1 THE BLISTER The Magazine for the Sydney Striders Running Club Established 1980 Issue 120 May August 2013 Reports on Deaflympics 2013 C2S Big Red Out World Mountain Maraton Karkonoski They re young & coming! Daniel Francken 49:52 C2S & just 16 Marathons: Milan & Paris Running Tips: Speed Session Specifics and more... Jadon Wilson assisting Dad (Andrew)
2 BLISTER CO-EDITORS Joe Degabriele, Amy Cheung & Debi Thornton CLUB PRESIDENT Joe Degabriele VICE PRESIDENT Angus Searcy SECRETARY Deanna Lum TREASURER Lynn Herrison MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR Pauline Evans 10KM SERIES RACE DIRECTOR James Masters STaRS/CALENDAR COORDINATOR Louise Arnott UNIFORMS Gill Cavenagh JUNIORS COORDINATORS Tony Wong/Caroline Yarnell SUPER SERIES COORDINATOR John Bowe RESULTS AND TIMING Paul Hannell SOCIAL FUNCTIONS PRESIDENT S DESK Hi Striders! Life s full of challenges and when our Co- Editors both landed new jobs, I reluctantly pick up the quill and drawing pad. I hope the result is not too bad. Luckily two fine Striders put their hands up to be our new editors: Amy Cheung and Debi Thornton. They will take control of future editions. Our training teaches us to hang in there, even if things don t always go right there is a finishing line. Thankfully the club is running along smoothly with good participation at our events, races and ANSW events. As you will read our Juniors continue to excel and growing. This edition continues our tradition of Striders sharing their experiences good, bad and ugly. See You on the Road. Joe Jo Cowan SGT-AT-ARMS David Bray SPECIAL PROECTS Bruce Graham The Blister is published three times per year by Sydney Striders Road Runner s Club, Inc. Address: PO Box R1227, Royal Exchange, Sydney NSW 1225, Australia. Website: Opinions published in this journal, whether expressed by members or non-members, do not necessarily represent the official policy of the club. Acknowledgements Cover photo: Joe Degabriele Other photos by: various Striders. Sydney Striders Juniors The Club was set up to encourage young runners to train and compete as a group. The training sessions take the form of group training rather than personal coaching. We train on Monday nights at the Sydney Academy of Sport at Narrabeen, and Thursday nights at North Steyne. We have members of all ages and standards: from 8-year-olds to HSC-aged, from NSW State Representatives to those who just want to keep fit and socialise. Our main focus is ANSW events, but we are also very active in the fun run circuit, with many taking part in the City to Surf. Please contact us via at if you would like to find out more. 2
3 Contents Page World Mountain Marathon Maraton Karkonoski Toni Fattroni 4 Milan Marathon 2012 Ian MacArthur 6 Athletics NSW Running Mary Stringer 8 Running speed session specifics 9 Chris & Greta Truscott Rejoov Fitness Sydney Striders Awards dinner 10 Jo Cowan Paris 2013 Ginta Viliunas 11 Deaflympics 10K & 5K Melinda Vernon years on still going strong Leigh Mac Ritchie 15 Striders for Life 16 Big Red Run Roger Hanney 17 MTG 21 Junior s Corner Tony Wong Committee positions available Sydney Striders survives and thrives on members getting involved and contributing through their efforts on the road or track but also through Volunteering to help host events and taking on a role throughout the year on the Committee. At least two positions are vacant Volunteer Coordinator and the Calendar Co-ordinator, both positions do the majority of their co-ordination via and occasionally on the phone. Volunteer Co-ordinator Role: helps organise & track the volunteers that assist with both internal & external events in which Sydney Striders have taken an active interest. Calendar Co-ordinator Role: involves organising and managing the four issues of Sydney Strider Calendar during the year. Seeking volunteers to act as STaR Hosts, Race Hosts and 7.00 a.m. pack leaders. If you are interested drop the President an
4 World Mountain Marathon Championship: Maraton Karkonoski Tony Fattorini In mid-june I received an notifying me of my selection for the Australian Mountain Running Team, based on my Six Foot Track win in March. I was offered the chance to compete at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships at Sklarska Poreba, Poland on 3rd August - just 7 weeks away! The championship race was to be held in conjunction with the Maraton Karkonoski: a 44km mountain race around the ski fields between Poland and the Czech Republic. It just so happened that I would be in Europe on vacation the week before the event so, after special pleading at work and at home, I rearranged my flights and accepted the offer. Two days after receiving the selection I was running the Glow Worm Trail Marathon at Newnes, now in its second year (and a whole fantastic weekend of trail running fun). Despite the short notice, I could not have planned things better: a good, tough mountain marathon with a few weeks to recover and prepare for Poland. I managed two wins over the weekend: firstly setting a new fastest known time for the nutty Mystery Mountain Dash (13 mins 3 secs for about 1km and 360m ascent), and then following up the next day with a course record of 3:28 for the Glow Worm Trail Marathon. This was a great confidence boost, and allowed me to focus on staying fit and uninjured over the next few weeks. There was just enough to time to squeeze in one more race, the Shoalhaven King of the Mountain, before I left for Europe. Right from the start of "The King" I was struggling to hang onto the leading group of Bradley Croker, Alex Matthews and James Davy. I was being pushed right outside my comfort zone so. When the inevitable happened and I was dropped I just ran as hard as I could for as long as I could, eventually finishing third after Alex fell and dislocated his shoulder. It was a good hard effort with some useful training benefit I think, and my time was comparable to my previous best in this event. So far so good. We arrived in Europe for our holiday in the middle of a heat wave. The first couple of weeks in the Yorkshire Dales made for some great fell running, rediscovering the routes I ran as a teenager and some new ones I hadn't. This was followed by another hot and sunny week in the Channel Islands on Jersey, running over the cliffs and beaches between St Aubin and Corbiere. There were magical views and great coastal single-track with little blue arrows everywhere which I later found out were for an ultra-marathon that circles the island: 77km "Round The Rock". Sounds like a great event - I wonder if any Striders have done it? Then came the time to head to Poland with my Dad kindly coming too for support. The first challenge was getting there. A broken down car, nearly hitting a wayward sheep and a no-show by the airport transfer all added to my sense of panic the day before the event! To cut a long story short, after getting fleeced by a taxi driver we made it to Sklarska Poreba and found my Aussie teammate Sara Burgess and our hotel: a communist era dump! The only English review on Tripadvisor accurately reports: "small rooms, smelly bathrooms and appalling meals", to which I can add a broken shower rail, rotted window frame and the previous occupant s toe-nail clippings! Oh the glamorous life of an international mountain runner! In front of the hotel the teams of athletes mingled and it was interesting to observe the different nationalities live up to their stereotypes: the Italians, immaculate in fashionable uniforms, gesticulating energetically and doing conspicuous strides in the hotel car park; team USA boisterous and proud; the English whingeing about the hotel and the weather; and the Australians kicking back and relaxing (but managing to resist the temptation to crack open a stubby). It was a hot day, about 30 degrees with no breeze and sunny, and I was sweating a lot just walking around the town. This was a worry for me as I don't run well in the heat and the forecast was for more of the same. In the evening we had the opening ceremony and team presentation, followed by a theatrical flame-lighting performance conducted by characters dressed like wizards in capes. All very odd and in Polish so I don't have a clue what it was about, but it was entertaining. Then we headed back to our luxury accommodation to get some sleep. After a good night s sleep and a light breakfast we made our way to the start area at the bottom ski lift station. 4
5 Even at 8 o'clock it was already hot and I had to recalibrate my entire approach to the race. The course is mostly above the tree line with no shade and the aid stations are infrequent, so hydration was going to be a big issue. I also knew that I could blow up badly in the heat if I started too quickly. So I decided to start with an empty bottle which I could fill at the aid stations (or ditch if I didn't need it), and to run conservatively for the first half. The race starts on an incline and goes straight up one of the ski slopes for 6.5 km gaining 800 metres. It is then a long, undulating out and back along the mountain range between Poland and the Czech Republic, before finishing with a short but painfully steep climb to the top lift station. The total ascent is metres with metres descent. Much of the course is on a rough track laid using large and uneven granite rocks, which is tough on the ankles and requires constant concentration to avoid trips and falls. After the start I settled into position in a second group on the big climb, somewhere in the high teens or low twenties. As the group spread out I found myself passing one or two runners on the steeper sections. The pace felt comfortable but very quickly I was heating up. Before long sweat saturated my cap and started dripping off me. At 5 kilometres a chap was standing with a hose spraying the runners. It felt great, but it was a short-lived reprieve and within minutes I was back to being uncomfortably hot. It was obvious the race was going to be all about surviving the heat, but it was the same for everyone! The running surface was proving to be very difficult as well. Boulders ranged in size from small bricks to huge metrelong blocks, all laid in an uneven path with the occasional wobbly stone to test your reactions! This was unlike any trail I'd run on before and required immense concentration. I was barely aware of the view from the trail because it was impossible to take my eyes of the ground. By the turnaround at halfway I was in 19th or 20th place, but the heat was really taking its toll. I could feel my core temperature rising and I was starting to get dizzy, nauseous and lethargic. It was hard to stomach the water and the gels that I knew I needed. Fortunately I had my bottle, allowing me to sip gradually rather than gulping at the aid stations. But even with a bottle I was running dry and getting thirsty well before each stop. Some guys were suffering more than me, and I picked up a couple of places between 20 and 30 km, but others were coping better and I was passed three times between 25 and 35 km as the heat really set in. I just couldn't respond without risking my ability to complete the course. At 35 km I had a particularly bad dizzy spell, going off to the side of the track and falling, but following that was a gentle down-hill with the finish station now within sight on a distant peak. My spirits lifted and I put in a final effort to maintain my position. All went well until 300 metres from the finish line where the course turned steeply, up towards the lift station and finish line. It's a particularly sadistic finish and just a few metres into the climb both legs cramped badly from knee to groin. I was stuck to the spot, unable to move! By this stage I was within sight of a lot of spectators who were shouting and offering encouragement, but all I could do was stretch and massage the cramps and try to calm them down enough to crawl up to the finish. After an agonising minute or two the cramps eased off enough to start plodding and I inched up the hill and over the finish line in 21st place, just holding off a South African runner behind. My finish time was 3 hours and 40 minutes, a long way behind the winning Slovenian, but I survived my toughest race yet and wore my Australian singlet with pride! My team mate Sara put in a great effort finishing 35th in 4 hours and 54 minutes. This event was a good reminder that no amount of fitness or planning can prepare you for all of the surprises that a race can throw at you. Sometimes you have to adapt your plan, revisit your strategy and change your goals just to stay in the race. It was not my greatest performance, but I gave my best effort in the conditions on the day and loved the experience. And the post-race dumplings and beer were pretty good too!
