And a good Saturday was had by all

Bundoora Cross Country

The 17th of July saw the 6th round of the XCR season kick off at Bundoora in conjunction with the all-schools cross country races. The race sees competitors braving fearsome cross-winds as they tackle what is purported to be the highest point in metropolitan Melbourne – the awesome Mount Cooper. The feat is even more remarkable considering the behemoth is scaled not once, not twice, not even three times in the men’s race, but four times, and three times in the women’s race, with no chance for nature breaks or a lie-down at any stage. There was no sign of any trepidation from the mighty White Train however, as these hardy athletes warmed up with grim determination; their eyes like burnished steel, glinting under the grey skies.

The first race for Melbourne Uni saw the U20 all-school boys and the underage Athletics Victoria competitors battling it out together over 8 kilometres, with new addition to the squad Max Williams achieving his goal of finishing in the top 25 before retiring to the drawing room for a cup of tea and some polite conversation. Harry Smithers again ran well, finishing in 6th place overall in the U20 gentleman’s race.
Next followed the open Women’s race; the Sherpas were dispatched, the bloomers buckled high, and the bonnets done up tight. A fantastic effort by all saw the White Train Division 1 team finish in 4th place by just two points, thereby moving overall into equal third place in the season competition. With much interest being shown in the next XCR race – the 6km Brimbank Cross Country to be held the weekend after next – a top three finish at the end of the season is looking to be a real possibility.
The final event for the day was the Men’s 12km cross country, and with a strong team out on paper, expectations were high. Once again the preliminaries were carried out – ice picks sharpened, chaps done up tightly, and beards (and in some cases legs) neatly trimmed for the occasion. The event was, no doubt, a spectacle of great wonderment. The gun went off, the men ran, and then they finished – incredible. And when all had calmed down, it emerged that the Division 2 men – ably led by another new recruit, the swift Kiwi Nic – had won the race by a nail-biting 5 points. A standout run also from Zac, who flew around the course. The Division 3 men too had their best finish of the season, with a narrow second behind Coburg Harriers. These results see the Division 2 men a mere five points behind Athletics Waverley in their quest for re-entry into Division 1, and the Division 3 men leapfrogging Athletics Essendon into 5th place.

A big thank you must go out to our volunteers, Kate Scarlett, Hamish Beaumont and Sarah Castelino, who braved early morning Bundoora and unnamed hostile substances to ensure that the White Train earned any points at all. Extra kudos also to those who were sick and slightly injured, but who made the effort to come to the race and do what they could for the team.
Melbourne University Athletics Club is a club with a tradition dating back to 1873. It is a very active and vibrant club that encourages athletes of al abilities to strive for their best performances and have a lot of fun along the way. Members have access to fantastic facilities and top level coaching. We enter both mens and womens teams in Athletics Victoria’s summer (track and field) and winter (road and cross country) competitions.

Full results (place, Bib#, Name, Time)
18 2810 NICHOLAS BROWNE 39:49
28 2390 ZAC NEWMAN 40:59
39 2393 HAMISH BEAUMONT 41:45
40 1940 ANDREW SELBY SMITH 41:47
48 1943 DAVID ULBRICK 42:19
63 2867 TYLER HARLAN 43:09
67 1254 DAVID PAROISSIEN 43:25
76 1935 MATTHEW IRONS 43:51
128 1248 BEN FRANZI 46:25
138 1932 RICHARD DUTTON 47:01
145 1257 TIMOTHY THOMAS 47:23
198 1244 TONY BRAIN 50:02


20 1933 SARAH EMONS 32:00
36 2394 ILKA BARR 33:29
39 1937 JULIE MCNAMARA 34:09
65 1944 JOHANNA ZIEGEL 35:45