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XCR’18 Rnd 5 – Sandown Relays

Glenhuntly Open Men

Round 5 of XCR’18 signalled the start of road racing with the Sandown Racecourse Relays. With inclement weather forecast, AV made the call to shorten the legs to one lap (3.1km). In true Melbourne fashion, the clouds cleared by lunchtime and runners enjoyed clear, yet blustery conditions. We had five teams in Open Men.

We had strong showings across all divisions. Our best placed team on the day was Division 3 (5th) followed by Division 1 (6th). Three out of our five teams improved on their results from Jells Park Relays in Round 1. After five rounds, our best placed team is Division 1 in 6th.

Some individual highlights were:

  • Matt Wynne continuing to race and earn points for the team despite a leg injury.

  • Dale Woodbridge stepping into our Division 5 team at the last minute. Dale has been a regular in previous seasons but has taken a break from racing this year to focus on his postgraduate studies.

I’d like to thank all our juniors that stepped up to run in our Open teams at short notice: Haftu Strintzos, Jason Clayton, Romin Kodikara, Jasper Pickering, Jack Green and Logan Janetski.

From one car racing circuit to another, we now turn our attention to the Albert Park 10km on Sunday July 22. I look forward to more great results!

Glenhuntly Open Women

Whilst the rain held off for the Sandown Relays, the wind provided some tough conditions for running the 3.1km. Unfortunately numbers were quite low this round with injury and illness having a heavy impact.

In the Premier Women, Anna Kentwell got the team off to a flying start running a blistering time of 11:00. Cass Little inspired everyone in her first race back with us running a speedy 11:57 and Erica Patterson stepped up to Division 1 with a fantastic run of 12:24. Bec Beagley ran an impressive 11:27, bridging the gap on several teams and Dana Dekkers finished off the team with a personal best of 10:59. The team finished 5th, which was a great result.

The Division 2 team kicked off with Gill Highnam flying around the lap in 12:23 followed by Anung Samsu who took up the challenge of such a short race and aced it with a time of 12:38. Linda McCaffrey stepped up to Division 2 running a strong 15:02 and Anna Ross anchored the team home for 11th place in a great time of 13:18.

Glenhuntly Masters Men

Injuries meant numbers for the Masters Men were slightly down at Sandown this year, however, we still managed to field 5 strong teams. While the shortened event probably didn’t work to our overall advantage, each team braved the blustery conditions and achieved some solid results.

The 40+ (1) team worked hard to peg back a big lead by Collingwood on the first leg and finish in 3rd place. Very consistent performances across the board with only 11 seconds separating each runner.

The 40+ (2) team finished 6th and highlights included a strong performance by an injured Mickael and a father and son match race between Angelo and Noah Portelli (Noah ran third in the U/14’s). On this occasion, experience prevailed but there is still plenty of time between now and the Tan Relays for Noah to plan his re-match (there were some reports of Noah “going easy” to ensure he got a lift home but I must stress that these reports are completely unsubstantiated).

The 40+ (3) team received a DNF because we were only able to field 2 runners but thanks to Kev Esmore and Daniel Jitnah for competing.

The 50+ team finished 6th with impressive runs by Pete Rushen, Bas Taggert and Mick Ryan who backed up well from his Gold Coast Marathon performance last weekend.

The 60+ team also had an excellent result with Joe Murphy winding back the clock and finishing hard to help the team take out 3rd place. Big thanks to Rob Dunbar for stepping up and competing.

Emerson Teams

Nine students from the Emerson School took part in the Sandown Racecourse Relays on Saturday July 7. The seven boys and two girls competed by invitation in the U14 and U18 divisions. For many of the students it was their first competitive running experience. Despite the cold and wet conditions, every one of them completed the 3.1km loop with pride. Thank you to Andrew McEvoy and other Hunters for your support out on the course. Our relationship with the Emerson School continues to blossom. Next term the focus will shift to track and field as the students prepare for their school athletics carnival. We hope to see the students representing Glenhuntly again during Summer Shield.

If you would like to be involved in this exciting and incredibly rewarding initiative, please contact Chris Winter on 0402600307 or

Go Hunters!

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