6 Milan Marathon 2012 Ian MacArthur At Christmas 2011, on a foolishly low level of training, I finished strongly in the 30km Palm Beach to Manly, eliciting comments such as You re running so well, you could run a marathon [at last you lazy so and so]! and Congratulations!!! Are you training for Canberra with Frank [aged 75 and training for his 9 th marathon]? The answer was No. Remaining in my bucket list was the Six Foot Track, which I had started some years earlier before being sidelined by injury and very hot weather. At this point I knew that I could not qualify for the 2012 Six Foot in time, but to run a qualifier for the 2013 edition I kept up the training regime that had proven successful, running every day except wet days, hot days, Mondays and sleep-in days; and of course following the special runners diet: only eat food from a plate & only drink from a cup. Some months later, the opportunity arose to run that qualifier in Europe: my wife Edwina had been invited to a conference in Rome, so we decided to join work with pleasure and stay for several weeks. But what would I do in Rome for days by myself? After investigating I noticed that the Milan marathon. Was I prepared for the jump from 30km to 42km? I compared the Milan course with my regular long bush runs on Saturday mornings (I like bush running, and find 6:00 am on Sundays something of a challenge, especially after my monthly oenological workouts on Saturday nights with a group of mates for whom the word runs has a different meaning). The comparison was encouraging: Saturday bush run Many hills Valleys with creek crossings and leeches Trip hazards on bush tracks Bush full of hairy beasties with fangs Milan marathon Flat (mediolanum > the middle of the plain) Large bridges with cars and trains Nothing to trip over on roads City full of cheering supporters I was sure Milan would be a breeze by comparison. Having entered, I decided that a training plan would be a good idea, so I unearthed a copy of Robert de Castella s book and looked up the marathon training program. The first few weeks looked very easy I was already doing more most of the time. But by about week 12 it became ominously energetic, with long runs and only one day off a fortnight. I copied out the plan and put the copy in a prominent spot. I then resumed my regular training regime, one that had proven to be a success, albeit over a slightly shorter distance, and consoled myself with the thoughts that the absence of hills, creeks, leeches and spiders would more than make up for any deficiencies that may, just possibly, be due to my eccentric training regime. I also kept up the diet, with extra fluids. I also took the precaution of looking at previous Milan marathons on the internet. The first view was very reassuring; there were many spectators cheering on runners whose beaming smiles were matched by the sunbeams in the cloudless sky. Further investigation revealed a somewhat different picture. 6
7 There were images of Italian drivers expressing their view, in a very Italian way, that roads are for cars. There was a video of a tram crossing an intersection at a right angle to the marathon route while the runners avoided the tram as best they could, under the watchful eyes of the Italian police who waved red ping-pong bats at everybody. I showed them all to my wife, she thought the last one was quite amusing; I checked my life insurance. When we arrived at our hotel in Milan, the receptionist greeted us warmly and asked us what we would be doing in Milan. When I said that I was running in the marathon she said Oh yes, the runner, you are our hero! This was very flattering, though I thought at the time that she needed glasses. While in Milan I continued my training, moving swiftly from clothing to footwear to EFTPOS and tapering the bank balance. At last the big day dawned well not so much dawned, as became a bit less grey. I decided that I would change the order in which I put my tops on. Instead of wearing my new Striders singlet covered by a throw-away T- shirt, I would wear a long sleeved throw-away top over the Striders singlet over the T-shirt. When we arrived at the station nearest the start line we joined the wave heading to the start, our progress delayed only slightly by a smaller wave heading back from the start to the train. The reason for this delay became obvious when we came out of the covered walk-way just before the change area, it was raining; a very nice German man gave my wife his umbrella and went to stand very close to a woman under a larger umbrella, need I say more. In the change area there was much confusion and no sign of toilets. I looked outside, saw the toilet queue and joined it. After being outside for about 15 minutes and briefly inside the cubicle, I returned and once again changed the order of tops, putting the long sleeved T- shirt over the short sleeved T-shirt and the Striders singlet over them both while my wife became a clothes horse and number pinner. She then, wisely, left for warmer and drier parts of Milan and I went to the start where I found a slightly less wet and cold hiding spot crouched under a large van at the very back of pack. After several short rain showers there were some speeches in Italian, each one more enthusiastic that the one before. Then the start, there was no mistaking it, it was a cannon. You have all read many stories of great runs by runners who overcame abrasions, blisters, cramps, diverse digestive difficulties, evaporated enthusiasm and so on, to reach their goal and experience elation and triumph. Not here you won t, I finished it and in a reasonable time, with none of the difficulties that others have written about. However, the run was not quite what I expected. It is very flat. The Hay plains are closer to home and flatter but I was in Milan at the time. No creek crossings but lots of puddles to keep my feet wet and it was so cold that I never took my temporary T-shirt off. There are no tree roots to trip over but the road was cobbled in places just to make it interesting. Only a few hardy souls encouraging us but by the time I arrived most of them had given up and gone home. Milanese spectators might be wet, cold and wearing an old tracksuit but they still look well dressed. The only risk from animals is what they leave behind, not what they suck out of you. There were no traffic problems. Only two cars came near me; one was a family of Chinese tourists who were very, very lost and the other was a man trying to sneak onto the road, he was trying to convince a policeman that he always read the Sunday papers sitting in his car in his front driveway with the engine running.. The low point of the run was at the 20km mark. On one side of a barrier is the 20k sign and on the other side is the 40km sign: on one side of the barrier was an undertrained over 60 over-lunched plodder, and at the same time at the 40k mark on the other side were two Kenyan girls who were racing each other to the finish line. The reality of it all hit home: twice their age, twice their weight and twice their time (and then some).
