The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowin’ In The Wind

Damien Bertram strides out at the 15km road race at Lake Wendouree.

I think it’s fair to say that if Bob Dylan was searching for the answers to his questions then Lake Wendouree on Saturday would have been a good place to start. Yes, there were particularly windy conditions that greeted the Malvern Harriers as they made their way up to Ballarat for the 15 kilometre road run for 2017.

Wind can be extremely useful given the right activities, such as: Windmills; Flying a kite; Sailing a yacht. Although if someone could explain to me how you can sail a yacht into the breeze and make it move it’d be much appreciated. To your correspondent that’s about as unexplainable as how a fax machine works; and,
Exposing the scalps of those that are follically challenged if they stand out in it long enough. 

However, I think most of the Harriers would agree that running a 15 kilometre road race while battling wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour around an exposed lake constitutes hard work. Having said that once again the Harriers can be extremely proud of the performances that they produced at this event. 

The women Harriers in particular deserve special mention for their achievements on the day. Tracey Austin was the fifth women finisher overall and fourth AV competitor with her time of 54:24. Well done Tracey! Amy was the next Harrier across the line in a very impressive 62:54 while Michelle Jelleff won her age group with a finish of 63.02. Congratulations Michelle!!! Perhaps even more impressive was her ability to dance around and celebrate her win with her fellow Harriers as the race results were read out while your correspondent was close to collapsing, as was Greg Berti but this probably had more to do with watching his football team lose while relying on a dodgy phone reception. Eilidh continued her impressive recent run and even brought Mouse along to help with her warm up (and chase down her fellow club members) to finish with 65:.04 while Nicki finished with 67:54, Frances 78:05 and Jay 98:09. A special congratulations to the women’s division two team which easily won their division for the day continuing their excellent season.

The male Harriers can also be proud of their efforts. Marcus Boxall ran extremely well to finish in 55:10 while Jack and Shaun went toe-to-toe for much of the course before Jack pulled away to finish next in 55:47 with Shaun close behind in 55:51. It was great to have Jono and Frances back racing for the Harriers. Jono was next in 70:22 with Greg finishing in 70:48 before his Demons heartbreak. Marko completed the male Harriers entries with his 83:47 of which he can be proud. [Ed: Damien modestly forgets to mention his time of 54:03 which was our fastest for the day.]

A special thank you and shout out to those who negotiated the 40kph speed limit on the West Gate Bridge and who drove two-handed all the way up the Western Freeway lest they be blown off the road to come out and support the competitors on the day. In conditions such as those and on such a long course it makes a great difference to hear those cheers of support along the way. Not so much appreciated are the pictures of Michael McNamara poolside lapping up the luxury of Fiji!!!!! 

Once again, well done to all Harriers on the day and we look forward to our next club run this coming Saturday 5 August at the scenic, dry and balmy Norton’s Park.

Check out the Lake Wendouree photo gallery thanks to Richard and Caroline.