Hip Hooray For Mark

The Victorian Cross Country League's best credentialed novice, Mark Hipworth, opened his winning account with a great win in the RetireInvest Eaglehawk to Bendigo 6.4k road race. Mark who has won nearly every event on the Victorian Athletic League's track calender has run numerous placing with the VCCL including close up finishes in this race. Mark defeated another Melbourne runner Tony Parsons by nine seconds with Bendigo's Greg Hilson a further six seconds away in third place. Michael Marantelli, the event backmarker, prised himself away from his city bachelor pad to make the trek to Bendigo and ran home strongly to finish fourth. Michael also was the winner of the fastest time sash in the time of 19.36.

Hipworth who coaches a large group of athletes at Olympic Park took the lead from Parsons inside the last kilometre to safely hold the field over the concluding stages. Local runner and past winner of the event Bill Makeham ran a consistent 6.4k to run fifth just ahead of Tom Hecimovic and Adam Parker. Olivia Findlay was the first female home and was also the fastest female in the time of 26.31. Others to finish in the top ten were backmarkers Josh Nolan and Luke Searle. David Spence was first novice.

Irene James raced away from the lead runners early in the event and looked a winning chance until the final kilometre. Another front marker Alan McCullen was unable to show his best form in the race but judging by the photos finished on well and obviously needs a wet track.

The Melbourne runners would like to thank the Bendigo Athletic Club for the organisation and marshalling of the event and their great hospitality shown afterwards in the clubrooms.

Once again the event was sponsored by George Flack and his company RetireInvest. It is rare that a sponsor remains as loyal and as generous for such an extended time as George and RetireInvest has been to BAC.

Next Sunday's race is at Woodlands for the Independent signs 10k, 10am start.

The following week, 3rd July, is the 2nd annual relay at Norton's Park, Wantirna. Those wishing to compete please organise a team or let Mark O'Brien know that you are available to be placed into one.

Those wishing to book a place on the Murchison bus for the 38th Murchison 10k please contact Lyn McKenzie.

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