8 Soon after that I was cheered up by seeing Edwina, who had been loyally standing in the rain waiting for me. She said that she had only started to worry about my progress after the 5 hour pacer had gone past; I took that as a great compliment. There were two high points. The first was that after a long battle I finally left in my wake a small person dressed in a dolphin costume. This accomplishment does not elicit spontaneous applause from people who have run marathons in about three hours but I was excited. The second was that I believe that I came first in the class of 60 to 64 year old male runners from Oceania in the 2012 Milan Marathon; I haven t checked it but I claim that title anyway and I believe that the trophy is in the mail somewhere. Finally the end came and they wrapped a silver blanket around my shoulders, gave me a medal and sent me towards the refreshments. It is an indication of my priorities that I managed to hold on to the drink and the banana but lost the medal. I can t hang the medal anywhere but I can still remember the taste of the best banana that I have ever had. Athletics NSW Running Mary Stringer It s a family affair ANSW women s teams were given a boost this season by the addition of new juniors mums, Helen Ashworth, Kathryn Hogg, Fiona McKinlay and Kim Wilson. These mums bravely decided to step off the sidelines and onto the start line for a piece of the action! Besides being great role models for their children and inspiring all striders out there to sign up, their participation this season meant that we were able to enter more teams and gain more points for the club! Thanks to these mums and all our regular female ANSW runners Louise Arnott, Lisa-Anne Carey, Jo Cowan, Jai di Tommaso, Anna Fitzgerald, Laura James, Jean King-Smith, Cath Rasmussen, Melissa Selby, Mel Vernon, Anna White, Jenny Wickham, Jo Williamson, Denise Wilson and Caroline Yarnell. This photo was taken at the NSW State 5km Cross Country Championship at Rydalmere with Mary Stringer (50+ winner), Caroline Yarnell (40+ winner) and Anna Fitzgerald (30+ winner). The Strider women s 35+ team won gold, and the 45+ team won silver at the same event! Please contact Mary Stringer if you would like to represent striders at ANSW events in the summer season. 8
9 Running speed session specifics Chris & Greta Truscott Rejoov Fitness We know that running faster and for longer involves more than merely getting out and jogging around the block. In fact there are many different types of running speed sessions you can do to add variety and improve your performance. All speed sessions should be preceded by a minutes warm up jog and followed by a minutes cool down jog. Beginners should do a very light 10 minute walk /jog to warm up and the same for the cool down. Beginners are not expected to do hard or fast speed work. Some of our favourite speed sessions are: FARTLEK consists of harder surges interspersed with a rolling recovery (slow but faster than a jog). The surges should be at approximately 85-90% max pace. 20mins (2 x 90secs, 4 x 60secs, 4 x 30secs, 4 x 15secs) The first of the each of the above is a fast surge (85-90% max) and the 2 nd a recovery float (70-75% pace) 2-3 sets (totalling 18-27mins) of (3min hard, 60sec jog, 2min hard, 1min jog, 1min hard, 1min jog before going straight back to 3mins hard) Unstructured - Mix up any variation whilst out running i.e. (15-30mins) alternating between hard efforts & recoveries around a lake, park or pinpoint markers such as trees/posts to surge at TEMPO speed sessions are hard aerobic efforts corresponding to 15km to 21km race pace. Efforts at approximately 85% max pace. The effort should be harder than conversation pace Breathing and pace should be controlled and leave the runner feeling they could continue. Continuous 4-8km tempo effort 2 x 10mins tempo efforts with a short recovery of about two minutes in between 2-3 x 3km efforts with 4-5mins recovery in between INTERVAL speed sessions totalling between 4-6kms (not including warm up 2-4km and cool down 2-4km). 10 x 400m intervals with 60secs recovery jog between each. Efforts at 90% pace 6 x 800m intervals with 90secs recovery jog between each. Efforts at 85-90% pace 4-6 x 1km intervals with 90secs-2mins recovery jog between each. Efforts at 85% pace 3-4 x 1km or 2km intervals with 2mins recovery jog between each. Efforts at 85% pace 3km effort at 80% pace (2mins recovery), 2km effort at 80-85% pace (2mins recovery), 1km effort at 85-90% pace HILL EFFORTS help build strength. Add hills throughout any of your general runs or incorporate into speed sessions and long run a few 20-60sec hills are perfect. Add at the end of a speed session i.e. 4k fartlek then 4-8 x 20-30sec hills JOG / WALK SESSIONS FOR BEGINNERS: Designed for beginners or those returning from injury or a long period off running. It is important to start off very gradually with distance and pace. As much walking / jogging combination as required across 20-30minutes, 2-3 times a week. Add in walking breaks when the jogging becomes difficult and resume running once recovered. Gradually increase the jogging amount and only incorporate speed work after sufficient base km s have been reached. The Sand-hill Crew (note: they re smiling!)
10 Running speed session specifics cont. For optimum fitness your weekly sessions should consist of: LONG RUN = ENDURANCE INTERVALS = SPEED MODERATE RUNS = ENDURANCE + ADDED KM S FARTLEK or TEMPO = SPEED ENDURANCE HILLS = STRENGTH RECOVERY RUNS = RECOVERY + ADDED KM S >> ENDURANCE + SPEED + STRENGTH + RECOVERY = OPTIMUM FITNESS Chris & Greta hold twice weekly running sessions (Tuesday - tempo / fartlek and Friday intervals / hills) in Centennial Park. You can use these sessions to train for specific running events or simply to get fit and in shape. All levels welcome. Sessions start 6.15am sharp for warm up. As a special offer, all Strider members will receive their first two sessions for free. For more information visit or Sydney Striders Awards dinner Jo Cowan Amongst the bright lights and sensational views from the Star room at Sydney s IMAX theatre, more than 130 Striders donned their finery and spent a night applauding our award winners and gaining insights from Olympic marathoner Lisa Weightman. In true Striders tradition the room was abuzz with conversation you would think that, after running with each other every Sunday, we wouldn t have much to talk about, but it was not the case. Including a sumptuous 2 course dinner with wine, the night started with speeches followed by a few of the marathon awards. Amongst cheers & flashing cameras recipients bounced on stage with enthusiasm to receive their trophies. Our guest speaker was Lisa Weightman, bronze medallist at the Commonwealth Games in India, London Olympic marathon finisher (18 th ) and Australian representative for many overseas events. Sharing with us her insights into running, Lisa also discussed the importance of recovery which she had neglected and suffered from many stress fractures during her early career years as a result. Reviewing her training schedule on top of her work schedule (yes she works full time) made many in the room admire how she does it all. Lisa s achievements are also testament the support of her husband who runs with her every day. Following Lisa s speech the club s latest life members Steve Cornelius and Peter Woods were announced (see separate article). The evening concluded with the announcement of the club s most prestigious award, The Maria Gemenis Cruikshank Outstanding Achievement Award. For 2013 the award went to two people: Jess Baker and Brendan Davies. Extremely well deserved in both cases. So if you missed this night don t fret! It will be on again in 2014 again with great food, great company, an inspiring speaker and a chance to get all glammed up and be with friends. See you in 2014! (or at the Xmas Awards Brunch in December). 10
11 Paris 2013 Ginta Viliunas At last...my Paris race report! As I ve observed to several people already, whoever designed that city, really had a marathon in mind. Early April is a perfect race date, too: while the weather can do anything, on 7 April 2013, it was cool, but close to perfect for marathon running. Starting in about 1-2 degrees; it warmed up to a high of about 5-6 by the time I arrived (after an eventful run more below) at the finish line. Good thing that the snow which greeted me on arrival in Paris a mere 3 days beforehand, was not evident... The hard facts: 39,967 competitors participated in the 37 th running of the Marathon de Paris with Schneider Electric as the major sponsor. The men s winner: 22 yr old Kenyan Peter Some 2:05:38 (PB); the women s winner: 24 yr old Ethiopian Boru Tadese 2:21:06 (PB & women s race record). Luckily for them there seemed to be enough port-a-loos in the elite start corral. Back in the rather more sedate 3:30 pace group s start corral, things were different. There was an acute shortage of toilets and, with 5 minutes to go till the start gun for the ablebodied run, there were about women in each of 4 queues for the loos. Two French girls & I decided this was simply not on, so we made for the gutter...one of the French girls suddenly grabbed me by the upper arm, flashed a particularly impish grin, reached into her race bum bag and, to the collective delight of many a (some, by now, cross -eyed) female marathoner, pulled out & unfurled a sparkling gold foil heat blanket! She held it aloft, I grabbed the other corner and we held it up as a modesty screen, to the sound of the French girls proclaiming : La Toilette D Or! The fact that there were spectators on the other side of the crowd control fence, meant absolutely nothing to any of us runners, we all dropped our daks in the gutter, smack bang in the middle of the Champs Elysees, without a second thought! I will confess to a wry smile the next day, when I walked very slowly - past that spot, at the thought of the antics which had gone on, right there, the previous morning, in the shadow of such well-known fashion icons as the Louis Vuitton flagship store, Cartier, Pierre Ricaud, Christian Dior, the uber-trendy Nespresso Boutique, Fendi, Chanel Jouillerie, L Occitaine en Provence, Balenciaga George V and many others...and there we had dropped our racing shorts and...peeeeed! The course description woven into this report is dedicated to all Francophiles: thousands of runners started off down one of the most famous streets in the western world, the Avenue des Champs Elysees, some 200 metres past the Arc de Triomphe, in an easterly direction. We ran around the Place de la Concorde, along the Rue de Rivoli and onto the Rue St-Antoine, around the Place de la Bastille, past the Chateau de Vincennes and, in a big 10K loop, towards and through the Bois de Vincennes. It was in the Bois de Vincennes that events took a turn for the not-so-good, as my Parisian run was not without adversity. One fact (especially relevant to anyone reading this who is a marathon runner & may be considering Paris) water stations in the Paris marathon are provided only every 5kms. Quite Spartan: it means that they are damn popular spots! Everyone wants to make very, very sure that they get their water, as one s next opportunity is not for another 5kms. Statistically, I guess I was in line for some sort of an incident (Paris was my 9 th competitive marathon since 2009), so, at one level, it was not a shock, but a pain nevertheless. My goal in Paris was a 3:30 marathon. The headlines are that I started off brilliantly, went through 10K in 48 mins and was still at that pace at the 15K drink station (in the Bois de Vincennes). I was reaching for a water bottle from the table to my left when a Frenchman collided into me from the left (I m still not sure how that happened, but happen it did!).
