Fraser’s Team Hard To Dismiss

Team Murray, winner of the 2015 relay.
Team Murray, winner of the 2015 relay.

The annual Victorian Cross Country League relay was conducted on Sunday at Nortons Park in Wantirna, with twelve teams competing for $700 in prize money and the associated prestigious honours. Team Murray led by Captain Fraser and comprising a team of predominately novice runners cleared out over the concluding stages to win by a handy margin of forty seconds. Fraser was the first to hit the track and after covering his 3km leg in close to twelve minutes handed the baton to Matthew Barker who replicated the captains effort before handing over to Jason Vogil, having only his third run with the VCCL. Jason held his own and left Brock Ellett with the easy task of completing the final 3k to claim the handicap honours. With another team of mainly novices, the ladies of team Findlay, led by Olivia, were second across the line. Third across the line was Team Tootsie, who did a sterling job after losing team anchor “Fritters” McCullen only moments before the start.

As exciting as the handicap section was the spectators were stunned when the usually unbeatable umpires team were soundly beaten by the “A” Hippo team in the fastest time section of the event. Hippo “A” with David Spence leading out recorded a very swift 9:50 and handed the baton to Phil O’Brien who produced a return to his best form with an excellent 9:42. Meanwhile the umpires, with Damien Cusack running 10.:6 and then Shane Thiele with 9:41 were already sixteen seconds off the pace. Hippo stalwart James Deane ran 9:55 but was well matched by Matthew Jenkinson’s 9:45, narrowing the margin to five seconds. The fourth leg produced the run of the day for the Hippo team with Cam Clayton producing a “simmering” 9:32 against the recently engaged “Buzz” Burrows’ 9:36. The final leg was left for Oscar Robinson to lead out with “Snake” Marantelli chasing. With a lap to travel (1.5km) Marantelli was hard on the back of Oscar but with the previous nights Swans vs Hawks match starting to tell Oscar was able to draw away for a comfortable win. Robinson completed his leg in 9:28, the fastest of the day.

This week is the Austbrokers Phillips Handicap 8km at Lysterfield Park, start time 10am. Turn left after entering the park to the BBQ area, about 600m. The sponsor of this race, Austbrokers Phillips, has organised to pay the entry fee (usually $15) for all fun runners. As a trade off, fun runners or any other runners may want to make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation using the following link: Donate to NBCF.

The following week is the time honoured “Family Feud”, this season sponsored by Fraser Murray. Runners please bring a family member or members to make up a team to take home the Family Feud trophy

The following week is the Flack Advisory Classic 6.4km handicap at Woodvale in Bendigo. Please note that the start time is now 11am and the presentations and BBQ will take place at the race venue.

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