huge number of general participants are some of Victoria’s and Australia’s top runners. 2006 Samsung Melbourne Marathon race favourite, Rod De Highden, will be looking to get another marathon win under his belt. With a personal best of 2:13:53 and the experience of two Olympic games and several marathon wins, Rod hopes to end 2006 on a high. Also on the marathon start-line is first time marathon runner Karen Natoli. Karen is an experienced elite athlete in the sport of Netball and was inspired to run a marathon after watching the women at the Manchester Commonwea! lth Games. She may not have run a marathon before but Karen is set to make a lasting impression at this year’s event.

The Asics Half Marathon will see many of Victoria’s top endurance runners toe the start-line in Beaumaris. One of Australia's most recognised track and field athletes, Lee Troop, will be running in his role as 1hour 30minute Pacer and is looking forward to the challenge of assisting as many runner! s as possible to finish within this time. Joining Lee in the Half Marathon is top Victorian athlete Ashley Searl. While in the women’s field, keep an eye on Lisa and Kylie Dick along with Kirsten Jackson and Leisa Smith as they jostle for top spot in the women’s race.

The Marafun is exactly that…fun! So, why not bring the family along and join in the excitement of this iconic Melbourne event and run or walk the 7.5km Marafun. Stay around after your event and enjoy the music, food and race day atmosphere and help cheer all of the Marathon runners home.

At this year’s event we also have a number of celebrities chasing personal goals as well as the goal of raising money for their chosen charities. Collingwood 1990 Premiership captain, Tony Shaw is running the full marathon to raise money for Challenge – supporting kids with cancer. Joining Tony in the full marathon is one of Australian favourite actors Ryan Moloney, better known as Toadie from Neighbours. In the Asics Half Marathon we have another Actor and Logie winner Daniel MacPherson giving it a go. Inside Sport Model and athlete Grace McClure will be toeing the start-line of the Marafun in preparation for the start of the triathlon season and her new role as a TV travel presenter. Top finishing athletes as well as celebrity r! unners will be available for interviews after the race.

With the re-birth of the Melbourne Marathon, athletes are proving that this event is here to stay and certainly ready for bigger and better things in the years to come. The 29th running of the Samsung Melbourne Marathon will take place on Sunday 8th October 2006. It will follow the traditional course, starting in Frankston following the beach road to Melbourne's beautiful boulevard of St Kilda Road and finish underneath the Arts Centre Spire.

Online entries have now closed - Late Registration is available FRIDAY 6 OCTOBER, 8.00am – 7.00pm & SATURDAY 7 OCTOBER, 8.00am – 5.00pm at Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre - St Kilda Road, Melbourne.

For Race information, contact Kim Phillips on 1800 155 366, or For Media enquires, contact Samantha Cairncross on mobile 0413 706 425 or

Posted at 10:45     [Perma-Link]

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