12 Although we both managed to stay upright, we did stop momentarily, which caused a tres grand homme courant, to body slam into me from the back and send me flying to the ground, landing first on my chin. My glasses flew off my face, both knees firmly planted in the bitumen of the (otherwise quite lovely) road through the Bois de Vincennes... Sadly, although I now had not one, but two Frenchmen on my back, neither of them was well-mannered and there was no champagne involved...the one on top got up and just ran off, the other had the good grace to drag me up by the elbow & attempt to attract the attention of a volunteer at the drinks table, to no avail. Mumbling something in French, he, too, ran off. I snuck back out on the course, retrieved my prescription sunnies and was insanely relieved that, despite being bent, they were not beyond retrieval. I coaxed them back into shape and the first thing I saw through my slightly mangled but still functional glasses, was a blind runner and his guide. What a shot of perspective! I had a stern talk with myself along the lines of: So your chin s throbbing, big deal, you don t run with your chin; your knees are bleeding, so what? That runner will neversee! & You came to Paris to run the marathon, not to feel sorry for yourself!, that sort of thing. I did momentarily lose it & indulged myself by cussing like a trooper, hurling the water bottle onto the ground so forcefully that it bounced back up, higher than the person next to whom I had chucked it...however, gladly, the need for disciplined running (!) overtook me and after the Stern Talk With Self, I kept going, reasoning that I would simply not be able to run if it were the case that I had broken something. I emerged from the Bois de Vincennes and continued onto the Ave Daumesnil to the half way point in 1:45 and was still feeling sort of OK. However, I have to concede that it was tough (especially when I got all these looks and stares from the thousands of spectators, complete with Ooooh la la...la pauvre...! ). The course then continued in a westerly direction, past the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, along the Tuileries Gardens and the Musee D Orsay just opposite, the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower. It is seriously cool running in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower... The Parisian crowds are just great: very, very vocal, heaps of live bands; European marathons seem to do that particularly well! The fact that one s name& country is on each runner s bib, is really great. It seems to me to be a relatively simple step for race organisers to undertake and engenders massive amounts of feel good factor. We left the banks of the Seine at the 31K mark, to be well and truly in the Bois de Boulogne at the 33K mark. The last nearly 10K is eaten up by the roads through the Bois de Boulogne with a magical finish at Port Dauphine in the Avenue Foch. I ended up with a time of 4:00:52 (damn those 52 seconds!). My chin swelled up to the size of a small prune and my knees were pretty gross, with blood streaking down my shins...and into my shoes which were a fairly unappealing shade of dirty pink. A big 30 minute fade in the second half, but what with the collision, I console myself with the thought that it s an OK result. Not to plan, but then, that s the lot of the distance runner. Just think of some of the Boston field this year, their race certainly didn t go according to plan. I consoled myself several times - in the back end of the race, with this thought: The quicker you finish this, the faster you ll be able to get to the medical tent, where they ll be nice to you! They ll have to be nice to you.. The Parisian crowds are very, very encouraging and the names on bibs meant that total French randoms called out encouragement along the lines of: Ginta! Allez! Allez! Allons-y!! Courage! Courage!... or, in my case: Ginta! Australia! Allez... (spectator s gaze drops to my knees)...oooh la la.... I also got a lot of Ginta! Australia! COUR- AGE!! Well, I did finish, I did get to the med tent, and they were nice to me. 12
13 After washing off the gunk and cleaning up both knees and my chin, they pronounced (no doubt because they are possessed of x- ray vision) that they didn t think that I had broken anything. Great!, I lamely thought my knees were swelling up as I watched them... (Happily, the opinion about my knees being OK has been echoed by Bruce Caldwell, a Sydney orthopaedic surgeon, since my return.) A thoroughly charming French podiatrist in the med tent asked whether he could look at my feet. Being in no real hurry to leave, I consented. After a (very pleasant!) examination more along the lines of a minimassage - he proclaimed: Your feet are very fine, very good you even have every of your toenails!. Sadly, in conscience, I then had to leave the med tent and make way for other runners, some of whom were on stretchers. The elusive & magical 3:30 marathon will have to wait until Chicago in October (the Redemption Run)! The running gods had smiled on me upon my arrival in Paris as I had met a couple of extremely pleasant Kiwis on the bus from the airport to the city. Casey Plunket very speedy tax lawyer (Paris in 3:01, since then Casey has run Wellington, NZ m thon in 2:55!) - and his mother, Merran. They very kindly invited me to join them & a bunch of crazy Kiwis for post-race drinks at the interestingly named (but very swish!) Hotel California. A very friendly gesture, and, although it took me about an hour to hobble/walk the 2 kms or so to get there, I did need to keep the legs moving as whatever be the fate of my knees, things would only be compounded by stiff muscles...(this turned out to be a good move). Those Kiwis are a very fine bunch and it was delightful to have some company. On my return to the hotel and to what has to be described as a slightly disappointing, fairly off-hand, cool reception by the hotel staff, I applied the RICE (rest, ice, compression & elevation) strategy. An indication of the off-handedness of the hotel staff: I rang the desk later that evening (a Sunday night in a small hotel, totally not busy) & asked whether someone would please bring me some ice. Nothing doing! I had to schlep downstairs & get the ice myself... There was at least one other Sydney Strider in the event, the exceptionally quick Craig McCredie, who I d met in London. Craig had a great run and did a PB: 2:29! Awesome stuff, just amazing. Sadly, although Craig & I had unexpectedly seen one another training on the streets of the northern beaches in Sydney, I did not see Craig in Paris (not surprising, he s far too fast for me when racing). He came 2 nd in his category and 43 rd overall! I did this Parisian trip by myself. It was a most unusual and pleasant experience to be able to do Paris wherever, whenever and for however long I wanted to. Nevertheless, the downside of solo travel is highlighted in situations such as that in which I found myself on Sunday evening. You can imagine how very, very grateful I was to have the comfort (and mobile number!) of my dear friend Helen McKenzie s sister Evelyn (who has made Paris her home). I d had a lovely, chatty dinner with Evelyn the evening before the race. After the event, I related to her my tale of woe she was especially supportive and helpful. Despite resting, icing, compressing and elevating them, both of my knees swelled up to the size of small melons on Sunday night. As I went to bed, wondering how I would fare in the Walking Department in the morning, it was a blessed and very real relief to know that if things were really desperate on Monday (my last full day in Paris) I could contact Evelyn (and she d be nice to me!). Happily, however, without setting any land speed records, I was able to get about on Monday and even very slowly - attend to a few retail assignments. As for Boston this year...devastating. I did Boston in 2010 and still regard it as one of the all-time great runs. It was especially creepy watching the news coverage of Boston 2013 in our family as the spot where the bombs went off, is the very spot where David, Vida & Ziggy (then 15 y/o) were standing in 2010, trying to get a glimpse of me finishing the race. I have several photos, taken by them, of the finishing stretch, of that very spot. And the time on the clock (4:09) corresponds pretty much with my Boston 2010 finishing time (3:36). There, but for the grace... I m now in harness for the 5 th (of 6) in the WMM (World Marathon Majors) Series Chicago on 13 October Bring it on!
