Founders Handicap

The century old East Melbourne Harriers Founders Handicap was held Saturday thanks to Trevor Hawksworth


Saturday 24th of June saw fourteen seniors and two juniors take part in the annual Founders Handicap.  With seniors doing two laps of the river circuit (8.2km) and juniors doing one lap (4.1km) it was an interesting staggered start.

Don McLaren was our frontmarker for the event, closely followed by Sarah Keating.  Muse Tesema was the last of the 8.2km runners to get underway, trying to make up a moderate gap on Jeff Jones.  In the juniors’ event, it was Christian Knox who was the last to start, with Emiliano Soto some minutes in front of him.  Emiliano was the youngest in the race at 11 years of age.

From the start, McLaren started well, moving further away from Keating.  Matt Goodger was in a tough spot, with about 4 minutes to make up on the front two runners, but nobody within 8 minutes of him.  Lisa Dalley and Lizzie Astruc ran together, with Yuri Almaraz and Caroline Cicak also starting together.  Caroline moved ahead from the start, with Yuri being known for her faster finish.  Lisa Gunn and Stephen Murphy were next to start, gradually closing the gaps to those in front.

After the completion of the first lap, Duncan Knox had been caught by a few of the runners behind him, but apart from that, very little change to the overall standings.  Lisa Gunn had caught Yuri Almaraz and had closed the gap on Caroline Cicak to 6 seconds.  The gaps at the back of the field between Hawksworth, Jones and Tesema had shortened, but didn’t look like closing completely.

Emiliano had started just after Don completed his first lap, then Christian started shortly after his father Duncan’s first lap.  This was Christian’s big chance.

In the second lap, McLaren continued to hold Keating at bay, but Emiliano moved up to Don and into the lead.  But the lead was soon to change again with Dalley and Astruc moving through to pass Goodger, Keating, McLaren and Soto.

Christian Knox, only having one lap to do and plenty of runners in his sights was moving through the field also.  He moved into 3rd place with only Dalley and Astruc in front of him.  With 1km to go, the teamwork at the front was complete and Dalley moved clear of Astruc.  With no other challenges, she moved clear to claim the victory.  Christian Knox managed to chase down Astruc and finish 1 second in front, with Lizzie crossing the line in 3rd place.

The officials then had their work cut out for them, as a sprint finish between Danny Hawksworth and Caroline Cicak preceded another four athletes finishing in the next 60 seconds.  In something that would please Vice President Andrew Boudrie, the backmarker Muse Tesema caught the frontmarker Don McLaren just 5m before the finish line.  Muse ran the fastest time of the day, covering the 8.1km journey in 28:47.

Thanks to Nick Smith and Frances Lipscombe for the timekeeping and getting accurate times for all the athletes involved.  Thanks also to Alice Le and Mel Hardiman who ran a lap each to encourage other runners.


Name                                       Start                Finish           Actual time

Lisa Dalley                          12:59               51:09               38:10

Christian Knox (4.1k)    33:32               51:26               17:54

Lizzie Astruc                       12:59               51:27               38:28

Danny Hawksworth             21:05               52:02               30:57

Caroline Cicak                       13:05               52:05               39:00

Lisa Gunn                               13:21               52:23               39:02

Jeff Jones                                22:31               52:27               29:56

Matt Goodger                         4:16                 53:00               48:44

Yuriria Almaraz                      13:05               53:05               40:00

Muse Tesema                          24:34               53:21               28:47

Don McLaren                          0:28                 53:22               54:54

Emiliano Sato (4.1k)              26:50               53:44              26:54

Stephen Murphy                     13:54               53:54               40:00

Sarah Keating                         0:40                 54:24               53:44

Duncan Knox                          12:16               55:04               42:48

Justin McLaren                       14:59               55:43               40.00