Spartans Run… September 06

Filed under: What's said on the run — Anthony at 4:58 pm on Thursday, September 21, 2006

MELBOURNE MARATHON

Knox Road Runners has been in existence for almost 20 years and has conducted more than 900 scheduled runs.  Whilst we all run for a variety of reasons, our “main event” has always been the Melbourne Marathon.  This report captures the Marathon records of our members for the enjoyment of all members.  Read, enjoy and be motivated by the achievements of your fellow runners over many years.  It needs strength of mind and body to achieve one completed Marathon, but to earn your “Spartan” status is something special.

2005MelbMhonAndHalfRunners

2005 Melbourne Marathon & Half Runners

Over the years Knox Roadrunners has regularly had strong teams in the Social section of the marathon.  On a number of occasions we have collected trophies.

In recent years those entering the half have outweighed the number of runners in the marathon.

But 2006 represents a resurgence in the longer event.  We have 20 runners entered in the marathon this year.  Good luck to all our runners.

 

2004 Melbourne Marathon & Half Runners
2004 Melbourne Marathon & Half Runners

1990-21FamousFaces
1990- 21 Famous Faces – How many can you name?
All Marathon runners (Except for Leo, of course)

OUR SPARTANS

Name # Melb
M’thons
Spartan
Number
 
Years Best Time # Other
M’thons
Information
Chas McCrae 20 S052 78,
81-97
2:57  23 1st 20 Melbourne
John Raskas 18 S142 79-91,
93-94
97,
01-02
2:54 0 13 straight.
Nothing but Melbourne
Greg Palmer 16 S489 81-83,
85-86,
89-95, 98,
2000-02
2:48  8 1 x Canberra
7 various Vic
Dave Rolfe 16 S764 88-2000, 02-04  2:54 2 13 straight.
World Vets 1987
Jeff Smith 14 S500 83,
85-94,
97,
01-02
2:37 13 16 marathons under 2:49
23 sub 3hr
6 x Traralgon
10 ultras
30 halves – 14 sub 80m
7x sub 50m
Puffing Billy
Peter Vince 14 S935 91-93, 95-2000 3:39 6 New York 1999
Sydney 2000
11 straight Melb
Milan Stanisic 14 S933 89-04 3:03 0  
Phil Kenington 13 S894 91-03 2:57 12 13 straight
8 Traralgon
Sydney 2000
Jim McGregor 13 + 1 dnf S337 80-93 3:00 8 14 straight
Mita @ Olympic Park (PB)
Alan White 13 S512   3:04 0  
Steve Kelly 11 S925 89-98, 01 3:17 3 Perth x 2
Sean Hill 11   92-04 3:02 0  
Sam Defanis 10 S885  88-95,
98-99
2:51 13 Masters World Champs Brisbane 2001
Dave Gaffaney 10 S806 89-98 2:37 10 Rotorua 1967
Peter White 10 S603 80-81,
83-86,
89-91,
93
2:57 8 Mita PB 1985
Sydney 2000
Canberra
Halls Gap
South Melbourne
Karen Cosson 10 SF29 88-98 4:03 0  
Fran Stone 10 SF27 88-97 4:05 0  
Tom Boyd 10 S972        

INTERESTING MARATHON INFORMATION

Myth
That Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to announce a battle victory over the Persians.  Pheidippides was certainly an Athenian messenger who on one occasion ran 150 miles in 30 hours to seek support from Sparta then ran 150 miles back to advise their rejection.  He was not a “Spartan” but maybe he was the first Ultra runner – an old time Oxfammer.

In 1879 the English poet Robert Browning wrote a poem “Pheidippides” which has led to the interpretation.  There is no authenticated story of a messenger running from Marathon to Athens although it is reasonable to suggest messengers did so on occasions.

