A record field, combative racing, and a wonderful carnival atmosphere all made for a splendid 2011 race day, with Mother Nature chiming in a spectacular sun-drenched morning.
A packed ATLAS Sheds start line headlined by Olympians Lisa Weightman & Kate Smyth, and race record holder Lachlan McArthur hit the road at a frenetic pace, initially in pursuit of Rat Racer Sidney Lock who led all comers through the first 100 metres! The lead runners, featuring race favourite Ian Brade, running legend Bert Pelgrim, emerging star Jacob Otto, and Kate Smyth on return to competitive racing, quickly put some distance in the trailing pack.
Nothing separated the lead runners at the 4km mark, at which point Brade made a decisive move that saw him break away and create a space that would grow with each passing kilometre, ultimately leading to a convincing 1:30 minute victory. The rest of the lead male pack worked hard to maintain their early age-group dominance, with Otto most impressive in winning the U18 trophy in 44 minutes.
Meanwhile, Kate Smyth put daylight into the girls field, running powerfully amongst and past the fast men, to claim a decisive win and second place overall on the day. Natasha Key and Narelle Pollock battled hard for open places and prize money, while Denver Linklater held of a fast-finishing Ellie Fraser in the U18 race.
And in our veteran and new super-veteran category, fast times and comprehensive victories were enjoyed by international star June Petrie, Dr Brian Murphy and Marilyn Thomas.
Finally, our future stars, the M4 Rat Racers fought an epic battle and could not be separated on the line. Stunning times and trophies to Christian Jackson and Aston Key in the boys race, and a bold win to Lauren Fraser in the girls event.
Sophisticated timing and big screen results provided by the Mountainless Bike Club added polish to a perfect day. Pancakes and coffee for athletes and spectators alike, and another small step taken toward becoming the premier regional running event in Victoria.
Thankyou to all our race and walk participants, hard-working volunteers & officials, and our raft of committed and brilliant partners. Bring on the June long weekend 2012!RESULTS