Round 4 XCR ’19

Anglesea Ekiden Cross Country Relay Championships. Jun 22, 2019

Round 4 of XCR’19, had our distance runners heading down south-west to the Surf Coast and the Anglesea Family Caravan Park.

Runners had been pre-selected in relays teams of 3, 4, 5 or 6, depending on the division.

Each runner would head out of the caravan park into the Eumerella bushland area, between Anglesea and Point Addis and return to the caravan park to tag the next runner.

All six relay legs were of differing distances of approximately, 9km, 8km, 7km, 6km 5km & 4km.

Each runner had to by conscious of the distance they were running and be aware of where they had to turn around to head back to the caravan park. The course marshals did a tough job extremely well.

Thankfully none of our runners got lost in the bush and only one ran too long or too short a distance than their required relay leg. (Lucky it was short rather than long)

After a small rain shower before the event started, the weather was fantastic for the rest of the afternoon, no rain, no wind and the sun broke through the clouds, making conditions very pleasant for both runners and spectators.

The course was another thing. After the race was cancelled in 2018 due to an impending storm, which didn’t eventuate, this year saw the toughest we have had for many years.

Some very difficult sections of the course had mud across the track making it very tough to get through without slipping over into the mud.

Going up and down hills in the mud made it extremely difficult to gain any traction in road racing flats, without slipping and sliding up and down the hills – element of difficulty, high! For some the sensible thing to do was walk the worst parts in order to preserve life and limb. As Liam and Charlotte commented, they had to be extra careful with Gold Coast just 2 weeks away.

Thankfully we sustained no major injuries from any falls.

With very limited entries from our junior runners, the four entered junior runners were all promoted into the open ranks and many thanks to them for tackling the trail course over longer distances than they might have normally run in a junior relay team.

Again the team results were a massive contrast with fantastic results from the open women’s teams and disappointing results from the open men’s team.

The club entered six open women’s teams and this is how they finished :-

Premier Division First

Division 3 Fourth

Division 4 Fifth

Division 5 Third, Fourth and Fifth

A stunning result by the five open women runners in premier division, led out superbly by Charlotte Wilson, to be first back into the caravan park for the first relay changeover. The women stayed in first place for most of the race, except for a short time when Frankston sneaked in front, the lead was then snatched back from Frankston and our last leg runner Maddy Caulfield maintained the lead to cross the finish line in first place to secure the victory for the team with a comfortable 55 second buffer. Superb team relay running by our five runners in race order, Charlotte Wilson, Liselle Atkin, Samantha Gates, Emilie Guy and Maddy Caulfield.

This is Samantha’s debut season as an athletics club runner, what an excellent start to her club athletics career.

It was great to again have Janine Higham joining our female relay runners for her second XCR’19 race this winter for a lead out run in division 4 over the 8.6K course. Janine has struggled with ongoing calf injuries for many years, so it is great to have her back out racing. Her vast knowledge and experience of racing, are a valuable resource for our younger female runners.

The open men again struggled, with injuries, overseas travel, athletes yet to register etc. They have found it very difficult to get their best runners consistently out on the course every round.

Liam Adams has been a shining example of consistency in supporting and racing for our club in all four events of XCR’19 to date, even though his training is focused on racing a fast marathon this year.

Hopefully a few more runners can similarly put themselves out a little bit and try to race in as many of the six remaining races, even if they are not in 100% race form.

At this stage we just need as many male runners as possible to race and fill teams and to work their way through the season and attempt to avoid any end of season team relegations.

Open Men Results:-

Premier Division Tenth (last)

Division 3 Twelfth /14

Division 6 Fourth /4

Division 7 Eight

It was fantastic to see many of our Red & Black Rec runners enjoying the event and contributing to our club.

And finally, these AV events would not be possible without our club members and family and friends, volunteering their valuable spare time to ensure that our club provides the mandatory number of club helper / volunteers to assist AV at each XCR’19 event. So many thanks to our club helper / volunteers, Trevor Hawksworth,  Gary Cozens and Joyleen Stewart.

Many thanks to our race day team photographers, our team supporters, our parents of junior athletes for their race day team assistance, especially Frances Batchelor and the providers of the post-race afternoon snacks.

The club must provide THREE club helpers for the next XCR’19 race at Sandown. Email your interest in volunteering to be a club helper/volunteer on the day, to Stephen Murphy our XCR’19 winter team manager or text to 0417 582 208.

Fun in the Sun

For those new to the club who have not yet purchased a club race singlet, this must be arranged in advance of your next XCR’19 race. Please do NOT plan to arrive at the race and expect the club to have singlets for sale. You will need to attend the track and arrange to purchase a club singlet. Contact Jayne Pizzo on 0407 680 230 or email for a club singlet.

Next XCR’19 race is round 5 on Saturday 6 July at Sandown Racecourse.

These are the Sandown Road Relays on the 3.1km motor car racing circuit at Princes Highway, Springvale.

Juniors run one 3.1km lap and open athletes run two x 3.1km laps = 6.2km.

Contact Stephen Murphy, details listed above, if you want to run and be included in a relay team.

Entries close with AV on Monday 1 July, you must indicate you interest by the evening of Sunday 30 June or you will miss out.