Running Writing ©
No. 19    February 1999
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Too Close to Call      photos

The All-Schools 
Track & Field Championships 
 The Parliament House Relays

One of the feature events on the ACT Cross Country Club calendar is the Parliament House Relays. On a warm late Saturday afternoon last December 7 runners started congregating adjacent to Questacon for the 21st staging of the annual classic. Questacon? Yes, after nine years on the 1,632 metres of bitumen around our house on the hill we were banished to a new venue due to a clash with 'Carols by Candlelight'.

So, it was down to the CCC's 'second home' at Questacon and a hastily devised road course which lapped the new cross country venue and the High Court. The measuring wheel revealed the one mile lap was actually closer to 1,770 metres. The new course was given favourable reviews by most runners after the event: 'more intimate', 'spectator friendly', 'more interesting course'; were some of the comments.

Well into the ten by one-mile race it looked as though 'Questacon' would become synonymous with 'SCT's first victory'. A good start by Michelle Ward-Pearson and Fiona Jorgensen put us in second place, eighteen seconds down on the Woden Harriers paring of Joy Terry and Carol Ey. Shaun McCabe and Gordon Nightingale gradually narrowed the gap. A great run from John Tuckey had us ahead of the Harriers, a lead which was further extended by Stuart Doyle.

Kevin Bonnett, running his last race in the gold and black, maintained the margin over his pursuers and supporting club-mates had their fingers crossed. Eighth leg runner, CCC President, Hugh Jorgensen would be handing over to Erin Lenon and anchor, Colin Neave. Desperate running by all three could not keep at bay the 'guns' that Harriers had put against them - Glenn Paterson, John Muir and Luke Roberts. So close, just one and a half minutes down, but by all accounts, a great effort from South Canberra Tuggeranong.

In the 'B-Grade' teams of eight category it was another SCT/Vets/WH tussle. A number of our runners 'doubled' with Michelle Ward-Pearson overtaking Alan Wilson of the Vets in the last 100 metres to give SCT another second place finish.


SCT A-Grade
1.Michelle Ward-Pearson6:1806:18
2.Fiona Jorgensen6:3012:48
3.Shaun McCabe5:3218:20
4.Gordon Nightingale6:0624:26
5.John Tuckey5:3330:00
6.Stuart Doyle5:2735:27
7.Kevin Bonnett6:0841:35
8.Hugh Jorgensen5:5547:30
9.Erin Lenon6:1753:47
10.Colin Neave5:2859:15

SCT B-Grade
1.Gordon Nightingale6:3006:30
2.Michael Ward-Pearson7:0313:33
3.Neil Ward-Pearson7:1220:45
4.Thomas White6:5927:44
5.Richard White6:2434:08
6.Michael Ward-Pearson7:0541:13
7.Ewen Thompson6:2247:35
8.Michelle Ward-Pearson6:2654:01

Select for Large Image

Tricia Johnson
Tricia Johnson (1155) placed 12th in the Under-18 Women's Steeplechase [32k]

Christopher Williams
Great running from Christopher Williams in the Under-14 Men's 1500 metres [30k]

Kelly Roberts
Alice Goodberg leads Kelly Roberts in the Under-18 Women's 800 metres [31k]

Michael Hosking
A silver medal to Michael Hosking in the Under-14 Men's 1500 metres Walk [29k]

Katrina Onus
Katrina Onus represented in Discus, Shot and Hammer [29k]

Tim Clarke
Victoria's Tim Clarke ran 3:51.70 to place second in the Under-18 Men's 1500 metres, just .02 behind winner David Byrne [30k]

Erin Sutcliffe
Erin Sutcliffe starting in the Under-16 Women's 800 metres [30k]

Stuart Doyle
Stuart Doyle - a big improver on the track this season (here after finishing leg one of the Brindabella Classic) [27k]


Canberra - December 10-13, 1998 

South Canberra Tuggeranong athletes were well represented in this season's All-Schools Track & Field Championships... Just check out the results which follow this report.

It's impossible to cover all performances on an individual basis. An obvious place to start would be with the medal winners, however I've decided to mention first the effort of Chris Williams in the Under-14 men's 1500m. Here is a guy who has lowered his PB from well outside 5 minutes to low 4:40's this season. He came into the race as the youngest competitor of the nineteen entrants. Swamped at the start and slowed by a falling runner he found himself in third last place after 200 metres. With strong running in the second and third laps Chris moved up to 12th at the bell. A big kick over the last 300 metres saw him pass another three athletes to place 8th in 4:42.72. Afterwards Chris said of the race: "That was tough".

