2007 Yearly Report
2007 Australian Centurions 24 Hour Walk
Coburg Athletics Track, Coburg, Melbourne
21-22 April 2007
2007 saw the 20th annual edition of the Coburg 24 Hour carnival, held as usual at the Harold Stevens Athletics Track in suburban Melbourne. Once again, the event was a popular choice for many experienced and first time ultra competitors and potential entrants had to be turned away when the event filled with 4 weeks to go.
53 of the 54 entrants made it to the start line and the mix saw 35 runners and 19 walkers spread across the 24 Hour, 12 Hour and 6 Hour categories. Of the 54 entrants, 31 chose the 24 Hour event, a pleasing sign for the future of the sport.
The race started on the Saturday morning at 10AM in warm sunny conditions but in less than 2 hours, rain had set in as Melbourne turned on one of its famous weather changes! The showers did not clear until late afternoon and all were then diving for dry clothes and shoes. From then on, the skies remained overcast and further squalls, some quite heavy, created an ongoing challenge for competitors, support teams and race organizers. The flip side was that night time conditions were relatively mild and competitors were not forced into too many layers of clothing.
On the walking side, two of the 24 Hour competitors, Terry O’Neill (C 18) and Geoff Hain (C 48), walked in excess of 100 miles within the 24 hour period. Terry won the walk overall with 169.741 km to add a second centurion badge to his first, achieved way back in 1979! It’s been a long wait to see him back in a 24 Hour event. For Geoff, it was his 6th centurion walk finish in less than 3 years, a great effort in consistency and mental toughness. It was nearly a case of triplets but Louis Commins eventually fell 2 laps short of a centurion finish, coming third with 160.150 km.
In the women’s 24 Hour Walk, first timer Catherine Cox won with 149.021 km, an excellent debut. She is someone who can challenge the centurion distance of 100 miles with further training. Australian 50 mile walk record holder Clarrie Jack was too strong in the men’s 12 Hour Walk and won in 88.370 km while last year’s winner Steve Jordan did a big PB to take second with 85.980 km. The women’s 12 Hour Walk saw Val Chesterton break her own W65 50 km Australian record by over 1 hour. She passed the 50 km mark in just over 7 hours and then called it quits, well satisfied with her day’s work. In the men’s 6 Hour Walk, first timer Paul Kennedy won with 52.800 km, beating Robin Whyte but just over 2 km.
All in all, the carnival produced a whole swag of top quality performances and lived up to its rating as one of Australia’s top ultra events.
CENTURION WALK QUALIFIERS
The Jack Webber Trophy was awarded to Terry O'Neill for the most meritorious Centurion performance on the day.
|24 Hour Walk|
||Terry O'Neill (C 18)|| 169.741
|2||Geoff Hain (C 48)||162.444|
|7||Pat Fisher (C 53)||105.302|
|8||Deryck Skinner (C 51)
|24 Hour Walk Female|
|2||Karyn Bollen (C 45)||126.941|
|12 HOur Walk Male|
|1||Clarrie Jack (C 4)||88.370|
|12 Hour Walk Female|
|6 Hour Walk Male|
|2||Robin Whyte (C 29)||50.400|
AUSTRALIAN 100 KM WALK CHAMPIONSHIPS