Around the Island Relay and Race 2011

Around the Island Relay.....the winners are....

In another great display, Trevor Calder held of all challengers to register a hard fought  win in the annual Around the Island Relay run in ideal conditions last Sunday morning. A toe injury to reigning champion Alan McNeil sidelined his attempt to notch up two wins in successive years but that didn’t prevent him coming out to support the field on the day.

With the walkers ready to lead off the competition at 5.15 am. on what was a glorious morning for a stroll around the Island, the tension was starting to take its toll with Corrine chomping at the bit and keen to get going before starters orders. With the field settled at last it was Corrine from “Shanks Pony” who led the way with a little under 5 minutes to the next starter Ian Kiernan (Still Thursti), followed out a minute or so later by Kim Nobbs.

The NI Cadet Unit also entered the fray with 2 teams initially, with Jarred Snell first out of the blocks 16 or so minutes behind “Shanks Pony” and a couple of short minutes ahead of fellow cadets, and the last walks team to start represented by Mai Trukulsri and Liam Donohoe. The cadets subjected themselves to an additional handicap by competing in full cadet uniforms, right down to the webbing and boots!

The runners were given a little more time for their Sunday morning sleep in but still managed to make the start line at 6.30am. Trevor Calder, as an individual runner led the start a few minutes ahead of ‘The A Teams”, Sam Cribb, part of the primary school team of 12 who are all under 10 years of age. “Lightning Bolt” represented by Mason Wilkinson departed moments later followed by sisters Leia Widdowson and Ashley Collyer,both ladies attempting the individual run for the first time.

As the handicap times for the start progressed Tiaan Christian and Mark Kalsrap ,as the first runners for their teams,knew they both needed to get away to a great start if they were going to catch the front runners and with Richard Cribb( another individual runner) starting very closely behind them , it was race on. Richards’s wife Amanda was only a matter of a few seconds behind him from the start but, try as they may, her team was not able to peg back his lead over the 25km course. 5 minutes later and Trent Donald was off only seconds ahead of James Walden, and then Lance Miller representing the Volunteer Rescue Team.

Last out of the blocks some 20 minutes after the start was the eventual winning team represented on this leg by Jake Singer. Finally all the individuals and teams were racing ; 4 athletes challenging themselves to the full course and over 80 more making up teams of walkers and runners.

As the morning warmed up and the sun emerged from behind the clouds, the competitors welcomed the sight of the water stations and relay change points at the various locations around the course. The struggle for supremacy in the runners section continued throughout the morning with places changing continually  and so it was that 2 hours and 17 minutes after leaving Kingston, Trevor Calder crossed the line just 8 seconds ahead of the first placed team which included, Daniel Griffiths, Jake Singer, Will Partridge, Blake O’Hara and Ethan Richards. Their actual time for the run was a very respectable 1 hour and 58 minutes.

Second individual runner was Richard Cribb; although his actual time was 2 hours and 16 minutes, the age difference giving the race to Trevor on handicap. He will be back next year for another shot at glory! The sisters – Leia and Ashley – ran the entire course together and finished equal 3rd in the individual section, in an actual time of 2 hours and 41 minutes.

The second placed team made up of Brad Griffiths, Candice Snell, Andre Nobbs,James Walden, Aaron Graham and Serina Trickey a little over 16 minutes behind first place. Third team across the line was “Lightening Bolt” – Mason Wilkonson,Chase Adams, Amarnah Whitney, Tilly Menzies-Thompson, Taylah Menzies and Jemima Quintal a further 3 minutes back and only a minute ahead of “the A team”. A great performance from our rising young stars of the future.

However, it was not the runners who crossed the line first this year – that honour went to the “Shanks Pony “ walking team of Corrine Parsons, Polly McNamara and Lianne Oldfield who finished in a great time of 3 hours 28 minutes to take out the first prize in the walks. Well done ladies – and promises of greater things next year!! “Awesome” took out second place in the walks with “Still Thursti” taking 3rd spot. Mention of the Cadets? Seems a few fell by the wayside, but a little over 5 hours after the start the sole survivor of their exercise, Mai Trukulsri turned the corner towards Gallows Gate, a few moments later crossing the line – well done to him for his effort particularly in full uniform.

At the completion of competition, Athletics Norfolk Island provided a sausage sizzle for competitors and families which included refreshments. Prizes were presented to winners by the President of Athletics Norfolk Island ,Brentt Jones and ANI would like to thank Rocky Evans and Shane O’Hara for their cooking prowess and the hard working team behind the scenes who each year make this event happen. This week sees the running of the Norfolk Island “Gift” – see elsewhere for details.