The River Runs . . .
After some dubious blustery Spring weather leading up to the event, race day surprisingly brought the welcome contrast of a calm, dry morning at Riverside Park on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.
As we set up the venue we were greeted by the usual screech and squawk of seemingly thousands of birds who have made their home in the large old palm trees in the park, complaining about our intrusion into their normally unoccupied domain at such an early time of day.
The venue is a very special, almost secret location by the river, just down the Boulevard from the iconic Poyntonâs Nursery and it is always a surprise that this is the smallest of our runs.
And so to the race . . . with three distances on offer around the mainly flat 4km river loop â 12km, 8km and 4km . . . some interesting stories began to unfold.
The male 4km was a close tussle between Brent Radoslovia (15:40) and one of our regular runners, Chris Grafen (15:45), followed by Tommy Grimaldi (16:08). It is interesting to note that Chris and Tommy ran from the 40-49yr category, a consistent pattern that was to unfold throughout the morning.
Brent Radoslovia, 4km winner Casey Shannon, Kate Hudson and Monique Protopopov
In the female 4km, however, this pattern was temporarily checked with the first three finishers all coming from the open age category, with another close race for first place: Casey Shannon 17:14, Kate Hudson 17:15 and Monique Protopopov 17:45, finishing 7th, 8th and 10th overall. Great effort ladies!
The 8km race brought its own very special surprise in the victory of 15-year-old Eric Nelson in 31:50. Eric positioned himself well at the start line and made his intentions very clear, leading for the entire race. Charlie Smith (from Geelong, celebrating his birthday and running from the 50-59 category!) came second in 32:03 followed by Jordan Kamel in 32:16.
15-year-old future star Eric Nelson
In the female 8km Megan Gillette finished a convincing winner in 36:52, followed by Jillian Kelders, another strong masters category runner in 37:37 and Hannah Hacile in 39:38.
The 12km race winner Nathan Crowley, led the entire race, including 4km and 8km runners, and finished very strongly in a time of 45:25. Second was Sam Stewart (46:53) and third Tim Dornom (48:35). Both Nathan and Sam run from the 40-40yr category.
In the female 12km, Kirsten Long took the honours in 54:37, Lorraine Bradbury was second in 59:00 (running from the 50-59yr category!) and Rachel Woodhatch was third in 1:04:38.
Some of our cheerful drink station volunteers
We look forward to catching up with you all at our end-of-year Christmas run at the new Cherry Lake venue in Altona on Sunday 8 December. In the meantime, stay fit and happy . . . and good running!