The first Olympic Marathon
The first Olympic Marathon won by Greek water carrier Spiridon Louis was approximately 25 miles (40k).  Australian Edwin Flack competed, and in fact led the race until passed by Louis at the 21 mile mark.  Louis ran a “sub 3” in a time of 2:58:50.  Some of our runners can now brag that you have run a marathon under an Olympic record time.

Distance
We all wish the distance was still 40k – it was the English that changed the distance to suit their London Olympics in 1908 after Rome “lost” the right to host due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  The course was from Windsor Castle to the stadium at White City – a course of 26 miles followed by 385 yards around the track.  Every official Marathon is now 26 miles & 385 yards, or as we know it 42.195 km.

Women in the Marathon
In the 1967 Boston Marathon, Katherine Switzer ran the “male only” event in a full tracksuit to hide her sex and was grabbed while running by the organiser Jock Semple.  Switzer was expelled from the Amateur Athletic Union for “running with men”.  Women officially joined Boston in 1972 and first ran at the Olympics in LA 1984.  Today almost half of all Marathoners are women.  This is evident at our club too (39 males, 18 females), but we don’t grab them – generally because we can’t catch them.

1990-ClareBowker
Clare Bowker wins her age group – 1990

World Records
Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2:15:25 London 13/4/03
Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:04:55 Berlin  28/9/03

Australian Records
Lisa Ondieki  2:23:51 Osaka  31/1/88
Rob de Castella  2:07:51 Boston  21/4/86

HowManyFacesjpg
What year and how many faces can your recognise?

OTHER KNOX MARATHON RUNNERS

Name

# Melb
M’thons

Years

Best time

# Other
M’thons

Information

Alan Green

8 + 1 dnf

 

2:59

5

Canberra
Heather White

7

85-86,
89-91,
93-94

3:46

1

1987 Veterans World Champs
Bob Edmond

7

88-89,
91-92,
94-95,
2001

3:14

0

 
Gerry Verdoorn

7

88-91,
01-03

2:54

0

 
Denise Hearn

6

98-99,
02-05

3:19

4

2 x GOR
Peter Forrest

6

98-2000,
02-04

3:42

0

 
Dave Black

5

 

2:46

6

Perth x 6
Bruce Edwards

5

96-97, 99,
01-02

3:17

2

 
Bob Sayers

5

82-83,
88,
90 99

3:18

3

Sri Chinmoy
Irene Taylor

5

81, 83, 91,
94, 01

3:28

3

2005 Vasteras Sweden (1st)
Anna D’Alberto

5

95-99

3:28

3

New York
Tornio, Italy
Sydney 2000
Michelle Tham

4

1992-94,
2000

3.10

7

PB 1998 London Marathon
Peter Bignell

4

2002-05

3:13

5

GOR
Kim Wright

4

2002-05

4:08

2

Sydney 2000
Barry Boyd

4

 

2:54

0

 
Steve Harris

4

1989-92

3:19

0

 
Dave Weedon

4

1991-92,
95, 2004

4:04

0

 
Kathy Souter

4

2001-04

3:45

0

 
Mike Bower

4

2002-05

3:29

0

 
Helen Stanley

3

1999, 2001, 03

3:40

2

Brisbane & Canberra
Gavin Morton

3

1993, 2004-05

3:53

0

 
Neil Woods

3

1990-91, 2004

4:00

0

 
Bret Butler

2

2004-05

3:11

11

Auckland
David Thorn

2

1989-90

3:54

1

Sydney 2000
Sheila Guest

2

 

3:28

1

Halls Gap
Janita Keating

2

 

4:01

1

Gold Coast
John Signorini

2

1997 1999

3:43

0

 
Nicole Diamond

2

2002 2005

3:38

0

 
Isobel Bespalov

1

2005

3:02

3

2nd in 2006 GOR
Bruce Rattenbury

1

2005

3:41

1

Traralgon
Anthony Boulton

1

1995

3:03

1

Sydney 2000
Lesley Bower

1

2004

4:16

0

 
Andrew White

1

2004

3:48

0

 
Marie Kavanagh

0

Will be 2006

3:18

7

5 x London
Bryan Ackerly

0

Will be 2006

3:16

1

Williamstown

AWARDS

Derek Clayton award for fastest marathon
Jeff Smith  2:37
Isobel Bespalov  3:02


Jim Stynes award for most consecutive
John Raskas, Dave Rolfe & Phil Kenington  13
Peter Vince       11 (current)


