2016 Coburg 24H

2016 Coburg 24 Hour Championships

The 2016 Coburg 24 Hour Carnival was held as usual in mid April in Coburg. I was there for the duration and, with 31 runners and 17 walkers circulating around the 400m track, it was a great sight which provided its usual amount of high drama. Like the last few years, we once again hosted the AURA Australian 24 Hour Track Run championships as well as the Australian Centurions Qualifier.

Conditions were better than last year when we had to endure long hours of heavy overnight rain. This time around, cool daytime conditions (temperatures around 20oC) and brisk overnight conditions (temperatures around 11oC), combined with what could only be described as light winds and the occasional misty drizzle, provided just nearly ideal conditions for everyone and consequently there were a number of PBs and some big totals.

The men’s 24 Hour run was a race in two parts. Francesco Ciancio, who won our Coburg 6H the previous month in an Australian Open record of 85.265km, dominated the early stages as he timetrialled to a 100km split of 7:22:43, a time which will hopefully see him in the Australian team for this year’s IAU 100km World Championships. Then it was left to the tough men to take us through the night and into Sunday morning. There were no surprises with the first 3 placings as Kevin Muller won with 242.240km (an 14km PB), ahead of a resurgent Rick Cooke with 233.320km (a PB of 7km) and Anth Courtney with 214.247km (not far outside his PB and great considering this was his first serious run since semi-retiring in 2012). Peter Black ran an inspired race to add 25km to his PB, finishing 4th with 191.994km, Rohan Day was 5th with 191.282km in his first ever 24H run and George Mihalakellis took sixth with a huge PB of 185.565, only 4 weeks after finishing the inaugural Canberra 48H event.

24 Hour Run Men
1. Kevin Muller NSW 242.240 km
2. Rick Cooke VIC 233.320 km
3. Anth Courtney NSW 214.247 km
4. Peter Black VIC 191.994 km
5. Rohan Day VIC 191.282 km
6. George Mihalakellis VIC 185.565 km
7. Wayne Botha NZ 181.299 km
8. Simon Austin VIC 172.194 km
9. Philip Balnave NSW 171.200 km
10. Simon Roberts VIC 165.084 km
11. Phill Dernee NSW 162.000 km
12. Jon Lim VIC 162.000 km
13. Gabor Jakus VIC 157.452 km
14. Bill Beauchamp VIC 152.439 km
15. Peter Munns VIC 151.807 km
16. Warren Burke VIC/NZ 137.681 km
17. Tony Wilms VIC 130.356 km
18. Mal Gamble VIC 128.000 km
19. Dylan Atkinson VIC 126.671 km
20. Bill Deering VIC 122.012 km
21. Dean Metcalf TAS 121.227 km
22. Rohit Sharma VIC 120.568 km
23. Francesco Ciancio VIC 118.800 km
24. Chris Knowles QLD 107.200 km
25. Angelo Portelli VIC 106.771 km
26. Peter Gray VIC 68.087 km
27. Jono Aspey VIC 36.400 km

The women’s 24 Hour was also a race in two parts. Nadine Barnes, better known as a very accomplished mountain and trail runner, was attempting her first track ultra and quickly built up a big lead on the other contestants. She passed the 12 Hour mark with 122.400km, some 6km ahead of her nearest rival, and was looking cool, calm and collected. Yet just over 2 hours later, she was forced to retire from the race with a total distance of 141.600km. At much the same time, second placed Kerrie Bremner also retired from the race, job done. In her first 12 hours, she had set set new Australian W50 records for 50 Miles (7:54:44), 100km (9:59:31) and 12 Hours (117.136km). An impressive run!. That left Sharon Scholz out in front and her finish was never in doubt. Her final distance of 192.217km was a welcome return to form after a series of niggling injuries over the last few years.

24 Hour Run Women
1. Sharon Scholz VIC 192.217 km
2. Nadine Barnes VIC 141.600 km
3. Larissa Tichon NSW 127.636 km
4. Kerrie Bremner VIC 124.400 km

The 24 Hour walkers staged their own race out in lane 3 (except for Michelle Thompson who matched it with the runners in lane 1). Our three overseas walkers Sandra de Graaff, Bertus van Ginkel and Rob Robertson walked impressively, lapping consistently one behind the other for almost the entire race until Rob kicked clear towards the end. It was wonderful to watch and I can honestly say it is the first time I have seen this sort of thing done over such an extended timeframe. The final results showed Michelle winning the women’s walk with 173.200km and Rob winning the men’s walk with 163.462km.With 12 of the walkers in excess of 100km, it was a strong field.

24 Hour Walk Men
1. Rob Robertson USA 163.462 km C68 **
2. Albertus Van Ginkel NED 160.934 km C69 **
3. Louis Commins VIC 134.003 km
4. John Timms VIC 126.953 km
5. Albin Hess VIC 123.316 km First timer
6. Brendan Young VIC 108.891 km First timer
7. Phil Essam ACT 103.086 km
8. Robin Whyte ACT 102.017 km C29
9. John Kilmartin VIC 98.858 km C67
10. Saul Richardson NSW 82.940 km
11. Clarrie Jack VIC 12.856 km C4
12. Ken Carter VIC 11.395 km

24 Hour Walk Women
1. Michelle Thompson VIC 173.200 km C58
2. Sandra De Graaff NED 161.349 km C70 **
3. Dawn Parris VIC 133.251 km
4. Val Chesterton ACT 118.696 km PB 3.118 km
5. Sandra Howorth VIC 57.408 km

Overall we had 4 walkers who walked 100 miles or more in the required 24 hour period. For local walker Michelle Thompson, it was yet another successful hundred (her fourth) but for USA’s Rob Robertson and for Dutch walkers Sandra de Graaff and Bertus van Ginkel, it was their first in Australia and hence an Australian Centrion badge to add to their existing collection – Rob is an American Centurion and Sandra and Bertus have Continental and English Centurion badges. They become Australian Centurions C68, C69 and C70 for their gallant efforts.

Michelle Thompson AUS C58 20:28:57
Rob Robertson USA C68 23:13:53
Sandra de Graaff NED C69 23:45:32
Bertus van Ginkel NED C70 23:46:36