No foxing for MUAC at Cruden Farm

XCR’18 Round 3: Cruden Farm Cross Country
A strong contingent of over 35 MUAC cross country athletes took to the undulating green pastures of the Murdoch Estate at Cruden Farm in Langwarrin on Saturday afternoon. Open men and women trotted out three gruelling circuits of the 4 km course while the U/20s tackled 8 km. The sun was shining and the weather near perfect for the longest true cross country event of the XCR Calendar for 2018. Most competitors found the course challenging but rewarding, although some did succumb to the perils of a deceptively slippery mud bog at around the 3 km point of the circuit!
All MUAC-ers posted impressive times on the day, but a number of performances were stand out. Ciara Boyd-Squires Long came home very strongly in the U/20s Women Division over the 8 km distance, securing silver in a time of 30:49. Meanwhile, Emma Hogan had an excellent run, finishing 7th stopping the clock 18 seconds under the 33 minute mark.
Congratulations are also in order for MUAC debutante Victoria Annett who finished in 17th in her first ever run in the sash. Together, these girls came second as the U/20 Team— a stellar effort.
Next up were the open women, pounding out the first of the two 12 km events for the day. The Premier Women’s team had the performance of the meet for MUAC, snaring a hard-fought and very impressive 4th place with Pippa Trevella, Ruby Turner, Lisa Dick, Sarah Lucas and Anna Louey all pushing through for an absolute ripper result for their team and the club. The result equals our best team result in 2017, the half marathon, where the team was led by 3 time Olympian Lisa Weightman. Also debuting in the women’s cross country was Johanna Bayer, further adding to the depth of the women’s team. Johanna was a very welcome addition, with the Div 3 women’s team jostling for promotion thanks also to great runs by Liu Xin Zhang and Kate McClure. After 3 rounds the Premier Women are just 3 points from the top 5 and the Division 3 Women are clear in third place.
The Premier Men meanwhile were led home by shiny-pants recipient Nicholas Earl. Earl, although tardy in making the bus from Parkville in the morning proved he was worth waiting for, completing three speedy laps of the estate in 37:44. The ever-friendly face of Frankie Conway was not far behind, finishing comfortably in the top 20 with 17th.  Third home for the sash was Jack Powell, who showed that he hadn’t been slacking off on the training front while completing teaching rounds in Seymour over the last few weeks. Meanwhile, despite Erik ‘Maxxy’ Ueda suffering from jet lag and DOMs from his recent exploits at the Swedish Half Mara Championships in Gothenburg had a fantastic run, finishing 47th, followed by an impressive performance by Tom Hall in 51st. From these impressive these efforts, the Premier Men’s Team rounded out the top 3 on the Premier Men’s team ladder for the day.
While unfortunately Nic Lukies’ time and place was not included in the results, he nonetheless deserves credit, running an excellent tactical race, powering home to finish somewhere in the top 60 – 70.
Finally, Adam Hannah, Nick Parkinson and Daniel Brundel along with Matthew Connolly and Philip Van Dueren all pushed each other home finishing in quick succession in 181st, 183rd, 184th and 216th and 217th respectively. These efforts, among others from Hamish Beaumont, Timothy Thomas and Miguel Gil Garcia make MUAC a good chance for promotion in Div 5 men, with them just one point from 2nd place and a promotion spot.
The team regrouped for the traditional and well-earned refuelling session beneath the fluttering MUAC flag and tent. While some runners were caked in mud and others relatively clean, all could revel in the glory of conquering Cruden Farm for another year.
All too soon it was time to return to Melbourne though, although spirits were high on the return journey (evidenced by some excellent Karaoke), with endorphin loaded runners enjoying some well-earned beverages courtesy of club legend TT.
MUAC is next in action on Saturday June 16th for XCR Round 4, when we head to Bundoora to tackle some loops over the lofty summit of Mt Cooper.

XCR18 Rd 3: Cruden Farm Cross Country