Cold weather and hot times at Sandown

Round 6 XCR’15:Sandown Road Relays


A magnificent seven MUAC teams took to Sandown Racecourse on Saturday, July 11th to contest the Sandown Road Relays. Despite predicted arctic conditions, there was some great running and surprising mild conditions.

MUAC’s Women’s Division 5 team had a convincing win with Ilka Barr, Cassie Cohen and Rachel Painter claiming first place by more than four minutes over the second place team.  With three wins in six rounds of XCR’15, the team is rapidly becoming MUAC’s most successful.  Our Premier Women, with two U20 stars, Georgia Griffith and Elly Jackson, amongst the team, along with Al Bryant Smith, Aislinn Prendergast and Martine Botha, ran will to take sixth place in the elite division. With four rounds to go in the season, the team sits comfortably in fifth place. Division 3 featuring MUAC luminaries stalwarts Kate Scarlett and Julie McNamara, Social Secretary Gen Blanch and first year superstar Marie Parsons also took sixth place against strong opposition including some Commonwealth Games runners.

The MUAC Premier Men’s team continued their strong XCR’15 season taking fourth place in 1:58:41. With a strong lead out by Nick Earl and Zac Newman, the team welcomed back Englishmen Rob Baker and Martin Mashford for the first time this season. Charlie Park and Sam Blake had impressive runs in the middle legs to keep the team in good position. Despite some hair-raising changeovers the team just kept it together on the day. In division two, MUAC welcomed back Uni Blacks footballer and 800m specialist Dan Pratt. Yohan Philip, found himself racing in the cold of Sandown after his flight to sunny Bali was cancelled, and took the fastest time for Div 2.  The team took a respectable sixth place in 2:09:18.  Division 3 ran very well to take 4th, with very little separating the five runners. The Division 5 team took an unconventional approach to the relay, taking a break between the third and fourth runners, and shifting down a few places as a result. They ended up coming 13th in the division. It must also be noted that Tony Brain clocked a faster time than Tim Thomas for the second race this season. Speculation is mounting around the inevitability of Brain besting Thomas in a head to head race before the end of the winter.

A brief, and brisk, afternoon tea in the grandstands was following by many hurried dashes to hot showers and warm clothes. The team regathered at the Clyde Hotel in the evening for some brain warming trivia, hosted by the inimitable Gen Blanch and the inestimable Pete Gaukrodger.

MUAC will be back in action in three weeks, on Saturday August 1st, at Brimbank Park for more cross country.



Premier Women 6th 2:01:35
Division 3 Women 6th 1:49:11
Division 5 Women 1st 1:25:21
Premier Men 4th 1:58:41
Division 2 Men 6th 2:09:18
Division 3 Men 4th 1:53:38
Division 5 Men 13th 1:59:52