14 Deaflympics Sofia, Bulgaria 2013 Melinda Vernon The Deaflympics is the 2nd oldest Olympic event in the world behind the Olympics and in front of the Paralympics, with the first Deaflympics starting in Competing at my second Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria held from 26th July to 4th August, in the 10,000m and 5,000m track double, I endured mixed emotions from the race outcomes and my departure from track racing. The racing conditions were considered as brutal by a distance track runner's perspective, as the event times were scheduled for 5pm starts in the middle of a heatwave summer, with regular 37 degree and dry conditions, along with a poorly maintained athletics track, making for tough track racing! The first race scheduled was the 10,000m on the first night of the athletics - I came away with 2nd place with the Russian woman, Olga, turning the tables on the placings from the last Deaflympic Games in Taipei in It was an extremely tough outcome as I led for the entire race only to be outsprinted on the last lap. However, I reminded myself that I did the best I could despite the conditions and lead up to the games in which I suffered a Achilles injury and had not done much speedwork to cover myself for those crucial points in a track race. The 5,000m was equally tough, placing 3rd behind two Russians - I collapsed at the end of the race with heatstroke and thankfully had assistance from our Australian team physiotherapist, Bridget Gamble to look after me, as the healthcare system in Bulgaria was something I did not want to encounter! I was one of only two Australians to medal at the games with the only other medal belonging to my room-mate, Amy Mills, who won gold in the Javelin. I had mixed emotions coming away from the games, knowing that I couldn't defend my titles from 2009 and that I had finished track racing and now looking forward to opening a new chapter in my sporting career, by focusing solely on competing in ITU Triathlon racing. I am looking forward to this new journey and have goals to make Rio for Triathlon and be competitive on the world circuit on a consistent basis. 14
15 20 years on still going strong Leigh Mac Ritchie In 1993 my brother Michael motivated me to take part, he told me it was fun and I decided to take part in At this stage my running life was limited to Little Athletics and school cross country. In 1994 I finished my first run in 94 mins on a sunny warm day. I remember having very sore legs the next day. Back then there weren t the crowds we have now. It was also before water restrictions came into Sydney and I remember how wonderful it was that members of the public stood hosing passing runners. This was stopped during the drought and has never been re-introduced. There have been many memorable moments over the last 20 years, including the years 1999 and 2000, I was a member of the school s athletic team and we came 2 nd in both years. More recently I raced my PB. I remember sneaking to the front of the red group, behind the seeded and preferred runners. I was next to a runner dressed as the late Michael Jackson, and was very impressed with the attention to detail in his costume. That day I had a great start to the run finished it in a comfortable 68 mins. Over the last couple years the City 2 Surf has provided a challenging training event in the lead up to other running events such as the Blackmore s Running Festival. The day is always a fun and sociable day out sharing with friends and family. This year was a record of 85,000 entrants. How does Sydney manage this event on such a large scale? But this is what Sydney does very well host huge events... safely. This day has become an event for everyone and despite the crowds, frustrating queues and slight madness; it is a great Sydney day out. I finished my 20th run yesterday in ideal Sydney weather conditions. A day made all the more special with the company of Sydney Strider friends. A huge thank you to Striders for hosting and making this day very eventful. Go Striders. Striders Team Results 2013 FIRST for Vet Women s (40-49) & Women s (50 and over) - well done Ladies Second Men s Open, Women s Open, Vet Men s (40-49), Vet Men s (50 and over) Imagine if we got organised one year with teams in all the categories.
16 Striders for Life The The AGM voted for 2 life members Steve Cornelius & Peter Woods. Peter Woods joined Kevin O Kane s MTG in 2000 to run in Canberra That was 12 years ago and after being in the club for only 12 months, our very convincing President Jim Screen convinced Peter that the 10k race gear belonged in his garage and from that time on Peter has looked after all of this racing equipment. It is a huge job, Peter comes to every 10k race arriving at 5.30am. The packing of the equipment into a 4 door sedan requires precision, determination and patience and it amazes every 10k race director how so much can fit into a car of this size. Peter is also responsible for all the cleaning and maintenance of the equipment including the timing clock. He brings all the equipment to all our internal race events (Equaliser and internal half). We believe that he has packed and unpacked his car 144 times or more. He has also manage to take the odd holiday where he schedules these around our race calendar. There has been the odd occasion when he has been sick (he even turned up one dreadful race day at North Head with pneumonia) or had to go away so Peter has arranged for the gear to be brought by 2-3 people. Whilst at the club Peter has achieved some excellent personal bests in marathons: 2001 Canberra and 2002 Canberra 3:21:37 but the elusive 3:15 time was never to be Peter had knee operations but he got to go to all the 10k races saw a return to a 45 min 10k and then six foot training began. Peter finished the 2006, 2007,2008,2009,2010, 2011 and was ready for 2012 except for a certain river. Six Foot has become a passion! We thank Peter for his commitment to Sydney Striders as the 10k gear manager. Steve Cornelius joined Sydney Striders in 1982 when there were only 100 members. In 1983 Steve took on the Calendar role plus hosted and designed the Harbourside Hike Star in Naremburn and later the host at the Bondi Life Saver STaR. Between 1983 and 1986 Steve was the Section Supervisor for Striders' Open Half-Marathon. In 1984 he was appointed as the Second President of Sydney Striders, following founder Charles Coville. From Steve was the Race Director for the Striders' Open 24-Hour Track Race and in 1987 he was the Striders Representative at the National Conference of Ultra Race Directors. Ultra s were Steve s passion so Steve was the Striders/NSW Representative, Westfield Sydney-to-Melbourne Qualifying Committee. In 1989 he was the Timing Manager for Striders' Open 24- Hour Track Race. During these years he was also the Internal Events Director. He became the Blister sub editor in 1990 and took the editor s role in producing 14 editions (#55 to #68). The following are some of the Club Landmarks achieved through Steve s efforts: Computerised Striders' membership records, race results & mail-outs, STaR Calendar and all STaR maps & directions and Coordinated the shift of STaRs from members' homes to public parks Coordinated the first relay trophy ever won by Striders (Wollongong-Sydney 5x10-miles) Directed the first Ultra-distance race ever organised by Striders (Open 24- Hour Track). Late 1980s Developed Striders' first computerised race handicapping system Produced the first A4-size Blister and the first fully-word-processed edition. Developed Striders' first Age-Gender-a&-Distance- Adjusted scoring tables (used Super Series). Personal achievements as a member: 1982 Best Marathon 2:55:31 Wollongong- Sydney 50-mile- 1st Strider to finish any Ultra 1983 first Striders team to win any team event anywhere (Woodford to Glenbrook 25k 1983) First Strider to finish 4 consecutive Wollongong-Sydney 50-mile races and 1994 Won Tailford Award for best Blister article twice. 3 times MC of Striders' Awards Most prolific Blister contributor of 1980s and 1990s under own name and nom-de-plume S.W. Bag. Steve s dedication to Sydney Striders has been amazing across the very early days for the club. 16
17 When your fifth desert feels as good as your first: Big Red Run 2013 Roger Hanney We all know how it s meant to go. Went for a run, some of it went better than expected, some of it didn t. Stuff happened along the way, probably involving other runners, spectators or crew, insert finish time here, fun was had by all, and next year should be even bigger. But it s a little harder to boil down to a couple of pages when the event is a 250km multiday in the Simpson Desert, when it s the final chapter in a 5-part story that s literally taken you and your teammates to the end of the world and back, when it s the final several thousand steps in a runner s extended dream year. Flashback sequence: Team Born to Run forms as 2011 finishes, the brainchild of Greg Donovan, exuberant selfdeprecating accountant and father of Steven inspiration for the Born to Run Foundation, having developed type 1 diabetes out of nowhere (the usual place) in his mid-teens. Greg conscripts older son and crossfit ninja Matt Donovan, non-son and much, much older steeplechasing ultramarathoner Ron Schwebel, ultradevastator and self-confessed bringer-of-the-oestrogen Jess Baker, and her type 1 manbag, me, to run all over the world. Running, power-hiking, and shuffling fully-laden more or less shoulder to shoulder every step of the way we spend 4 weeks during 2012 Racing the Planet across Chile s high altitude Atacama Desert, China s gastroriddled Gobi, Egypt s scorching and soft-surfaced Sahara, and finally, The Last Desert Antarctica. We survive daily attacks by penguins and large breakfasts to become the first team to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, totalling roughly 4,500 race kilometres between the 5 of us. In the meantime the charity which it s all in aid of, Greg s newly launched Born to Run Foundation, raises close to $150,000 in donations. Even as Ronathan parties aboard ship wearing only a space blanket mankini, the most audacious race yet is being prepared the Big Red Run. As the Foundation s signature fundraising event, can a 250km run and marathon, set in the Simpson Desert to the tunes of a John Williamson concert and wrangled by Pole-to-Pole maniac Pat Farmer succeed where others haven t even dared to try? Or is Greg s vision so crazy it might just work? Before the Big Red Run even kicked off in Birdsville in early July, the adventure had begun. Some runners took a 3-day bus from Sydney to reach the remote south-west corner of Queensland. Others travelled from other capitals. None found shortcuts, apart from the handful who group-booked a private charter almost directly from the Gold Coast Marathon aftermath, arriving late in the evening with little time to check gear or recover before the first day. But Annabel Hepworth seems to thrive without sleep. The shortest travel option we could arrange put us on an early morning flight to Brisbane where we met a minibus and an assortment of interesting travel companions. More about them later, because it s very important to mention that our halfway stop on the 1900km journey to a town of 80 made famous by camel races that attracts 8,000 landed us Charleville, a truckstop of a town built on borewater. Coming from natural sources several hundred metres under the ground, this water has a sulphurous aroma to it. Basically, running a hot shower for more than 10 seconds creates an irresistible impression that somebody has not just cut the cheese in your motel room, but shredded the entire dairy. The taste of the tap water isn t any better, and you can only look on in horror as your partner drinks a schooner of it, saying that it tastes fine, when the only reason for her flavourless ignorance is a lingering head cold that has crushed her sense of smell. Otherwise she might not set herself to drinking a glass of farts. Now, to the Big Red Run itself. Long story short: wow. In a nutshell, awesome.
