Our History

Preface by Dale Jennings
Geelong Cross Country Club was born in the newsroom of the Geelong Advertiser in 1971. Founder John Craven had worked as a sports journalist at the Launceston Examiner where there was a strong core of distance runners who, unable because of their newspaper commitments to play regular organised sport such as Aussie Rules and cricket, compensated by running. Young and fit, they competed strongly in the winter and summer running events staged across Tasmania.

Craven joined them for a season but found, on relocating to his home city’s Geelong Advertiser, that without the running stimulus he began rapidly putting on weight. With support expressed from colleagues Graeme Vincent, Ken Miles, Chris Bransgrove, Stuart Field and myself, Craven penned a news report titled ‘Running for Overweights’ inviting potential members to meet to form a professional cross country club. ‘Our chief aim is to cater for the unfit man interested in losing a stone or two. Slow runners will be given long handicaps and a chance to share in the prize money.’….and so on the article ran. Response from Geelong runners/joggers was immediate. Within weeks, two time trials had been held and a decision made to race on Sunday mornings, a practice the club continues today. By season’s end (June to October) the foundling club had 68 registered members.

The history of Geelong Cross Country Club – from humble beginnings to the present -has been captured and lovingly, painstakingly compiled by Jeff Walker, long standing club secretary and one of its most successful athletes. The Walkers, with brother Ken as President from 2008 till 2015 and Jeff as Secretary, with no shortage of ‘worker bees’ on the Committee, have led the club from success to success. The club today is recognised as a good and useful part of Geelong Regional community, likewise its flagship event, the Geelong Half Marathon.

This is no dry, boring read. Jeff Walker spices the club history with quick takes on memorable moments: of dummy spits, wrong way schemozzles, romance, confrontations and the big picture doings of club legends. It delivers insight into the sometimes lonely world of the cross country runner. I commend it to all who are out there, still ‘looking to lose a stone or two’.

Why a History?

After some past members mentioned that someone should produce a history of the GCCC, I thought that it should be started before the older generation passed on or became forgetful. I worked on Dale Jennings because he was the only founding member still competing, and also because of his journalistic background. Dale has covered the first couple of seasons and also added snippets in other areas. I see this history document as an ongoing project and welcome any additions and corrections.
Jeff Walker

Page top

In the Beginning

Geelong Cross Country Club was founded in 1971. By season’s end the club had 58 Geelong members plus 10 from outside the region, each contributing a membership fee of $1. After two time trials, the first of 23 handicap races was held, field sizes ranging from 23 to the 59 who contested the season’s last race, titled the Anglesea Classic, for prize money of $259 in cash and trophies worth $60.

Page top

The First Season

First and founding season runners, in order of registration: Max Stevens, Ray Milley, Jim Pettigrove, Lawry Morris, John Scott, Malcolm Paull, Ken Miles, Chris Bransgrove, Len Broom, John Craven, Graeme Vincent, David O’Brien, Colin Silcock, Bernard Ryan, Arthur Faulkner, Norm Rau, Tom Trzeciak, Keith Shripton, Don Rasmus, Ray Duffin, Gordon Rylance, Sam Sallien, Bob Clinton, John Barmby, Chris Rhodes, Dale Jennings, David Turner, David Collis, Greg Stafford, Frank Adams, Ian Tuddenham, Ian Leeder, Brian Clissold, Stuart Field, John Nelson, Reg Marriner, Bert Webster, Wallace Wall, Lindsay Fitzclarence, Rob Keddie, Bob Jackson, Neil Male, Denis Craven, Bill Jackman, Kevin Cameron, Bryan Craven, Terry Bourke, David Brunton, Derek Simpson, Mick Abson, Gerard O’Kane, Bill Wren, John Dickson, Peter Milley, Barry Dillon, Paul List, Peter Church and Neil Kane; and, from the Melbourne Club: Kevin Russell, Jim Fitzgerald, George Burrow, Fred Grubb, PJ Miller, Stewart Bradley, Robert Hetherington, ? Bramich, Rod Kemp, Trevor Keilar.

Page top

The First Race

At Moorabool railway station over 3.8 miles (6.15km) in finishing order: Colin Silcock, Gordon Rylance, Max Stevens, Norman Rau, Ray Milley, John Scott, Sam Sallein, Len Broom, Malcolm Paull, Graeme Vincent, John Craven, Ian Leeder, Ken Miles, David Collis, Brian Clissold, Frank Adams, Dale Jennings, Bob Clinton, Chris Rhodes, Stuart Field, David Turner, Greg Stafford, Chris Bransgrove, Ian Tuddenham. Fastest time: Ian Leeder.

Page top

Name Change

After being founded as Geelong Professional Cross Country Club, the word ‘professional’ was dropped in 1984 and the club became the Geelong Cross Country Club Inc. This was brought about by the introduction of Open Athletics, which ended the distinction between ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ runners.

Page top

VCCL Threat

The all male Victorian Cross Country League was the controlling body of professional athletics in this state in the sixties and seventies. In the club’s first year, the secretary received a stern note from the VCCL saying that unless it paid an affiliation of $1 to it as the parent body of professional athletics, the club and any competing athletes could be banned from all ratified events.

Page top

Females in the Club

Carmel Stobbe, wife of member Dirk, often joined in our runs unofficially. Carmel asked to join up in 1975 but on advice from the VCCL was not allowed to become a member. This stance was gradually overcome and by 1983, there were sufficient female members for a championship to be introduced for them. Currently, females make up around one third of the membership.

Page top

Start Times

For many years, the start time for most races was 10 a.m. Races at which a BBQ was held started at 11 a.m. In 1999, races were moved to a 9 a.m. start. The occasional feature race has been held on a Saturday afternoon. The 1974 Anglesea Classic was held on a Saturday afternoon around the outskirts of the township on one of the hottest October days for years. Later on, the rich Queenscliff race was held on a Saturday for one year only. Occasionally, when Anzac Day has fallen on a Sunday, a race has been held at 2 p.m.

Page top

Classic Races

In the early years of the club, there were classic races, namely Anglesea, Ocean Grove and a little later Queenscliff, which carried far greater prize money than the standard races. Runners were attracted from other professional clubs within Victoria and a contingent of Tasmanians flew in for some races, often billeted by club members. The handicaps appeared in the Addy midweek and, with journalists from the paper being club members, extensive previews and feature articles appeared.
The Ocean Grove race was from Connewarre School to the shopping centre at Ocean Grove, a distance of 10 miles.
The Anglesea Classic started in Blackgate Road and went along the main road to Anglesea finishing in the shopping centre, a distance of 20 km. Later on, it started from the Torquay Lifesaving Club where toilet facilities were available.
The Queenscliff 10 km run went to Pt Lonsdale and return.
Traffic control problems saw these races peter out. Greater prize money for the ‘Classics’ found some runners running ‘dead’ in the weeks leading up to classic races. Later on, a decision was made to have equal prize money for all races.

King of the Mountains
The King of the Mountains was held at Ceres every year until 2007 when the construction of the Geelong Ring Road was commenced. It then moved to the You Yangs, except in 2011when summer flooding uncovered asbestos which necessitated the closure of the park. That year, the King of the Mountains was held from Deakin to Ceres Lookout and return

Beaufort
From 1980 till 1985, the club ventured annually to Beaufort to have a combined race with the Stawell-Ararat club.

Lorne
From 1981 until 1987, an 8 km event was held on the Monday of the June long week end as a curtain raiser to the arrival of the runners in the Great Otway Classic

Geelong Racecourse
From 1973 till 1975, a race was held at the Geelong Racecourse. Even though the grass track looks great from the grandstand, it is a different matter when you run on it. The hoofmarks made by the equines and the length of the grass make for a rough and testing surface. Flemington is no better as we discovered when the GCCC ventured to a joint race there in the late seventies.

Page top

Venues

It is a case of ‘we’ve been everywhere man’ when it comes to venues used for club races, particularly in the early years, when race permits were unheard of. Over the years, most road races have been deleted and replaced by others mainly using off road paths, particularly along the Barwon River.
Venues used include Anglesea, Balyang, Barrabool Hills, Barwon Park [Clubrooms], Barwon Valley, Bell Post Hill, Bonny Vale, Ceres, Chanel College, Charlemont, Clifton Springs, Colac, Collendina, Connewarre-Ocean Grove, Corio Village, Corio Leisuretime Centre, Deakin, Dog Rocks, Drysdale, Drysdale-Indented Head, Eastern Beach, Eastern Park, Freshwater Creek-Anglesea, Fyansford, Geelong Grammar, Geelong Racecourse, Grovedale, Gundry’s Road, Horseshoe Bend Road, Inverleigh, Jan Juc, Landy Field, Lara, Leopold, Lethbridge, Lorne, Marcus Oldham, Moriac, Modewarre, Moorabool, Mount Duneed, Newcomb-Queenscliff, Ocean Grove, Paraparap, Point Addis, Point Henry, Point Lonsdale, Portarlington, Queenscliff, Queens Park, Rippleside, South Barwon, St Augustines, St Leonards, Steiglitz, Thirteenth Beach, Torquay, Torquay-Anglesea, Waurn Ponds, Wallington, Whittington, Wurdiboluc and You Yangs

Page top

Handicapping

Handicapping has long been used in sports such as cycling, horse racing and professional athletics to give competitors an even chance of winning and theoretically producing close results. The handicapping is always a bone of contention, no matter what system is used. The GCCC has a rule where a runner who improves more than 5% on recent performances can be disqualified. There have been only a few occasions where this rule has been used. In 2003, to assist the handicappers, a rule was introduced whereby new runners have to complete six handicap races before being eligible for handicap prize money.

Page top

Committee Meetings

In the early days of the club, Committee meetings were held at hotels around town. When the clubrooms at Belmont Park were obtained, meetings were held there. Often there were double bookings, particularly due to theatre groups rehearsing for major productions and the Committee was likely to be assigned one of the cold, dingy rooms downstairs. Consequently, some generous members offered to have the meetings at their homes. When the Sports House opened at Kardinia Park in 2007, the club joined and held its meetings in the Kardinia Room, which was an ideal meeting setting. From 2016, the club began holding its meetings at the Canoe Club.

