Sprint Into Spring burst into its third season with an exciting first race at VU St Albans. This was the venue for the first ever SIS race back in 2013, and we’ve been itching to get back there and have another go. It certainly didn’t disappoint – the campus, although light on for contours, is deceptively complex, with many buildings of varying shapes and sizes. Course setter Nick Collins (BKV) made the most of it with a concentrated loop in and around the cluster of small buildings and boardwalks in the north, and up a flight of stairs for the Hill Climb. The Sprint leg was a long one, traversing the campus and requiring map reading as well as flat out running. Then followed another tricky loop before heading into the finish.
The new live results on the large screen (thanks Jim!!) was fantastic and certainly added a talking point as those who had finished watched eagerly to see where their rivals were. The screen will be at all our races.
A couple of quick reminders – this year, Rego opens at 1pm, and start times are between 1.30 and 3.30 pm, with courses closing at 4.00 pm. If you’ve already pre-entered, you DON’T need to use the touch screen at Rego – once you’ve entered via Eventor, your’re in. If you’d like a second run that’s fine – just make sure you re-register at the touch screen, and write your name on the “Second run” sheet. You won’t get an official result, but you can check Winsplits to see how you went.
So onto the Wrap … last year was dominated by the Danes. This year it looks like we’re in for a British Invasion – can the locals stem the tide? Course 1 was blitzed by Ralph Street in a sizzling 13 mins 35 seconds – a km rate of 3.59 – now that’s fast! Second was fellow Invader Peter Bray, in 14:23. First Aussie was Bruce Arthur, only a few seconds behind in 14:40. The top five was rounded out by junior stars Patrick Jaffe (14:51) and Aston Key (15:07). Look out for these two – Patrick led the race for the first 5 legs, and Aston won several legs as well.
The Hill Climb was the second leg, not giving runners much opportunity to prepare. Peter Collins flew up the stairs in 12 seconds, just beating Patrick and Max Dalheim who dead heated for second. The Sprint leg featured much later when fatigue was no doubt setting in. Ralph took the honours in 1:12, from Shane Mallia and Peter Bray.
The women were not to be outdone. Tash Key resumed her top form from last year, finishing 8th overall in 16:51. Jas Neve, just back from overseas, was second in 17:43, and 10th overall. Aislinn Prendergast, Clare Brownridge and Lanita Steer made up a pretty impressive top five. Clare won the Hill Climb from Jas and Tash, while Tash was easily fastest on the Sprint leg, ahead of Aislinn, Clare, Lanita and Mel, who all tied!
On to Course 2, which was fiercely contested. Hearts sank as Warren Key signed up in a bid to race younger offspring Jensen (having given up on racing Aston). “That was surprisingly fabulous” said Warren as he crossed the line fastest in 13:30. Behind him, the juniors were waging their own battle, with Mason Arthur finishing second in 14:33, Jensen Key third in 14:48, and Brody McCarthy and Torren Arthur completing the top five. Warren, Mason and Jensen were also the first three on the Sprint leg. Torren won the Hill Climb (although Sarah Davies was the overall leg winner), followed by Mason, with Brody third.
Sarah Davies took out the women’s race in a handy 17:53, ahead of Philippa Lohmeyer-Collins in 18:33, Anne Robinson in 20:14, and Anne Arthur and Debbie Dodd hot on her heels. As mentioned, Sarah beat the whole field to win the Hill Climb, second was Janet Johnson, and Philippa was third. Debbie Dodd kicked off her green jersey defence with a win on the Sprint leg, ahead of Sarah and Judi Herkes.
Callum White took the yellow jersey points on Course 3, winning in 17:49. Second was Ken Moore in 20:56, ahead of clubmate Peter Beggs in 26:55. That was the same order as the fastest three on the Sprint leg. Will Davey won the Hill Climb from Ken and Callum. Ros King was fastest of the women in 24:31, followed by Heather O’Donnell in 26:15, and Jackie Dempster in 26:52. Claire Adams was quickest up the Hill Climb, from Heather and Ros. Claire also won the Sprint leg, ahead of Ros and Jackie.
Next week’s race is at Darebin Parklands, another popular venue from 2013. Patrick Jaffe takes over course setting and he is sure to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve! This is all parkland, with some steep hills, and traversed by a creek with limited crossing points. We recommend wearing full leg cover and keeping out of long grass.
Online entries close THIS WEDNESDAY October 21st – get yours in now for a 20% discount. Series tickets will still be on sale at Registration. And look out for news about our FREE COACHING sessions at Races 3-5!