2014 Yearly Report
26 January 2014 - Tim Erickson gets a Gong
The Australian Centurions were honoured when long time secretary Tim Erickson (C 13) was amongst the list of awardees in the 2014 Australia Day honours list. His award, the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), was for services to racewalking but it actually encompasses his wider work in the racewalking and ultra walking and fitness walking worlds.
Caboolture Dusk to Dawn, Caboolture, QLD, 8-9 February 2014
A number of Victorians travelled to the annual Caboolture Dusk to Dawn 12 Hour Endurance event which was held once again on the 500m gravel road loop within the Caboolture Historical Village on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland on the weekend of 8-9 February. The surface was not the best so it is not the sort of event which optimises the chance of a good time but that didn't stop around 250 entrants in events ranging from the classic half marathon right through to the 12 Hour run/walk. The Victorian walkers, along with local Queenslander Peter Bennett, were all entered in the 12 Hour event which started at 6PM on the Saturday evening (hence the name 'Dusk to Dawn') and went throughout the night. Peter Bennett (C 24) led the walkers home with a fine 107.171km while Michelle Thompson (C 58) 96.074km and Steve Jordan (C 56) 81.159km filled the next two walk placings. Alas, Terry and Karyn O'Neill and Tim Erickson were all forced to withdraw along the way.
|12 Hour Endurance Event|
|17||Peter Bennett (C 24)||QLD||107.171 km|
|27||Michelle Thompson (C 58)||VIC|| 96.074 km|
|36||Steve Jordan (C 56)||VIC|| 81.159 km|
|43||Tim Erickson (C 13)||VIC|| 66.000 km|
|49||Terry O'Neill (C 18)||VIC|| 45.500 km|
|51||Karyn O'Neill (C 45)||VIC|| 38.000 km|
Coburg 6 Hour Track Championships, VIC, 23 February 2014
Michelle Thompson in record breaking mode
Sunday 23rd February 2014 saw for the annual Coburg 6 Hour Track Championships where a full field of 45 competitors (36 runners and 9 walkers) toed the line for a 6AM start time. Conditions were good early on but it was hot and sunny in the second half of the event. Centurion members Michelle Thompson (C 58) and Terry O'Neill (C 18) took the lead from the gun and were never headed. Michelle was the best overall with her distance of 55.731km only about 100m below her Australian Open record and good enough for a new W45 Australian best. Terry's distance of 53.786km set a newAustralian M55 best and was not far outside his best from years past. Dawn Parris also set a W60 Australian bestwith her distance of 43.567km. Karyn O'Neill (C 45) also produced a great walk with a PB 47.442km as did Steve Jordan (C 56) who was just outside his best with 45.900km. And a special mention to Victorian walker Sandra Howorth who walked a big PB with her distance of 41.338km. The next outing for the ultra walkers will be in the Coburg 24 Hour Carnival in 6 weeks time.
|6 Hour Walk Women|
|1||Michelle THOMPSON (C 58)||VIC||55.731 km|
|2||Karyn O'NEILL (C 45) ||VIC||47.442 km|
|3||Dawn PARRIS ||VIC||43.567 km|
|4||Sandra HOWORTH||VIC||41.338 km|
|6 Hour Walk Men|
|1||Terry O'NEILL (C 18)||VIC||53.786 km|
|2||Steve JORDAN (C 64) ||VIC||45.900 km|
|3||Saul RICHARDSON||NSW||42.499 km|
|4||Ken CARTER||VIC||26.513 km|
|5||John KILMARTIN||VIC||26.126 km|
Coburg 24 Hour Carnival, VIC, 5-6 April 2014
Since most places were reserved for the runners, only small walk fields contested this year's Cobuerg 24 Hour Carnival but Australian Centurion Michelle Thompson (C58) provided one of the highlights of the meet with a record breaking walk of 190.984km. Showing great maturity, she started more slowly than normal but managed to keep a relatively even pace for most of the event, only slowing towards the end. She set a new swathe of intermediate Australian records, breaking most of them by significant margins. Steve Jordan (C64) was also in action in the walk division and was on schedule for his second hundred mile finish until the wheels fell off just before the 20 hour mark. Bad luck for Steve but a valiant effort, finishing with a distance of 135.631km.
