The championship season finished this weekend with the Victorian Championships. The middle distance event took place on the goldmining terrain at the south end of Sailors Creek, while the long distance event was on a Rob Plowright remap of Mount Beckworth, originally used for the 1990 Australian Relays but little used since the late 1990s.
Simon Uppill took another step in his journey as a rising star with his first elite championship win on Saturday. He hardly put a foot wrong and was more than a minute clear of Jim Russell, with Adrian Jackson in third.
Kathryn Ewels continued her good form from the Australian Championships with a win in W21A. She had two minutes in hand, but it was closely bunched behind that, with the next six separated by just over a minute. Jasmine Neve and Natasha Key, running her first major event in a year, were the best of that group.
The M21A long race was a tale of two duels. Adrian Jackson caught Jim Russell at 6, Simon Uppill caught Blair Trewin at 11, and both pairs were together for long stretches of the race. Jackson was clearly fastest through the first part of the course, and that gave him an advantage that he never relinquished. Russell picked up another second place to complete a good weekend, and Uppill broke away in the later stages to secure third.
Briohny Davey completed an excellent year with her second state long distance title of the year, adding Victoria to her previous win in New South Wales. Kathryn Ewels had an unfortunate start when she took the wrong map and lost four minutes in returning (Natasha Key suffering the same fate); she had got back to within two minutes by 4, but that was as close as she got for the rest of the day. A solid run by Kirsten Fairfax saw her in third.
Among the juniors, there was a major surprise in W17-20A when Belinda Lawford, a first-year W16 running up an age class, won by ten minutes over Clare Brownridge, while Bryan Keely impressed in a small but talented M17-20A field.