Rachel Effeney (Q) and Oscar McNulty (WA) both had tremendous victories in a fantastic opening day of the Sprint the Bay carnival inNZ. These wins enabled Rachel to be wearing the yellow jersey (overall leader) and Oscar, 3rd overall, will don the white jersey, as leading junior in the 60 person men’s field.
Rachel, who debuted for Australia at WOC in 2011, won both stages and now has a 52 second lead overall. On the mass start stage 1 course she crossed the line 4 seconds ahead of Lizzie Ingham (NZ), but in stage 2 she took the lead after leg 2 and was never headed and won by a whopping 45 seconds from Great Knaston (NZ). Lizzie Ingham, who now resides in Canberra, made a big 75 second mistake to fall back to 9th in stage 2 but is certainly close enough to still podium.
Hanny Allston, “having a run” to complement her coaching duties, was the next best Aussie in 8th on both courses. Aislinn Prendergast, who also debuted at WOC in 2011, and is more renowned as a long event specialist, performed really well to be placed 9th after day 1.
The “boy from the west,” Oscar McNulty was the talk of the town after his dramatic 8 second victory on stage 2. Having just finished school in Perth, he is Sydney bound for university later this month. Oscar won 4 of the 23 splits and led throughout the race except for one leg in the middle. In the initial race Oscar also excelled winning 7 splits before fading a little towards the end to finish a close 9th.
Young Bendigo gun Bryan Keeley used his leg speed to advantage on stage 1 by placing 5th and backed this up with an 11thin stage 2. Lachlan Dow (7th) and Matt Parton (8th) ran extremely well on stage 2 after being in the 20’s on stage 1.
After day 1 there was just 1 minute 6 seconds separating the top 10 in the men’s elite field, and 2.20 down to twentieth place. In the women’s field it’s a little more stretched out with 4 minutes between 1st and 10th. Sunday’s two races are both again in mostly urban terrain featuring 2 or 3 different schools on each map. The afternoon stage also has some public gardens to traverse. With sprint races being so fast and frantic there are many chances for other runners to come to the fore.
Overall after day 1 – top 20 results
1st Tim Robertson (NZ) places 1 + 3 31.01 minutes
3rd Oscar McNulty (WA) 9 + 1 31.07 “
7th Bryan Keely (VIC) 5 + 11
11th Ian Lawford (ACT) 12 + 15
13th Matt Parton (NSW) 22 + 8
14th Lachy Dow (ACT) 23 + 7
1st Rachel Effeney (Q) 1 + 1 29.46 minutes (pictured above)
2nd Angela Simpson (NZ) 3 + 3 30.38 “
8th Hanny Allston (TAS) 8 + 8
9th Aislinn Prendergast (VIC) 11 + 7
12th Mace Neve (ACT) 15 + 13
16th Shannon Jones (ACT) 21 + 14
17th Ilka Barr (VIC) 16 + 23
19th Katelyn Effeney (Q) 19 + 18
20th Belinda Lawford (ACT) 18 + 21