18 The local voice of ABC Radio had himself a table set up under the awning of the big, old character-rich Birdsville Hotel, keeping the banter going and describing the spectacle before him to regional listeners across Queensland as the sun rose over the wide, red main street of town to a perfect day and runners and supporters began to gather. A 6-metre-high giant inflatable red archway left little confusion about where the start line might be. Inside the pub, bush hats hang in rows from the ceiling over the bar, name tags denoting the since-departed wearers who have all earned the high honour by sticking out a full year of mustering or jillarooing in this sunburnt hamlet. No word of a lie, a hat hangs there for someone by the name John Doe. All manner of personal stories yet to make themselves known to each other gathered under that archway on the Monday morning in question. A surprising number of runners as well as some of the volunteer crew assembled with the intention of doing the Big Red Dash, completing just the one marathon rather than running all week. 40 or so runners clustered together reminding each other that overcooking it on today s 42.2km stage would be the best way to make the 208km to follow over the following 4 days really hurt. A local elder welcomed us to country and we exchanged mutual appreciation. Pat Farmer gave us some hardearned wisdom about keeping the body in one piece. Race Director Adrian Bailey, infamous for the quadblasting Shotover Moonlight Marathon in New Zealand s back country, shouted wild Welsh enthusiasm in the manner for which he would become known to all throughout the week, and away we went, with the entire town more or less lining a couple of streets to cheer us on our way. Greg s wife Raelene was there with best friend Leanne, both set for their first marathon with neither knowing that only one of them would cross the line in a traumatic night. Lucy Bartholomew was there, a 17-year-old who as a 16-year-old provoked a flurry of online protest that a girl s developing body couldn t take such punishment last year when she ran the 100km Surf Coast Century. She ran it in just over 12 hours. David Haridemos was there too, more or less running his first marathon for the challenge of it and wanting a better outcome for his daughter Tiarnie, an event volunteer and one of the many people living with type 1 diabetes who had been drawn to this week of dirty running. One in 200 Australians have type 1, so to find over a dozen of them in a group of 200, never mind 3 of them running 250km, was an early measure of the event s significance. Personally, I ran the first 10km of that day with a gingerbearded chap by the name of Keith who deliberately chose this as his first marathon. Type 1 for just over a year, it had ejected him from the Australian Special Forces, and the army had drawn up a 2-year exit strategy to ease him out of the service. Unfortunately, regulations around the army, fire brigade, and other physically intense career paths are still based on a primitive understanding of type 1. One volunteer, Jill, had been living with the D for over 40 years and amazingly still had no need for glasses or contacts, a claim that most of her sexagenarian peers can t make. She had lived through the diabetic dark ages of testing glucose levels by peeing on a strip, non-disposable hypodermic syringes, and the forced exclusion of all sugar from her diet. Now amazing technologies read blood quickly and accurately and deliver tightly controlled dosages of insulin while type 1s do almost everything, from winning Olympic rowing Gold to Ironman, summiting Everest, and running ultramarathons at pace. 18
19 Entrenched ignorance still discourages full participation across many aspects of life, but it s increasingly clear that the value of living actively and even on the edge goes far beyond a cardio workout or the burning of flabby calories. It s a reason why a fellow named Duncan Read who had previously hiked 100km but never run a multiday was there with his own 27-year-old batch of type 1. Dunc would go on to completely surprise himself, elicit tears of joy from people who would share in his achievements along the way, and write his own 20-page race report that would be read close to a thousand times in its first week online. Oh yes, you, dear Strider, are just getting the crib notes on this one. But surely there s an easier way to celebrate running than to drive for 3 days just to end up in your own backyard? It s understandable for people who travel a bit to say that spending that much time in a vehicle had better land them in the middle of another country. But we did end up in another country, more or less. smacked it too hard with expectations high. A stress fracture sent him from first to last where he toughed it out for ten days until the constant pounding sent the injury numb and he could again run, finding his place once more near the front. The Big Red Run had its own finish line tales of the unexpected. Matty Abel started the final competitive day with an hour lead over 2 nd -placed Jess Baker. Spectators who didn t know better uttered the phrase in the bag. Matt s ITB exploded coming into the 2 nd checkpoint. He could have easily pulled out. Everybody would have understood agreed - that it was the wise thing to do. He zombie-hobbled, shuffled, and ran for the next 8 hours and 65km for a hard-fought podium finish. Meanwhile, an unknown distance ahead, somewhere over the next horizon, Jess and Lucy ran together for what can only be described as a Total Girl Power Man Smash, their 8 ½ hour brutalizing of one-third of the week s entire course putting them respectively into outright 1 st and 3 rd places. Over the coming days, shrinking lagoons and crusty salt plains would remind some of us of our time running across the high prehistoric ocean floors of Chile. The gibber flats, vast expanses of red rocks, sizzling in the midday sun and sometimes cracked open to reveal the red spirals and fan shapes of fossils within, recalled the Gobi s relentless rubble. Sahara? The Sahara s horizonto-horizon stretch of entirely unvegetated soft sand is hard to mimic, but long tough stretches of sand dune running and the challenging perspective of distant ridges that would resist coming closer certainly conjured memories of Egypt. Antarctica? Nope. Even with the long day hallucinations, that would be an exaggeration. Drama, blisters, running weblebrity Mohan Marathon, Nathan the all-dancing lady-wrangling young MC, and camping - this week had it all. Accomplished endurance runners were knocked down by injury. Volunteer course markers went missing in the middle of the night. One injured runner could only be extracted by helicopter. The doctors watched on in disbelief at the levels of masochism on display and the physios rolled their sleeves up for another 6-hour session beside the finish line. Pat Farmer ripped through a motivational fireside yarn with the story of his 2 nd Race Across America when he
20 First time marathoners became first time ultramarathoners. Greg s son Steve who first inspired the idea for a foundation promoting endurance sport as the key to endurance in life ran and hobbled the whole way with his Dad, coming across the line late in the evening of the 84km long day, delirious and excited, overjoyed and achingly aware of what they had achieved together. But one of the biggest moments of the week was reserved for a huge-hearted guy who announced on Facebook just nights before the event, Hey Family & Friends, hope you are all well. Myself...need all your support. The accompanying link to his donations page and an ultra-marathon caught people around Mark Moala by surprise. If an Islander could go from couch to 250, then maybe people around him in a community where chronic health issues are all too common, could also rise to more modest yet similarly hard-to-imagine goals. So just after 3am, on his feet for over 20 hours, with Pat Farmer a man who has run the length of the planet both spurring him on and sharing in his monumental journey, Mark was welcomed into the final campsite for the week by a sound system blaring Chariots of Fire against the darkness as almost everybody roused from their tents to welcome him home. Mark s wall now features an inspirational quote, the distance between your dreams and reality is called action. And there s a photo of 2 of his sisters finishing what might well be their first City2Surf. The Big Red Run We went for a run. Stuff happened along the way. Fun was had by all. Next year should be even bigger. The Donovan Family finish. 20
21 MTG Amy Cheung The Marathon Training Group (MTG) recommenced in April 2013 and had run 782km as of 11 August The group will have 6 more weeks and 360km to run before the event the group has been training for the Sydney Marathon. For many of us it will be our first marathon and it will be a personal goal just to be there to finish the 42.2km. For others the MTG provides a nurturing training ground for runners who have recently returned to the sport of marathon running. The MTG is led by Mary Stringer, Phil Skurrie and Tony Kellner (special thanks to Barry, Daryl, Liz & Nigel for helping out too). Every Sunday, our dedicated MTG leaders are always there (wind, rain, hail and/or shine!), beaming with enthusiasm, and ready to take the MTG to a long run. They have shared their training tips, including how and what to drink, fuel up, and most importantly, provided the company and leadership to help the group complete the tough weekly long run. The MTG training program varies slightly from most of the other training plans out there in a sense that it is longer and more gradual, so it is better tailored for new marathon runners. The MTG also provides a wonderful platform for newer Striders to get to know the Sunday Training Runs (STaRs) as well as providing an opportunity to meet other Striders. Through our long training runs where we have battled seemingly never-ending hills, injuries, howling wind, rain, rain, and more rain, we have formed wonderful friendships. We have all whinged and almost shed tears looking at the next hill, but we persisted and continued on, knowing that there will always be a downhill after an uphill, and most importantly, we know that the group will always cheer and wait for you at the top of the hill. The MTG is on now until the Blackmores Sydney Marathon on 22 September The group follows the weekly STaRs. For further information please contact Mary Stringer s thoughts on the MTG: Highlights... Meeting such a great group of people and getting to know everyone's diverse interests outside of running (e.g. Amy from outrigger canoeing and Gilbert and rock climbing etc ); Seeing everyone improve each week is a very rewarding experience ; Remembering how special that first marathon is; and Phil creating the MTG Facebook page (and Tony finally getting himself on Facebook!). Funny moments My partner Greg and I sailing our boat to Roseville marina the night before the STAR at Middle Harbour (with the intent of sleeping on the boat and not having to get up so early) but getting lost in the dark the next morning and somehow missing the path up from the marina to the start. So we were arrived late and only just made it because we hailed a passing car (thanks to strider Zoe Cameron for the lift!!) Thank goodness Tony had things under control! Most memorable run Vaucluse Variation in the pouring rain (I would never have got out of bed for this run except for the MTG!) Downside Having to get up so early every Sunday morning! Not being able to read maps in the dark! And one more thought I've really come to appreciate how much hard work Phil Skurrie and other MTG leaders have put in over the years. This is my first time with MTG and it's great to have two other very committed people like Phil and Tony to share the load- takes the pressure off if you are injured or can't make the run. It would be great to have more striders run with MTG from time to time to share their wealth of experience with the group.