Page top

Annual General Meetings

The club’s annual meetings were held midweek and attendance numbers varied greatly from year to year. When the club’s last club run of the season was moved to Landy Field, a decision was made to hold the AGM after the race. The barbeque was not permitted to start until all Committee positions were filled. The meeting is then adjourned until early November because the club’s financial year runs to 31st October.

Page top

Sealed Series

In 1985, in an effort to keep the backmarkers interested, a sealed handicap race was introduced for the top 30 runners in the club. A separate race was held for the remainder of members. After two years, it was increased to the top 40. This continued until 1991 when Garry Stratton suggested it was unfair to other members. So from 1992, the Sealed series began for competition among Front, Middle and Back markers. The races over 5, 10 and 15 km were run over consecutive weeks until 1998, when the races in the sealed series were staggered across the season. In 2012, an 8km race was added, as well as a section for new and returning runners. To be eligible for the series prizemoney, runners need to complete 3 of the 4 races.

Page top

Eliminator

The Eliminator was introduced as the final race of the season in 1994. Originally, the whole field ran the 4 km race with only the top 40 finishers progressing to the second race over 3 km. The first 20 runners in the 3 km progressed to the final held over 2 km. Recently, all runners compete in both the 4km and 3km with the 20 athletes with the best times compared to their handicap competing over 2km for the prize money and the imposing Eliminator perpetual trophy.

Page top

Pack Runs

In the first few years of the club’s existence, a pack run was held on the first day of the season. It served as registration day and also a training run. The pace usually started off slow but soon the competitive juices came to the fore and a full scale race developed among the faster runners.

Page top

Split Races

There have been a number of occasions throughout the years when two races have been held on the same day for varying sections of the membership. Divisions included Winners and Novices, Male and Female, Under 40 and Over 40, Frontmarkers and Backmarkers, and a choice between a long and a much shorter race. Recently, a 5km alternative race has been offered whenever the main race exceeds 10 km.

Page top

Co-Races with VCCL

The VCCL visited our club to race at Geelong Grammar for a number of years until it was suggested we should reciprocate by attending one of their races. On the first occasion at Westgate Park in 2007, a VCCL marshal directed runners the wrong way and the race was one kilometre short of the proposed distance. The following year, John Caulfield won a by a huge space at Woodlands. In 2009, the combined event was held near the Yarra River with Vin Gasper successful. Lack of numbers saw the combined races abandoned.

Page top

Country Championships

The Country Championships were held at venues around Victoria. Geelong won the overall teams trophy on a couple of occasions. Most of the time we had only a few entrants who bothered to travel to venues far and wide. In 1994, the club took a bus load to Bendigo where we made up half the field. The following year, it was held at Eastern Beach and our runners scooped the pool. Interest waned with Geoff Clark, Graeme Watkins and the Walker brothers among the few to persist. Before their demise, the championships were held at Woodlands for a number of years. Unfortunately, when the trophy was awaiting engraving, it perished when a sports store in Ararat burnt to the ground. A couple of years later, the event was abandoned.

Page top

Koroit to Warrnambool

This race conducted by the VCCL was well known on the cross country calendar. In 1973, several Geelong members, on hearing how well the handicapper had treated them, made a dash to Warrnambool to take part. Unfortunately for some, they were held up behind the Melbourne to Warrnambool bike race and missed the start. Geelong runners filled seven of the top ten places that year. The following year many more Geelong runners entered but the bird had flown, with all Geelong runners harshly handicapped.

Page top

Dawn Buster

The idea of a charity run at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Eve morning was born in 1992. After a couple of years, the proceeds were directed to United Way. Tom Blood became the face of the Dawn Buster, extracting a multitude of spot prizes from the generous Market Square traders. United Way’s successor, Give Where You Live, recognised Tom’s service to the event with the presentation of certificate for 20 years’ service . For many years, the race started and finished in the mall. Due to traffic pressures, the race now begins near the Carousel on the CBD waterfront.

Page top

Lead in to a Marathon

A number of long distance runners were on the Committee in the mid seventies, so in 1976 they introduced a 24 km race at Paraparap. This led on to the club marathon, first run in 1978. From 1981, the 24 km venue was Bell Post Hill. In 1984, the Geelong to Queenscliff 28 km race was introduced. It had been a race conducted by amateur athletic bodies up till the mid-seventies. As the initial surge in marathon running abated, the club reduced its longest race to a half marathon.

Page top

Club Marathons

In 1978, the GCCC first decided to include a marathon on its program. It was held at Lara, travelling past the You Yangs, through Little River and back to the Lara football oval. Accountant and club member, Pat Rowan, arranged sponsorship from the Hotham Building Society. The marathon event continued at Lara until 1985 when it was moved to Leopold for one year. The following year we joined with the Melbourne Marathoners at Albert Park but declining interest and the opportunity to run in bigger community marathons, where there were no big gaps between runners, saw the demise of the club marathon. For many years after that, the club marathon champion was the first club member in the Melbourne Marathon. This was later changed with the runner who recorded the fastest marathon time of the year in an accredited marathon being crowned club marathon champion at Presentation Night. From 2015, the club marathon champion was awarded on an age graded basis. The fastest time on the club marathon trophy is 2 hr 25 minutes by David Nash in 1994.

Page top

The Geelong Half Marathon

In 1989, the club introduced a half marathon open to the public. Sunicrust Bakeries was the sponsor. For four years it began in Eastern Park and travelled out to Drumcondra with loops of the park at the finish. In 1993, the event was moved to Barwon Valley Park on the first Sunday after Easter. It remained there for many years until a very wet morning in 2001 and the logistics of taking a large number of entries persuaded organisers to use the clubrooms as the base and starting point. Online entries are now the norm. The course now involves a lap of the Belmont Common before going to the Breakwater, on to Fyansford Common and return. Recently a limit of 1200 competitors has been set. A relay event was held in conjunction with the Half for a number of years until it was replaced by a 7 km race in 2016. In 2012, the co-ordinator, Kevin McNulty was approached by two men trying to make it into the Guinness Book of Records by running the Half in a camel suit. It was an unusually warm morning but they successfully broke the record by completing the course in 2 hours 3 minutes to earn a spot in that famous book. The proceeds from the Half have secured the financial position of the club, and the Half has attracted new members to the club. Donations from the proceeds are also now regularly made to a charity, mainly the Andrew Love Centre.

Page top

Half Marathon Memories from Geoff Clark

I was lucky to get involved with the Half in the early years when we decided to change it to a river course. The club was not that keen to expand it as they thought it would be too expensive to run but thanks to some wonderful sponsorship it has proved a great success.
I spent many nights at Tom & Marie Blood’s, either posting out entry forms to those who had participated the previous year or posting out the results. I spent many hours on my firm’s photocopier. The Half committee also spent a lot of time at Tom’s putting tee shirts & other stuff into the show bags .John Sawers did an amazing job doing a lot of this on his own in the afternoon before the rest of the committee arrived after work.

To promote the race Neville Crosby and I went to Sunnicrust one afternoon to get them to sponsor the race. We’d asked Steve Moneghetti to bring some Ballarat runners with him but a cash sum was required & Sunnicust provided that inducement. Although Sunnicrust continued to provide bread for many years we also needed a cash sponsor .The committee sought the help of Margaret Burns who was the Geelong Council events & promotion officer. She was a great help in getting Rebel Sport who were opening in Geelong to come on board. In 2003, Rebel suddenly pulled out of their final year of contract to concentrate on the Sydney Marathon. This left us with a $2,000.00 hole in our budget, but fortunately I was able to get my firm Bell Potter to sponsor us for that year.

A former club runner, Tony Stewart, someone I spent many lunchtimes running with around the Tan, then came on board through his “Athletes Foot” shop. Tony was also instrumental in me being able to get Skins to come on board as a sponsor. Over the years I spent many hours sending sponsorship proposals to different companies. This race now supports the club. What a turn around from the early years when I had to submit an itemised account to the club for approval be each year!
Some of the highlights for me of the race included those couple of years when we had the Barwon Queen going up & down the river with a school brass band playing away as the runners ran along the bank. We used to make a small donation to the relevant school.

Having well known identities people like Mona, Ian Cover & Trudy McIntosh assist with the presentations also helped lift the race’s profile. I think the prestige of the race was also lifted when we had the course certified by the same person who was then measuring the Melbourne Marathon course .This enabled one runner to reach his dream of qualifying for and indeed participating in the Olympics.

In my time on the half marathon committee, I worked some great people, not just Phil Vernon, John Sawers, Neville Crosby and Tom Blood but also Ray Wilks and Stuart Pretty who’d spend most of Saturday marking the course. Kevin McNulty has been the backbone of the race for many years recently, including designing tee shirts and entry forms. I knew the race was in safe hands when he took over.

And where would we be without Ken Walker who after that very wet 2001 event at the Barwon Valley Fun Park when I had four very wet scout tents hanging up in the shed for weeks drying, came up with the idea of changing the course to a lap of the baseball/footy oval which enabled us to move the start /finish closer to the clubrooms. This would have had to have been one of the best ideas ever in the time of the half marathon.

One year, vandals disconnected our signs the night prior to the race and they were found on race morning snagged on the Breakwater Bridge.
Whilst it didn’t prove to be highlight, one of the funniest times, was in the early years when the race started & finished at the Barwon Valley fun park. The Half committee decided to hire a spa for runners to use at the end of the race. There was a pole with a power point on it near the finish & that was where the spa was placed. NeviIle Crosby spent a very uncomfortable night sleeping in his car, making sure that not one pinched the spa during the night only to discover on the Sunday morning that the power was not connected to the pole & the spa was cold .You can imagine how impressed Neville was !
Page top

Half Marathon Memories from Clarke Whitehand

In 1989, the club introduced a half marathon open to the public. The event was organised by GCCC member Barb McLure. Sunicrust Bakeries was the sponsor. The event began in Eastern Park and travelled out to Drumcondra with loops of the park at the finish. The format of the 1989-1992 runs were fairly plain on today’s standards. It was a typical public fun run of its day, but organised and timed with results produced using GCCC expertise and equipment.

