White Train climbs to such great heights

Brimbank Cross Country

Inspired by the Tour de France, 27 MUAC athletes took to Brimbank Park to tackle the Col de Brimbank as part of cross country races for Round 5 of Athletics Victoria’s XCR’11 season on Saturday, 9th of July.  With cow bells, bugles, horns and the cheer of the crowds spurring the runners on as they climbed the hill, the White Train recorded some impressive individual and team results.

Rosie Donegan, fresh from selection in the Australia team for the World Mountain Running Championships, claimed her second Victorian Championship of the year with a fine run in the 4km U20 race.

Max Williams and Leigh Goedecke showed some speed as they returned from injury to take 22nd and 42nd respectively in the 6km U20 race.

Sophie Barker ran into 7th place in the Open Women’s 6km race, a race packed with international-level runners, underlining her good form going into Round 6 of XCR’11 at Bundoora, the pinnacle of the season.

Julie McNamara, backing up from a fast half marathon on the Gold Coast only a week before, Sarah Emons and Vanessa Round filled a powerful Division 1 team to claim 5th place.

MUAC also fielded a strong Division 2 Women’s team of Al Bryant Smith, Isabell Hartmann, Pip Costley, Sarah Castelino and Laura Portaro.

Zac Newman continued his rich vein of form, floating up the hills in the testing race over 10 miles (16km), an event held continuously since the 1890s, to take 11th place.  The Nic Browne – David  Paroissien rivalry from Gold Coast was renewed with Browne narrowly edging out Paroissien in the last lap.  Prefontaine fan Hamish Beaumont, Bob Brown fan Andy Selby Smith and Gojira fan Matt Irons filled out a Division 2 team that took another victory to remain undefeated for XCR’11.

Tyler Harlan, medicos Tim Robinson and Chris Xu, Sir Richard Dutton and Hunter Dean came together to form an impressive Division 3 team that is pushing hard for promotion to Division 2.

Also racing was Paul Kennedy, the wild man of Coburg, Tom Gorman, coaching supremo Tony Brain, corporate crime fighter Tim Thomas, Chris Fraser and the ever smiling Dion Houtman.

The White Train will be back in action at Round 6 of XCR’11, the Bundoora Cross Country and selection trials for the Australian Cross Country Championships, which will be held on Saturday, 23rd of July.