22 Juniors Corner Tony Wong Training Monday night Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen at 6.00 pm (cost is $5.50 per individual for the use of the track). From Monday 14 October, we will be training with Manly Warringah Little Athletics (MWLAC) at the same venue. The cost for Striders who are not members of the MWLAC will be $5 per session for the use of the track, payable to MWLAC (via us Tony and Caroline). Thursday night training is at 6.00pm at North Steyne until Daylight Saving. After that, Thursday training will be moved to Passmore Reserve, Manly Vale opposite McKellar Girls High School. Both sessions last for approximately 1.5 hours. There will be a break in training during the Spring School Holidays. Please for details at Tessa Constantine, Hannah Gibson, guest speaker Lisa Weightman and Josh Phillips at the May Awards Dinner Athletics New South Wales Winter Series Despite the fact that many of our juniors were at the younger end of their age groups, which are in two year chunks, e.g. under 12, under 14, under 16 etc., and the fact that quite a few had their season interrupted by illness and injuries, the teams did us very proud as ever. Novice Cross Country Championship The day started out brilliantly with Tom Davies taking out the under 12 2k event in a time of 7 minutes and 17 seconds. In the 4k, Daniel Francken was first Strider home in 13 minutes and 3 seconds. Hannah Gibson won first senior medal by coming second in the Womens 7k Novice Championship. Hannah and Bethany Halmy helped the Striders Women s open team to 5th place overall. NSW Road Championship It was another glorious day for the Sydney 10 and the results did not disappoint. Hannah Gibson claimed her first State Title with her win in the under 18 girls 5k in a time of 17 minutes and 51 seconds, while Daniel Franken was the fastest male Strider with 16 minutes 11 seconds. In the team competitions, the under 18 boys team (Daniel, David Gardiner, Adam Halmy and Paul Loader) won gold. There were also bronze medals for the under 20 girls (Hannah, Bethany Halmy, Amelia Gorman and Jess Vernon) and the under 16 boys (Daniel Watt, Fraser McKinley, Ben Jagger and Nick Corel). In the 2.5k, Tom Davies was the fastest boy Strider in 8 minutes 55 seconds while Sophie Gocher was the fastest girl Strider in 9 minutes 17 seconds. In the team competition, there were silver medals for the under 14 boys (Tom Davies, Sophie Gocher, Benji Wilson and Ewan Shingler) and the under 12 Girls (Nicola Hogg, Emily Gocher, Ciara Sinclair and Emma Kirkland). under 12 girls team of Emma Kirkland, Emily Gocher, Ciara Sinclair and Nicola Hogg 22
23 NSW Cross Country Relays While the weather was kind with the rain staying way until mid afternoon, there was plenty of mud on the course. There was the usual trauma with traffic but everything went well on the day. The day started with the 4 x 2k event, where the under 12 Boys (Kieran Gorman, Benji Wilson, Ewan Shingler and Dan Cooper), and Girls (Emily Gocher, Nicola Hogg, Emma Kirkland and Ciara Sinclair) won bronze medals while the under 14 Boys (Tom Davies, Will Law, Liam Gorman and Kieran Gorman again!) won silver. Tom Davies was the fastest boy Strider with 6 minutes and 41 seconds while Sophie Gocher was the fastest girl with 6 minutes and 57 seconds. In the 4 x 3k event, the under 18 boys (Daniel Francken, Adam Halmy, Paul Loader and David Gardiner) won a silver while the under 20 girls (Hannah, Bethany Halmy, Jess Vernon and Amelia Gorman) and under 16 boys (Daniel Watts, Lachlan Cooper, Fraser Mckinley and Josh Phillips) both won bronze. The fastest boy Strider over the 3k was David Gardiner in a time of 9 minutes and 8 seconds while Hannah Gibson was the fastest girl with 10 minutes and 6 seconds. NSW Cross Country Championship We had the biggest turnout to Nowra ever and also the best result. Newcomer Lachlan Francis won a hard fought bronze medal in the under 12 boys event. The under 12 boys team (Lachlan Francis, Dan Cooper, Kieran Gorman and Jack Stockeld) was narrowly beaten into 2 nd place by the home club Nowra while the under 12 girls ((Nicola Hogg, Ciara Sinclair, Emma Kirkland and young Gemima Davies) won yet another bronze medal. There were also silver medals for the under 18 girls (Hannah Gibson, Jess Francis, Amelia Gorman and 12 year old Olivia Hogg) and under 20 girls (Hannah and Amelia again, this time with Jess Vernon and Bethany Halmy) while the under 16 boys (Lachlan Cooper, Josh Phillips, Ben Jagger and Kieran Gorman) won bronze. NSW Road Relays In the 4 x 2k event, the under 12 boys A team of Dan Cooper, Kieran Gorman, Jack Stockeld and Tom Kirkland won their first gold of the season. The B team missed out on a bronze medal by a mere 13 seconds. The fastest boy Strider over the 2k distance was Lachlan Cooper with 6 minutes 18 seconds while Hannah Gibson s 6 minutes and 47 seconds made her the fastest girl. In the 4 x 4k event, Daniel Francken ran a spectacular 12 minutes and 41 seconds to bring the under 18 boys (David Gardiner, Adam Halmy, Paul Loader and Daniel) home in third. The under 20 girls (Bethnay Halmy, Hannah Gibson, Jess Vernon and Amelia Gorman) won silver. While Daniel was the fastest boy, Hannah Gibson was the fastest girl in the 4k with her 14 minutes and 35 seconds. NSW Short Course Cross Country Championship Lachlan Francis became Sydney Striders Juniors second ever NSW Cross Country Champion in dramatic fashion in the Under 12 Boys 1.5k by making up a 30 metre deficit in the final 200 metres. Not far behind were Daniel Cooper, Kieran Gorman and Tom Kirkland.
