#56 cover
Tuggie Athlete - it's paper!
JUNE 2001      Number 56   

Ironman Malaysia
(My Account of Race Day) - by Belinda Cheney

Fifteen minutes before the Malaysian Ironman I was sitting on the ground in the transition area thinking about the long day that lay ahead of me. Sometimes it's hard to fathom that you won't actually be sitting down again until 5pm in the afternoon and that whole time you will be racing. So you can see why I really like to enjoy sitting down before the race.

Another Aussie came and sat beside me and was all 'pumped up', beating his chest like an ape and he says to me: "So Belinda - what is your race plan?" Actually I stopped for a few moments and thought to myself - hmmm... well... actually I hadn't thought of one yet - so I told him honestly what I was going to do: "Just have fun and enjoy myself today, I'm really looking forward to the race. It's going to be great fun!" The Australian seemed surprised at my sentiments but thought it sounded pretty good. "Yeah?" he says to me a bit quizzically, "good advice" and off he went to do some sort of warm-up ritual by running around in the heat. Trust me - in an ironman race you don't need to warm up!

The weather was very hot. For this race, the water temperature in the ocean was 30 degrees. It almost felt like I needed some shampoo and conditioner - it was unbelievably warm! The sea was also full of jelly fish (as I found out earlier in the week) so I was very keen to swim close on the feet of the pro men who had started before the pro women, just so they could push them out of the way. During the swim I did get bitten on the foot but it was very minor and the pain seemed to have vanished by the time I exited the water (or spa bath) for the 180km cycle.

The roads in Malaysia are brilliant - almost better than Canberra in some places. However, the real hazard on the road - apart from the cows and monkeys which walk aimlessly from the jungle onto the roads - are the locals on mopeds that I kept passing all day! Either I was going very fast or they were out for their Sunday drive! (I'd say they were out on a Sunday drive!) This became a hassle as you would pass them, they would feel slightly outraged and speed up and pass you, giving you a glaring look along the way! There are more people on mopeds than in cars - they are everywhere.

Also in Malaysia there is an unwritten law that if you are the car in front on the side of the road, or a person or cow - you don't have to look when you pull out to join the traffic. The car (or bike in my case) in motion has to give way! Great fun! It was like an obstacle course. For most of the bike leg of the race, I was leading the professional women's field. It is usual to have a lead motor bike in order to 'lead the way'. In Malaysia I had a lead motor bike that sat behind my back wheel the whole time! I don't know - why behind me and not 100m in front? When the lead motor bike did decide to go in front and actually lead, they went the wrong way! Luckily for me I had been over the course during the week, so I just ignored them and went on my own way - they soon caught up with me.

The drink/aid stations during the bike leg were also a little different from the ones I am used to. This was only the second time that an Ironman had been run in Malaysia so the locals were still learning and they were not ready for the first pro's on the bike when we came past. No water in 40 degree heat could have been very serious but by the 50km aid station they were awake and 'up and running'. There were lots of little children lining the roads near the drink stations and throwing your empty water bottle at them nearly caused a riot as they all scrambled to get it. The noise and the support from the local people was amazing and really created a great atmosphere for racing.

After just over five hours on the bike I jumped off, grabbed my bag with my running shoes and ran to the change tent to sit down and put my shoes on. This is probably the worst part of the race as you actually get to sit down for 30 seconds and it feels sooooo good you don't want to get up. This is the point where you know you still have three and a half hours ahead of you (that's if you have a good run) before you will be able to sit down again. So, I always take a moment to enjoy it and then go "oh well - here goes - yeaaa!!" Yes, I've known for a long time that I am crazy but I love it!

The 42.2 kilometre run was very tough and this was because of three main things:
One - the weather and 93% humidity. Two - the road climbed slowly up an incline for 10km and then you turn around and do it again, but you never seem to be able to feel the downhill when you come back into town!? Three - if you are unlucky enough to be in front you get a police car escort that played old disco songs in Malaysian on the loud speaker. Over and over they kept playing and it was even worse when the officers joined in on the songs. Malaysian people are very happy, lovely people and while the music may not have sounded too bad, after 3 hours of it? - you are going insane! I was so happy to finish the run just so I could get away from the music.
When I was 100m from the finish line (and the police car had disappeared!) I knew I was home - I had WON! - it was a truly great feeling. It had been a very long day, but one I will cherish forever!

