Itâs good to be back at Como Landing after an absence of two years; the bike path has been fully functional for several months and the freeway works have all gone (for now!). The staging venue may be compact where it hugs a bend in the Yarra River at Heron Island but its small size creates a friendly, intimate atmosphere. We are grateful to Wesley College for allowing us to use this patch of grass for the morning.
Quite surprisingly, this yearâs race entry numbers are more than we have ever had at this venue, proving the popularity of the river course and that the half-marathon is the aspirational distance for quite a lot of runners now.
Weather-wise, it was just about as perfect a morning you could get for a longer race, the temperature about 15 degrees and the air perfectly still. The three races started together after a short delay due to a PA malfunction and it wasnât long before the runners had stretched out some distance along the course. Looking across the river from the venue, the runners soon came into view running towards the city-end of the course.
Eventual 14km winner Grant Morgan took charge of the front of the field from the start, confusing John Bernstein momentarily as he crossed the line to win the 7km race in 24:08 when Grant kept going. Richard Squires was second in 25:16 and Tristan Watson third in 26:52.
In the womenâs 7km race, Masters runner Ange Carswell was first in 28:47 and eighth overall. Sally Schwarz, also a Masters runner was second in 33:25 and Daniela Klarica was third in 34:59.
The winner of the 14km race was never in much doubt â Grant Morgan continued his strong pace on the second lap and won convincingly in 47:57. Tom Rodgers was second 50:51 and Louis Guihennevc was third in 51:27.
Winner of the womenâs 14km was Catherine Schweb in 55:02. Catherine ran confidently throughout the race and placed seventh overall. Second was Hannah Blanchett in 59:11 and third was Sarah Hughes in 1:01:51.
In the main event of the day, three runners battled it out for most of the race, with Guy McLaren eventually prevailing to win the half-marathon in 1:18:51. Xavier Coppock and Fabian Hitchens were so close on the finish line, the timing system couldnât separate them, both recording 1:19:13 but the naked eye giving Xavier the slight edge for second place.
Jutta Schmitz won the womenâs half-marathon in 1:35:23, Sarah McMullan was second in 1:36:12 and Kristie Jennings was third in 1:37:00 to round out the placings.
Our next event is a veritable feast of running â marathon, 30km, 20km, 10km and 5km runs at Princes Park on Sunday 28 July. Good running and we look forward to seeing you there.