Fun in the sun at com­mu­nity games

McIvor Times - - LOCALCLASSIES -

HUN­DREDS turned out to en­joy the sun, fun and at­mos­phere of the in­au­gu­ral Heathcote Com­mu­nity Games Fun Run on Sun­day.

Spon­sored by Con­nally’s Real Es­tate, the fun run at­tracted 220 par­tic­i­pants of all ages and abil­i­ties from as far away as the United King­dom, with some in­spir­ing per­for­mances from young and old.

Sunny con­di­tions greeted par­tic­i­pants, though they faced a dif­fi­cult head wind on the re­turn jour­ney and a hid­den hill that left some peo­ple curs­ing.

‘‘Oh my good­ness, I didn’t no­tice the hill go­ing out, but com­ing back you think you’re on the home straight and it’s all easy from here, but then there’s that damn hill — you al­most want to wait for the golf cart,’’ one par­tic­i­pant said.

One per­son who re­fused to let the golf cart beat her was Heathcote’s Cathy Bon­sey, the fi­nal finisher of the race, who was cheered over the line by more than 300 peo­ple and never gave in, com­plet­ing the 10km course in a time of 1 hour and 50 min­utes.

Com­mu­nity Games co­or­di­na­tor San­dra Slat­ter said she was proud of Cathy’s achieve­ment.

‘‘The spirit of the race with the so­cial con­nect­ed­ness and in­clu­sive mes­sage of the Heathcote Com­mu­nity Games was cap­tured per­fectly by Cathy Bon­sey, who has had a dou­ble hip re­place­ment,’’ she said.

‘‘Some par­tic­i­pants were there to run as fast as they could, but the ma­jor­ity were there to par­tic­i­pate in a fan­tas­tic com­mu­nity event for the town.’’

At the start and fin­ish line in Her­riot St stood two, 3m pop­pet heads con­structed by Man­dalay Re­sources for the event and will also be used for the O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon on May 1.

The pop­pets were ad­mired by many and were a pop­u­lar back­drop for pho­tos on the day, with many lo­cals de­lighted to see Heathcote’s gold min­ing his­tory get­ting a nod at a time when the re­gion is best known for its wine.

‘‘The event was an out­stand­ing suc­cess, pro­vid­ing lo­cals and oth­ers an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence Heathcote and the beau­ti­ful O’Keefe Rail Trail,’’ Ms Slat­ter said.

One of the high­lights of the event was the 500m race for chil­dren five years and un­der, which had the crowd cheer­ing and clap­ping, as the re­gion’s fu­ture cham­pi­ons took to the course for their chance to win a spe­cial rib­bon and tro­phy for tak­ing part.

Blitz­ing the field was fiveyear-old Al­ize Pearce from Heathcote, who put in such an im­pres­sive ef­fort that the Bendigo Ath­let­ics Club was keen to speak to mum and dad about their tal­ented young­ster — per­haps a fu­ture Olympian in the mak­ing.

The 10km cham­pion for the males was Peter Cow­ell from Bendigo Har­ri­ers Ath­let­ics Club who ran a quick time of 37 min­utes and 20 sec­onds on the chal­leng­ing course.

Cow­ell also beat his younger ri­vals as he ran in the over 50 years age cat­e­gory and was com­ing off a re­cent 5000m gold medal win at the Vic­to­rian Coun­try Cham­pi­onships.

The fe­male cham­pion was Re­becca Wilkinson from Bendigo Univer­sity Ath­let­ics Club who com­pleted an out­stand­ing run, beat­ing all but five of the males in a win­ning time of 41:28.

In the male 49 and un­der aged cat­e­gory, first over the line was Dar­ren Hart­land in a time of 39:11 from the South Bendigo Ath­let­ics Club and who was also part of the large 3T Fit­ness team com­pet­ing on the day.

The 50+ fe­males had an en­thralling bat­tle with the win­ner Su­san Har­vey, also from Bendigo, run­ning at time of 55:08

The young­sters in the un­der 18 age group had the bet­ter of the open aged ath­letes in the 5km event.