Terry Martin although no longer a SCT member deserves a mention for his winning throw of 60.61 metres in the Under-20 men's Discus. Terry has been snapped up by the Canberra Raiders and will be a big loss to Athletics.

Michael Hosking is an excellent runner but made his 98 All-Schools mark in the Under-14 men's 1500m Walk. A silver medal in 7:01.25 is just reward for this talented athlete. What can you say about Kelly Roberts? This is a lady who knows how to lift for the 'big one'. An interrupted preparation that would have left a lesser athlete totally psyched out didn't seem to bother SCT's leading female middle distance runner. She ran out hard from the start, giving herself every chance of winning. Her gutsy display resulted in a PB of 2:08.52 and a well deserved silver medal.

You can't ask for much more than a PB in a Championship Event. When your best ever performance delivers you a medal, that's a bonus. Erin Sutcliffe could have been excused for being down after a lack-lustre performance in Saturday's Under-16 women's 1500 metres. She tried her best (many would be happy to place 5th at Nationals) but seemed to be off her early-season form which suggested a time under 4:40. Coming back on Sunday in the 800 metres final she produced a super-impressive performance which I for one will remember for some time. A slower than normal start worried supporters when she settled in fifth place at the bell. Erin's first lap split was 66 seconds and she seemed well out of medal contention. Her last lap surge had the locals cheering as she overtook runners and closed in on a medal. She finally ran into the bronze medal position in the last 50 metres and a PB of 2:11.57. Well done Erin!

A couple of other 'mentions' from the All-Schools: Richard White's first ACT representation in the Under-14 men's 1500m Walk. Tricia Johnson's 12th in the Under-18 women's Steeplechase (the most competitive ever women's steeple in Australia which was won in a near World Record). The Dziubinski boys were again up there in the Pole Vault. Fourth place to Phoebe Holland in the Under-20 women's Shot Put. Hard-luck award to Craig Core who had to pull out of the Under-18 men's Steeple due to a virus he picked up in the week prior to the event.


Under 14 Women's Long Jump: 16th. Kristen Murray 4.78m (1st Naomi King 5.78m). 100m: Heat 2, 5th. Kristen Murray 13.32 (Final - 1st Lauren Johnston 12.45). 200m: Heat 1, 5th. Kristen Murray 27.00 (Final - 1st Pip Kehoe 25.65). Discus: 12th. Kristen Murray 27.05m (1st Samantha Collier 35.99m).
Under 16 Women's 200m: Heat 3, 6th. Chris Gill 26.34 (Final - 1st Crystal Attenborough 24.44). 800m: 3rd. Erin Sutcliffe 2:11.57 (1st Georgie Clarke 2:06.05). 1500m: 5th. Erin Sutcliffe 4:50.61 (1st Melissa Rollinson 4:29.51). Shot: 20th. Sam Riley 8.96m (1st Deborah Lovely 13.01m) Discus: 16th. Shenevelle Dickson 31.46m (1st Deborah Lovely 47.92m).
Under 18 Women's 100m: Heat 1, 6th. Vanessa Long 12.76 (Final - 1st Lauren Jauncey 11.78). 800m: 2nd. Kelly Roberts 2:08.52 (1st Alice Goodberg 2:07.68). 1500m: 4th. Kelly Roberts 4:41.78 (1st Alice Goodberg 4:30.24). 2000m Steeplechase: 12th. Tricia Johnson 8:01.89 (1st Melissa Rollinson 6:37.50). 400m Hurdles: Heat 3, 5th. Bianca Freeman 71.80. (Final - 1st Jana Pittman 59.75). Triple Jump: 16th. Wendy Fisher 9.99m (1st Jane Denning 12.18m). Shot: 15th. Katrina Onus 8.77m. 16. Suzanne Morris 8.14m (1st Katrina Steele 13.81m). Discus: 17th. Phoebe Holland 35.58m. 23. Katrina Onus 26.88m (1st Katrina Steele 51.94m). Hammer: 14th. Katrina Onus 30.12m (1st Briony Rhebeun 48.34m). 3000m Walk: 8th. Rebecca Hosking 16:08.01 (1st Stacy Riakos 15:06.94).
Under 20 Women's Hammer: 13th. Katrina Onus 28.52m (1st Bronwyn Eagles 58.46m). Shot: 4th. Phoebe Holland 11.77m (1st Katrina Steele 14.24m).