This story first appeared in the DVA Newsletter and was provided by Ted Harrison. The Ironman Malaysia was held on 28 January 2001. An ironman triathlon consists of a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km marathon run. Belinda won the event in 9 hours 44 minutes.

Ted's The Boss

I have never wanted to be the head of any organisation as I believe the Administrator usually holds the power. However, I was (with a little hesitation) pleased to be appointed President at our recent AGM for the opportunity it provided me to focus on developing our new management structure and support systems.

I believe we can make SCT into an outstanding club which will provide strong support for athletes (at all ages and levels) and for our officials and coaches. However, this will not just happen without some effort and it will be my primary goal over the next twelve months to facilitate the development of our club and gain Active Australia Provider status. These are tasks we will need to share and I am keen to hear your comments, suggestions and feedback and maybe even gain your assistance.

Thanks Alan for your guiding hand, and to those who have assisted in SCT's management over the past year. For those brave souls who were appointed as mangers for the next twelve months - Teresa Symonds (Administrator), Michael Ward-Pearson (Finance) , Gari Williams, (Membership) and Stuart Doyle (Operations) - my thanks for your willingness to assist.

Ted Harrison - President, 5 June 2001

The ACT Track & Field Championships:

Were held on March 10 and 11 at the AIS Warm-up track. I know this seems like old news now but as a club, SCT did very well. Full results are listed elsewhere in this issue. Our best performers (based on the ACTAA pointscoring tables) were: Justine Shepherd - 2000 steeple in 7:47.24, Marlene Reid - 400 metres in 63.19 and 100 metres in 13.65, Christopher Williams - 800 metres in 2:04.73 and 1500 metres in 4:18.73, Conrad Shepherd - 800 metres in 2:11.97, Timothy Curran - 100 metres in 11.58, Jade Sutcliffe - 200 metres in 26.32, Mark Shepherd - 800 metres in 2:00.14 and 1500 metres in 4:11.90 and Matthew Fahey - 400 hurdles in 57.30.

Many Club Records Broken:

There were more than twenty SCT records broken during the 2000/2001 season by the following athletes: Jillian Hosking, Justine Shepherd, Jessie Pritchard, Elise Cole, Jessamy Hosking, Sophie Feint, Marlene Reid, Katrina Onus, Chris Williams, Scott Richards, Matthew de Smeth, Adam Johnston, Adam Leechman, Ryan Reid, Richard White, Matthew Keen, Michael Hosking, Peter Burns, Jim White, Rosemary Longstaff and Timothy Curran.

The ACT Mountain Running Championships:

Were held on Mt. Majura and Mt. Ainslie on Saturday 17 March. Stuart Doyle, Hugh Jorgensen and Jim White won a team bronze medal for SCT! Stuart placed 8th, Hugh 14th and Jim 21st in the senior mens 12km. In the senior womens 7.5km race Fiona Jorgensen finished just over a minute behind Joy Terry with a time of 35:22.

The ACT 3000m and 5000m Championships:

Were held towards the end of the track season and provided some great results for SCT athletes:
Under-16 Women - 1st Jillian Hosking, 10:56.63. 2nd Justine Shepherd, 11:27.37. 3rd Elise Cole, 12:01.16.
Under-18 Men - 1st Mark Shepherd, 9:07.56. 2nd Jonathan Symonds, 9:17.87. 4th Courtney McCabe, 9:54.41. 5th Michael Hosking, 9:56.84.
Under-20 Men - 1st Matthew Keen, 15:46.02. 3rd Luke Jeffrey, 15:48.32.
Open Men - 13th Geoffrey Monro, 17:19.90. 16th Ewen Thompson, 20:06.98.

The Australian Under-18/16 Track & Field Championships:

Were held in Bendigo, Victoria on the 24/25th February. Results for SCT's ACT representatives:
Christopher Williams - 4th U16 800m Final 2:02.02, 3rd 1500m Final 4:10.89. Ashley Colquhoun - 6th U16 1500m Walk 7:25.44. Darryl Hill - 3rd U16 3000m Final 10:34.72, 7th 2000m Steeplechase 7:04.65. Matt Fahey - 7th U18 400m ht1 52.21, 4th 400m Hurdles ht2 57.88, 5th 400m Hurdles Final 58.04. Jonathan Symonds - 12th U18 3000m Final 9:57.43, 11th 1500m Final 4:16.79. Tim Curran - 7th U18 Discus 45.77m, 10th Shot Put 14.48m, 7th Javelin 56.70m.

