Good Day Irene

Norm Charles with 2015 winner Irene James.
Norm Charles with 2015 winner Irene James.

The Victorian Cross Country League’s major event was conducted on Sunday at Lysterfield Park and a classy field of forty one runners lined up for the $5,000 prize pool. The field included five previous winners led by Sean Quilty, attempting his third win. From the staggered start Irene James was clearly the first to put her mark on the race, quickly racing to the front. Janine McKerron, next to show out, put in a spirited effort, forging past her and opening up a lead. The backmarkers were put on notice early with Grant Penny running hard and giving himself every opportunity for a win. As the race continued to the half way point Irene and Janine were the best of the “fronties” with Penney and Stephen Menzies the only runners from the back of the field making any impression. Inside the final kilometre Irene James had regained the lead and opened up a handy gap going to the line very tired but a clear and worthy winner.

McKerron lost second placing in the final few metres with Grant Penney continuing his surge to finish a few metres clear of her. Stephen Menzies ran a great race for his fourth placing and last season’s most consistent athlete, Leon Brooks was fifth. Greg Hilson, making the trip from Bendigo, ran a very creditable sixth. Not only did Greg collect a reasonably healthy cheque he also won the “giant” jar of lollies in the raffle. Craig Harris and Ian Cayzer had a close battle for seventh with Craig holding on narrowly. Matthew Sullivan and Jacob Nolan, racing of the same handicap, had a titanic battle for ninth and tenth, with Jacob the victor by one second. This battle also decided fastest time with Jacob (35:05) collecting the $300 just ahead of Matthew (35:06). Fastest of the women were Corina Kapusta (39:42) and Brigitte Seeley (40:22). The novice award went to Matthew Barker.

The entire VCCL community would like, once again, to extend to Norm Charles our sincere appreciation for his continued generous support over that last 50 years. Norm is certainly the Victorian Cross Country League’s greatest and longest sponsor, an achievement possibly without equal in any sport.

The next VCCL event is the 4th Kyneton Ridge Estate Winery 6.5km Handicap, a combined event with BAC on Sunday 13th September, 11am start. Directions are available on the event page.

The Victorian Cross Country League’s AGM will be conducted at Sean Quilty’s place on Sunday October 18th. The club is seeking interested people for the committee for the 2016 season.

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