In 1993, as a result of unhappiness with the bayside course and as a response to declining race numbers, the GCCC Committee seriously considered removing the Half Marathon from that year’s race calendar. However, a proposal by the Sponsorship Committee to conduct a major overhaul of the event was eventually accepted. A Sub-Committee of staunch distance runners was formed and set out to make the Geelong Half Marathon a prestige event on the State’s running calendar. The Sub-committee was made up of Clarke Whitehand (Convenor) – Warren Davis, Trevor Cantwell, Peta Hocking, Neville Crosby and Ray Wilks.

Changes to the event included-
A new course, along the relatively sheltered and reasonably flat Barwon River Valley, mostly utilising walking/fitness tracks from Belmont to Fyansford and return.Moving the 21km event from late in the Winter running season, to the start of the running season and to have it scheduled as a stepped up distance after other local events, the Sheepwash Classic (8km) and the Belmont Rotary Club Barwon River Run (10km) both of which had been scheduled during the Easter school holidays that year.

The April timing was also designed to give distance runners an event to complement training for the Melbourne Marathon that had been re-scheduled to June in 1993. There was increased prize money, courtesy of Sunicrust Bakeries, a free post race BBQ for runners, a free Half-Marathon Tee-shirt to all runners which was designed by the sub-committee. GMHBA sponsored and provided the shirts (@ $3.00 per shirt) and “2 colour” (most ambitious at the time). This “freebie” tee-shirt at the time was a first in running circles.
All finishers received a showbag containing a loaf of Sunicrust (Multigrain) Bread and fruit & fruit drink.

Celebrities, Steve Moneghetti and Cliff Young, participated in the 1993 event. Lots of precursor work was required there I can assure you!!!
The Half Marathon Committee was made up of relative newcomers to organising a “public” running event – and a “few” embarrassing mistakes were made, notably a 10 minute delayed start, a decision taken to enable processing of a large number of late entrants on the day, still entering and lined up at the club caravan at the scheduled race start time. Rapid processing resulted in another change (BIG MISTAKE) to a 5 minute delay in start time! This caused a drama for one or two runners who had decided to take a warm up run in the originally announced 10 minute delay time. The race was actually won that year by one of those runners, who started some 3 minutes after the main field.

The generous sponsorship by Sunicrust Bakeries during 1993 warrants further mention here, as in the lead-up to the event, celebrity runner attendance costs blew out considerably. At 3 days’ notice Sunicrust Bakeries (manager, Darryl Pritchard) was asked for, and generously provided $2000.00 cash to assist in meeting this outgoing.

Page top

Team Races

Since the first teams race was held in 1981 to celebrate the club’s 10th birthday there have evolved a few changes in format and location. The inaugural race was held at Corio Village with each team captained by a founding member. Runners headed up the hill to Lovely Banks and return. Colin Silcock took a wrong turn during the last leg and six others followed him on a tour of Moorabool. The second teams race was held at the Corio Leisuretime Centre where runners ran to McDonalds and return. The following year the event shifted to Barwon Valley Park where it took in a circuit over the McIntyre and Princes bridges. It remained there until 1993, apart from 1991 when it was shelved, before returning the following year. In 1994, it shifted to a course bordering the Barwon River, close to the Clubrooms. For some time, the Clubrooms race crossed the Barwon to pass Landy Field.

The number of team members has altered over time. The first teams had five members. The second year it jumped to six, back to five, up to eight in 1985 before settling on seven per team. In 1993 it reverted to five per team until 1997 when it was reduced to its current three-in-a-team, which usually obliges a handicap start.

Some of the ‘Wrong Way’ gems of Club history have emanated from team events. The first year at the Clubrooms saw Tommy Blood charge off in the opposite direction to the designated course. Another year, Steve Oldfield was amazed to see two of his team tackling the same leg. Captains such as Geoff Ryan needed to run twice, to cover for runners selected in their team who have not fronted. One year, Steve Davies was horrified to see both his team mates out warming up instead of being in the changeover area as he was about to finish. Noel McCrea somehow found himself on the Harrison Bridge when it was under construction and hurdled the small gap where the two parts of the bridge had not yet been completely joined.

In 1993 the Three Musketeer format teams event was added to the running calendar. It involved three team members running at least twice and culminated in all three runners running together in the last leg. It was held at Corio Leisuretime Centre for three years until shifted to Eastern Park in 1996 where it has stayed, except in 2003, when it was not held due to a shortened season. Another shortened season in 2009 saw it omitted from the calendar and it has never returned. One controversial aspect was whether teams should physically push/drag their slowest runner up the hill during the final leg.

The recipe for success in teams races seems to abide in having a first year runner who, honouring team pressure, improves greatly over the short distance involved, especially when teamed with a couple of in-form runners with leg speed.

Page top

Time and Tide

In 1977 the Collendina race involved a long trek along the surf beach. Unfortunately, the tide was in and the narrow stretch of extremely soft sand available saw most runners sink up to their ankles, producing the slowest kilometre rate of their careers. Ivan Siljac, built like a tank, powered his way to victory. In 2009, former president Graeme Watkins miscalculated the tide times which resulted in very slow times as the incoming tide forced runners further and further up the beach on to soft sand during the second lap of the Ocean Grove race.  Colin Hatton enhanced his reputation for tough courses by triumphing that day.  In the early years of the club, a race was held at 13th Beach. After Wayne Hill’s success in1973 running barefoot, others tried his idea the following year, suffering blistered feet from the exposure to the abrasive sand.

Page top

Police Intervention

One foggy morning in Queenscliff an over zealous policeman refused to allow the race to proceed until the fog lifted and there were marshals on every corner. In 2013, police investigating an alleged rape near the breakwater requested the South Barwon race not traverse the gravel path for fear of disturbing vital evidence. The race was well underway and it took quick thinking by Stuart Crossfield and Cate Shay to devise a detour up a goat track to avoid the protected area.

Page top

Home Alone

Invitation runners have always been welcomed but they sometimes cause a problem by not giving accurate information about their ability. One such case was in the eighties. The Committee proudly boasted that it had arranged a police escort to lead the field in the Geelong to Queenscliff race. Brickley Hepburn, a Hamlyn Heights butcher who had completed many endurance races around Perth, entered. Unfortunately, he understated his ability substantially and had hit the lead by the time we hit the Leopold hill and consequently enjoyed his own “private” police escort whilst the club runners trailed by twenty minutes in the race to the finish.

Page top

Course Alterations

Flooding of the Barwon River has been the main cause of alterations to courses. In 1993, the then president, Norm Gates, devised an alternative course at Grovedale when the river spewed across the paths. Unfortunately the new course was one kilometre longer and club stalwart Bryan Cole who had been knocking on the door of a win was run down in the final 500 metres. Bryan’s running career didn’t extend beyond his next race.

In 2016, runners venturing to the Queenscliff race were amazed to see the roadway under 30 centimetres of water after the principal water main into the town had ruptured. It also left the adjacent bike path under water. Stuart Crossfield and his fellow course directors came up with an alternative two lap course to ensure a 10 km race could be held. The Eliminator that same year had to be moved to Waurn Ponds from Landy Field because of extensive flooding.

Page top

Publicity

The club received great newspaper coverage in its early years with many of the club founders being Geelong Advertiser staff: John and Denis Craven, Graeme Vincent, Ken Miles, Chris Bransgrove, Garry Cotton, Ian Cover, Suart Field and Dale Jennings. As mentioned elsewhere, handicaps were published for some of our major races. Race reviews could be found each Monday. The Geelong News featured lengthy reviews and previews in both its Tuesday and Friday editions for a number of years. Vin Gasper was the writer of these eagerly awaited reports until the task was taken over by Phil Girdler. When this petered out, we were left with the small print race summaries, usually in Tuesday’s Advertiser.

Page top

Running Shorts

In 1998, a monthly 16 page publication began. It was packed with contributions from members. When Roma Burhop took over as editor, she distributed a questionnaire to race winners that could be used as content in the newsletter. Later on, results from the previous month’s races were published. The first edition of the season usually included Graeme Watkins’ summary of the achievements of those club members who had competed in the recently concluded professional track season. A lack of contributions and the race results appearing on the club website saw the gradual demise of the Running Shorts in 2007, something bemoaned by Geoff Clark who has an extensive collection in his shed.

Page top

Modern Communication

Since 2013, a weekly email has been sent to members outlining important information about the following Sunday’s race including the course directors, parking instructions and general reminders. There were only three members without email access in 2014, a sign of the times. The club’s website is a fountain of information and the club’s Facebook site is also a carriage for dissemination of information.

Page top

Club Championships

From the beginning of the club in 1971, the club championship was decided by a single race held at the You Yangs until 1977. From then on, points were awarded for fastest time for races throughout the season. Over the years various age categories have been added as numbers in those categories have justified their inclusion. In 2013, a unisex Supervets section for over 70s was introduced. For many years, a runner’s best 14 results counted towards the championship. This was raised to 18 for a while and currently sits at the best 16 races.

Page top

Presentation Nights

The venues for Presentation Nights have been many and varied. For many years the Clifton Springs Country Club was the venue. First year there, members ate and almost drank the larder bare and dry. Caterer Jeff Ingles reported he had not seen such appetite. He was better prepared the following year. Reclusive Colac member Cliff Young sent a long, witty poem to Clifton Springs in place of his good self.
One year we ventured to the Dinosaur Hotel where Bob Fowler declared we were all peasants but among us was a ‘king’. Many wondered, as Bob’s preamble continued, to whom he was referring? Much to his embarrassment, Vin Gasper was the one ‘anointed’ by Bob.

Another year, at the Clubrooms, a group of the ladies led by Marianne Smith decided to serve up the fare which was delivered by a caterer. The necessary crockery and cutlery was rounded up from all parts and the girls were run off their feet, serving the food, clearing the tables and washing up. That bright idea rightfully never resurfaced and we returned to fully catered nights from that day on.

Among other venues for end of season functions have been the Belmont Hotel, Geelong West Town Hall, Queen’s Park Golf Club, the Silver Horseshoe, Belmont Civic Centre, Two Bays at Torquay, Shell Club, the Capri, the Wool Exchange,  Dromoland House [Berkeleys] and most recently at St Marys Hall.