Another ACT Title for Staunton:

Ann Staunton once again won the ACT 10000m walking championship at the AIS track on Thursday 22 February. Ann recorded the excellent time of 58:37 to beat Helen Bialecki and Carmon Carlon both from Woden Harriers.

The 2000 Tuggeranong Amateur Sports Awards:

Are a major sporting highlight for sports people in Tuggeranong. They are hosted by the Tuggeranong Valley Rugby Union & Amateur Sports Club. This year they were presented at the Lanyon Club on February 24. The number of SCT members enjoying the evening were down somewhat on previous years due in part to the Australian U18/16 titles being held on the same weekend. Of the many submissions presented by Teresa Symonds there were two successful nominations: Mike Sainsbury for the Chisholm Sports Club Shield (coaching) and Ewen Thompson for the Valley View Award (club volunteer). Unfortunately Mike and Ewen didn't win! Middle distance runner Courtney McCabe was the big SCT winner being one of 12 people selected to receive Education/Sports scholarships for 2001/2.

Suffering from tired legs, aching tendons, sore muscles?

Try a sports massage from Maria White! It's well documented that massage aids recovery. After visiting Maria at her home in Wanniassa you'll feel relaxed, refreshed and ready for that next training session! Just don't talk to husband Jim who recommends racing three times a week (if you do that and train as well you'll need a massage three times a week). Maria's prices are also the best in Canberra so give her a call on 6231 4168!

Fadden Pines Schools Cross Country:

Commenced on Saturday 5 May at Fadden Pines picnic area, Bugden Ave, Gowrie. Registration is $5 for individuals and $8 for families. Age-groups from U7 to U19's are catered for with age-group determined by the runners age on 31 December 2001. Racing commences at 9am and information sheets are available from Ted Harrison. There is also a race for parents! Other SCT members are invited to help out as officials - such duties can be used to fill in the blank spaces on requests for travel/accommodation assistance. For further information, contact Ted Harrison on 6291 8351 (h), 6289 6499 (w) or 0417 281 673 (Sat only).

Mt. Ainslie record to Judith May:

Fiona Jorgensen's course record for the Mt. Ainslie Run-Up was broken recently by new member Judith May. Covering the 2.3km course in 13:05, Judith took 8 seconds from Fiona's record, showing she is in good form for the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships to be held in Auckland.

Medals for Marlene at Vets Nationals:

Marlene Reid won a gold and two silver medals at the Australian Veterans Athletics Championships held in Sydney over Easter. Running in the W45 category she placed 2nd in the 100 metres in 13.40 and 2nd in the 200 metres in 28.41. Marlene's gold came with a first place in the 400 metres in 63.76. Congratulations!

SCT Success in Mt. Tennant Trail Runs:

Two events were held on Saturday 21 April - A 6km "up" and 12km "up/down" race. In a tune-up for the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, Judith May won both events with an excellent 44:54 for the "up" race (just 33 seconds behind the legendary Trevor Jacobs. Judith ran 71:34 for the "up/down" race. Rosemary Longstaff placed 2nd in both running 52:10 and 80:25. Gordon Nightingale placed 2nd in the M50 12kms with 77:01. Jim White salvaged a 3rd in M50's after running off course, covering an extra 2kms.

Marathon Eve Fun Run Results:

10 kilometres: 35, Luke Jeffrey 38:40. 38, Colin Bridge 39:26. 41, Keith Mayhew 39:48. 48, Rosemary Longstaff 41:26. 64, Andrew Gardner 43:36. 69, Brian Wenn 44:19. 105, Heath Pearce 51:57.
5 kilometres: 3, Matt Keen 15:54. 6, Mark Shepherd 16:27. 8, Courtney McCabe 17:39. 9, Michael Hosking 17:47. 15, Conrad Shepherd 19:07. 17, Andrew Bishop 19:14. 23, (F4) Justine Shepherd 20:43. 34, Jessamy Hosking 22:30. 39, Dominique Wilson 23:49. 42, Peter Hosking 24:05.

