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Frankston to Portsea 54.7Km / 34 milesThe 30th Annual Road Race - Melbourne, Australia.
All info provided by the Race Director : Kevin Cassidy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2002 Results - 7th April
30 years on and the Frankston to Portsea event continues. The 30th anniversary even managed to attract some press coverage thanks to Mike Ryan of the Frankston Independent News. For such a "momentous" occasion, we thought that having a "dignitary" present at the start would be appropriate!..an obvious choice was Ross Shilston, who was one of the original runners back in 1973, but poor old Rossco was so choked up with the flu that he could not get out of bed. I paid him a visit later in the day and he looked like he had one foot in the grave!
Conditions were perfect for the 7 runners who toed the line and the view across Port Phillip Bay was just beautiful as the sun broke through to cast rays of light upon the calm smooth waters broken only by the occasional fishing boats heading out from the marina.
The race had not even started when I was presented with my first hurdle...Last year I reported that Max Gibbs had paid his entry fee in 5 cent coins which was a "slight" exaggeration on my part. Max, however, has a long memory and this year he had a rather cheeky smile on his face when handed me a bag of coins!..Yes, that's right, a large bag of 5 cent coins!! And, no, I am not exaggerating this time!! Max had gained his revenge!!
At 7am, I sent the runners on their way only to be left behind with a few more incidents. A few crew people and myself were kept entertained by the antics of one of the local drunks in the car park; Peter Armistead tells me that this guy is well known in the area. Norma Gray [Peter's mum] then had trouble trying to insert the ignition key into Peters car...This was no easy task on an older "unique" vehicle. After much panic we managed to get things going.
With the runners now well and truly on their way, I jumped into my Ute and roared off down the road to catch up with proceedings. The Rolf Harris rendition of "Two Little Boys" was playing on the radio when I decided to continue through a set of traffic lights as they turned yellow...Unfortunately, I should have looked in my rear view mirror beforehand. Yes, the police were right behind me and I am now poorer to the tune of $165.
Anyway, after all the goings on, I finally caught up to the race and Max had well and truly established a good lead. Graham Ives, a new arrival in Australia, was forced out at 14km and it was only then that I learnt from his good wife that he is currently undergoing chemotherapy!! Heavens above, Graham, just being on the starting line earns you a courage award of the highest degree. I hope you'll be back next year fit and well.
Chad Holmes and Jeremy Spencer deserve a special mention due to the fact that both had never before run beyond 20km. Chad was enjoying his run before being forced out with some rather bad blisters while Jeremy went out hard to challenge Max before fading over the last 20 km. It is always great to see new faces and both these guys sounded keen to return next year.
Jeremy may not have crossed the line first but he sure did win the prize for the biggest crew. The "Jeremy Roadshow" consisted of a van and 4 crew with bikes, then with 15km to go, the roadshow got bigger. Jeremy's parents just happen to live right on the highway and they joined in along with their Dalmatian dog who happily let Jeremy take his leash and lead him all the way to the finish
Both David and Peter Cooper ran good steady races but were unable to catch the incomparable Max "Mad Max" Gibbs who, in his 9th appearance here, powered his way to the finish. Max actually missed this event a few years ago due to the date clashing with his wedding anniversary and Allison [Max's better half] tells me that he is still reminding her about it!!. The evergreen Peter Gray enjoyed a comfortable run as a lead up to the 24 hour event at Coburg next weekend.
As has been the tradition for 30 years, all finishers received their blocks of Cadbury chocolate with a bottle of wine going to the winner...When I realised that Max was going to win, I made sure I got the cheapest nastiest wine I could find! I even paid for it with his bag of 5 cent coins.
With the race complete, a huge crowd was gathering on the Portsea Road near the finish for the auction of a modest timber home on the elite Portsea cliff top...It sold for a mere 6.7 million dollars!!!!!
The Frankston to Portsea run is as varied and interesting a road race as you can get and has seen a lot of history in its 30 years. I have had a number of people say to me over the years that this is an event that every runner should do at least once. It is small and low key but has a culture and tradition that is very much its own and maintains its own unique standing amongst the Australian Ultra Community
A collection of photos will appear in the June edition of "Ultramag"
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