The Weekend in Review


Wow! What a weekend. It’s been a wet and windy start to winter for the RunAsOne team, which has resulted in an urgent bulk order of RAO gloves being made! However, the last weekend in May of 2021 might go down as our most memorable ever. Now you might be thinking that I say this in every blog; and you’d be correct. However, the efforts and many successes of this team never ceases to amaze me! They’ve continued to show up in some of the most miserable conditions to run, and together, they’ve put in the work required to reap the rewards. So, my statement stands: this weekend was our best yet! Let me tell you why..

Athletics SA Cross Country Race #1
On a perfect Saturday afternoon at Pakapakanthi, we got to celebrate a host of RunAsOne runners at their first cross country meet! With mixed feelings of nerves and excitement, 8 of our team mates toed the line for the first individual race of the Athletics SA Winter season. To kick us off, Issie Hume stormed home to a top 5 placing in the Open Women’s event. On a technical course, Issie looked right at home amongst some of the state’s best middle and long distance runners. She held 4th place for most of the race before being passed right at the line. It was a valuable learning experience for Issie as she continues on her rapid improvement trend! In the same event, Alison Sorrell picked up some valuable points for Flinders Athletics Club in a warm up event for the Barossa Marathon festival the next day! On the men’s side, Tom Lancaster also mixed it with some of the best Middle Distance runners in SA. Finishing in the same minute as the winner, Tom found himself in very good company crossing the line. Not too far behind was Pat Hunt, and Oscar Bloomfield who ran strongly together in their first outing on a cross country course; we’re excited to see these two continue to improve throughout the season! Following them was a strong return to form for Josh Young, who also looked right at home on the technical course against much more experienced competitors. Matt Di Monte was next, likening the experience to his Cyclocross Years, before Liam McInerney joined his RAO and Flinders team mates at the finish line and picked up some valuable premiership points in his cross country debut! This group look forward to competing for Flinders next at the cross country relay event on the June long weekend.

Coach Izzi qualifies for the Olympics!
On the same day, but in a different time zone, Coach Izzi Batt-Doyle was on a solo mission to stake RunAsOne’s claim for “Global Running Team” status by winning her first ever European track race! In the Dutch town of Nijmegen, Izzi stormed home under the Olympic qualifying time of 15:10 for 5000m, and now sports a new Personal Best, and South Australian state record of 15:04.2. After our alarms went off at 4:30am, it was remarkable to witness the wave of messages coming through in support of Izzi and her achievement. The genuine excitement and joy from her team mates is something very special, and can certainly be attributed to the motivation she has to chase her dreams. For now, Izzi will continue to prove her worthiness of an Australian Olympic team selection by going about her business as usual, before lining up again next week for a 10 000m race in Hengelo. At home, Sunday morning’s race couldn’t have come at a better time for close to 40 of her team mates, who were set to pack their bags early that morning, and head north for the South Australian Road Runner’s Club’s Barossa Marathon festival! Prior to the start, it was certainly the topic of discussion, and a valuable dose of inspiration for all of those braving the freezing cold conditions in Tanunda!

Barossa Marathon Festival
With the Bureau of Meteorology recording temperatures close to zero, and with wind chill below that, it was comforting to meet our RunAsOne team mates at the Barossa Marathon Festival before taking to the roads of Tanunda to put our training to the test! This was certainly no solo mission for anyone, and it was incredible to witness the on course support from all of our training partners as we either pushed one another to get the most out of ourselves, or offered a wave of support for our team mates as we passed them on the other side of the road. The full marathon distance kicked off first at 7:30am. Coralie Duckworth, Nick Edwards, Russ Harris, Mayuko Kurashima, Zen Zaccara, and Clair Crowley were the RunAsOne representatives braving the 42.2km this time. Leading us home, Nick stormed to a phenomenal 16 minute PB of 3:03 which earned him a top 2 place in his Age Group. Right behind Nick, Coralie had the whole team in hysterics as she claimed female line honours in a PB time of 3:03. A strong crew then lined the finish chute to welcome home Russ in 3:37, Mayuko in 3:53 (2nd AG) on her 36th attempt at the distance, Zen, and then Clair in 4:03 and 4:18 respectively for their debuts at the distance! You MUST follow Zen on Strava to relive the events of the morning from his perspective – he’s a refreshing symbol of positivity and resilience!