Page top

Race Numbers

The club used numbers between 1 and 100 until the VCCL decided each country club would be allocated its own set of a hundred numbers. Geelong had the six hundreds so Ian Leeder, the club champion, went from number 1 to 601. Geelong soon outgrew the six hundreds and moved on towards 1000. Travel agent and frequent flier Ian Holliday snaffled 777. When runners ceased running for a period of five years, their numbers were then reallocated to new members. Today’s computer program does not allow the re-use of numbers so currently numbers range from 100 to beyond 1150. Geoff Clark has compiled a list of all known members of the club since inception and at last count the total had passed 1680.

Page top

Athletics Victoria Affiliation

Securing the necessary public liability insurance to satisfy councils was becoming expensive. In 2004, then club secretary, Geoff McDonald heard that the Colac Leisure Runners had comparatively cheap insurance by affiliating with Athletics Victoria. Investigation led to the GCCC becoming an Athletics Victoria affiliate, thus saving a great sum of money over the years. The only drawback is that the insurance runs out at the end of March each year and it is always an anxious wait for the new insurance certificate to arrive prior to our first event, often very early in April.

Page top

Masters Athletics

In the mid-seventies, the Victorian Veterans Athletics Club was formed. In 1981, Keith Bird, later to become GCCC president, set up a Geelong Veterans Club which ran at Landy Field on Wednesday nights during our off season and around Johnston’s Park in the winter months.. The name was changed to Masters in the nineties and now operates all year round due to the high class lighting at Landy Field. Many club runners in their winners’ speeches have attributed their improvement to their racing at Masters. All four Veteran/ Masters co-ordinators to date have been club members- Bird, Brian Cole, Mike McAvoy and Alan Jenkins.

Page top

Otway Classic

Founding President John Craven came up with the idea of a teams race in 1980. He called it the Great Otway Classic. The event started with one lap of the steep Ceres Lookout course, headed off through the Otways and finished on Monday afternoon in the main street of Lorne. It involved teams of seven runners racing in relay form over the three days of the Queen’s Birthday weekend. The selection process was quite complicated, involving lots of research and the occasional ‘smokey’. Each morning began with a time trial involving four runners from each team, with time bonuses for the first 10 placegetters. Then six of each team’s seven runners (one runner ‘resting’) took part in a relay to another town for the lunch stop. After lunch, six runners (again, one resting) repeated the relay to another centre for the overnight stop. Many Geelong runners took part, particularly in the first few years of the event. To gain exposure for the sponsors, Craven began importing runners from Japan and Africa and experimented with starting the race on a Friday afternoon in Melbourne. Traffic control and the cost of police coverage became a problem and the race fizzled out. Craven offered the concept to Dale Jennings who saw a possibility of a version around the Bellarine Peninsula, but support from the GCCC was not forthcoming.

Page top

40th Anniversary

A luncheon was held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the club’s first race. After the normal club race was held, past and current members adjourned to the clubrooms for a catered lunch. Several ‘originals’ were there: John Craven, Graeme Vincent, Gordon Rylance, Ken Miles, Max (Mick) Stevens, Dale Jennings, Ian Leeder, first ever race winner Colin Silcock, John Nelson and Ian Tuddenham. Ian Cover of the Coodabeen Champions attended as a past member and master of ceremonies. His quick wit ensured everyone was entertained. Those present expressed a wish to attend a similar event for the 50th anniversary.

Page top

Lock Out

The January 2006 Committee Meeting was scheduled for President Graeme Watkins’ residence in East Geelong. A knock at the door and a wander around the backyard failed to locate the normally steadfast Watkins. After a considerable wait, the meeting commenced with the secretary recording the minutes while sitting on the doormat and the remainder of the Committee draped on garden furniture or against veranda posts. Around 8:30 p.m. steady rain began to fall and the meeting concluded suddenly. By the time the oblivious Watkins returned from dining out, the Committee was well gone. But he was often reminded of the meeting he forgot.

Page top

Marriage Proposal

On the occasion of his 700th club run at Portarlington, life member, Vin Gasper proposed to his girlfriend and club timekeeper Jane to the wild applause of the membership who didn’t wait to hear her answer. Obviously the answer was in the affirmative, because a few months later they were wed at Cobbin Farm. Vin was once on the end of an unpleasant but uplifting experience when negotiating a fence in a race across the Marcus Oldham paddocks. A sensitive part of his anatomy made contact with a live wire of an electric fence causing him great pain, but no permanent damage, according to his spouse, Jane.

Page top

Clubrooms 1

For many years, the club searched for somewhere to call home. In 1994, the club became a co-tenant of the former Belmont Bowling Club clubrooms, now known as Belmont Park Pavilion. Thirteen other organisations shared the building, but importantly it is available for our Geelong Half Marathon week end and the first club race morning. All races starting from the clubrooms conclude with morning tea, presentation of results and a popular spot prize draw. The club stores a large amount of its bigger and less frequently used items underneath the building. Tom Blood has been our representative on the management committee of the clubrooms since our involvement began. From 2011till 2015, he was assisted by Ken Walker.

Page top

Clubrooms 2

In 2015, the Geelong Canoe Club had the opportunity to access a grant to upgrade their clubrooms if they involved other like-minded sporting groups. Stephen Parker , Canoe Club president, and Phil Shay started the ball rolling and as a result a storage shed for the club van was built. The GCCC is now able to use the facilities at the Canoe Club for its meetings and any social functions.

Page top

Timing Mats and Chips

In the early days of the club, there was a timekeeper as well as a recorder writing down the numbers in the finishing order as the runners crossed the line. This continued for 37 seasons. As technology improved, the club graduated to using a timing mat in 2008. The runners now wear a chip on their ankle and times are recorded as they cross the mat. This results in times being immediately available, via the computer.

Page top

Video Camera

As a back up to the timing system, a small camera is set up at the finish. By viewing the tape, the handicappers, in the event of the timing system failing or someone’s timing chip malfunctioning, have a way of determining the correct order of placings. The camera has saved the day on more than one occasion where the mat has been affected by the metal in the concrete on which the mat has been placed or where the battery to the system has suddenly died.

Page top

Clocks

In the eighties, the club together with the Geelong Veterans Athletics [now Geelong Masters] purchased a distinctive yellow timing clock. This meant runners could see how long before they had to line up to start. It was used by the GCCC on Sundays and the Veterans on Wednesday nights. Marie Blood made an impressive cover to keep the clock in good condition. Bendigo Bank became involved as a sponsor with their name on the clock stand. The clock was lent to various organisations for their events such as Rip to River, Barracouta’s and Moorpanyal swims, and Relay For Life events at Werribee, Warrnambool and Geelong. Wear and tear over many years saw the GCCC purchase a new clock in 2008. The Committee resolved that the new clock was not available for loan. The yellow clock was then handed over to Geelong Masters Athletics where it is still used and also lent for many community events.

Page top

Caravan to Van

After years of timekeepers standing in the rain, a tandem trailer with a caravan top was purchased by the club. As it aged and deteriorated, it was replaced by a traditional caravan. When that caravan began to become difficult to tow as well as leak, a search was made for a replacement. Due to successful runnings of the Geelong Half Marathon, the club was able to purchase a Renault van in 2009. The then president, Ken Walker, saved the club a large amount of money, by personally fitting out the van, ensuring that the storage and work space for the treasurer and the handicappers were adequate.

Page top

Oops! Wrong Way!

There have been occasions when runners have mistaken corners on the course but only occasionally have the majority of runners gone the wrong way. One such case was at Moorabool in 1975 when all the field in the under 40 went the wrong way adding a great deal of distance to the race. In 1995, much of the field in the under 40 race at Marcus Oldham went the wrong way at a gateway, resulting in chaos. In 1981, Colin Darbyshire ran his only race with the club at Grovedale. He was short sighted and missed the turn into a farm driveway and continued on along the Colac Road almost to Belmont. Eventually, Colin was accounted for, safely ensconced at home.

Page top

Sponsors

The club has been assisted by many great sponsors over the years. De Grandi Cycle and Sport is the longest standing sponsor, having started with us in 1981. Former club member, Les Duck of Belmont Stereo, has sponsored the club since 1985 with his company’s advertising adorning the first two club caravans. Other long standing sponsors with over twenty years’ involvement include Julie’s Hairstylists [1988], Geoff Case of staircase fame [1990], Rob Claridge [1991], Pakington Bakery [1992], Roderick Insurance [1993], Bendigo Bank [1994], Bob Jane and Tuckers Funerals [ both 1995]. For many years, one time member Clive Paisley donated a haircut each race and Tony Kelly from the Bush Inn provided a monthly meal voucher. Without sponsorship, the GCCC would not have flourished as it did during the early years.

Page top

Spot Prize Box

Since the nineties, some of our sponsors have provided spot prizes. Post race, runners and marshals write their names on a piece of paper and place them in the spot prize box. As part of the post race presentation, runners’ names are drawn out to receive a voucher from sponsors including bakeries, food outlets, golf courses and physios. There are also hair products, chocolate biscuits and socks for those lucky enough to have their names plucked from the time honoured shoebox.

Page top

Family Dynasties

There have been many instances where more than one member of the family has raced with the club. In the early days, the Craven brothers John, Dennis and Brian, the Pettigrove brothers John and Jim along with their cousin Trevor and the Stevens brothers, Mick and Brian, were prominent. The Walker* brothers Jeff, Ken and Terry have tallied up over 1450 runs whilst the Blood* family, Tom, Marie and their sons Justin and Sean have competed nearly 1300 times. Other families to exceed 600 runs are Sue and Gary Stratton 733, Wendy and Rex Sizeland 684, Penny, Dave and Brett Elward* 625 and Pauline and Rory Wilson 601 races. [* denotes still active]

Page top

Risk Management

The club has a very comprehensive Risk Management document which was principally the work of Paul Austin who was troubled by the disastrous 2006 Rip to River where numerous ambulances transported dehydrated runners to hospital. The document impresses (and perhaps even overwhelms) council officers when presented alongside applications for race permits. One useful result is a mandatory pre race briefing held five minutes prior to the race start, outlining possible hazards as well as course details.