Murray awesome in Belconnen Fun Run:

SCT Veteran Murray Hill finished just out of the placings in the annual Belconnen Fun Run held on March 18. Murray placed 5th outright and first veteran in the excellent time of 26:06 for the 7.3km lap of Lake Ginninderra. Son Darryl placed 19th with the other member of the Hill team, Gail, placing 81st. Colin Bridge won the 50-59 years category in 28:27 and Rosemary Longstaff the 50-59 female category in 30:55.

Interclub Premierships for SCT:

SCT won six of the ten age-group premierships for the 2000/2001 season! For females we were first in U-14, U-16 and U-18's as well as first overall. For males we were first in U-14, U-18 and U-20's as well as first overall. SCT also scored more points during the season than any other club with 22,735. Our individual age-group winners were: Kirsten Murray, Scott Richards and Marlene Reid. Full results are available on the ACT Athletics website.

News from SCT's 2001 AGM:

A very successful and well attended AGM was conducted on Monday 21 May. The brief highlights were:
A new constitution which facilitates our management restructure was approved. The Vikings Elite Athlete Development Fund was launched by Reg Apps, President of the TVRUASC. Reg presented a cheque for $3000 to SCT and awarded Kelly Roberts with the first grant from the fund. The new club uniform top was unveiled! Winter 2000 and Summer 2000/01 Awards were presented - see below! Alan Bishop presented the President's Trophy to Mike Sainsbury!

Your new management group (committee) was elected: Ted Harrison, President. Teresa Symonds, Administrator. Michael Ward-Pearson, Finance Manager. Garri Williams, Membership Manager. Stuart Doyle, Operations Manager. If you are interested in working as a Co-ordinator for one of the above managers, please contact Ted Harrison or Teresa Symonds. All Co-ordinator positions (except newsletter editor, special events and registrar) are available for the taking: Assistant Secretary, Awards/Scholarships, Publicity, Vikings Liaison, Little Aths Liaison, ACTAA reps, Uniforms, Fund-raising, Coaching, Officials, Winter and Summer Captains.

SCT 2001 Annual Awards:

These were presented at our Annual General Meeting. All the winners for the 2000 Cross Country Season and 2000/01 Track & Field Season are listed blow. If you haven't received your award please contact Ted Harrison.

Winter Awards 2000/2001
  Male Female
  Under 14 Under 14
1Matthew HillJustine Shepherd
2Sam ThorpeJillian Hosking
3 Dominique Wilson
  Courtney Wilson (enc)
  Under 16 Under 16
1Michael HoskingKate Cheyne
2Darryl HillJennifer Allan
3Chris Williams 
  Under 18 Under 18
1Matt KeenErin Sutcliffe
2Mark ShepherdJessamy Hosking
3Jonathan SymondsMichelle W-Pearson
 Craig Shepherd (enc) 
  Under 20 Under 20
1Luke JeffreyKelly Roberts
  Senior Senior/Veteran
1Stuart DoyleFiona Jorgensen
2Luke TierneyRosemary Longstaff
3Geoffrey MonroKaren Daniels
1Conrad Shepherd 
2Ewen Thompson 
3Jim White 
Track & Field Awards 2000/2001
  Male Female
  Under 14 Under 14
1Scott RichardsLaura Walsh
2Matthew HillAnastasia Havlat
3 Dominique Wilson
  Under 16 Under 16
1Bradley RichardsJillian Hosking
2Chris WilliamsJessie Pritchard
3Darryl HillKate Cheyne
  Justine Shepherd (enc)
  Under 18 Under 18
1Mark ShepherdKirsten Murray
2Sean RichardsJade Sutcliffe
3Courtney McCabeJennifer Ivansson
 Tim Curran (enc) 
  Under 20 Under 20
1Ryan ReidJessamy Hosking
2Timothy O'Brien 
3Craig Shepherd 
 Peter Burns (enc) 
  Senior Senior
1Geoffrey MonroKatrina Onus
2Luke Tierney 
3Shaun McCabe 
  Veteran Veteran
1Conrad Shepherd 
2Ewen Thompson 

NZ Mountain Running Championships:

Judith May placed 4th in the New Zealand Championships held on May 12 at Mount Te Aroha. Running for her New Zealand club Wellington, Judith ran 40:57 for the 7.2km course to finish less than 2 minutes behind the winner C. MacDonald (39:07).

