With forecasted rain in the afternoon the beautiful morning soon subsided, but this didn’t deter eighteen Malvern Harrier runners and half a dozen officials, coaches and supporters from attending the prestigious Nim Gorrie Memorial handicap in Oakleigh South on Saturday the 6th of May 2017.
Rich in history, the race is in honour of a club character and is run over the traditional 4 mile distance. It has links with The Caulfield Racecourse in the 1920s, with its long term home being the Kooyong park trails until increased patronage of the sporting precinct meant a move to the scenic Karkarook park wetlands in 2014.
The race began with the usual staggered start giving athletes of all levels a chance at glory. The sideways rain arrived almost on cue with the howling NW wind much appreciated by all ascending the hill. With all runners out on the course it was Marko who took the early lead working hard from the start with Jono, Nicky and Greg not far behind all looking in contention.
Unfortunately for Chris Scully, his achilles tendon was troublesome and he had to withdraw on the first lap for precautionary reasons. On the second lap back markers Shaun, Damien, Marcus and Jack were progressing well through the field but still had a lot of ground to make up as the front markers used their handicaps to their advantage and worked hard.
With one kilometre to go Marko held a slender lead with Jono only metres away, Nicky was closing in on a tiring Greg, whilst Amy was storming home. Jono Rau was the eventual winner running a great, consistent race coming in 1 minute and 20 seconds before Marko who had an excellent finish to hold on to second from a fast finishing Nicky, followed by Greg and Amy who had great runs rounding out the top five.
In a well handicapped race, the rest of the field came home in quick succession and all were keen to retreat to the dry picnic area for a change of clothes, a cool down and a hot cup of tea.
Well done to all who competed in the tough conditions and thanks to Richard for the handicapping, Dan for a well marked course and Wendy and Caroline for officiating.