Page top

Climate Extremes

The wettest race is probably shared between the 2001 Geelong Half Marathon and the 1984 Geelong to Queenscliff 28km. Torrential rain fell both days but the latter was worse because of the freezing wind that plagued runners from the start to finish. Lightly framed Darren Riviere suffered hypothermia. The hottest race was undoubtedly the 1973 Anglesea Classic which was run at 2 p.m. on one of the hottest October Saturday afternoons on record. Tom Blood recalls co-markers sourcing water from a farmer’s dam during the Grovedale to Torquay 20 km on a hot morning in 1987. The long distance of all these races added to the torture. The 1979 King of the Mountains at Ceres was also very hot. It coincided with the second running of the Big M Melbourne Marathon where many of the slower runners ran on the footpaths to shelter under verandahs rather than on the open road. The following year, the marathon organisers started their race an hour earlier.

Page top

Black Ice

Runners in the 2013 Balyang 8km sealed series race faced a hazard not encountered in the club history when they had to negotiate black ice on the path either side of the footbridge near the canoe club. The pre race briefing warned of the hazard and everyone survived without mishap.

At the same course in 2016, runners set off with the temperature at three degrees and the cold air in the shadow of the Geelong College hill froze arms right up to the shoulders. Care was needed to negotiate the thick frost on the wire netting of the Queen’s Park Bridge.

Page top

The Longest Speech

In 2014, when Ralph Wright was announced as the winner of the middlemarkers’ sealed handicap at Waurn Ponds, he was close to speechless. It was his first club win in 27 seasons. When advised his 100th run milestone would be at the Anglesea race where he would be asked to respond to a speaker, Ralph obviously didn’t want to be caught unprepared. Once the short summary of his career concluded, Ralph began the longest speech in club history, detailing each of his 27 years. As the bitterly cold southerly began to freeze everyone’s bones, one wag was heard to say the speech took longer than the 8 km race.

Page top

Patience or Persistence

Kim Henderson joined the club in 1990 and it took him 22 seasons to reach the 100 run milestone. It is a record length of continuous membership to make it to 100 runs. Kim always ran a couple of early season races before succumbing to injury. He has shown great persistence to battle through numerous severe injuries. Kim has been the club solicitor since 1998. Recently, he has led the organising sub-committee for the Dawn Buster.

The longest droughts for handicap wins fall to Rory Wilson, Mike McAvoy and Jeff Walker. Wilson ran 225 races between wins in 1983 and 1996. Walker ran 234 races between winning in 2003 and triumphing in 2014. McAvoy won in 2002 and is still waiting to win his next handicap event, having competed in 189 races since.

Page top

Close Enough

It took 46 seasons for the club’s first dead heat in a handicap race. In the Wurdiboluc 12.6 km race, John Morton caught Jo Foran around the halfway mark and they raced together to the finish. A couple of strides before the line, Morton seemed to have the ascendancy but Foran lunged as they reached the mat. Starter Jane Gasper could not split them. The camera shot is head on and after several slowing downs of the tape, the judging panel could not separate them.

Page top

Yellow Tags

In 2003, it was decided that until novice runners have completed six handicap races with the club, they are required to wear a yellow tag, front and back, to indicate they are competing on a discretionary mark. This is to allow the handicappers to get a gauge on their ability before settling on a fair and reasonable handicap and also as a guide to runners fighting out the race finish. The wearing of the tags assists established runners to gauge their position in the field in a tight finish.

Page top

Consistency Award

In the mid-seventies, the club introduced a Consistency Award. Runners accumulated points according to their finishing position. In 1978, the name changed to Aggregate Award and later in 1988 to Best Handicap Runner. After the 1996 season, this award was discontinued, perhaps because runners who won a race early in the season were disadvantaged due to being rehandicapped for their success.

Page top

Christmas Greetings

In 2006, the Committee decided to send out Christmas cards to members. Kevin McNulty has designed a colourful, attractive card each year. The following year’s race calendar is usually printed on the cards.

Page top

Island Hi Jinx

Each year for ages, the annual King Island race has been conducted early in March. The main race is a handicap across the island on the Sunday but on the Saturday evening after a few drinks, the annual nudie run takes place. Our club was well represented one year when the wives of a club president, a club handicapper and a life member participated. This, of course, is unsubstantiated because what happens on the island stays on the island.

Page top

Magic Money

During their time on the Committee, both Paul Ogilvie and Graeme Watkins suggested the GCCC try out a concept called Bonus Bucks. Following a letter from Graeme outlining Bonus Bucks in 2014, the club introduced the concept as Magic Money. Six runners who finish close together but well out of the placings are chosen to race in the next handicap race for a cash prize.

Page top

Age Graded Scale

In 2014, at the suggestion of Jeff Walker, the club applied the age graded scale to the results of the 10 km sealed race at the clubrooms. That year, 20% of the finishers attained an Australian standard of 80% which confirmed the quality of our older members in particular. Walker donated a perpetual shield known as the Rory Wilson Age Graded 10 km for the winner.

Page top

Barbeques

For many years, up to six barbeques were held after races throughout the season. As previously mentioned, these races began later at 11 a.m. In those days there was little sport on television to rush home to watch. Consequently, runners and their families sometimes stayed on for hours. As life became more hectic and booze buses were introduced as well as all races starting at 9 a.m., most people left after a sausage or two as soon as the presentations were over. Recently, the only barbeque is at the Landy Field Eliminator where the AGM is held along with some races and lollies for the kids.

Page top

Morning Teas

In the nineties, the club started having morning tea for the races at the clubrooms with buns purchased from Pakington Bakery. From around 2005, these morning teas were also held at other venues where power was available for an urn. From 2011 onwards, morning teas were held at Wurdiboluc and the You Yangs with members asked to bring a thermos of boiling water to complement the slices or scones. Since Inverleigh became a race venue, the sponsors provided pancakes and later on cupcakes. In 2015, the Committee endorsed Loretta McGrath’s suggestion that fresh fruit be also available so consequently the bun order was halved.
Page top

Trivia Nights

Trivia nights were introduced in 2000. They were held in the clubrooms. Graeme Watkins was expert in making these interesting and great fun. However the numbers gradually dropped off and in 2005 they were shelved. There were numerous enquiries from members resulting in their reinstatement in 2007. Julie Elkin took over as quizmaster in 2014 when Graeme was unavailable.

Page top

Social Functions

For many years, night outs to patronise sponsors’ venues were organised. This lasted for more than ten years until the numbers attending began to decrease. Consequently these nights were gradually phased out. At least, the patrons at the Palace of the Orient were spared our karaoke efforts.

Page top

Club Legends

Tom Larkins was eight times club champion. He trained hard and played hard. Tom often talked about a comeback but he would have found it hard to accept a decline in performance from his stellar days. Tom was not averse to hanging it on other members but in his younger days he could always run the run as well as talk the talk. He was part of a training group known as the Animals which included Graeme Watkins, George Thomas, Andy Smith and Ken Harris.

Colin Silcock later known as Colin Silcock-Delaney was the first member to clock up 200 runs. A taxi driver, Colin worked late Saturday nights, so was often late to races in the early days of the club. He won the club’s very first race, also the first club marathon when his crew fed him honey. Colin lived in an orphanage as a child and was in his sixties when he discovered his family roots. His dad had been an accomplished athlete and cyclist. In 1973, Colin arranged the prizes for a charity club race which donated the race proceeds to the St Augustine’s Orphanage, where Colin was raised. Colin has competed at numerous World Masters Athletics Championships over the past forty years. At Colin’s 80th birthday celebration at the Batesford Hotel, true to form, Colin arrived nearly two hours late.

Banker Ian Leeder was club champion for the club’s first six years. He later served as club handicapper for 17 years and became a life member. He became a club sponsor when he started a stamp/coin business. Ian had run a 2:26 marathon on gravel tracks, unlike the cushy courses used today.

Colleen Stephens has travelled from Colac to well over 400 runs. She won the Melbourne Marathon in 1989 as a forty year old and was also second on three occasions. For 12 consecutive years, she broke 3 hours in that race. Colleen was Open Club Champion for 11 years as well as Masters Champion for six years. Colleen represented Geelong in marathons in Japan and sponsored the Best Clubperson award for many years. Colleen won the award herself in 1996 not long before she began her sponsorship.

Page top

Characters

Ron Dunstan was only jockey size but he could run for hours. His club performances improved as the distance increased and he won the 1980 club marathon. He was often seen training on the streets to the north of Geelong.

Lance Prior had a short stint with the club. He had previously been disqualified from football for life for mistreating an opponent. Lance claimed his worldly wealth was in his sparkling gold teeth. He worked as a bouncer and when he inadvertently took a minor short cut in an Eastern Park race, the committee at the time, after thoughtful deliberation, dismissed the protest of the runner up and upheld Lance’s win. Lance also worked as a cleaner. One of his clients was Stan Wootton, who ran a trophy and engraving business and, by happenstance, wound up with a tall, but rejected, handsome soccer style trophy which he discounted to Lance, who presented it to the club as a perpetual trophy.

Enter Peter Dickson, noted more for speed over short courses than long distances, who proudly carried the southern European style trophy, nearly a metre tall, home to wife Ann and installed it in pride of place in the entrance hall. Ann, a dedicated home decorator, gradually moved it along, finally to a quiet corner of the garage. Ann was quick to remind Peter, when the next Landy Field race came around, that the Club needed it back. Peter carried it back to Landy Field and then, never daunted, pulled off a stunning double, loaded the trophy back into the back of the family Volvo. Fortunately, Ann’s comments are not recorded. The trophy is now awarded to the Eliminator winner.

Gordon Rylance often ran to the race venue from his home in Corio. At Steiglitz in 1972, he gave starter/judge Jack Craven (father of John, Denis and Brian) a scare when he continued past the turnoff to the finish. Gordon yelled to Jack that he had not gone to the out-and-back turn around point so, to compensate, he was doing an extra kilometre at the end.

Heather McIntosh ran only a handful of races after joining in 1996 but spent the next 16 seasons serving the club in numerous ways. She assisted husband Graham with the important task of applying for race permits. She was recorder of the finishers for many years even after the timing chips were introduced. Heather was on the handicapping panel for two years. She also acted as the tail end rider for two seasons. Her services were recognised by being best Clubperson in 2006 and receiving a Merit Award in 2008.