24 This quartet won another team gold with 4 in the first 8. The B team made up of Benji Wilson, Ewan Shingler, Jack Stockeld and Cam Gorman won a bronze. In the under 16 boys 2.5k, Josh Phillips followed his win in the NSW All Schools Cross Country Championship, with a bronze medal run, despite the disadvantage of being at the younger end of the age group. In the team competition, there were silver medals for under 14 boys (Liam Gorman, Tom Davies, Jack Unterwegerr and Corey Grace) and the under 16 boys (Josh Phillips, Daniel Watts, Lachlan Cooper and Fraser McKinley) while the under 12 girls ( Nicola Hogg, Emily Gocher, Ciara Sinclair and Emma Kirkland) won bronze. The last race of the day saw our under 18 boys team pulling out all the stops to secure National Cross Country Championship selection. Daniel Fracken, Adam Halmy, David Gardiner and Paul Loader finished the season the way they started, with another team gold to add to the collection. Overall positions Kembla Joggers dominated the boys competition throughout the season. They beat our teams into second place in the under 12 boys, under 16 boys and under 18 boys while our under 14 boys won their category. In the girls competition, the under 12s and under 14s came third while the under 18s and under 20s came second. Australian Cross Country Championships Representatives The following Junior Sydney Striders have been selected to represent NSW in the Australian Cross Country Championships at Launceston on 31 August: Under 20 female: Bethany Halmy Under 18 female: Amelia Gorman Under 18 male: Daniel Francken, David Gardiner and Adam Halmy Under 16 male: Josh Phillips Under 14 male: Tom Davies Under 14 female: Sophie Gocher Under 12 male: Lachlan Francis Juniors Striders at the 10ks The regulars have been David Gardiner, Hannah Gibson and Angus Webber. The fastest male so far was David Gardiner with while Hannah was the fastest girl with City to Surf A number of juniors ran the City to Surf. Daniel Francken running from the front of the Red Start this time reduced his Junior Striders Record by over 2 minutes. The fastest 3 times were as follows: Daniel Francken (cover photo) David Gardiner 52.22, Daniel Watts have been there since year 5. 24
25 6 Questions for Lachlan Francis, the 2013 NSW under 12 Male Short Course Cross Country Champion How long have you been with the Striders and what do you like about the club? I joined in about May of this year. I really enjoy training with other kids that like running. Which school do you attend? I am in year 6 at Balgowlah Heights Public School. I have been there since year 5. Before that I went to a small primary school, St Michaels in Dunedoo. Why do you like running? I really like the sense of achievement that you feel when you have finished a hard training session or race. It makes me feel good. What other sports do you do? I play rugby union, rugby league, touch football, tennis, surfing and horse riding. I love sport!!! What is your favourite event and why? I enjoy the 2km race as it is the right distance for me. I am not a sprinter. I enjoyed running at Nowra as I am from a farm and I love the country. Does anyone else run in your family? My sister, Jessica, loves running and also trains with Sydney Striders. Mum and Dad run too but not in competitions. How many times a week do you train and what is your favourite training session? I run 5 times a week. I enjoy Thursday nights with Caroline despite the pain!!!! For further details, please visit our blog at
26 SUPER SERIES: THE FRONT RUNNERS AT THE HALFWAY MARK At the halfway mark, we throw a spotlight onto the age group leaders, ask a few questions, hoping to reveal a secret. Perhaps to provide a platform to psych out the competition or to feed them just enough rope...! Some didn't meet the copy deadline... Or perhaps just hiding their light under a bushel? them, ask them to post answers to our members Facebook page. When you next see 1. Your best running performance ever? 2. Your best running performance this year? 3. The running performance of your dreams (past / future or never!) 4. Who do you most like to beat to the line or who is your most fearsome competitor? Male Chris Jackson 1. Six Foot Debut 2013 in 4:39:08. Followed by Canberra 50 in 3:48: Gold Coast Marathon PB of 3:06: Sub 3 hr Tokyo Marathon 2014 with Dad (see Male 55-59). 4. Representing the next generation, nipping at their heels: John Bowe and Cam Arnold and of course most of all... Dad! Female Leah Evans Canberra Marathon - Time 3:45:28. Unexpected performance while training for North Face. 2. 6FT Track : minute PB. 3. Building over the next few years to run my first 100 miler. 4. Myself!!!!!!!! Male Tony Fattorini 1. Six Foot Track 2007, 3:26. So unexpected. 2. Probably Six Foot again, 3:28. Although 2 mins slower than my best. Blame it on having two kids! 3. Sub 2:30 marathon. (current PB 2:33:24). 4. Paul "Macca" McLarnon and Andy Heyden are guys that I train and race with regularity. Not sure we've ever all been at peak fitness at same time, but some good battles! Female Anna Fitzgerald 1. Breaking 80 mins for the first time Gold Coast Half Per 1. Followed by a PB of 36:42 one week later in the Sydney Harbour 10k. 3. That one Ill keep to myself. Its early days and there is lots of learning, training, hard work, and experience to accumulate To hit the line in front of any man, boy, bloke that considers it offensive to be beaten by a lady :-). there a couple of current female Striders... immensely talented and who have proven to be fearsome competitors namely, Laura James and Joanne Crackett. Over 10km, Anna White and Hannah Gibson... Greta Truscott is a seasoned performer... 26
27 Male Nigel Huband 1. Sydney Marathon PB 2012 in 3 hrs North Face 100 and conquering my fear of hills. 3. Sub 3 hr Marathon and North Face 100 again. 4. My wife, she's improving in leaps and bounds! Prams. People juggling three balls - I mean, c'mon!! :) Female Tanya Carroll 1. North Face 2013 in 16 hrs 35 (2 hrs 30 PB). 2. Per 1., and sub 70 C2S. 3. Winning UTMB outright. 4. Run half the distance of Annabel Hepworth or Alison Lilley in training. To beat Nigel Huband at North Face. Male John Bowe 1. North Face Marathon Pairs Second Leg in 5 hrs SMH Half in 85: Sub 3 / Sub 84 / Sub 38 / and Sub 4:20 Six Foot 4. Beating mate Caleb by 12 seconds in my first Six Foot. Breathing down Rob Costellos neck to finish Sydney Half just seconds behind in 85:02. He had suggested I was almost his Dads age... Nothing worse than having your Dad nearly beat you! Female April Palmerlee 1. Comrades in 9 hrs Stromlo 50km in Canberra (1st female, 3rd overall - time of 4h20m) or Sri Chinmoy 12-hour in Blacktown (1st female, 3rd overall - distance of 106.5km). 3. Maybe set my sites on a really good 24-hour result. 4. When I come in ahead of Luigi Criniti, I know I've had a good race. Male Glenn Lockwood 1. SMH Half 2007 Unexpected Sub 90 (4 min PB). 2. SMH Half Sub helping others achieve it for first time. 3. Sub 3:10 Marathon. 4. Beating Kelvin Marshall to win Caboolture 50 km in 2010 Female Leonor Lawlor 1. six Foot Track Marathon 2009 in 5 hrs North Face 100 in 24 hrs Marathon des Sables 254 Km in Beating Stephen Jackson to the line in Internal Handicap Half. Male Stephen Jackson 1. NZ Marathon in 2:32 in Canberra Marathon in 3:01 (6 mins ahead of son Chris / see Male 18-34). 3. Sub 4 hr Six Foot Track. 4. Trying to beat son Chris for as long as I possibly can (where is the respect!)... and Cam Arnold... Cam what was your C2S time again?
28 Female Jo Cowan 1. Winning Australian Marathon Championship 1994 and then representing Australia in Japan. 2. Finishing Triathlon / 1/2 Ironman. 3. To break 40 minutes for 10 Km again. 4. Robyn Basman (classic late into running performer) and Mary Stringer (great runner / can never catch her but would love to!) Male Barry Rutter 1. Canberra Marathon 2001 in 3:04: th Six Foot in 5:53: To continue as many years as possible and pick and choose what and when I want to run. 4. No fearsome competitors any more! "just do the best you can on the day". Female Robyn Moody 1. 10k at North Head in 59mins 51 secs about 5 years ago - or - 100km Oxfam Trailwalker in 27 hrs 15mins. 2. The Great Nosh - 2hrs 40mins. 3. The Equaliser in 2 hours. 4. Anybody will do...somebody? Male Luigi Criniti 1. Started running at 57. First Marathon 2006 Hobart followed by Canberra marathon (PB of ) kms over 24 hours at the Relay for life at Penrith. 3. Missing out on a sub 3.30 marathon. Beating my age in the c2s. 4. Regret not starting my running career earlier! Male Allan Wareham 1. Sub 100 Half Marathon aged 61 and biggest highlight running Boston Marathon aged Maclean River Half 70 + Age winner + oldest finisher. 3. To finish C2S in sub 100 aged 100! 4. Tina Campbell. In 30 years have only ever beaten her when she has been injured! Male 80 + Frank Dearn 1. November 1999 winner 10k Handicap Series. Pipped Pat Morris to the post in the final event. 2. Westlink M7 Cities Marathon aged 80 with my wonderful wife of 45 years present when Ken Smith and I crossed the finish line. 3. Running up those hills at Six Foot like Tony Fattorini, to secure that 18 year Six Foot jacket on finishing, like Kevin O'Kane! 4. Jackie Ramsay when I was a lot faster and more competitive than now. 28