Under 14 Men's 90m Hurdles: Heat 2, 6th. Owen Longstaff 14.56 (Final - 1st Paul Stickler 12.58). 1500m: 8th. Chris Williams 4:42.72 (1st Mahdi Sani 4:22.88). 1500m Walk: 2nd. Michael Hosking 7:01.25 (1st Greg Collins 6:49.97). Javelin: 15th. Shane Onus 37.48m (1st Josh Robinson 52.18m).
Under 16 Men's 100m: Heat 2, 7th. Terry Lock 11.42 (Final - 1st David Pearson 10.87). 200m: Heat 2, 5th. Terry Lock 23.34 (Final - 1st David Pearson 21.97). 800m: Heat 3, 7th. Mark Shepherd 2:04.95 (1st Andrew O'Neill 1:59.80). 1500m Walk: 11th. Richard White 7:24.13 (1st Scott Hollaway 6:15.89). 200m Hurdles: Heat 4, 7th. Michael Freeman 28.85 (Final - 1st Ryan Purcell 24.66). Men's High Jump: 19th. James McNamara 1.75m (1st David James 2.04m). Men's Shot: 22nd. Nick Kouparitsas 13.35m (1st Steven Glover 19.04m).
Under 18 Men's 100m: Heat 1, 7th. Dene Davis 11.73 (Final - 1st Lucas Chodat 10.64). 200m: Heat 1, 7th. Dene Davis 23.42 (Final - 1st Matthew Bouveng 21.44). 2000m Steeplechase: dnf Craig Core (1st Tim Clarke 5:57.36). 400m: Heat 2, 8th. Andrew Gilbert 56.94 (Final - 1st David Geddes 47.49). 400m Hurdles: Heat 3, dq Dene Davis (Final - 1st Andrew Coulter 53.82). Pole Vault: 7th. Scott Dziubinski 3.50m (1st Tom Lovell 4.80m). Javelin: 16th. Trent Dixon 48.91m (1st Mark George 62.70m).
Under 20 Men's Pole Vault: 7th. Aidan Dziubinski 4.25m (1st Tom Lovell 4.70m). Under 20 Men's Discus: 1st. Terry Martin 60.61m.

The President's 

January 1998 

Happy New Year fellow Athletes and Officials,

While flying to America in August last year I was given to read, by Ewen Thompson, a photocopy of a book he was reviewing by the late Gordon Pirie on running fast and injury-free. I finished it by the time we landed in the States.

Being a pronator from way back, with a collection of old running shoes with half the heel worn away, I found that his advice made sense so I decided to put it into practice. 5 months later, I can report on it's effectiveness.

As to speed and endurance, I have not noticed much difference, but the big improvement has been in shoe wear and injury rate. The shoe wear factor has seen an amazing improvement with all signs of pronation gone! Despite 70 to 100 km per week rotating 3 pair of shoes (I have a pair at work for lunch-time runs, another pair for early morning runs and another pair for road-work), I have not had to replace a single pair. This is not good news for Brian Wenn and The Runners Shop, but definitely good news for you, the consumer. Apart from some muscle soreness during the change of style period as emphasis is place on different muscles, I have not had any of the usual Shin soreness and knee and ankle pains that most of us suffer from time to time.

The main points of the Gordon Pirie method:

  1. Upright stance. Do not lean forward!
  2. Legs slightly bent; almost as if you are sitting on a bar stool.
  3. Rapid stride rate. 3 to 5 strides per second.
  4. Don't over-stride. Your forward foot should land directly under you body.
  5. Land on the ball of your foot, NOT THE HEEL!
  6. Each stride is an explosive, quick movement.
  7. Don't strain! Stay relaxed at all times.
  8. Breathing not too deep, keep in rhythm with your stride rate. 3 in, 3 out for normal easy pace, 3 in, 2 out when trying harder, increasing to 2 in, 2 out when the going is really tough.
  9. Arms at 90 degrees swung slightly across the chest but always relaxed.
  10. Most important! Do Not Lean Forward!. If you find that you are leaning habitually, try deliberately thrusting your hips forward and forcing your shoulders back. The Stance will begin to feel natural to you after a short time and then your old lean will feel uncomfortable.
  11. Your running shoes should be flat and not too heavily padded. Despite the claims of the manufacturers, padded heels do not prevent injuries. The thick padding causes the heel to strike the ground a fraction early. The initial give in the padding then prevents the foot from loading up like the natural spring that it is, so when the ball of the foot hits the ground, the force is transmitted straight up the leg. I have been running in Marathons and half-marathons for years wearing thin, low-heeled track shoes with no ill-effects. Those who advised me against this are now half crippled.
Similar comments apply to those expensive little items, orthotics. Unless you have a severe foot or leg deformity, these are totally unnecessary! You would be better saving yourself the time, inconvenience, pain and money by correcting your style. Gordon Pirie's method is a good start.
Try it.

Gordon Nightingale

21 January 1999


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