The Prologue Races and Family Relays were held today at Wilmot’s Waterholes, an area of scattered granite just north of Stanthorpe. Courses were set with many short legs and changes of direction to keep competitors on their toes.
The Elite classes were first into the bush, with Simon Uppill (15.09)of the Southern Arrows getting his weekend off to a good start by winning the men’s elite class ahead of Canberra Cockatoos David Shepherd and Matthew Crane, with first year elite Josh Blatchford a close 4th. The Junior Elite class was won by Oscar McNulty (15.57)of the Western Nomads who continued his great start to 2012, although Ian Lawford of the Canberra Cockatoos was just 7 seconds behind. Brodie Nankervis (Tas) took out third place.
Grace Crane (Tas) and Vanessa Round (SA) had a close battle in the women’s elite class, with Grace taking the win by 5 seconds in a time of 15.10.. Queensland Cyclones Rachel Effeney and Laurina Neumann finished in third and fourth. The largest winning margin of the day was in the junior elite class, where Lillian Burrill (Qld) had a great run in 18.24. Lillian hails from Warwick so with her home terrain advantage she may be hard to beat this weekend. She was followed by Michele Dawson of the NSW Stingers and Mary Fleming of the Victorian Nuggets. The respective juniors and seniors both ran the same courses, so results are comparable.
In the Public Prologue, runners either competed in a short, medium or long course. Incredible running speed was shown by some young Victorian runners in the short course, with 11 year old Aston Key taking first place over 10 year old Kylian Wymer. The medium course was won by Jenny Bourne of Victoria, who just edged out Queenslanders John Baker and Neil Simpson. The long course was also very close with Eddie Wymer of Victoria winning by 3 seconds over Mark Nemeth of Queensland.
Tomorrow will see competitors return to an adjacent area for Day 1 of the Australian 3 Days Championships. These Easter races are final selection trials for the Jwoc team going to Slovakia, the World University Champs team bound for Spain (also comprising a team of 6 & 6) and the Bushranger team heading for New Zealand in June