Stay­ing on at Tigers

Chal­lenge set: runs marathon in ev­ery state

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Fraser Walker-Pearce By Patrick Tansey

Marie Doyle is a one-ofa-kind com­peti­tor.

Doyle com­pleted her 12th Mel­bourne Marathon in as many years re­cently and has her eye on a 42.195 km race in each state be­fore she re­tires.

With a per­sonal best time of three hours, 42 min­utes, Doyle said it might be a stretch to beat her best in years to come as her legs get more bat­tered.

But that does not mean she will not give it her best as she tick off her goal at marathons across the coun­try.

‘‘I have a few more ear­marked and I would like to get those done,’’ Doyle said.

‘‘It’s a bit of a sta­ple for me now, I seem to keep com­ing back and do­ing (the Mel­bourne Marathon). It’s nice and close and I know the course quite well now.

‘‘My ul­ti­mate goal is to head around the coun­try, I’ve al­ready done ones on the Gold Coast and in Tas­ma­nia — the Cad­bury Marathon in Ho­bart — so I would like to do one in each state and I’ve a few picked out which I hope­fully can get done,’’ she said.

The 12th and most re­cent Mel­bourne Marathon was her 14th in to­tal and Doyle said it was one of the hard­est yet.

‘‘We got there on a tough day, it was just hot and windy. Not nice con­di­tions at all, but I got it done and fin­ished.

‘‘I was happy with my time be­cause of that — it wasn’t a PB by any stretch, it just over the four-hour mark, I think it was 4.02 or 4.03.

‘‘Most of my train­ing had been in cooler weather, so I re­ally hadn’t had much hot weather dur­ing, and for Mel­bourne’s stan­dards it was quite a warm and windy day, I re­mem­ber a lot of peo­ple strug­gled,’’ she said.

Doyle does most of her train­ing by her­self, but is part of the Co­bram­Ba­rooga Run­ners Club, which is a key part of her sup­port sys­tem dur­ing train­ing and races.

‘‘They pro­vide some re­ally good sup­port and they al­ways come down with me to Mel­bourne for sup­port. It’s im­por­tant to be part of a club that sup­ports run­ners like they do and it’s good to get their ad­vice and help with things.

‘‘And even as far as your fam­ily it’s re­ally im­por­tant that they kind of un­der­stand your com­mit­ment to your train­ing,’’ she said.

Doyle said al­though the train­ing was get­ting harder with each year pass­ing, she still en­joyed the thrill of cross­ing the fin­ish line af­ter months of hard work.

‘‘While I can keep run­ning and keep en­joy­ing it I’ll just keep do­ing it, I have no in­ter­est in stop­ping yet and it’s a great way to re­lease stress and have a bit of down time,’’ she said.

South African cricket sen­sa­tion Wian Van Zyl has put pen to pa­per and signed on with Co­bram for the 2019-20 Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion sea­son.

Af­ter plun­der­ing big runs on a weekly ba­sis, Co­bram pres­i­dent Paul Hyde said there was al­ways a lin­ger­ing fear the Tigers’ prized as­set would be pried away at the end of the sea­son, so he was un­der­stand­ably thrilled with the open­ing bats­men’s de­ci­sion.

‘‘We were sort of think­ing there was a chance an­other club would come along and poach him be­cause he has set tongues wag­ging around the re­gion,’’ he said.

‘‘We thought some­body would prob­a­bly be able to of­fer him a bit more than we could of­fer him and he would move onto greener pas­tures but he’s found that he’s been openly ac­cepted at Co­bram and he is re­ally en­joy­ing his time at the club.’’

In what seems like a stag­ger­ing piece of hind­sight, to Hyde’s knowl­edge, Van Zyl’s tal­ents were seem­ingly over­looked by a host of other clubs be­fore he signed with the Tigers.

‘‘We were ba­si­cally the only club that would give him a go ac­cord­ing to his fa­ther, so I sup­pose he has re­paid us by re-sign­ing and of course all the runs he has made this year,’’ he said.

‘‘Clubs just seemed to pass him by and we thought we’d get him to come over and give it a crack and see how he’d like it here.’’

Not sur­pris­ingly, Hyde said the club moved quickly to se­cure Van Zyl’s sig­na­ture.

‘‘We have cri­te­ria we set and want play­ers to meet and he has met them so it was an easy de­ci­sion for us,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s good he’s de­cided to stick around. He prob­a­bly in­di­cated four or five weeks ago that he was keen to stick around next year as well.’’

While he has let his bat do the talk­ing, Hyde said Van Zyl’s per­son­al­ity and in­flu­ence around the club had been just as im­por­tant as his moun­tain of runs.

‘‘He’s had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on our younger play­ers and the group as a whole; he’s a good per­son to have around the club.’’

End game: Marie Doyle has com­pleted her 12th Mel­bourne Marathon in 12 years. She has now set her sights on marathons in each state.

Re-signed: Co­bram Cricket Club pres­i­dent Paul Hyde con­grat­u­lates Wian Van Zyl on re-sign­ing with the Tigers.

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