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1999 Race report

AURA “BOGONG TO HOTHAM” TRAIL RUN, 9/1/2000

Another successful race and brilliantly won for the second time by Jonathan Worswick.  Jonathan said he was not as fit as he was when he won several years ago, however, he ran a p.b. this year so the old adage, don't believe a runner when he says he's not very fit.  Maybe he thought the soft living in the USA had been responsible for his view of his own fitness?  I understand Jonathan is soon to return to Oz and the Sydney Striders.

The weather this year was very nice - not a cloud in the sky at the start, giving all competitors who chose to linger on Mt. Bogong untrammeled views of distant mountain peaks.  Broken clouds did gather as the day wore on and some lightning, thunder and showers were experienced from mid-afternoon, making the day cooler than other years.  A real plus was not one person being struck by lightning, or at least no one I heard about anyway (apparently it is the commonest cause of cattle deaths in the high country during the grazing period).

I'm sorry for all those competitors who had trouble finding the track out of Big River.  Apparently the track has recently been changed and the new routes haven't been marked.  This will be corrected if necessary before next year's race.

Victoria Tanner ran a strong race to record a good time, which is only about ½ hour off the record.  Maybe this time difference can be eradicated next year now that you know the course, Victoria.

The most pleasing thing about this year's race was the highest finishing rate since I took over the job of race organizer - 10 out of 14 intending is over 71% - very good for such a tough event.

Peter Mitchell went close to snatching back the 2nd half record and only missed out by less than 2 minutes.  Maybe Mt. Hotham shifted a little bit from its last year's position, Pete.

It was pleasing to have Russell Bulman (the race originator and its organizer for the first 8 years) competing in the event (1st half only) for the first time.  Russell after the event said, "I didn't realise it was so tough."

69 years old Max Scherleitner was only seconds behind Jonathan in reaching Bogong summit, however it must be remembered Max had an early start as a special privilege due to his age to assist him to reach half way within the time-of-day cut-off.  Hope you can achieve it next year Max when you reach 3 score +10.

Kelvin Marshall became the most frequent finisher of the event with his 7th finish.  You still have plenty of opportunities to extend your lead further Kelvin.

Kevin Tiller didn't start due to a broken ankle.  I find it amazing the extraordinary lengths some people go to avoid participating in a tough event.  Best wishes for a speedy return to running Kev.

This recent edition of the Bogong to Hotham event is my last as organizer.  Fortunately the race will continue under Mike Grayling's stewardship.  I have a sense of sadness at stepping down as RD but none for the loss of the workload.  Still it has been an enjoyable 7 years (without an incident).  I would like to sincerely thank all those people who have helped me over the years - Race Marshalls, Radio Operators, friends and assistants.  It seems unfair to single out individuals, but 2 people deserve special mention: Pat Pelly who has single handedly set up the finish at Mount Hotham every year and pampered the tired finishers and Bob Tait who suggested the involvement of the radio operators and the proceeded to make it happen and organize the comms. each year.  Also I would like to thank all competitors over the years who have helped make it a great event.  I hope you all, helpers and competitors, support Mike Grayling in his conduct of future events.

Again I would like to thank all competitors who sent in a donation with their entry.  Very much appreciated and most of the proceeds to go the Radio Club for their assistance.  And a very big thank you to all the Race Marshalls and Radio Operators who provided terrific assistance and vital communications coverage right across the course.


In total, 15 Radio Operators and 25 Race Marshalls/helpers, which equals 40 people for just 19 runners.  What a pampered lot you are!

Until next year’s event to be held on 7th January, 2001, stay fit and healthy and have nice dreams about the event.



Geoff Hook
Event Organizer (retd.)

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