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XCR13 Rd 3- 25/05/2013- Lake Wendouree 15km Road Race

Quick Laps around Lake Wendouree

(In which Flynn begins with a loosely relevant segue and uses some heavy poetic licence)

Steve Moneghetti’s greatest race wasn’t his two Commonwealth Games marathon gold medals. Nor was it his three top ten finishes in the Olympic Marathon. It wasn’t his two World Bests over the Half Marathon distance. It wasn’t his bronze at the Athens World Champs, or his fourth place in at the World Cross in 1989 or even outkicking the Kenyans to win the 5000m at the 1995 NEC Classic in Melbourne.

His greatest race was around Lake Wendouree in his hometown of Ballarat in 1992. He took just 16:10 to cover the six kilometres. Before you grab your calculator, I’ve already worked out that that means Monna went through 5km in an astonishing 13:28 (assuming he ran evenly), just three seconds slower than the fastest 5km he would ever run in that aforementioned 1995 race. He has reflected that if he could have reproduced this level of performance at an Olympics or World Championships then his reputation would have been vastly different; a world-beater compared to being one of the more consistent performers on the international scene (Barcelona excepted).

I wasn’t at that race. Neither was I in Ballarat last weekend, but one thing hasn’t changed in 21 years: Lake Wendouree is fast place to run (or is in fact shorter than the advertised distance: you be the judge).

A smaller Harriers team than normal were present, but they competed as admirably as the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae. The highlights were the return of Darrel Cross and Anna Orr to good form and Liz Kenney’s top eight placing in her age group.

Last year Darrel just missed a sub-3 hour marathon, but otherwise there has been little to indicate the kind of runner he has been over previous years. After a promising run at the Sandown Relays two weeks ago, Darrel had a lot to prove in Ballarat and prove it he did by being the top male finisher for the Harriers and running a good time of 56:25. He showed that the maxim that talent never really goes away is accurate. Look out for a rejuvenated Crossy at the Gold Coast Marathon. Certainly a run in the 2:50-2:55 range is very possible.

Over the track season one of the biggest improvers was Liz Kenney. Her new found speed has translated well to the country and road this season and she was rewarded with a big six minute PB.

Anna’s run was also impressive and came after a six week high altitude training stint where she ran over 100 miles per week, all of which was completed barefoot. She found the 15km distance only about 85km too short and ate chia seeds the whole way round the lake.

Morgan beat Corny for only the second time in twenty years and immediately signed a big deal to run this year’s Traralgon Marathon. Race Director Todd Houghton wouldn’t disclose the fee but said, “If he breaks Derek Clayton’s race record, the finish area won’t be set up yet.” Corny admitted that perhaps he might need to do some training.

Brad Harkin described his run as “shit hot!” and wasn’t far from his 10km PB en route. Ben Bailey celebrated not running for Glenhuntly by recording a 1:01:23, kicking home with a very fast last kilometre in (allegedly) 2:56. Ian Twite ran his 86th best race of the year and enjoyed this one more than the Coast to Kosciuszko. But, as we all know, he struggles to get it (his heart rate) up after a marathon. Youngster Bob Bickett served double duty after driving the bus, rounded out the Harriers by finishing fourth in his age group.

Races were won by Tarli Bird and Steve Kelly. Oh, and Moneghetti was there too with a pretty quick lap for a 51 year old.

1. Tarli Bird Glenhuntly 27 1 F 0-39 0:55:28

2. Tracey Austin Malvern Harriers 36 2 F 0-39 0:55:46
66. Anna Orr Traralgon Harriers 31 46 F 0-39 1:07:36
86. Elizabeth Kenney Traralgon Harriers 45 8 F 45-49 1:10:00
1. Stephen Kelly Box Hill 25 1 M 0-39 0:45:27
2. Duer Yoa Ballarat Region 24 2 M 0-39 0:45:30
23. Stephen Moneghetti 51 1 M 50-54 0:49:37
113. Darrel Cross 47 12 M 45-49 0;56:25 
122. Morgan Tucker 52 7 M 50-54 0:56:40
141. Ian Cornthwaite 51 10 M 50-54 0:57:40
152. Samuel Quirk 20 112 M 0-39 0:58:19
205. Benjamin Bailey 37 138 M 0-39 1:01:23
281. Brad Harkin 171 M 0-39 1:06:41
315. Ian Twite 36 58 19 M 55-60 1:10:19
373. Robert Bicket 55 4 M 55-60 1:28:17