The Queen’s Birthday Weekend saw Yarra Valley Orienteers and Bendigo Orienteers host events 3 and 4 of this year’s state series at the renowned Mt. Kooyoora State Park. Yarra Valley set a series of middle distance courses on the Saturday and Andrew Cameron and Craig Feuerherdt set a series of long distance courses for the event hosted by Bendigo on Sunday. Congratulations must go to Andrew and Craig for their terrific courses that demanded a high level of skill from all competitors. Many thanks to Peter Searle for the very thorough job he did overseeing the course setting and guiding a novice organiser through many and varied hoops. I would also like to thank the club members who were very willing to pitch in and make the event a success.
Course 1 was just over 12km long with local runner Leon Keely coming home first in 1:48:28 in an average km time of 9 minutes exactly. This was an excellent performance in very tough and demanding terrain. Brodie Nankervis was next home 4 minutes later followed by Bruce Arthur and Patrick Jaffe, both just over the 2 hour mark. The tough nature of the terrain is shown by the fact that only half the field of 14 completed the course.
Sixteen runners started the 7.4 km M2 course with Warren Key winning comfortably in 1:14:34 from Dion Keech. Bendigo juniors Lachlan Cherry and Glenn James performed really well to come in 3rd and 4th in just under 2 hours. Natasha Key was first home in the W2 class over the 7.4 course in 1:25:26 followed closely by Aislinn Prendergast, with Lanita Steer in 3rd place. All 3 ran very competitive times.
David Colls from the Yarra Valley club was well ahead of his competition running the 6.1 km M3 course in 1:05:03 followed by Ted van Geldermalsen and Vic Sedunary. Local runner Clare Brownridge had an excellent run to win the W3 class from Carolyn Jackson and promising Bendigo junior Leisha Maggs.
The largest field of the day started in the M4 class and veteran Alex Tarr showed the benefit of experience in the tough terrain coming in ahead of locals Warwick Williams and Andrew Wallace. Alexandra Sinickas was first home in the 4.5 km long W4 class from Margi Freemantle and Pru Dobbin.
First home in the M5 class was Peter Prime from Greg Cates and Blake Gordon. A large field contested the W5 class with Sue Key leading in Kathryn Tarr and Dale Ann Gordon.
Ian Dodd beat a small field over the 2.1km M6 course with 2 locals Ralee Enjes and Caitlyn Steer coming first and second in the W6 category.
Mason Arthur and Serryn Enjes won the M7 and W7 classes, while Torren Arthur and Luca Bogdanovits had victories in the M8 and W8 classes. Luke Feuerherdt and Emma Cates both showed excellent speed to win the M9 and W9 classes in good time.
Next Bendigo event is at Mandurang.
Rob Clark, Organiser
For those who competed at the recent event at Apollo Hills, here is a small article written by Don Cherry, that has been published on a American website