Cameron An­der­son, a 14-year-old from Fry­er­stown, went out at a breath­tak­ing pace and took line hon­ours in a time of 18:40.

Matilda Moore, a Gir­ton Gram­mar stu­dent and ath­lete from Bendigo Har­ri­ers Ath­let­ics Club, won the fe­male cat­e­gory in the 5km quite eas­ily with a win­ning time of 21:45 af­ter com­pet­ing last week at the Vic­to­rian State Ti­tles.

The open aged line hon­ours were taken by Linda Dun­can from Gis­borne (24:46).

In the open aged males, Bendigo Har­ri­ers ath­lete Lach­lan Carr won in a time of 19:13.

The 2km event had run­ners turn around at Holy Rosary Pri­mary School with sev­eral sprint­ing off the line in front of a fan­tas­tic crowd.

Melissa But­ler of Lady’s Pass did the lo­cals proud in win­ning the 2km event for the ath­letes aged 15 to 18 years in a time of 11:04.

Craig Green, the race di­rec­tor, de­cided to en­ter the race late and test out the course to take line hon­ours for the males in a time of 7:27.

Eli Pearce, a 12-year-old from South Bendigo Ath­let­ics Club, won the aged 14 and un­der race in 7:59, while the fe­male aged 14 and un­der win­ner was 11-year-old Charli Green from Gir­ton Gram­mar who com­petes with Bendigo Har­ri­ers and Bendigo Lit­tle Ath­let­ics in a time of 10:03.

At­ten­tion for run­ners now turns to May 1 with the O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon, half-marathon, quar­ter marathon, mile and Eki­den re­lay.

A lo­cal train­ing group in Heathcote has started, which meets at Bar­rack Re­serve at 5.45pm each Thurs­day.

For Bendigo­ni­ans the group meets on Mon­day at 6.15pm at the ath­let­ics track.

There is no cost to be in­volved in the group and all abil­i­ties are wel­come.

For in­for­ma­tion about the O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon on May 1, visit www.theo­ Fun run ma­jor re­sults

10km 50+ male: Peter Cow­ell (37.20) 1, Vic­tor Cook (40.59) 2, Lawrence Abel (43.38) 3. 50+ fe­male: He­len At­tril (1:01.24) 3. 0-49 male: Dar­ren Hart­land (39.11) 1, Ben­jamin Goode (40.05) 2, Luke Bro­phy (40.38) 3. 0-49 fe­male: Re­becca Wilkinson (41.28) 1, Sarah Schroeder (45.17) 2, Els Vi­ester (45.48) 3. Over­all male 10km cham­pion: Peter Cow­ell (37.20). Over­all fe­male 10km cham­pion: Re­becca Wilkinson (41.28).

5km 18+ male: Lach­lan Carr (19.13) 1, Greg Croft (24.54) 2, Neil Bowe (25.09) 3. 18+ fe­male: Linda Dun­can (24.46) 1, Frances Will­mot (26.19) 2, Mary Whalan (27.37) 3. 0-17 male: Cameron An­der­son (18.40) 1, Luke Salvador (21.15) 2, Ryan Salvador (24.16) 3. 0-17 fe­male: Matilda Moore (21.45) 1, Alia Mel­gin-Hill (24.02) 2, Chloe Green (25.07) 3. Over­all male 5km cham­pion: Cameron An­der­son (18.40). Over­all fe­male 5km Matilda Moore (21.45).

2km 15+ male: Craig Green (7.27) 1, Chris­tian McKind­ley (9.57) 2, Glenn Dixon (10.41) 3. 15+ fe­male: Melissa But­ler (11.04) 1, Aida Es­call (11.28) 2, Janet Munro (12.46) 3. 0-14 male: Eli Pearce (7.59) 1, Vic­tor But­ler (8.13) 2, Ri­ley Bruce (8.33) 3. 0-14 fe­male: Charli Green (10.03) 1, Lily Ford (10.32) 2, El­iz­a­beth But­ler (10.55) 3. Su­san Har­vey (55.08) 1,

(59.11) 2, Judy Fitt


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