Richard Cribb continues his domination:
Around the Island Relay and Race 2017
As the walkers gathered outside the compound at Slaughter Bay the sun began its rise on yet another edition of the annual Around the Island Relay and Race. With a 5.00 a.m. start the walks contingent set off, in a mass start, at a very leisurely pace under the watchful eye of starter Peter Arthur. Amongst their number was perennial favourite Jenny Donaldson, who had taken out previous individual walks titles, but a younger generation of challengers were about to set about changing things. Joss Hall, Hannah Taylor, Jessica Scott and Korin Bachmann all looked dangerously fit as they began the 25kms trek around the Island and approaching the first water station at the school, they had Jenny in their sights and winning on their minds.
Unfortunately Hannah was called away and had to withdraw shortly after entering the 3rd stage form the top of Red Road through the Park and on to Captain Cook memorial but her fellow title challengers had not given up and, barely breaking into a sweat, they disappeared through the Park leaving Tim Thompson and Paul Crookwell well in their wake as Tim and Paul focussed on solving the problems of the world during their Sunday outing...winning being furthest from their thoughts!
The walking teams, competing in the relay section, were led out by Lillian Mann (team WAGON 1), Korin Bachmann (WAGON 2) and Joanne Ponton (teaming up with Hepzibah Cook). Great to see the Women’s Action Group On Norfolk (WAGON) entering teams in both the walks and running events.
As the individual walkers approached the next checkpoint at Puppies Point the field had clearly started to spread out but Jessica Scott had pushed ahead determined to try to reduce the time handicap (needing to win 36 minutes) that Jenny held as her ace. Despite a gallant effort in crossing the finish line back at Kingston first, in a time of 3 hours 49 minutes and 46 seconds, she had to settle for second place overall behind Jenny, with her handicap applied won the event by a little under 18 minutes. Jenny had torn a toenail off mid-race and had soldiered on wearing just the one shoe until finally borrowing a thong to wear on her injured foot. She hobbled across the line in front of admiring spectators and family. Jenny’s brother, Brett Martin, had quietly pursued the leading bunch throughout the race and surprised himself with a third spot finish overall.
The” WAGON 1” team of Lillian Mann, Tania Anderson, Wendy Burrell, Lisa Richards, Gill Brown and Belinda Grube had pushed hard through the morning and deserved taking out the team event in a time of 3 hours 50 minutes and 11 seconds.” WAGON 2” of Korin, Tracey Sweeney, Elizabeth Doolan, Suzy Merriment, Tracy Hicks and Megan Evans were ecstatic with their second placing overall and quietly confident of securing number one spot in 2018!
Despite crossing the line in 2nd spot, the team of Joanne Ponton and Hepzibah Cook had to settle for third overall after age handicaps were applied. An awesome effort by these two ladies, to have tackled three stages of the relay each during the morning.
While the walkers were battling it out for supremacy, the runners gathered near the start at around 6.00 am to be briefed on road safety and the route through the Park. From 6.15, Peter Arthur once again called each individual competitor or team runner to the start line according to their respective handicap time ( based on age and gender factoring) and had everyone on their way a little before 6.30.
Five individual athletes had elected to run the entire course with firm favourite Richard Cribb leading the charge in an effort to take yet another title. Challenging this year were Alice Rogers, Victoria O’Reilly, Jamie Donaldson and Stuart Moakes.
It was not until the runners were leaving the Park near Duncombe Bay Road that the field really started to spread out as legs started to tire, but Richard had been here so many times that he knew when to push hard and take control of the race. With Stuart being a few years younger he had started last from Kingston and had fought hard through the morning to gradually reel in Richards lead. With only a little over 4 kms left to run at the 100 acres checkpoint, Stuart was gaining ground on Richard and it looked like a new champion was about to emerge. Richard hung on to cross in first place in a slightly slower time than 2016, of 2 hours 28 minutes and 11 seconds. Stuart was right on his tail and crossed just over one minute behind to take second place overall. Jamie Donaldson taking third place some 17 minutes adrift. Victoria and Alice faded out of contention for a podium finish despite strong starts and were welcomed back across the finish line to applause from friends and supporters after completing the full 25kms course.
