Runners battle winds
RUNAWAY victories into a howling southerly marked the results for this year's Poolside Water World Great Ocean Run from Red Rock to Coffs Harbour Jetty along the beaches, over the headlands and across the creeks.
Andrew Thompson seemed determined not to tie as he did last year, setting a cracking pace over the soft sand of Red Rock beach to open a clear gap over race record-holder Jim Bennington, himself no slouch in heavy going.
The gap became a chasm as Thompson established his superiority over the second biggest field in the fifteen year history of the event.
His final margin over eventual runner-up and former winner, Michael Smart was a whopping 27.23 with Smart the only other runner to break four hours.
Third went to race debutant Adrian Pearce a further 19 minutes later.
With the first three all under 40 it was a triumph for youth which extended to the winner of the women's race, Kylie Spence who at 37 was the equal youngest of the women to complete the distance.
Spence also established a commanding lead in the early going, initially over eventual third place finisher Ro- byn Williams and later over runner-up Carol Coburn, who are 59 and 55 respectively.
Spence's time of 5.05.22 gave her a victory margin of over half an hour.
However less than four minutes separated the minor place-getters this time.
Jim Bennington was the first Coffs local male eventually filling fifth spot behind the place-getters and Minnie Waters Andi Aman.
First local female was Marg Gill also in fifth.
She had entered to keep Lee Ann Lloyd company as she sought to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation through sponsorship.
Lloyd battled to the finish in a commendable 7.11.11 to finish eleventh out of the 14 women who completed the journey.
In all 12 locals finished out of a field of 52.
None was happier to reach the Jetty than John Walker who had started on three previous occasions only to have to call a halt at Moonee or Sapphire.
It is ironic that he was able to achieve his goal in the worst ever conditions for the event as far as the strength of the wind and the extent of the soft sand.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the conditions all the runners were pleased with their achievement on the day and praised those from the local running community and the Tweed and Gold Coast Runners Clubs who staffed the drink stops along the way.
Results in full
Male: Andrew Thompson 3.29.43, 1; Michael Smart 3.57.06, 2; Adrian Pearce 4.16.11, 3; Andi Aman 4.24.29, 4; Jim Bennington 4.26.49, 5; David Crellin 4.26.57, 6; Simon Forsterling 4.30.26, 7; Rick Herring 4.33.58, 8; Wayne Fitzgerald 4.43.00, 9; Steve Hayes 4.51.52, 10; Rod Ladyman 4.53.55, 11; Mark Parsonson 4.55.00, 12; Peter McKenzie 4.58.31, 13; Tony Kean 4.58.44, 14; David Sewell 5.03.31, 15; Bob Beer 5.03.50, 16; Peter Gardiner 5.04.54, 17; Peter Wood 5.07.33, 18; Richard Hutchinson 5.07.56, 19; Hugh Dearnley 5.23.02, 20; Geoff Williams & Geoff Last 5.25.52, =21; Russell Forestall & Paul Chamberlain 5.39.27, =23; Gordon Abbott 5.40.21, 25; David Casey 5.42.49, 26; Chris Cohen 5.45.23, 27; Geoff Kopittke 5.57.46, 28; Mal Draper 6.01.07, 29; Arthur Ballantyne 6.16.49, 30; John Walker 6.21.31, 31; Ross Donald 6.30.26, 32; Brett Taylor & Reg Tilley 6.46.15, =33; Damon Palliser 6.59.53, 35; Peter Gray 7.19.17, 36; Dennis French & Alistair Ault 7.52.46, =37.
Female: Kylie Spence 5.05.22, 1; Carol Coburn 5.39.27, 2; Robyn Williams 5.43.01, 3; Karen Wiersma 5.53.07, 4; Marg Gill 6.16.49, 5; Jenni Williams 6.47.17, 6; Anne Grundy & Wendy Maley 6.48.19, = 7; Aileene Markham 6.59.53, 9; Diana Kever 7.09.57, 10; Lee-Anne Lloyd 7.11.11, 11; Lyn Campbell 7.23.50, 12; Elly Friend 7.29.41, 13; Claire Sewell 7.47.01, 14.