New Club Uniform now available!

SCT's new uniform tops were presented at the AGM. The material uses the latest technology which draws moisture away from your body. The material is extremely light with a nice soft feel. Contact Teresa Symonds if you wish to purchase a new top at a cost of $35. By the way, #1 was sold to Stuart Doyle and achieved 3rd place in the Mt. Tuggeranong cross country race. Jonathan Symonds wearing #2 placed second in the same race. The first 'race win' for a new top went to Jonathan Symonds in the U18 ACT Cross Country Championships!

Judith May is National Champion:

Judith May has won the Australian Mountain Running Championships! Representing both her home country of New Zealand and SCT/ACT, Judith ran 32:50 for the 7.5km course on Brisbane's Camp Mountain on Saturday, 19 May. Judith finished in front of two Queenslanders Glenda Banaghan and Helen Tolhurst with former Australian rep Louise Fairfax placing fourth.

Jillian Hosking is having a 'shining season':

Despite only turning 14 at the end of this year, Jillian Hosking is one of the ACT 'form' Under-16 athletes of the winter season. She won the U16 4km race at the ACT Schools Championships at EPIC. In this race she ran the excellent time of 15:11 finishing 19 seconds ahead of Anna Neumaier. In the ACT Championships Jillian finished second to Anna although both recorded the same time of 11:18 for the 3km race. The following day Jillian won the LBG interstate walking title for Under-15's. She won by 40 metres in 14:53 for the 3km walk. She has now equalled brother Michael's performances at the 'LBG', both having won U12 and U15 titles. Other famous names on these tropies are Troy Sundstrom, Renee McAskill, Jared Tallent and Laura Johnson (the latter two having represented Australia at the 2001 World Youth Championships). Well done Jillian and good luck for the rest of the year.

Canberra Times Fun Run Training Program:

Is again being organised by SCT in the lead-up to the 2001 CT Fun Run. Here is Mike Sainsbury's report for our AGM:
"The 2000 program attracted 99 participants and raised over $3000 for SCT (that is 75% of the registration fees). Seventeen members assisted with the conduct of the program at an average of six sessions each. The volunteer hours of SCT members to this project totalled in excess of 200 hours. Thank you all for your generous support, particularly those who braved the 6.30am starts on Wednesday mornings.
On average our volunteer/participant ratio was 1:4 which provided a manageable rate. As the number of participants has increased by more than 100% over the three years we have run the program, I expect we will need additional volunteers this year if we are to maintain that ratio. The Canberra Times are keen to continue with the program. Commencement date this year will be 29 July, running for six weeks through to the final session on Wednesday 19 September (9.00am Sundays and 6.30am on Wednesdays. People interested in assisting can contact me on6294 2879 or 0412 292 952."

Vikings Elite Athlete Development Fund:

At our recent AGM Kelly Roberts was awarded the first grant under the Vikings Elite Athlete Development Fund. The purpose of the fund is to assist athletes who have the potential to break into the elite level of competition.
Grants are made on the basis of a plan put forward by the athlete/coach and are intended to assist with those additional expenses faced by athletes in their quest to enter the elite level of competition. Expenditure items covered by the Fund may include: cost of travel and accommodation for major comps (for example, National Championships, Zatopek, Grand Prix series); sports physiology testing; sports medicine (physiotherapy, massage, etc.); strength and conditioning; elite training camps; costs of coaching; sports psychology and/or specialised equipment.

The History of SCT:

Generation 'X'ers may not be aware that SCT has been around since 'Adam was a boy' (also since Ted was a boy). We were a club way back in 1955! Alan Bishop is taking on the huge task of writing the club's history. He will be talking to old-timers such as Dot Mills (who has been around since the mid-sixties) in his efforts to get our club history on paper. Alan will also be going through dusty boxes of archival material that currently reside in Ted's garage. In the process he will be looking for club records which may be superior to those records currently listed on the website. If you know of a superior record or have set a record you can notify it via an online form on the website.

