Glenhuntly Athletics (VIC) vs Western Athletics (SA)

74th Arthur Beames Challenge for the Mrs A.A.Theobald Shield

1 – 7 August 2020








The Glenhuntly (VIC) vs Western Athletics (SA) contest is a long-standing tradition, running annually since 1947 (bar 2016) when the first race was held in Adelaide. This year, the race will take place virtually, to adapt to current COVID-19 restrictions. In true spirit of the event, we have opted to reduce the race distance to 3 km, to encourage wide participation from both clubs and anyone in the wider non-club affiliated community.

Note: only past or present club members will be eligible for formal race awards.



You have the entire first week of August to complete the event –

anytime between 12.01am Saturday 1 August and 11.59pm Friday 7 August 2020



Anywhere you like (we would, however, recommend a flat course)



Please complete the entry form to enter and provide your estimated 3 km time for the event. You can access the form here

There is no cut-off time for entry, simply complete the form before you race (and run before 11:59 pm Friday 7 August).



The prestigious Mrs A.A. Theobald Shield and prizes will go to the winning male (4 per team) and female (4 per team) teams.





Social Media

The event is promoted on our Glenhuntly Facebook page and Twitter @ghyaths



Kara Gilbert           

Trevor Vincent   

An enduring tradition of two athletics clubs








The Glenhuntly (VIC) vs Western Athletics (SA) contest is a long-standing tradition, running annually since 1947 (bar 2016) when the first race was held in Adelaide.The challenge emanated during World War II when able seaman, Wally Beames (Western Athletics) was stationed in Melbourne and, seeking competition, was directed to Caulfield Racecourse, the headquarters of Glenhuntly Athletics. He met and formed a friendship with Gus Theobald, and they conceived the idea of a challenge match between their clubs.














Both Glenhuntly Athletics and Western Athletics (formerly, Western Districts Athletics) were formed in the 1920s and have been influential and major forces in the development of sport in their respective states. Both clubs were strengthened by the amalgamation with their women’s clubs. In the early days, club teams travelled to Adelaide by train in a group, wearing club blazers. Later, as motor cars became more affordable, members travelled in groups of cars. Gus Theobald always led the way, taking passengers.














Gus Theobald, Peter Colthup and Trevor Vincent were prolific promoters of the event, over many decades and, due to them, the event has continued to this day. Some Glenhuntly members were prolific in billeting Western Athletics athletes, creating lasting friendships; in particular the Buller, Esmore and Vincent families. A women’s team’s race (3 per team) was added to the challenge in 2000. Glenhuntly has had the better of the contests, especially during the1960s to 2000.


























Trevor Vincent has had 7 individual wins followed by Keith Lyons and Ben Kelly with 5.


The Glenhuntly club has had six Olympians win the event:

Trevor Vincent

Tony Cook

Robert Decastella

Nick Harrison

Julian Paynter

Kate Smythe


Commonwealth Games representatives to have won the event include:

Trevor Vincent

John Coyle

Anna Thompson

Former Australian Cross-Country Champion, Robbie O’Donnell, has also won the event.












Members who have represented the Glenhuntly team for the greatest number of occasions are:

Trevor Vincent – 21

Keith Lyons – 13

Peter Colthup – 10

Eric Sigmont 8 times

Hugh Wilson, John Coyle, and Linton Gloster – 7

The current Western Athletics Club President has represented his club in the event 22 times.