Sunday, April 23, 2006

Coburg 24hr - Walking report

Hi all

The 2006 Coburg 24 Hour carnival was held on the weekend of 22-23 April at the
Harold Stevens Reserve in Coburg. A total of 25 walkers and 27 runners
submitted entries and all bar a few late scratchings keenly contested the
various running and walking events on offer.

The carnival started at 10AM on the Saturday morning in typical Melbourne
autumnal weather – variable and impossible to predict! The forecast
threatened showers but luckily the race was spared and conditions, although
slightly on the cold side, turned out to be nearly ideal for such an event.

It was particularly gratifying to see 31 of the 52 entrants choosing to
compete in the 24 Hour events.

The 24 Hour Walk events saw 4 walkers – Jens Borello, Pat Fisher, Deryck
Skinner and Geoff Hain - reach the 100 mile mark and thus achieve the
Centurion standard.

Jens Borello from Denmark was already a triple centurion -  Continental (C317
22:15:34 2004), British (C1026 23:17:36 2005) and American (C62 23:21:14
2006) – and he made the trip to Australia specifically for this event. He  
judged his pace perfectly, sitting back in the field as others pushed the
pace early. His patience was rewarded as those ahead of him came back to the
field. He took the lead soon after the 100 km mark and was untroubled to
become Australian Centurion number 52 with a fine time of 22:36:14.

Patrick Fisher came into the event with only one ultra distance walk to his
credit, a noteworthy  87.8 km in the 2006 Gosford 12 Hour. Prepared by and
supported during the event by Canberra based centurions Robyn White and Carol
Baird, he always looked strong and was still full of walking as he reached
the 100 mile mark in 23:14:03 to become Australian Centurion number 53.

Deryck Fisher became Australian Centurion number 51 with an astonishing walk
in the 2005 Sri Chinmoy. Aged 72 years at that time, he completed the 100
miles in 22:39:55 to set a whole swag of new Australian M70 running and
walking records. Now aged 73, he completed his second centurion qualifier,
this time with a time of 23:23:43.

Geoff Hain, Australian Centurion number 49, had already completed 3 100 mile
qualifiers in the previous 18  months (including one in NZ). Coming from a
backgound as an ultra distance runner, he has made a very successful
transition to ultra distance walking and produced a fourth centurion
performance at Coburg in a time of 23:38:25.

We welcome Jens and Patrick as new Centurions and we acknowledge the awesome
performance of all 4 walkers.

Of particular interest to all was the race within a race between octogenarians
Ken Matchett (84 years young) and Stan Miskin (80 years young) who between
them broke (subject to ratification) six IAU World M80 running records. Ken,
entered as a runner, broke the World M80 records for 30 Miles, 40 Miles, 50
Miles and 12 Hours. Stan, entered as a walker, broke the World M80 24 hour
record. The World M80 100 km record was almost certainly also broken but we
will have to wait a few days to see which of these combatants passed that  
milestone first.

As usual, the Coburg Harriers did an outstanding job in hosting and manning
this event. They were ably supported by various external experts, the
principal ones being Malcolm Matthews (computer timing), Michael Gillam
(masseur) and Les Clark (whatever is required) who turn up year after year
and without whom the event would struggle.

Provisional results of both the running and walking events, individual
lapsplits and a selection of photos from the events will soon be available
for viewing at the Coburg Harriers website Further photos and info
will be uploaded to the Australian Centurion Walkers website

We look forward to seeing everyone at the same time and same place next year!

Tim Erickson
Secretary, Australian Centurion Walkers Inc

Melbourne, Australia
Sunday 23 April 2006

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