Steve Monaghetti award for longest span of marathons
Irene Taylor 24 years
John Raskas 23 years

Note that when Peter White completes this year then he will be 26 years and when John Raskas completes he will be 27 years.


KarenAndFran
Karen & Fran just 18 years ago and haven’t changed at all

BillStephens-PortMelb
Bill Stephens – A wet day through Port Melbourne


TALL TALES

Greg on Gaff
Gaff once did a Melbourne Marathon on a 3 week training program.  I (Greg) ran with him for the first 16km’s or so then moved on.  From memory he still came in under 4hrs.  Later reports have Gaff semi conscious on the back seat of the bus looking quite distressed.

Best fun time on marathon was with Steve Kelly & Gaff.  We had a bloke latch onto us who thought we were going at a good pace and made the mistake of asking Gaff his thoughts on marathon racing.  Gaff responded there are only 2 rules to remember to complete a successful marathon.
1. Movement – Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot etc.
2. Breathing – Inhale exhale, inhale exhale.

On the same run we had a woman run with us for a while along past St.Kilda and Gaff as Gaff does started chatting.  After a while we began to pull away but before we left her Gaff asked if she’d put out on a first date.

Towards the end of a marathon Gaff and Steve Kelly were coming in together.  I had finished and was at the end waiting for them.  As they approached a good sized crowd with a few hundred metres to go Gaff lashed out at the crowd for not cheering enough.  He yelled at them that Kelly was a reformed alcoholic (not true) who had turned his life around to run this race and they should celebrate his achievement.  He had the crowd convinced and Kelly received their accolades accordingly.

Other stories
There have been many tough years.  The hot run of 2004 is a recent but well remembered run where the after run scene was similar to downtown Beirut.  Vincey and Mike were suffering as usual, and Denise and Kathy had similar difficulty.  The Doc was located under a tree not fully aware of his surroundings.  He had his sunnies on but they were at an interesting angle and had a lens missing – Pete was unaware of this until it was pointed out.  The trip home on the bus had sound effects and an unpleasant aroma.  Running a Marathon in 28 degrees is not easy.

Phil on Tony Shaw
I followed Tony Shaw up Beaconsfield Parade and into Kerford Road the year he ran in to the tree. He was veering all over the place about 20 metres in front of me but I couldn’t catch him! I called out to get him back away from the traffic and he turned 90 degrees and started running across the median strip, so I called back and he turned back, ran though the traffic and hit the tree.

Phil also led the KR “executive” of Jeff Smith, Tony Dineen, and Tommy Boyd, in 2002 in a modest time for them of 4:09.  They were wearing white “Sperm” suits.  They are humble men who avoid the limelight.

Steve Kelly on Leo
I considered Leo a good friend and often spoke to him during the week about all matters, but this was one instance where I thought that he just lost the plot.

Leo was always very proud of the fact that all runners who had competed in Melbourne Marathons for the Knox Roadrunners had completed the marathons, in other words no one had failed to complete a Melbourne Marathon. (Indeed a fine record in itself and for the club)

That was until maybe back in 1999 I believe, when a past member, Ian Clarke was doing it really tough to the point where he pulled out thus failing to complete the course and in doing so single-handedly destroyed the Knox Roadrunner fine and unique record in Melbourne Marathons.

Now Leo wasn’t having anyone destroy the club record.

