It was another perfect afternoon for sprinting. We returned to Edgewater, where last year we all had fun dodging sprinklers and weddings. This year’s courses were contained to VU and the adjoining gardens. Max and Rosie threw us in at the deep end; straight into the complex campus, with its multiple stairs and irregularly shaped buildings. After extricating ourselves, it was out onto the hillside where tiny tracks take you up and down the various levels. It was here that some controls were overlooked by a few that switched to autopilot. Course 1 had a map flip before returning to VU for a mindbending second loop. The long flat sprint leg signalled a return to home base and a dash along the river before hitting the finish line. There was quite a lot of olive green on the map, signalling Out of Bounds – always something to watch out for, as you must not cross any olive green, heavy black lines, or purple lines.
Peter Bray was today’s Course 1 winner, in 14:34. One of our 2014 jersey winners, Brodie Nankervis, made a welcome return to Melbourne, taking second place in 14:57 – Brodie is our course setter next week. Patrick Jaffe was a mere two seconds in arrears, in third. Bruce Arthur and Rob Baker rounded out the top five. Peter claimed the Yellow Jersey from compatriot Ralph.
Tash Key was once again dominant amongst the women, and was sixth overall in 16:46, another outstanding performance (and if you wonder if things get competitive amongst partners, she beat Warren by a minute). Jas Neve was second in 18:02, and Lanita Steer third in 19:36. Asha Steer and Mel Gangemi were fourth and fifth. Tash is of course the Yellow Jersey holder and it looks as if we can sew her name into it.
The Green Jersey leg was a long straight run which favoured those with the stamina to keep their legs pumping so close to the finish. Shane Mallia was victorious, ahead of new name Paul Rodgers, while Peter and Bruce tied for third. Shane remains in the Green Jersey. In the Womens category, Mel Gangemi had an absolute blinder on this leg, beating Tash and Lanita, and taking back the Jersey.
The Hill Climb was a short and sharp dash up two flights of stairs. Glenn James has been improving each week, and claimed the win this time from Shane, taking over the Polkadot Jersey in the process. Clare Brownridge smashed the climb once again and has no serious rivals for her Jersey (Clare is tackling the Eureka Challenge 88-floor stair climb this weekend).
Course 2 was not as tight as last week where every second counted. This week, the overall honours went to Mason Arthur in 13:26, followed by Jensen Key (13:42) and Brody McCarthy (15:08), with Paul Benson and Cormac McCarthy completing the top five. Jensen keeps the Yellow Jersey. Janine Steer was the fastest woman, in 16:54, which was 6th overall. Rachel Johnson was just behind in 17:08, then Anne Arthur in 18:36, with Cassy Dutton and Jo Torr the next two. Philippa Lohmeyer-Collins is still in Yellow.
The Sprint Leg went to Steve O’Connell who has been threatening to win it for a couple of weeks now, and has the Jersey by half a point from Jensen. Campbell James and Brody got closest. Cassy won the womens Sprint, from Rachel and Anne Robinson. The Jersey still belongs to Debbie Dodd. Brody took out the Hill Climb and the Polkadot Jersey for the men; Sarah Davies and Philippa split the points for the women, and Sarah took over the Jersey outright.
We’ve seen some very talented and enthusiastic juniors this year on Course 3, led by Callum White, who won in 17:16. Felix Corcoran was second in 21:02, and Martin Corcoran third in 21:44. Callum keeps the Yellow Jersey and looks very tough to beat from here. Callum won the Sprint from Will and Felix; Will keeps the Green Jersey. Callum also took out the Hill Climb, from Felix and Peter Beggs; Felix holds the Polkadot Jersey. Heather O’Donnell won the women, and overall, in 16:41. ahead of Eleanor Snow (25:08). Heather’s win gave her back the Yellow Jersey. Heather also won the Sprint and Hill Climb legs. Claire Adams claims the Green Jersey, and Alice Moon now has the Polkadot.
There are two races left and things can certainly change – the Jersey competitions are the best of five, so if you miss a race or get a low points score, you can “drop” that one. Winners in many categories won’t be known until after Race 6.
Next Saturday we’ll be at another campus, this time it’s Deakin University in Burwood. Recent construction has required a re-map, so if you think you know your way around this one, think again! Brodie is a very experienced sprinter so he’ll be sure to use every trick in the book. Can’t wait! Don’t forget to enter online, to guarantee your map, and save some money.
While you’re there, get your entry in for the Sprint Champs, on Sunday November 29, at RMIT Bundoora. Pre-entry is required, so don’t miss out.
Deakin will also be the final day for free coaching, so after your run, pick up some tips and invaluable skills training from Ralph and Peter, from 2.30 onwards.