The distance then halved to 21.1km, but the effort was no less. New team mate Dan Castle lead the way for the team in a 3 minute improvement from his run at McLaren Vale earlier this season. He finished in 81 mins paced by coach Jacob Cocks, and was closely followed by Tristan Taormina who earned himself a new PB of 83 minutes! Next, Brant Lang was top 20 in 84 minutes, and closely followed by Tony Jarrett who was paced to an Age Group win by Coach Riley Cocks (84 minutes). Andrew Heathershaw also scored a podium finish in his age group by finishing in 86 minutes, just ahead of Cameron England and Tash Jarrett who both snuck under the 90 minute barrier; Tash doing so as the 4th female home! Paul Sideris missed the 90 minute barrier by less than 30 seconds, but earned an Age Group win for his efforts. Behind him, Josh and Oscar backed up from the cross country to participate as part of their Long Run and lead home Lucy Hinton who was 7th female! Pat Hunt was close to them as he backed up his cross country efforts to nail his pacing job as the 95 minute balloon! Then came Jackie Staples pacing the 1:45 group, who Tallia Dawood and Michelle Leyden managed to beat home recording 1:44! Tayla Haslam was just behind them in 1:46, and Melissa Starfield was overjoyed to join her team mates at the finish line under the 2 hour barrier! (1:57). The next pace balloon on course was 2:30, and Kirsty Sideris and Jane Shepherdson stayed with this, before being rewarded with a 2:30 and 2:31 result respectively. After them, Bianca Rogers held off the 3 hour balloon convincingly to finish in 2:52!

The 10km event started 30 minutes after the half marathon. This made for some more supportive encounters on course as the half runners shared the finish chute with some of their 10km team mates. Matt Warner lead us home in the 10km finishing in 37:32 and claimed line honours for his Age Group! Behind Matt, Jen Robertson dropped down in distance from her marathon win at McLaren Vale, and was 2nd female in 40:56! Sophie Hlipala stormed home just behind Jen in a huge PB of 41:05 to also find herself on the podium! Michael Cocks won his Age Group in 42:33 as he continues a successful return to running after a recent hip replacement. Alison Sorrell backed up from her efforts at the Cross Country event on the previous day to record a PB of 44:53 and cross the line as the 7th female home. Behind her, Ola Wicik and Shannon Green crossed the line close together. It was Ola’s first 10km race and she crossed in 47:32 just ahead of Shannon’s 47:51! A couple of minutes behind those two, Nola Cirocco continued her successful recovery from the UTA event last month to finish in 51:03 which earned her a 2nd place finish in her Age Group!

Finally, 5 of our team mates lined up to test their speed over the 5km distance! All 5 were rewarded with PB’s! Margo Muir lead the way in 18:53, and was first female home! Behind her, 3 of our juniors showed remarkable promise at such a young age. With beaming smiles on their faces, Rio Himajima, Leon Kurashima, and Hina Himajima sprinted home to all record age group victories! At 12 years of age, Rio was impressive finishing in 21:01. Behind her, and at just 10 years of age, Leon and Hina ran 22:04 and 22:06 for 5km! Rio and Hina were also both top 5 finishers in the women’s race overall, competing against much older and more experienced runners. Just behind them, Georgia Van Der Jeugd ran a PB of 25:19 as she continues a very successful transition to running! Overall, it was a fantastic day filled with smiles, some tears, and a whole of lot of support. We thank the South Australian Road Runner’s Club for having us once again, and can’t wait for the next event!

One final mention must go to the champion of the trails Sebastian Lopez! Covering 30km, and over 1000m of elevation, Sebastian outlasted his competitors at the Clelend Festival of Run this weekend, to score a first place finish in 2 hours and 49 minutes. We look forward to hearing more about that at training this week! Speaking of which – it’s back to business as usual on Tuesday with our fingers crossed for a glove delivery, and for the weather Gods to be kind to us!