ACTCC Race #1. Yacht Club 5k. March 31:

An early start to the winter season saw seventy runners out for the 'fast, flat' Yacht Club 5km bike path race. SCT runners were prominent with Mark Shepherd placing third (16:37), Stuart Doyle fourth (16:43), Nick Walshe seventh (17:25) and Craig Shepherd eighth (17:36). Justine Shepherd scored a decisive win amongst the ladies running 20:34. A little further down the pack in a comeback performance Ted Harrison just managed to stay in front of Karen Daniels.

ACTCC Race #2. Lake Tuggeranong. April 14:

The entertainment at this race was provided by the BMX riders performing amazing stunts at the adjacent skate park. SCT runners were dominant in 4 of the 5 races on the day! Declan Wilson won the 1km race, Jillian Hosking the women's 3km event, Fiona Jorgensen the women's 6.5km race and Mark Shepherd was second in the men's 3km race. SCT athletes packed the placings in the 3km race: Justine Shepherd (3rd) was followed by Jessamy Hosking, Dominique Wilson, Kate Cheyne and Courtney Wilson. Matt Keen (3rd), Craig Shepherd, Michael Hosking, Courtney McCabe and Dave Wilson followed home Mark Shepherd. Notable results besides Fiona in the 6.5km race were the solid runs from Colin Bridge and Conrad Shepherd.

ACTCC Race #3. Rani Road. April 21:

Rani Road was it's usual low-key self. The efforts from the Wilson family were high quality: Declan winning the 1km, David winning the men's 3.4km and Dominique and Courtney placing second and third in the women's 3.4km. The 5km race was pretty good for SCT with Fiona Jorgensen placing 2nd woman. Stuart Doyle finished fourth, Nick Walshe fifth and Hugh Jorgensen eighth for the men.

ACTCC Race #4. Anzac Relays. April 25:

Our Senior Men's A team placed 3rd!! Our Junior Men were the first placed junior team. Our Junior Women were the second junior women's team and third women's team. Mark Shepherd ran the 9th fastest individual time (1st junior) and Jillian Hosking the 5th fastest women's individual time (1st junior). We managed to field six teams. This was an excellent start to the season!

2001 Anzac Relays - 4 x 3.68km
Men - Senior A Time Total
Stuart Doyle11:5111:51
Nick Walshe12:0924:00
Luke Grattan11:4435:44
Mark Shepherd11:40 47:24
Men - Junior A Time Total
Michael Hosking12:1912:19
Jonathan Symonds12:1124:30
Peter Hosking16:1540:45
Chris Williams12:21 53:06
Men - Senior B Time Total
Luke Tierney12:5912:59
Conrad Shepherd13:3626:35
Andrew Gardner14:3441:09
Jim White15:35 56:44
Men - Senior Z Time Total
Simon Amalos14:4014:40
Andrew Bishop13:4628:26
Ted Harrison17:4246:08
Ewen Thompson14:35 60:43
Women - Junior A Time Total
Jessamy Hosking15:1815:18
Justine Shepherd15:1630:34
Michelle W.Pearson16:2947:03
Jillian Hosking14:00 61:03
Women - Senior A Time Total
Rosemary Longstaff14:5614:56
Karen Daniels16:5831:54
Rosemary Longstaff15:3547:29
Jessamy Hosking16:03 63:32

ACTCC Race #5. Mount Taylor. April 28:

In the women's 5.4km event Elise Cole scored her first CCC race win ahead of club-mate Dominique Wilson. The men's 5.4km race saw Jonathan Symonds way out in front. Chris Williams placed third ahead of Dave Wilson with Jim White sprinting past Heath Pearce for eighth place. The 6.8km 'lap of the mountain' was notable for a rare appearance from TV personality Brian Wenn. On a training regime which now includes a walk around the golf course, Brian finished just behind former SCT 'great' Peter Bourgaize and well ahead of Jim White and another former 'almost great' - Ted Harrison.

ACTCC Race #6. Dunrossil Drive. May 5:

The classic Dunrossil Drive race has assumed the title of 'Unofficial Cross Country Club Short Course Championships'. Peter Hosking won the 1km event in 3:58. The 4.2km race was super competitive with all the 'guns' including top Aussie juniors racing. In the Open event Luke Grattan placed 15th (13:30), Stuart Doyle 17th (ahead of Gerard Ryan!) and Nick Walshe 24th. For the ladies, Rosemary Longstaff finished eighth in a race in which Benita Willis (12:56) smashed Susan Hobson's course record. Karen Daniels finished 23rd. The junior races were SCT 'pack runs' - Matt Keen placed second (13:24) just ahead of Mark Shepherd with Jonathan Symonds fifth, Chris Williams seventh, Michael Hosking eighth and Courtney McCabe tenth. Jillian Hosking continued her great winter form finishing fourth in 16:10. Elise Cole was eighth and Jessamy Hosking ninth.

