Ben St Lawrence has raced well throughout 2016 on the road to the Rio Olympics, where he raced courageously in the 10000m final.
One of the stand out performances from MELBOURNE has been Rhett Gibson coming 8th in Australia’s biggest ultra, the UTA in the Blue Mountains. In a deep international field Rhett came 8th. This made him the 3rd placed Aussie and top NSW runner. Kate Coburn ran a half marathon PB at Gold Coast with a stunning 1.20.02, whilst Lucy Rogers ran an almost identical time of 1.20.06 to come 6th in the Nike Women’s half marathon in Sydney. Jonathan Nesher (1.18.18) and Matt Dawson (1.20.10) both put in great PBS in the GC half. Louise Arnott has been placing in her age group just about every time she lines up, with her past two successes being in the Gold Coast 10km and Sutherland to Surf. Christian Lotter won the Cook’s River 10km then backed his victory up with 11th place in the prestigious Sutherland to Surf in a big PB of 35.32. Elizabeth Pittaway sliced 3 minutes off her marathon PB to be one of the top Aussie finishers at the Gold Coast Marathon with 2.51.59. Tom Middleton won one of Adelaide’s biggest races, The Bay to City over 12km in 38.30. Some runners have been priming themselves to break 40 minutes for the first time and two runners to do this handsomely in recent races have been Jamie Roberts and Roberto Spina. Both guys have improved markedly in the MELBOURNE environment.
Many juniors from the Kids group and elite squad made NSW All Schools cross country in July. Our coaches put in a huge effort to prepare the MELBOURNE juniors for their cross country season. Several juniors made it through at least three qualifying races to make the incredibly competitive NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships. All the kids ran extremely well. Massive efforts were put in by the high schoolers Jessica McBride (25th) online coached runner from Bathurst Brandon Martin (4th), Ruby Swadling (6th), Sophie Gocher (7th) and Will Keir (9th). Younger juniors to shine included Paris (9th), Bailey (3rd), George (4th), Sophie (4th), Lachlan (9th), Maximo (10th) Billy (12th), Oliver (14th), Gabby (28th) and Kade (35th). Several juniors had been helped by at least two of the coaches on their running journey this year.
Online running coaching is a major service at MELBOURNE and many of our onliners have been absolutely flying around the running traps in recent times. I have written about just some online success stories from the past couple of months here. James Kueglar ran a big PB at Gold Coast marathon with his 2.43.22. Dejen Gebrasallassie ran a super quick 1.09.24 at the Gold Coast half marathon and he is getting fitter and faster as every week progresses- a very exciting prospect! Others to run extremely fast included Ashley Miles (1.10.47), Anthony Craig (1.11.38) and 49 year old Shawn Claydon (1.18.51). Darren Purcell won the Gold Coast 50km by a huge margin, actually running the last 42km in 2.40! Lisa Gorringe ran a very impressive marathon PB of 3.15 at Gold Coast, whilst Naina Jereth ran a mighty 1.34 in the GC half marathon. Amy Lam and Sonia Green had not broken the 40minute barrier for 10km before joining MELBOURNE as onliners; however both runners have smashed the barrier in the last month! Christian Radinja has whittled huge amounts off his marathon PB and is now a 2.50 man. Brad Sharpe and Deb Drennan have transformed themselves into some of the top masters middle distance runners in Australia. Onliners have done remarkably well in 5km events at ParkRuns, including top age grouper Chris Maher (55-59) with his recent 17.15 (89.08% age group grading) and Joel Campbell with his 17.33.