The Victorian Road Relay championships were conducted at Sandown race track under blue skies but with the usual Melbourne wind. Essendon entered teams in most divisions with our Div 1 women’s team of Liselle Aitken, Emilie Guy, Sam Gates, Fasika Metafriya & Maddi Caulfield again showing the way with another win.
Aiden Roberts (20:12), was our fastest runner but his efforts couldn’t prevent our Div 1 men’s team finishing last again. The winning Div 1 team, Box Hill, had all 6 runners under 20 minutes. We missed Liam Adams and Danny Hawksworth, who were preparing for the Gold Coast marathon.
Our Div 3 men’s team was virtually a 40+ team, showing our club’s need for more active members. Brett Maurer (25:45), a 400m specialist filled a spot while marathon man, Damien Bruneau (20:46) ran quicker than most of our Div 1 team! Along with Mark Carey (24:27) and Jeff Jones (24:55), we would have collected silver in the 40+ division!
Our women’s div 3 and 4 teams were filled by former Red & Black runners and along with their leader, Janine Higham (29:03) performed well.
The Div 6 team of Justin McLaren (27:16), Jack Tat (26:06), Aaron Heaney (25:53) and Adrian Fitzgerald (28:53) was less than 3 minutes out of a medal.
Malcolm Wellington (27:54) made his comeback while Michael Kays (28:39) and Brody Thrum (10:49) had their first run for the Essendon.
At opposite ends of the age spectrum, the U 14 team of Dylan Rowbottom (11:49), Adam Hackett (13:16) and Robert Hacket (13:29) came 5th while the club’s 60+ team of Brian Anderson (26:43), John Cooper (28:56) and Neil Stewart (30:02) missed a podium finish by just 2 minutes.
Thanks to Glenda Morris and Robyn Coyne for the yummy cakes and biscuits which were devoured by the hungry runners. A very big thanks to everyone who helped record team times and especially Maz Strong, Joyleen Stewart and Michelle Hackett who were our Helpers on the day.
Thanks also to Mel Hardiman, Linda Fitzgerald and Mark Carey for the photos. Again Steve Murphy’s work to organise the team is much appreciated.