Ian was a classy marathon and ultra marathon runner, with a PB of around 2hrs 30min. for a marathon.  When he finally arrived back with the group at the end of the marathon, and you can well imagine not feeling terribly well, Leo ripped into him about letting the club down and ruining the club record.  Not a word about Ian’s physical well being or his mental anguish.  Times were tough back then.

Steve Kelly on Gaff
The second story relates to Dave Gaffaney. (Strange about that and hard to believe I know).

I think it was the marathon in 1993, and Dave, Cammo and myself had stuck together throughout 6 months of hard training in the cold, wet windy wintry conditions.  We always ran together encouraging each other and listening to Dave’s stories that went forever but they also took our minds off the pain of running the long runs.

While it was tough we all bonded together into a really close threesome (maybe those words weren’t well chosen but you know what I mean).  Come race day Gaff was bouncing out of his skin, fit as I’ve ever seen him and ready to go. Now truth be known, Cammo and I knew that he was a better runner than both of us, so suggested to him that while we would go out at the start of the marathon together, he should maybe leave us at some stage and run a PB.

We had a plan to run a pace of 4m 36s throughout, by the 5k mark Gaff was on fire so we suggested he go and do his best, reluctantly he did this and left us in his wake with the Turbo fully open.

Cammo and I continued on at our predetermined race pace thru 10 and 15k, then at approx. the 17k mark at Parkdale on Beach Rd. shock, horror there up ahead in the distance was a dishevelled figure, shoulders slumped, smoke billowing from the turbo, shuffling in survival mode with that unmistakable shock of grey hair, it was Gaff!

We both looked at each other and yelled Gaff, to which his head slowly turned to reveal a face even greyer than the hair, all he muttered as we approached and overtook him was, “the turbo’s blown mate!”

We both continued on in silence as it was obvious Gaff’s race was over, about a further 1k down the road we again looked at each other, smiling just a bit then both exploded into laughter, followed by disappointment then sadness at Gaff’s demise.

We soldiered on until I succumbed to cramps and a little de-hydration at around the 39k mark.  Cammo went on to finish in 3h 18 m.  I finished in 3h 22m and Gaff finally finished in 4h plus. When he did finish his face was as grey as a 4 day old corpse, he lay in the back of the bus all the way back to the clubrooms, with regular checks to see he was still with us.  From memory I don’t recall him joining in the post marathon festivities that year.

Seriously, the sight of someone walking at the 17k mark whilst funny now, was a sad moment etched into my mind forever, and something I used at times in subsequent marathons when I was feeling really good and looking to up the pace.

It was a great lesson learned, never mess with a marathon, should you do so, do it at your peril.

Helen
I commenced running in 1997 under the recommendations of a friend who wanted to return to running and who was looking for a jogging partner.  I never had any expectation of running distances.  Merely started jogging to the corner and then increasing the distance under her direction (she was a fitness instructor) until we entered a Sussan Classic.
Following the Classic my friend Nev was not going to let the grass grow under her feet, she urged me to train for the Melbourne Half Marathon, which I did in 2.01 and felt pretty hot and tired.  She looked pretty fresh, mind you she is a good 15 years younger than me.  Lo and behold after that effort she informs me that she wants to fulfil her dream of competing in a marathon and guess who she wanted to take along with her?  So that is how I got roped into running in the first instance and then training for a marathon.  The footnote to that first marathon is that she fell pregnant during the training and I felt obliged to continue seeing I had made the commitment!  That is why I ran the Canberra with her in 2004 – Canberra was a wonderful event emotionally – it had taken many years for Nevenka to get to that finish line, several miscarriages, much heartache, a baby and finally the marathon under her belt – she was ecstatic.  She was there for me when I finished the my first Melbourne Marathon, supporting me in my last struggling kilometres and sharing the joy of finishing.  I got to share her joy in Canberra – it was a much prettier sight than my first marathon!  (Oh but I forgot I have to share another important high in her life and that I was as a support person to the birth of her first baby.  So we have both seen each other at our best and worst!)