The teams competition was competitive from the start with “Jedd’s” team keen to try and smash the 2 hour mark for the relay, which has not occurred for many years. As back markers from the start due to their total age handicap, it was their job to chase down the other teams, and they did it in style. One by one they reeled in the team runners in front of them and at each checkpoint they had steadily moved up the placings. Storming home at Kingston, their push to break 2 hours fell only 4 minutes short in a total time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 44 seconds. “Jedd’s” team included Jedd Gardner, Nathanial Kalsrap, Jonny Sheridan, Jordan Bigg and Bernard Morgan.
The youngest team in the relay, “The Kids” team, with an average age of just over 11, made up of Riley Quintal, Tsharn Evans, Koszta Deszecsar, Cameron Christian, Doug Snell and Jesse Schmitz held their starting position but towards the end of the race they too made up ground on the teams ahead including the “Paddlers” team and the “Girls” team, to finish strongly in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes and to take out second place.
The teenage “Tennis” team started just ahead of the much-fancied “Teachers” team and quickly showed their fitness and speed, passing the “WAGON 3” team well before the Park entrance and then overtook the “”Girls” before finally crushing the “Paddlers “ in the final leg return from 100 Acres down to Kingston.
The “Teachers” had always been in the mix but 2017 was not to be their year after successive podium finishes, including a win, over the last three years. They fought on but could not find their rhythm and slipped back in the placings to finish in 5th place behind the “Paddlers” and just minutes ahead of the “Girls”.
With most runners and walkers back at Kingston by 9.30 am the mornings event was rounded off with a free sausage sizzle and refreshments in the Compound for all competitors, family and friends before the prize giving.
Athletics Norfolk Island President, Brentt Jones, presented prizes to the winners and place getters in each of the run and walks categories.
Athletics Norfolk Island would like to thank all those who assisted in making this years event another success particularly Rose Evans for managing entries and catering, Peter Arthur for starter and finishing line duties, Tim Rogers, Geoff and Pauline Gardner, Rose Evans and Brentt Jones on the water stations and of course the competitors, friends and families for their support. Grateful thanks again to Lord “Teddy” Evans, for tending to the catering duties and feeding the 60 or so competitors, and almost as many friends and family.
Thanks again to all participants and supporters. We hope to see you all again on the first Sunday in November 2018 for the annual running of the Around the Island Relay and Race.
A note for athletes to put in their diaries; the Norfolk Island “Gift” will be conducted on Saturday the 10th of February 2018,beginning at 2.00 pm at the Malcolm Champion Oval. Events will include the Norfolk Island Gas Centre 100metres, the World Traders 400 metres and the Middlegate Mile. With around $2000 in prizes this is an event not to be missed. Entry to this event is free and open to all-comers. All competitors are age and sex factored to give everyone an equal chance of winning a great array of prizes. More information will be provided in the weeks leading up to the event.
1st - Richard Cribb
2nd - Stuart Moakes
3rd - Jamie Donaldson
1st - Jedd’s Team - Jedd Gardner, Nathanial Kalsrap, Jonny Sheridan, Jordan Bigg and Bernard Morgan
2nd - Kids Team - Riley Quintal, Tsharn Evans, Koszta Deszecsar, Cameron Christian, Doug Snell and Jesse Schmitz
3rd - Tennis Team – Kyran Randall, Tiana Randall, Croyden Snell, Hannah Wright, Cameron Rogers and Emma Wright
1st - Jenny Donaldson
2nd - Jessica Scott
3rd - Brett Martin
1st - WAGON 1 - Lillian Mann, Tania Anderson, Wendy Burrell, Lisa Richards, Gill Brown and Belinda Grube
2nd - WAGON 2 - Korin, Tracey Sweeney, Elizabeth Doolan, Suzy Merriment, Tracy Hicks and Megan Evans
3rd - Joanne Ponton and Hepzibah Cook