Saturday the 15th of September saw the 2018 running of the Tan relays and the end of the XCR season for another year which made some sad, some nostalgic and some as excited as your correspondent’s eldest daughter at her kindergarten fairy dress up day. Saturday the 15th of September also saw a very busy Tan track where car spaces were at a premium. Having braved Alexandra Avenue and Anderson Street the night before amongst a throng of Melbourne supporters who had finally discovered that they still play football in September, it was little surprise that things got a little heated between drivers when looking for a park. This includes the person who tried to park immediately in front of the B-Double trucks that lined Alexander Avenue who got a predictable and predictably stereotyped response from the said truck driver.
Having finally parked somewhere within a four-kilometre radius of the start line it was time for the runners to gather for the racing of the event. The approaching black clouds had spectators, runners and officials as nervous as someone trying to purchase finals tickets online through Ticketek (yes, I know, not a problem Hawthorn supporters face anymore). Sure enough the rain and wind squalls hit right as the event was due to begin. Putting this aside, the Harriers set off in order to run their best possible time and help their team as much as they could on the day.
The Women’s Division 2 team finished in sixth position thanks to the efforts of Eilidh (16:28), Nicki (17:19 and great to have you back running for the Harriers, Nicki), Amy (14:52) and Tracey (14:23). The Women’s Division 5 team came in eight position for the day with Myai (19:36) completing her debut AV season in style and Linda (18:11…well done Linda!) and Frances (18:26) also running well on the day.
For the men, the Men’s Division 3 team finished their last AV event in 9th position. Marcus (14:37) and Shaun (13:55) both gave their all and ran well given their preparation for the day while Neill (14:16) and Sam (14:31) made a great start to the AV Tan Relay running career with Sam a deserved winner of the sock award for his efforts on the day. [Ed: the author Damien set the pace for the Men's division 3 team leading and flew around the course in a swift 13:22.] All of the runners in the Men’s Division 4 team ran well and finished 12th up against some stiff competition. Chris Rayment (15:07), David Lau (15:15), Ash (15:36 while battling a sore calf) and Chris Scully (16:22) all finished their AV seasons in style while Greg channelled his inner Jack Viney to finish with a time of 16:56. The Men’s Division 7 team acted as a mixed team for the day and came 11th in their division and was extremely well represented by Chris Burnett (16:58), Eimear (21:22), Jay (23:47) and Jono (17:01). Well done to all.
Many thanks once again to those who assisted on the day in a multitude of roles including but not limited to helping with the tent, tea box, timing and general supporting of the Harriers. Thanks also to our winter captains for all their work across the AV season including the efforts they go to in entering and organising all the relay teams. We look forward to the last club run of the winter season next Sunday morning at 8:00am which is the battle for the Stewart Findlay Handicap and Eddie Moore Championship trophies. We hope to see you there.