Page top

500 Run Club

To date, thirteen runners have passed the 500 run milestone. In order of reaching the milestone, they are listed below.
Kel Thompson was always a frontmarker. He was part of many winning teams in the teams race. He seemed to grow a leg over the shorter distances. In his latter years with the club, Kel often ran without a warm up. Some wags suggested if Kel wanted a good warm up he turned the van heater up a notch or two. Hip replacements ended his career.

Jeff Walker has been club secretary since 2003. He was Veteran, Masters and Legends champion in his early years in each of those categories. For many years, Jeff was a highly regarded Aussie Rules boundary umpire. Often leg weary on Sunday morning after a close Saturday match, Jeff ‘grew an extra leg’ when he could manage a Saturday off. Jeff has won more than a dozen races and was three times voted the club’s Most Impressive runner. He is a Life Member and was Best Clubperson in 2009.

Dale Jennings, a founding member of the club, was known for being able to set himself for specific races. He is a bowel cancer survivor and together with Ian Holliday is involved in fund raising for the Relay For Life. Dale was the inaugural Supervets champion in 2013 and again in 2015 . He has been awarded Most Impressive Runner twice. Dale has won the most club races and is a Life Member.

Vin Gasper, a Committee member for seven years and Race Committee member for 5 seasons, has always done well in longer club races. He was a publicity officer for many years, contributing reviews to the Tuesday edition of the Geelong News and previews for its now discontinued Friday edition. In addition, he had two stints as handicapper. His services to the club were rewarded with Life Membership in 2001. Vin’s wife, Jane, has been starter in recent years. At last count, Vin had not missed a day’s running in seventeen years.

Tom Blood was club secretary for five years. He also served a further 11 years on the Committee. He has been part of the Half Marathon committee since 1995. Tom has also represented the GCCC on the Hall Committee for the past twenty years. As mentioned elsewhere, Tom was the driver behind the growth of the Dawn Buster. Tom is a Life Member who has been plagued by injuries in the past ten years resulting in many DNFs.

Ian Holliday has principally been a frontmarker. He was club Treasurer for two years as well as Vice President for two years in the eighties. Ian organises Holliday’s Heroes which runs informal free triathlons over summer as well as putting a team in Geelong Relay For Life each March. For several years Holliday’s Heroes have contributed $5000-plus, as runners remember club members who have succumbed to cancer (Gary Stratton, Annette Pollock, Wendy Sizeland, Patsy Salathiel, Neville Crosby, Ron Evans, Lloyd Cotton) and those who have suffered and survived.

Ken Walker joined the club in 1981  He was club president from 2008 till 2015, the longest stint in that job. He has been part of the Half Marathon Committee since 1998. He won the club’s Open championship twice and has won the Veterans and Masters championships eight times each. He has been one of the club’s most consistent runners, winning the Most Impressive runner three times. A life member, Ken saved the club a small fortune by fitting out the van. He also spent numerous days assisting the builder of the van shed at the Canoe Club.

Dave Elward has won one Veterans, five Masters and three Legends championships. His dedicated attitude has seen him blossom as he has grown older.

Mike McAvoy
Mike was an outstanding runner for his age. He joined the club in his fifties in 1986 and some of his times in various age groupings have never been bettered, even by Ken Walker and Dave Elward. Mike was on the Committee for 9 years, the Sponsorship Committee for 7 years and the Race Committee for 6 years. He towed the caravan to race venues for many years. In 1998, he was named Best Clubperson. His commitment was recognised with life membership in 2006. In 2014, he became the first octogenarian to compete in club events.

Horacio Pereira
Horacio joined the club in 1985. He contracted pancreatic cancer and leukaemia in 2011 and there seemed little chance of him reaching such a prestigious milestone. He sponsored the club for two years whilst he had a cafe in Drysdale.

Pattie Galvin
Pattie joined the club in 1984. She was Club Champion in 2001 and won the Veterans Championship five times and was Masters Champion six times. In latter years, she became famous for her knee bandages, worn for support. Pattie had a liking for the longer distances winning both the Lara 10 miler and the sealed 15 km twice. She had one year on the Committee in the nineties. She won her 500th race.

Marie Blood

Marie joined the club in 1983. She spent one year on the Committee and was a great backstop to husband Tom when he was organising the Dawn Buster. For much of her career, Marie went off Go and had to try to hold the remainder of the field at bay.

Geoff Clark

Geoff was on the Committee for 8 years with 3 years as President, 2 as Vice President and one as Treasurer. He was also the co-ordinator of the Half Marathon Committee for fifteen years. The kilometre markings along the river paths are painted annually by Geoff. He also orders the sashes for all our club events. Geoff was a backmarker for much of his career. He has assembled a list of every known club member and has a stack of the ill-fated publication, Running Shorts, in his garage. Geoff was twice Best Clubperson. His wife, Chris, was a timekeeper and recorder for a number of years..

Page top

Other Life Members- Not previously featured

Graeme Vincent

Graeme was the inaugural club Secretary, a position he retained for four years until he was elected President in 1975. His reign as President also took in 1976. Graeme was mainly a middlemarker who ran 207 races.

Mick Stevens

Mick was one of the original members of the club. He was President for fours years in two separate stints during his 14 years on the Committee. Mick was a tireless worker for the club and was a very consistent performer from his back mark in his 267 races. He was best clubperson three consecutive years. His wife, Heather, was a timekeeper for a number of seasons.

Max Fry

Max was one of only two runners to win three handicap races in the one year, a feat he achieved in 1978. He was a club sponsor. During his seven years on the Committee, Max was Senior Vice-President on three occasions. He was also part of the handicapping panel for three seasons. Max graduated to being a backmarker after his 1978 season. He ran 105 club races.

John Sawers

As well as serving for 15 years on the Committee between 1979 and 2005, John had a continuous stint of 15 years on the Half Marathon Committee. His work van was often used for transporting larger equipment on the Half Marathon day. John’s running career was unfortunately cut short by a medical condition as he was in sight of 500 club runs. His wife, Karen, was a timekeeper until the children came along.

Rory Wilson

Rory was the club handicapper for 17 years from 1983 till 1999. He was also a Committee member for four years. His 360 race career was cut short by hip replacements. He competed in a number of Otway Classics where he ran himself to a standstill on many occasions. On one occasion captured on a TV camera, an opposition team management assisted Rory to his feet at the end of a stage only to be abused by Rory’s team manager. Rory’s wife, Pauline, ran 241 races. Unfortunately in 2014, Rory was left a paraplegic after colliding with a parked van whilst cycling with a group through Portarlington.

Peter Doyle

Peter was club President in his second year on the Committee. He was mainly a frontmarker and when injury curtailed his running after 302 races, he was a race steward for the next 8 seasons where he worked closely with Peter Bliss and Alan Mitchell.

Peter Bliss 

Peter ran 75 races After one year on the Committee, Peter succumbed to injury. He began marshalling in 1988, a task he undertook for 21 seasons. He was also a member of the Disputes Panel for ten years. Along with Peter Doyle and Alan Mitchell, he formed a formidable team.

Gary Stratton

Gary spent 8 years on the Committee, six of which he was a Vice President. Gary began as a frontmarker but through some intense training graduated to being a middlemarker. Cancer claimed Gary before he could add to his 319 runs. His wife, Sue, was the female run tally pacesetter for many years with 414 runs until her hips gave out.

Ray Wilks

Ray had three years on the Committee including stints as Vice President and Assistant Secretary and 11 years on the Half Marathon Committee. For all of those, Ray marked the Half course, beginning well before the sun had surfaced. He was known for making the course centimetre perfect and using every possible flag and witch’s hat. He ran 243 races, mainly as a backmarker.

 

Patsy Salathiel

Patsy was on the Committee for seven years, five of them as Assistant Secretary. She was a frontmarker, running off Go in a number of her 193 races. Patsy was heavily involved in the organisation of Presentation Nights. When injury curtailed her running, Patsy became timekeeper until her passing.

Graham McIntosh 

Graham spent 17 years on the Committee, four of which were as Vice President. He was also on the Race Committee for 10 years. As part of the Race Committee, Graham assisted by wife Heather had the onerous task of obtaining the race permits from the council and other statuary bodies. He was principally a backmaker for most of his career. Graham towed the club caravan for numerous years and along with Heather, was usually first to arrive and last to leave. He was course director for many of the courses for umpteen years and was named best clubperson twice. Graham has run 338 club races.

Stuart Crossfield

Stuart spent 9 years on the Committee, seven of which saw him Vice President. He was also a member of the Race Committee for 8 years. He was part of the Half Marathon Committee for 5 years. Stuart was very innovative, introducing and maintaining the timing mats and chips which made the club more efficient at a time when volunteers to manually record the results became scarce. Stuart was Best Clubperson in 2005.

Graeme Watkins

Graeme had 8 years on the Committee, including three as President and two as Assistant Secretary. He has been on the Race Committee since 2002. He was MC extraordinaire at the club Trivia Nights for a number of years. He ran in a number of Otway Classics and has been a backmarker throughout his career. Graeme has coached many prominent athletes, both senior and junior over the past twenty years.

Geoff Ryan

Geoff was on the Committee for seven years which included four years as Vice President and three years as Treasurer. He has been a backmarker since joining the club. Geoff captained Great Otway Classic teams, twice obtaining the ultimate spoils. He was Best Clubperson in 1991.

 

Fred Barnett,

Fred was a frontmarker for many years and got lost on a number of occasions. For her nine years on the Sponsorship Committee which included four years in the co-ordinator position and eleven years on the Committee, Fred was awarded life membership in 2009. She also spent ten years on the race book sub-committee. Fred was Best Clubperson in 2008.

Kevin McNulty

Kevin has been on the Half Marathon Committee since 2002 and has been the race co-ordinator since 2009. In his time as co-ordinator, the race’s profile and participation rate have soared. He has been on the Committee since 2010 rising to vice president in 2013. He joined the Race Committee in 2014. Kevin has designed the graphics for the handbook, the van and the annual Christmas cards. He was awarded Best Clubperson for 2006.

Page top

Merit Award Winners not previously featured

Neville Crosby

Neville had a very dry sense of humour. He was on the Committee for three seasons. He served on the Half Marathon Committee from its introduction till his death in 2005. Neville negotiated much of the Half sponsorship in the early years of the event.

