Earl leads happy few in Ballarat

Rd 4 XCR16: Lake Wendouree Road Race


A hardened group of MUAC athletes, some grizzled from battles past, gathered in the west for a tough battle over 15 hard kilometres (and a touch more).  Lessened by the ravages of exams and illness, nonetheless the fewer athletes, the greater share of honour and plenty of honour was found on this field. Most were not covetous for gold, but fought to support the sash, however muddied from previous races, and bring home glory. A cold and wet day greeted the troops as they alit. Arrayed on the line, faces calm it was clear that he that outlives this day, and comes safe home, will stand a tip-toe when this day is named.  A moderate pace early on belied the savagery to come, with Nick Earl duelling with Toby Rayner for the victory, bested only in the last 1500m to claim his first silver medal in AV competition. Behind him Charlie Park, Zac Newman, Frankie Conway, Max Ueda and Ian Lawford took the Premier team to another 3rd place, further consolidating their position on the premiership ladder. We’ll remember, with advantages. What feats we did that day. A dedicated brigade of women, Ellen Schaef, Ella Trimboli, Maria O’Sullivan (on debut), Field Marshall Martine Botha, Louise Organ, Ally O’Briend, Marie Parsons and Courtney Parker fought hard for the honour of MUAC, taking 6th in Premier Women. The tough racing shall be remembered-, we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he that-day that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, And gentlemen in Parkville now-a-bed, Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us.

Many thanks to Sabs for the photography and Caitlin for the cheering. Recovery refreshments came courtesy of a weight of pizza from Forge Pizzeria and some restoratives courtesy of Tim Thomas.

Post race celebrations continued at Chinatown’s best Indian restaurant, Gaylords, where in their flowing cups, freely remembered were these names, familiar in their mouths as household words.

MUAC will appear in As You Like It (or the Victorian Cross Country Championships and Selection Trials) in two weeks time at Bundoora on Saturday, June 18th.



XCR16 Lake Wendouree Road Race