A number of Australian Centurions were in action in the run - Barry Loveday (C62) started conservatively but took the lead after several hours and, from then on, was never headed, passing the half way mark in around 132km and then actually negative splitting to produce a huge PB distance of 265.000km. This is the second longest ever by an Australian behind that of the the great Yiannis Kouros and was a 22km PB for Barry. Sharon Scholz (C43) finished fourth in the women's run division with an excellent 205.170km. And it was great to see Australian Centurion and former Australian international walker Michael Harvey (C43) also in the run. He was after a distance of 100 miles and he did it, eventually passing that iconic mark in 23:17:57. In doing so, he became one of the small number of Australians who have both walked and run 100 miles within 24 hours.
For completeness, here are the results from the walk section.
|24 Hour Walk Women|
|1||Michelle Thompson (C58)||VIC||190.984 km|
|2||Dawn Parris||VIC||136.589 km|
|3||Sandra Howorth||VIC||72.573 km|
|24 Hour Walk Men|
|1||Steve Jordan (C 64) ||VIC||135.631 km|
|2||Saul Richardson ||NSW||103.810 km|
|3||Ken Carter||VIC||42.714 km|
Overall, the meet produced some 32 new records, run and walk, Australian and Canadian, Open and Age. The race also set a new high for Australia. Of the 48 starters, 6 achieved distances greater than 230km, 15 were in excess of 200km and 27 were in excess of 100 miles. Such depth and quality have never been seen so abundantly before. All in all, a superb weekend for all present.
Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Championship, Blacktown, NSW, 14-15 June 2014
Although short on preparation after a broken toe earlier in the year and a more recent 5 week cycle tour of Japan, Justin Scholz (C 61) was keen to try to improve on his 189.678km, achieved in this same event last year. Alas, after a good start, he realised that it was not to be the day so he eased back and was content to walk through to his fourth centurion walk milestone in a time of 21:03. From there on, he enjoyed the dawn hours and walked through to a final distance of 174.406 km. He was one of 3 serious walk contenders but was the only one to complete the 100 mile walk challenge. NSW walker Charbel Sandroussi had walked in last year's event, stopping at 100km (15:47:25). This year, he did much better, passing the 50 mile mark in around 11:08 with plenty of time up the sleeve. Alas, very bad blisters put paid to his gallant attempt and he was forced to stop just past the 21 hour mark with 140.8km under his belt. New Zealand walker Andrew Shelley was already an NZ Centurion, having qualified in Auckland in 2010 with a time of 21:37:55. Alas, this was not Andrew's weekend either as his legs tightened early and he was effectively out of the racea after about 10 hours. He rested for a while and struggled on to his 50 mile mark and then called it quits just after the 15 hour mark. Tim Erickson (C 13) was also in the mix as a competitor in the 12 Hour event but, like Charbel and Andrew, this was not his day either as he ran out of puff and eventually stopped after 74.8km, just before the 9 hour mark. Walk results are reproduced below.
|Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Championship|
|10||Justin Scholz (C 61)||VIC||174.406 km|
|22||Charbel Sandroussi||NSW||140.800 km|
|43||Andrew Shelley||NZL|| 80.800 km|
|Sri Shinmoy 12 Hour Championship|
|11||Tim Erickson (C 13)||VIC|| 74.800 km|
Australian Centurions 24 Hour Walk, Middle Park, VIC, 4-5 October 2014
The weekend of 4-5 October 2014 saw the annual Australian Centurions 24 Hour walk, hosted once again by the Victorian Race Walking Club at Middle Park in inner Melbourne. Alas, the fields were disappointingly small (3 in the 24 Hour, 1 in the 12 Hour and 4 in the 6 Hour) but those who did turn out were well prepared and ready to race! The gun, which was fired at midday on Saturday, signalled the start for the 24 Hour entrants (Terry and Kary O'Neill and Saul Richardson) and the sole 12 Hour entrant (Michelle Thompson). Unfortunately, they had to endure a long afternoon of very blustery and hot conditions, with the temperature peaking around 30C, and it was not until early evening that the weather abated and the cooler night time hours offered some relief. The 6 Hour walkers (John Kilmartin, Clarrie Jack, Steve Jordan and Ken Carter) joined the fray at the 18 hour mark, walking the final 6 hours of the event on Sunday morning and finishing when the final gun was fired at midday on the Sunday.
The highlight was provided by Michelle Thompson (C 58) in
the 12 Hour walk. She set a conservative pace at the start but when the
temperature cooled she kept powering on to record a distance of
101.66km for the 12 hours - yet another fantastic achievement.
The 6 Hour walk saw a classic tussle between John Kilmartin and Clarrie Jack (C 4),
nothing separating them for 4 hours until John had to have a pit stop.
Clarrie saw his opportunity, put the pace on, built a handy lead and
held it to the finish. Both Clarrie and John walking in excess of 50 km
and it was a PB For John. In the 24 Hour event,Terry O'Neill (C 18) built a handy lead early before being forced to retire after 10 hours. This left his wife Karyn O'Neill(C 45) to fly the family flag, going on to record the longest overall distance of 133.75km, ahead of Saul Richardson with 100.00 km.
|Australan Centurions 24 Hour Walk|
|1 ||Karyn O'Neill (C 45)||VIC||133.750 km|
|2||Saul Richardson||NSW ||100.000 km|
|3||Terry O'Neill (C 18)||VIC|| 72.500 km|
|Australian Centurions 12 Hour Walk|
|1||Michelle Thompson (C 58) ||VIC|| 101.660 km|
|Australian Centurions 6 Hour Walk|
|1||Clarrie Jack (C 4)||VIC||50.952 km|
|2||John Kilmartin ||VIC||50.567 km|
|3||Ken Carter||VIC||25.874 km|
|4||Steve Jordan (C 64)||VIC||17.455 km|
The carnival also saw the annual Racewalking Australia 100km walk championships which were won this time around by Michelle Thompson (11:48:14) and Saul Richardson (17:37:23).
|RWA 100km Championships - Women|
|1 ||Michelle Thompson (C 58) ||VIC||11:48:14|
|RWA 100km Championships - Men|
|1||Saul Richardson||NSW || 17:37:23|
Malaysian 12 Hour walk, Seremban, Malaysia, 6-7 December 2014
In 2014, Australian ultra walkers Saul Richardson, Michelle Thompson (C 58) and Tim Erickson (C 13) were participants in the MKH Seremban International 12 Hour Walk, held in Malaysia in mid December. The 8PM start time on the Saturday evening ensured that conditions are less severe than during the day but it was still hot and humid and hence a challenging experience for those not used to racing on the equator.
The 2014 race was moved from Putrajaya to Seremban and was to be held around a 1km block in the inner city. Close to the event, it had to be moved to another city block due to a festival which was scheduled for the same weekend and the course distance was changed to 800m. Come the day and the lap was further reduced in distance with only a partial lap of the block rather than the full lap to cut off a very busy corner and section. The race results announced on the day were amended to reflect a lap distance of somewhere around 720m but the lap distance was definitely less than that. The winning distances of 115km are not realistic and indicate that further recalculations are required. But this does not detract from what was a wonderful event, With around 350 walkers participating (and most of them actually finishing), it was an impressive event that was excellently run and well supported by sponsors.