Geoff McDonald

Geoff was on the Committee for six years including four as Secretary. He played a big part in changing the constitution to comply with the Incorporations Act. Geoff was a handicapper for six years. He and his wife, Mary, have been actively involved with the Athletics Geelong for numerous years and have organised the Twilight Trot held in the Eastern Gardens on Monday evenings throughout daylight saving. They still help out on the barbeque at the Geelong Half. Geoff was awarded Best Clubperson in 2001.

Brian Woods

Brian was starter/timekeeper for six years. As well, he was always involved in the packing up of equipment post race. Brian was made Best Clubperson in 2003. He ran 307 races. He has also filled in on occasions when the current starter has been unavailable.

Tony Alsop

Tony has represented the club on the Barwon River Users’ Group since 1996, reporting the outcomes of that body’s meetings to the Committee. Since retiring from racing, he has been a reliable race marshal, rarely missing a race. Tony has also been on the Half Marathon committee since 2012. He was named Best Clubperson in 2014.

Paul Austin
Paul has been on the Committee since 2009. After one year, he became vice-president and became President in 2016. He joined the Sponsorship committee in 2009 and took over the role of co-ordinator in 2012. Paul joined the Race committee in 2010. Arguably Paul’s biggest contribution has been the comprehensive Risk Management Manual that is so important when seeking race permits. Paul was Best Clubperson in 2012. He has also been heavily involved with overseeing the Canoe Club building.

Crichton Collins
Crichton was treasurer from 2009 until 2016 which is the longest stint by anyone serving in that demanding position. As the owner of Pakington Bakery, he was a club sponsor for 15 years. Crichton was on the Half Marathon committee for seven years.

Phil Shay
Phil has been one of the club’s handicappers since 2008. He was on the Committee from 2009 till 2014. He has been part of the Risk Management Committee since 2010 and has also been the co-ordinator of the Race Committee since then. His business has been a club sponsor since 2004. Together with wife Cate, he sent the weekly email updates to members in 2013 and 2014. They were awarded joint Best Clubpersons in 2010.

Tony McRae
Tony has been a handicapper since 2008. His computer skills have been invaluable. He has been the website manager since 2010 and a facebook facilitator since 2013. On race days he allocates timing chips to those who have misplaced theirs. He was named best Clubperson in 2013.

 

Page top

Club Members on the Big Stage

Craig Mottram ran in four Olympics after a season with the GCCC as a youngster. In 2016, he failed to qualify for a fifth Olympics in the marathon.

Lee Troop ran in three Olympics after having a season with the GCCC in his early years. It was Lee’s ambition for Geelong to have an iconic fun run. After years of struggling with bureaucracy, the first Run Geelong took place in 2009. Lee was very disappointed to be pushed aside the following year by Cotton On.

Cliff Young surprised everyone by winning the 1983 Sydney to Melbourne race. He had run with our club well before that, travelling to Geelong on Sunday mornings with a small Colac group who were partial to a cooling ale or two after a punishing race. Cliff, not generally a drinker, would take his leave and trot off down the highway. If the Colac lads lingered, it was not uncommon for them to pick up Cliff, shuffling happily along, around Winchelsea. Cliff became a national hero overnight during the famous 1983 race but Channel 10 never mentioned his GCCC connection because it would have detracted the mystique of a farmer emerging from the bush to race seasoned long distance champions. Cliff became a celebrity, easily recognised by his shuffle style of running and married Mary whom he met at the club. Cliff was immortalised by the making of a film about his win.

John Craven was the founding force and inaugural club president. He was an average performer until he made a dedicated effort to improve leading into 1977-78, when John won 12 races, including seven in succession, mostly on the pro race summer circuit. On retirement from running, Craven became a race promoter, particularly of cycling events, including the Melbourne to Warrnambool and the Sun Tour. He introduced athletes to the Great Otway Classic and organised the first five Great Ocean Road Marathons.

Mark Tucker represented his country admirably in distance events after having a couple of GCCC seasons in his teens.

Louis Rowan represented Australia in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 but his preparation was hampered by injury.

Rowan Walker was club champion in 1997 before employment meant he left the area. He came into prominence when he won the Melbourne Marathon in 2007. When he ran third in the same race in 2010, he was the first Aussie and became Australian Marathon Champion. In 2011, he won the Canberra Marathon.

Loretta McGrath won the 2003 Melbourne Marathon in only her second year of serious running. She has been on the Committee since 2014.

Greg Stewart covered himself in glory internationally in Triathlon events, placing in the Hawaiin Ironman.

Joanne King won a World Championship in long distance triathlon.

The McCartney Brothers

Brendan, Tony and Adrian McCartney joined in the eighties. Tony ran fastest times on a number of occasions. Brendan later rose to fame as an assistant coach in Geelong Football Club’s golden years up until 2011 and later as coach of the Western Bulldogs.

The Case Family

Geoff Case won a number of staircase races including the Empire State Building event. Later on his brother, Brian and Brian’s wife Sue also had considerable success. Not surprisingly, all three won the club’s King Of the Mountains title at Ceres.

Brenda Riley held Masters World Records for race walking over multiple distances. She also won the club’s unisex Legends championship beating her male counterparts.

Page top

Disputes

Loney v Watkins
Professor Peter Loney, club president and later MLA, was involved as a manager in the 1988 Otway Classic. That season, very few Geelong athletes were selected and Loney was quoted in the Addy saying that Geelong lacked the role models of other areas such as Ballarat. Graeme Watkins placed a note on the club noticeboard disputing that theory. On seeing Watkins’ note, an upset Loney drove off before the race with the winner’s sash still in the boot of his car. Loney resigned as club president and Ian Muir stood in for the rest of the season. Members pondered how Prof. Loney dealt with the cut and thrust and mudslinging of politics.

Wilson v Coppock
At a rare race at Chanel College in 1989 or 1990, then club president Marcus Coppock accused handicapper Rory Wilson of cheating by cutting the corners on the rugged paddock course. Other runners had to intervene when the dispute threatened to escalate into violence.

Valenta v 626
Dennis Valenta was a very efficient treasurer who resigned after being physically threatened by a runner who turned up at his front door objecting to an artist’s impression of an athlete wearing his number – 626 – being on the front of the 1996 Running Book.

Crosby v Peart
Almost weekly, Neville Crosby would criticise severely Kevin Sheedy’s coaching of the Essendon Football Club. One Sunday, Max Peart happened to be in earshot of Neville’s disparaging remarks. Unknown to us, Max was a passionate Don supporter and took great offence at Neville’s rant. Things were tense for a few seconds before cooler heads intervened.

Warrnambool v GCCC
Three weeks after a Warrnambool athlete, David Beaton, won the Anglesea Classic in 1974 defeating Olympian, Tony Benson, the Warrnambool runners entered the Steiglitz race. The handicaps were published in the Addy on the Thursday prior and to everyone’s surprise, Beaton had not received a penalty for his rich win.
Arriving on the morning of the race, the Warrnambool runners were incensed when they were told a mistake had been made and Beaton would be rehandicapped. John Craven and the Warrnambool boys engaged in a colourful verbal stoush. The rugged slopes of Steiglitz could well have been renamed Blue Hills. After 10 minutes of trading insults and threats of a walk off, the Warrnambool crew took their places in the field from the amended handicaps.

Paul Thompson v GCCC
Paul Thompson was looking to win a big race. In 1978, he kept asking people following the race in their vehicles if he was in the leading ten. At that time, top ten finishers were penalised. Thompson began finishing between eleventh and fifteenth regularly. At a sealed handicap at Horseshoe Bend Road, Thomson got involved in a battle with a son of one of the runners and forgot his plan. When he was announced the winner, his face turned grey and he cut a very forlorn figure. Thompson was entrusted to pick up the grog for the final race of the season that year. He didn’t turn up and was never seen at the club again. A mad and urgent rush ensued to see if the Bannockburn hotelier would provide some emergency supplies. Subsequently, the last race of the season was moved into Geelong where alcohol supplies were easier to source in an emergency.

OFFICE BEARERS

PRESIDENTS

1971-3             John Craven

1974                Reg Marriner

1975-6             Graeme Vincent

1977                Peter Doyle

1978                John Gowty

1979-81           Mick Stevens

1982 -84          John Panozzo

1985                Keith Bird

1986                Mick Stevens

1987-88           Peter Loney

1988                Ian Muir [acting]

1989-90           Marcus Coppock

1991-2             Ian Muir

1993-4             Greg Stafford

1995-6             Norm Gates

1997-2001       Tony Bradford

2002-4             Geoff Clark

2005-7             Graeme Watkins

2008- 15          Ken Walker

2016                Paul Austin

 

SECRETARIES

 

1971                  Graeme Vincent

1972                 Ken Miles

1973-4             Graeme Vincent

1975-6             Terry Bourke

1977                Reg Marriner

1978                Ian Douglas

1979                Colin Silcock

1980-4             Jim Wishart

1985-6             Grant Conn

1987-8             Jan Loney

1989-90           Debbie Watkins

1991-3             Trevor Westerman

1994-8             Tom Blood

1999-2002       Geoff McDonald

2003-               Jeff Walker

 

TREASURERS

1971-2             Chris Bransgrove

1973-4             Kel Thompson

1975-8             Stuart Kelly

1979-80           Ron Sarah

1981-3             Paul Searle

1984-5             Ian Holliday

1986                Dennis Petruska

1987                Geoff Ryan

1988                Olga Thomas

1989-90           Geoff Ryan

1991-2             Warren Davis

1993                Geoff Clark

1994-6             Dennis Valenta

1997-2002       Ian Morris

2003                Colleen Stephens

2004-8             Janet Michael

2009- 16          Crichton Collins

2017                Jeanette Morton

 

