2007 Water World Great Ocean Run


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Event held: 25-March-2007

Stephen Sayers battled the elements as well as a quality field to make it two victories from two starts in the annual Poolside Water World Great Ocean Run from Red Rock to Coffs Harbour Jetty on Sunday. Sayers was returning to the 45 kilometres of beaches, creeks and headlands after an eight year gap which had seen him triumph over severe injury to return to the winner’s circle. He left no-one wondering about his intentions as he seized the lead from the start, eventually winning by over 16 minutes. Had conditions not been so adverse the long-standing record held by this year’s runner-up, Jim Bennington, may well have been in peril. However with the 30 knot southerly setting in early Sayers decided as early as Arrawarra that record-setting would have to wait for more propitious conditions.

Bennington’s runner-up position in a touch over 4 hours was a great return to form for the local legend. He exchanged places for much of the journey with Tony Byrne from Tenanbit before surging away at Charlesworth Bay. Former winner, Michael Smart finished strongly to just fail to close the gap to the place-getters.

First lady was event debutant the ebullient Penny Burgess from Grafton whose 4.38.31 stands as one of the fastest times by a woman, an excellent performance given the conditions. Also in great form at the moment was the runner-up Angie Gratton from Browns Plains who claimed her sixth second place to go with her two victories and two thirds. Gratton was backing up after competing successfully in the Blue Mountains 45 kms Six Foot Track event recently. Third woman was another first-timer, Emerald Beach’s Tina Thompson whose last outing over a comparable distance was in 1984.

With 46 finishers the event remains one of the Premier Ultramarathons on the Australian distance running calendar. The presence of Victorians as well as Queenslanders is testimony to the respect the event has earnt over the years. The sponsors, Poolside Water World, and the organisers from the Woolgoolga Running And Triathlon Society (WRATS) were really pleased with the positive feedback from all the competitors especially as several locals were amongst the finishers.

Results (MALE)

  1. Stephen Sayers 3.44.57
  2. Jim Bennington 4.01.16
  3. Tony Byrne 4.04.32
  4. Michael Smart 4.04.58
  5. Martin Schot 4.11.22
  6. Kelvin Marshall 4.13.12
  7. Bomber Hutchinson 4.21.10
  8. Peter Gardiner 4.33.27
  9. Lindsay Phillips 4.37.40
  10. Wayne Gregory 4.41.34
  11. Neil Burgess 4.45.00
  12. Bob Beer 4.46.19
  13. Tony Kean 4.52.25
  14. Chris Cohen 5.02.9
  15. Terry Cokeley 5.06.02
  16. Darryl Bancroft 5.21.08
  17. Mal Draper 5.22.38
  18. Paul Chamberlain & Peter McKenzie 5.37.31
  19. Michael Schultz 5.42.46
  20. Geoff Kopittke 5.44.37
  21. Bob Jones 6.14.25
  22. David Casey 6.26.03
  23. Steve Tesic 6.27.35
  24. Kerry Preston 6.38.58
  25. Peter Gray 6.56.00
  26. Robert Asher 7.03.20
  27. Russell Forestall 7.21.14
  28. Dennis French 7.41.57

Results (FEMALE)

  1. Penny Burgess 4.38.31
  2. Angie Grattan 4.52.25
  3. Tina Thompson 5.03.09
  4. Michelle Healey 5.13.57
  5. Julia Thorn 5.16.35
  6. Candice Mills 5.21.08
  7. Jo Angel & Nicola Pearl 5.37.31
  8. Di Holt 5.40.46
  9. Johanna Knauth 6.27.35
  10. Robina Unwin 6.28.04
  11. Ruth Tutton 6.41.06
  12. Suzy Smith 6.43.38
  13. Elly Friend 6.49.41
  14. Di Kever 6.54.24
  15. Coral Asher 6.55.50
  16. Kylie Duff 6.56.38
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