Michelle Thompson and Tim Erickson walked the whole way together, starting off conservatively, catching the leaders mid race and then drawing away in the second half for comprehensive wins. The story for Saul Richardson was a very different one as he had badly broken a big toe the previous Sunday when he dropped a heavy instrument case on his foot. He turned up in his moon boot and hobbled around in the last few days leading up to the race, then strapped the toe up and set off with the gun, hoping for the best. Amazingly, he completed the full 12 hours with a PB distance of around 88km. The effort was so great that he collapsed at the presentations and had to be given quite a bit of first aid treatment before he was stabilised. Then next day it was back into the moon boot. Talk about a gutsy performance!
|12 Hour Walk Women|
|1 ||Michelle Thompson (C 58)||VIC||115.362 km in 11:57:57|
|12 Hour Walk Men|
|1||Tim Erickson (C 13)||VIC||115.362 km in 11:56:56|
|14||Saul Richardson ||NSW||88.218 km in 11:56:31|
VALE Jim Gleeson C3: 1931 - 2014
It is with great sadness that I must advise members of the untimely passing of Jim Gleeson (C 3).
Jim, aged 83, was one of our greatest Australian Centurions and the
memory of his feats will live long in our memories. You can read more athttp://www.centurions.org.au/centprofiles/03%20jim%20gleeson.pdf.
VALE Steve Jordan C64: 1957 - 2014
It is my sad task to pass onto our centurion walking fraternity the news that Australian Centurion Steve Jordan (C 64) died on the evening of Monday 15 December after a battle with cancer. Steve was also well known to the wider racewalking and fun run communities in Melbourne as he had been a semi-regular walker in Victorian Race Walking Club road races since around 2008 and a regular fun run attendee throughout Victoria for many years. His last race was in the 6 Hour walk event at our 2014 Australian Centurions 24 Hour Carnival in October. He was already very ill by that stage but wished to participate in the sport that he loved as long as he could.
It is hard to believe that Steve has now left us – it was only in June of last year that he joined the ranks of the Australian Centurions as C-64, walking 100 miles in less than 24 hours in the Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour event in Sydney. At that stage, he was a fit as the proverbial Mallee bull. Who could have guessed what was lurking around the corner. At that stage I published a short biography on Steve. I have now updated it to more fully act as a suitable rememberance. It makes for inspirational reading: http://www.centurions.org.au/centprofiles/64%20steve%20jordan.pdf.
Steve's passing makes us reflect on the fragility of life and the precious nature of our relationships with our friends. I had visited him on a few occasions in hospital over the last couple of weeks of his life and was able to make my goodbyes as best I could.
thoughts are with his sister Carol and her husband Steve and son Kye.
Steve was an integral part of their family as well as ours.
VALE Stan Miskin C23: 1925 - 2014
Coming so quickly after the death of Steve Jordan (C64), it is my sad duty to tell our fellow Australian Centurions of the death of Stan Miskin (C 23) who passed away in hospital around 4AM on Sunday 21 December 2014, aged 89. Stan suffered a serious stroke the previous Wednesday and it was so severe that there was little hope of recovery. He hung on long enough for various family members to fly home to see him, but four days later his body gave out.
Stan was a legend of both the ultra running and of the ultra walking community. I have updated his centurion biography to now reflect his passing. See http://www.centurions.org.au/centprofiles/23%20stan%20miskin.pdf.
typical fashion, Stan donated his body for medical purposes so there
was no funeral but we were able to attend his memorial service on
Wednesday 24 December at 10AM in the outer eastern Melbourne suburb of
Records in 2014
2014 was a bumper year with lots of records falling to our talented walkers.
|6 Hours W45 All-Comers & Residential Records|
6 Hours M55 All-Comers & Residential Records
6 Hours W60 Residential Record
50 Miles Residential Record
100 km Residential Record
12 Hours Residential Record
100 Miles Residential Record
24 Hours Open and Residential Records
50 Miles Open and Residential W45 Record
100 km Open and Residential W45 Record
12 Hours Open and Residential W45 Record
100 Miles Open and Residential W45 Record
24 Hours Open and Residential W45 Record