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Sydney to Albury Boomerang Marathon10-20 March 1997
Since the demise of the Sydney to Melbourne race in the very early 1990s, Australian UltraRunners have dreamt of being able to once again race along the Hume Highway in a good old fashioned point-to-point race. First of all hopes were dashed by the Victorian Highway Patrol who outlawed running races along their side of the NSW / VIC Border. Then the NSW authorities outlawed running at night. Enterprising Dave Taylor, of Wollongong and recent 1000 hour record holder fame, has successfully staged the last vestiges of the dream still able to (lawfully) be attained : a stage race from Sydney's southern suburb of Liverpool, to the NSW / VIC bordertown of Albury AND BACK ! (hence the name The Boomerang Marathon)
Positive thoughts kept marathon runner kept marathon runner, and dentist, Tony Collins on course during the 863km Boomerang, which he had won. The marathon started and ended in Liverpool and went for 11 days during which 2 runners dropped out.
Pat Farmer finished first at Macquarie Mall on Thurday afternoon with Tony Collins arriving 15 minutes later. Farmer won the last 3 stages of the race. But overall winner Collins, 49 of Norah Head, finished the race looking good and only had sunburnt lips to show he had been on a gruelling run that took him to Albury and back to Liverpool.
Collins said he kept thinking positively when he was running and set himself short-distance goals to achieve. I tried to keep an average of under 10km an hour and that's what I did. You can get scared of the 863km distance. I just kept that out of my head and kept going, he said. It's a tough game, I think I'll take up darts, collins said.
Farmer, of Catherine Field, suffered pain in the first part of the run which caused him to lag behind. He said it appeared mthat the Boomerang race was a bit too close to the Simpson Desert run which he completed in December.
Bonyrigg's Eduardo Vega appeared exhausted but jubilant at the finish line when he came in 3rd overall. The ex-peruvian, aged 55, said that he felt good throughout the race apart from trouble caused by sunburn on his lower leg and some pain in leg muscles. I never thought of giving up,I put in 100 per cent in the last kilometre, he said.
The run was organised by long distance runner, Dave Taylor to raise money for the New Children's Hospital, Westmead, for cancer research.
Accompanying the runners on the race was another marathon runner, Maurice Taylor (previous winner of Sydney to Melbourne) but he travelled on a bike the whole way.