ACTCC Race #7. Nara Peace Park. May 12:

Jillian Hosking was very impressive in the 4km race (16:11) finishing just behind ACT Open representative Leanne Laajoki (15:54)! Elise Cole just beat Jessamy Hosking with both recording the same time (17:39). Mark Shepherd had a good win in the men's 4km (13:34) with Michael Hosking finishing third (14:22). Jim White and Heath Pearce had a good mid-field battle with Jim's experience giving him the 'victory'. A group of five were racing for second place in the 8km behind easy winner Paul Imhoff. In the end Stuart Doyle finished fifth - just behind arch-rival Gerard Ryan.

ACTCC Race #8. Canberra Half Marathon. May 20:

The Canberra Half is one of the 'big ones' of the winter season. Once again it was an almost perfect day for running - nice and cool, a little bit of sun and no wind. I'll start with SCT's category winners - Fiona Jorgensen (once again) was first W40 and second outright with her excellent run of 83:55. Rosemary Longstaff was way ahead of the other W50's recording 92:52. Other excellent performances were recorded by Stuart Doyle (7th outright in a personal best of 75:22), Nick Walshe (15th in his first 'half' in 78:35) and Richard Jeffrey (23rd in 83:00). The editor just managed to hold off the fast finishing Jim White whilst Simon Amalos and Kim Sainsbury put in solid come-back runs.

Just Read It. (The editor's diary)

Excuse me for not using the word 'excuse'...

One day I'm going to stop apologising for the delay in you receiving your latest issue of Tuggie Athlete. One day...

I type this on one of those pristine Canberra winter days. You know the ones. Clear blue skies, warm sun shining through the verandah windows, a bracing temperature outside. The ones that inspire you to leave the computer and just start running!

Excuses are something I try hard never to make. "You seemed to be struggling today" my 'mate' Jim Tucker will say when I sit down on the ground after finishing a Saturday afternoon race. I'll just reply: "Yeah, Jimmy White was too good today" (or Hugh or Brian or Ian or Geoff). One of the many reasons I love running is because it's such an honest sport. You're exposed for all the world (or all your mates) to see. If you're running like a three-legged dog people will say, "you're running like a three-legged dog!"

My response is to welcome these facetious comments and turn them to my advantage. Next week I'll be running intervals on a soggy, freezing Calwell oval in an effort to regain my 'lost form'. As I run I think of a day in the future when Jim Tucker will say: "You ran like a champion today! Amazing!" My fingers and toes may be numb as I do a long run through the pines of Isaacs Ridge on a foggy winter's morning. 'Why am I out here?' the lazy half of my brain says to me. The inspired half says 'Because my rivals are sipping hot chocolate in front of an open fire watching a video of Miss Congeniality or Almost Famous!

I love honest runners. Perhaps it comes from my Boy Scout days but runners inspire me who always 'do their best'. They 'run until they drop' and never give in no matter how 'bad' they may be doing or feeling during a race. I think it was Percy Wells Cerutty who told Herb Elliott when he was a raw youngster to never 'drop out' of a race or training session (unless he was seriously ill or injured). From that time on Herb became mentally tough. 'Dropping out' was never an option.

Herb Elliott used this toughness when racing. He never wasted mental energy on the thought of dropping out or easing the pace. He used the pain he was feeling to inspire him to run faster! He also knew he'd trained harder than any of his rivals. Because of this, he had an aura of invincibility when competing. Herb had 'hurt' more and longer than anyone else in training so how could they beat him? Racing was easy compared to the training he had done up the sandhills and through the bush behind Portsea. Perhaps your racing will be easier when you no longer make excuses? When you don't say "it was the days of missed training because of the sleet, snow and freezing dampness of a Canberra winter that kept me from running my best".

Ewen W Thompson ... 16 June 2001

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