HANDICAPPERS

1971                   John Craven

1972                  Kevin  Soulsby and Keith Boyd

1972-3             Keith Bird

1975-6             John Gowty and Bob Bateman

1977                Bob Bateman, George Thomas and Ian Leeder

1978                Vin Gasper, George Thomas and Ian Leeder

1979                Ian Leeder and Des Hutchings

1980                Ian Leeder and George Thomas

1981-4             Ian Leeder and Rory Wilson

1985-7             Max Fry, Ian Leeder and Rory Wilson

1988-92           Norm Gates, Ian Leeder and Rory Wilson

1993                Ian Leeder and Rory Wilson

1994-5             Norm Gates and Rory Wilson

1996-9             Rory Wilson and Brian Case

2000-2             Geoff McDonald and Phil Vernon

2003                Vin Gasper and Geoff McDonald

2004-5             Geoff McDonald and Paul Ogilvie

2006-7             Paul Ogilvie, Heather McIntosh, Vin Gasper and Mike McAvoy

2008-16           Phil Shay and Tony McRae

2017                  Phil Shay, Steve Welsh and Tony McRae

 

LIFE MEMBERS

 

1981                Graeme Vincent and Mick Stevens

1982                Ian Leeder

1986                Dale Jennings and Max Fry

1991                Peter Doyle

1992                John Sawers and Gary Stratton

1993                Rory Wilson

1995                Geoff Ryan

1996                Peter Bliss

1998                Tom Blood

2001                Vin Gasper

2003                Ray Wilks

2004                Geoff Clark and Patsy Salathiel

2005                Graham McIntosh and Jeff Walker

2006                Mike McAvoy

2008                Graeme Watkins

2009                Frederica Barnett

2010                Stuart Crossfield

2012                Ken Walker

2015                Kevin McNulty

 

MERIT AWARD RECIPIENTS

 

2003                Neville Crosby and Mike McAvoy

2004                Graham McIntosh

2005                Geoff McDonald and Fred Barnett

2007                Brian Woods

2008                Heather McIntosh and Stuart Crossfield

2010                Ken Walker

2013                Tony Alsop and Kevin McNulty

2014                Phil Shay, Crichton Collins and Paul Austin

2015                Tony McRae

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIPS

OPEN

MALE

1971-6             Ian Leeder

1977                John Craven

1978-85           Tom Larkins

1986                Terry Walker

1987                Peter Rau

1988-90           Graeme Watkins

1991-2             Ian Muir

1993                Graeme Watkins

1994-5             Ken Walker

1996                Andrew Goodwin

1997                Rowan Walker

1998                Graeme Watkins

1999-2000       Andrew Goodwin

2001                Darren Riviere

2002-3             Elad Haas

2004                Mark Boxer

2005                Tim Bentley

2006                Darren Riviere

2007                Chris Palermo

2008                Mark Boxer

2009                Tim Bentley

2010                Tim Bentley and Mark Boxer

2011                Mark Boxer

2012-3             Grant Simpson

2014                Tim Bentley

2015-6             Ron Thomas

 

FEMALE

1983                Kerryn Schulze

1984-6             Barbara McLure

1987-97           Colleen Stephens

1998-9             Joanne Lambert

2000                Karen Dorris

2001                Pattie Galvin

2002                Karen Dorris

2003                Loretta McGrath

2004 -8            Genevieve Pape

2009 -10          Karen Dorris

2011                Loretta McGrath

2012                Natalie Mensch

2013                Sharon Pedersen

2014-5             Loretta McGrath

2016                Natalie Mensch

 

UNDER 40

MALE

2009                Adrian Polidano

2010                Mark Boxer

2011                Mark Boxer

2012                Luke Morrissy

2013                Stephane Vander Bruggen

2014                James Dalton

2015                Dom Godfrey

2016                Daryl Burns

FEMALE

2009-10           Karen Dorris

2011                April Grenfell

2012                Loretta McGrath

2013-4             Nardine Bainbridge

2015                Erin Littlewood

2016                Sara Coulter

 

 VETERANS

MALE

1981-2             Miguel Mayor

1983                Graydon Luke

1984                Miguel Mayor

1985                George Thomas

1986                Dennis Petruska

1987                George Thomas

1988                Jeff Walker

1989                Tom Larkins

1990                Jeff Walker

1991                Dave Elward

1992-4             Ian Muir

1995-6             Ken Walker

1997                Sandy Morrison

1998                Graeme Watkins

1999-2004       Ken Walker

2005                Charlie El-Hage

2006-8             Darren Riviere

2009-10           Tim Bentley

2011-13           Grant Simpson

2014-6             Ron Thomas

 

FEMALE

2001-2005       Pattie Galvin

2006-2010       Genevieve Pape

2011                Loretta McGrath

2012                Genevieve Pape

2013                Sharon Pedersen

2014                Genevieve Pape and Loretta McGrath

2015                Loretta McGrath

2016                Natalie Mensch

 

 MASTERS

MALE

1991                Tom Blood

1992                Max Scott

1993                Mike McAvoy

1994                Rex Sizeland

1995-7             Mike McAvoy

1998-2000       Jeff Walker

2001-4             Dave Elward

2005-6             Ken Walker

2007                Eero Keranen

2008-13           Ken Walker

2014 -5            Tim Bentley

2016                Charlie El-Hage

 

FEMALE

2001-3             Colleen Stephens

2004                Brenda Riley

2005-7             Colleen Stephens

2008-10           Pattie Galvin

2011-12           Donna Dew

2013-15           Pattie Galvin

2016                Susan Howell

 

LEGENDS

UNISEX

2005-6             Brenda Riley

2007                Rex Sizeland

2008-9             Jeff Walker

2010-11           Dave Elward

2012                Geoff Clark

2013-14           Dave Elward

2015-16           Ken Walker

SUPERVETS

UNISEX

2013                Dale Jennings

2014                Joe Weiler

2015                Dale Jennings

2016                Geoff Marshall

 

 

BEST CLUBPERSONS

 

1974     Graeme Vincent

1975     Reg Marriner and Peter Doyle

1976      Stuart Kelly

1977       Stewart King

1978     Vin Gasper

1979    Mick Stevens

1980    Mick Stevens

1981    Mick Stevens

1982    John Panozzo

1983    Ward Szymczak

1984    Ian Holliday

1985   Ward Szymczak

1986   Denis Petruska

1989    Reg Quelch

1990    Peter Bliss

1991    Deidre Muir and Geoff Ryan

1992    Clark Whitehand

1993    Ray Wilks

1994    Norm Gates

1995    Tom Blood and Dennis Valenta

1996    Sue Valenta and Colleen Stephens

1997    Patsy Salathiel and Graham McIntosh

1998    Ian Morris and Mike McAvoy

1999    Phil Vernon

2000    Geoff Clark

2001    Geoff McDonald

2002    Graham McIntosh

2003    Brian Woods

2004    Reg Quelch

2005    Stuart Crossfield

2006    Kevin McNulty and Heather McIntosh

2007    Janet Michael

2008    Fred Barnett and Geoff Clark

2009    Jeff Walker

2010    Cate Shay and Phil Shay

2011    Sofie Van Gunsteren

2012    Paul Austin

2013    Tony McRae

2014    Tony Alsop and Geoff [Kanga] Wilks

2015    Denise Elson and Jeanette Morton

2016    Crichton Collins and Ken Walker

 

BEST FIRST YEAR RUNNER

1986                Doug Backwell

1987                Darren Riviere

1988                Clare Brennan

1989                Kylie Lucas

1990                Andrew Cole

1991                Peter Fuller

1992                Sandy Morrison

1993                Shane Holliday

1994                Simon Amor

1995                Steven Cole

1996                Russell Dmytrenko

1997                Rob Sawyer

1998                Matt McDonough

1999                Peter McDonough

2000                Daryl Lyons

2001                Wes Benson

2002                Charlie El-Hage

2003                Paul Ogilvie

2004                Kim McDonough

2005                Chris Unthank

2006                Steve Van Rooyen

2007                Megan Crawford

2008                Claire Nivarovich

2009                Michael Thomas

2010                Matthew Szymczak

2011                Geoff Anset

2012                Luke Morrissy

2013                James Mangan

2014                James Dalton

2015                Dan Wright

2016                Joanna MacCarthy

 

MOST IMPRESSIVE

 

1981                Ken Lewins

1982                Doug Swanson

1983                Terry Walker

1984                Greg Stewart

1985                Graeme Watkins

1986                Peter Rau

1987                Rohan Perrott

1988                Jeff Sharp

1989                Mike McAvoy

1990                Linda Meadows and Tony McCartney

1991                Sue Page

1992                Darren McQueen

1993                Sue Case

1994                Jeff Walker

1995                Phil Johnson

1996                Marie Blood

1997                Jeff Walker

1998                Joanne Lambert and Della Mitchell

1999                Dale Jennings

2000                Vin Gasper

2001                Della Mitchell

2002                Ken Walker

2003                Jeff Walker

2004                Vin Gasper

2005                Ken Walker

2006                Brenda Riley

2007                Chris Palermo

2008                Dale Jennings

2009                Colleen Stephens

2010                Dave Elward

2011                Grant Simpson

2012                Donna Dew

2013                Ken Walker

2014                Jeanette Austin

2015                Marie Blood

2016                Dave Elward

 

MOST IMPROVED

1977                Brian Bromley

1978               Neil Cover

1979               Rory Wilson

1980              Mal Donnelly

1981                Ward Szymczak

1982                Jim Wishart

1983                Bob Hampshire

1984                Adrian Conte

1986                Mitch Geall

1987                Ian Chalmers

1988                Anthony Hill

1989                Janine Bishop

1990                Trevor Hunt

1991                Trevor Hunt

1992                Simon Cornwall

1993                Brian Wirth

1994                Roma Burhop

1995                Phil Gear

1996                Fred Barnett

1997                Phil Vernon

1998                Genevieve Pape

1999                Louis Rowan

2000                Karen Dorris

2001                Glenn Wrest

2002                Loretta McGrath

2003                Julie Elkin

2004                Seamus McGowan

2005                Phil Shay

2006                Sophie Van Gunsteren

2007                Jo Foran

2008                Steve Van Rooyen

2009                Kim Wright

2010                Paul Austin

2011                Andy Sattler

2012                Sharon Pedersen-Jones

2013                Paul Carroll

2014                Ron Thomas

2015                Tyson Sheills

2016                Dan Wright

 

RORY WILSON SHIELD

2014                Tim Bentley  89.01%

2015                Ken Walker   89.10%

2016                Ken Walker   88.99%