Après le deluge, nous

Coliban Ekiden Relays

rowdyThirty Melbourne University Athletics Club runners battled the elements on Saturday, 10th of July to race in round five of Athletics Victoria’s XCR ’10, the Coliban Ekiden Relays.  The White Train fielded six teams for the point to point relay over the challenging terrain from Harcourt to Bendigo on a day that tested the mettle of the athletes and the organisational skills of the teams.

On a day of continuous rain and biting winds MUAC’s Women’s Division One team of Julie McNamara, Al Bryant Smith, Jasmine Neve, Winter Manager Kate Scarlett and Bendigo local Ilka Barr ran an exceptional race to finish third in the premier division, for MUAC’s first team medal of the season, and cement their place in the top half of the ladder at the half way point of the XCR season.  The White Train’s Division Two Women’s team also ran well to claim third place, a result that erased Isabell and Johanna’s disappointment at Germany’s World Cup semi final loss.  Pip Ulbrick made a fine debut for MUAC and was heartened to hear that not all races involve getting so cold, wet and confused.

The White Train’s Division Two Men’s team of David Ulbrick, Andy Selby Smith, Zac Newman, Hamish Beaumont, MUAC debutant Nic Browne and Matt Irons continued their solid season to record a strong second place and remain close to the promotion zone.  Andy Selby Smith, renowned as a powerful runner, also put that strength to good use by extracting Kate Scarlett’s bogged car from a muddy morass using only a climbing rope and his legs of steel.  Lead off runner for MUAC’s Division 3 team, Alex Kaiser, encountered power of another kind during his leg, with wild horses cantering through the race.  The close encounter prompted a burst of adrenalin and the chance for Daryl Braithwaite jokes.  The Div 3 team ran well to claim 6th place.  The Men’s Division Five team, claimed MUAC’s third podium finish for the day with a strong run into fourth place, only a couple of minutes behind the Division 3 team.  The Division Seven team, including a cameo from Sydney based MUAC alumnus Ryan ‘The Panther’ Cantwell, claimed 11th place.  Bravest of all was Heidi, who was MUAC’s volunteer official for the day.

IMG_0258sRain and biting winds were quickly replaced with soup, coffee and afternoon tea as the White Train repaired to the home of teammate Ilka Barr for some much needed warmth, caffeine and gossip.  Suitably revived and refreshed, the team returned to Melbourne in time to rock out at the Hi Fi bar to MUAC member, Mike White’s band Star Assassin and catch up with up with MUAC’s number one Danish middle distance runner, the currently injured Emil Gundesen, who has confirmed that he is a runner and not a cyclist.

The White Train will be back in action this weekend, Saturday, the 17th of July, at round six of XCR ’10 at the Victorian Cross Country Championships at Bundoora Park, which also doubles as the selection trials for the Australian Cross Country Championships.


Team Results

Updated results coming soon.

Athsvic TV, featuring MUAC Winter Team Manager Kate Scarlett