Run Warrandyte: Running up that hill
by James Poyner
10th April 2023
RUNNERS from near and far gathered in Warrandyte, once again, in early March for the 2023 edition of Run Warrandyte.
With the course and distances now well and truly bedded down, more than 500 runners took to the now-familiar course taking in West End and The Pound across 2.2km, 5km, 10km, 15km and 21kms.
Women runners made up about a third of the field over the five distances and nearly half of the 21km runners.
In-general numbers were up from 2022, indicating that this running event is becoming increasingly popular.
Run Warrandyte is a five-ish kilometre loop, starting at the Warrandyte Reserve before climbing up Everard Drive for a scenic loop of The Pound before an even longer climb up to Third Street before descending back down to the Reserve via West End Road — simple, right?
For those running the 5km, it is one hot lap, and with the winning male running a 19:40 and the winning female running a 23:20, this slightly hilly, slightly traily course is pretty fast.
For those running longer distances, this means two, three or four laps.
The 2.2km run/walk event is an uphill slog for most, as participants bypass The Pound section.
This was the third running of this event with a 21km option (four laps), and, once again, this writer and runner could not resist the allure of the “furthest distance on offer”.
A runner’s journey
With the day predicted to be warm, the slightly chilly start at 7:30am was very pleasant.
Compared to the other distances on offer, the 15km and 21km events attract significantly fewer runners, so the combined distances on the starting line made the joint field feel slightly bigger.
Of note on the start line was Thomas Martin in the 15km distance, looking to defend (and subsequently smash) his previous record, completing the 15km course in 58:29 — nearly three minutes quicker than last year — while 2022’s defending Women’s 15km winner, Helen O’Hagen, stepped up to the 21km for 2023 and won with a time of 1:52:14.
Achilles Melbourne, a running club for vision-impaired runners, also returned to 3113 and had runners on course.
For myself, not looking to break any records and looking to take advantage of the generous course cut-off, I set the goal of completing in less than two and a half hours.
With the crowd and the cool, crisp morning air, the starting gun prompted a slightly more energetic start than I anticipated but quickly dissolved any doubts about four laps.
While the day warmed, the moderately wet weather over the last couple of years made for a pleasant jaunt through Warrandyte’s bush landscape, with much of the environment still green.
Kangaroos were also a feature of the course this year, with a couple of the mob keeping me on my toes — thus providing an ideal distraction — as I progressed along the tank track.
Kudos go out to the army of volunteers on the course, offering encouragement and direction where needed.
I extend a particular thank-you to the marshal at the intersection of Pound Road and Third Street for their choice of “tunes” my only request is more Kate Bush next year, and please stick around for the fourth and final lap.
These may be trails that many of us run and walk daily or weekly, but sharing the collective goodwill and spirit of runners, walkers, and marshals submerged in our picturesque landscape is a must-do on the Warrandyte list, and I encourage you all to come out for at least 5kms in 2024.
Congratulations to all participants in Run Warrandyte 2023; below are the 1st–3rd in each event, in order of finishing.
21km Men Stephen Dinneen: 1:16:11, Stephen Barter: 1:20:50, Lee Martin: 1:27:36.
21km Women Helen O’hagan: 1:52:14, Colleen Isaacs: 1:53:44, Emma-Rose Maber: 1:54:00.
15km Men Thomas Martin: 58:29:00, David King: 1:02:45, Brad Bardon: 1:07:17.
15km Women Deb Yann: 1:16:27, Brooke Cooper: 1:18:08, Nerissa Stafford: 1:25:58.
10km Men Brendan Choo: 40:16:00, Tristan Marslen: 43:38:00, Shun Kan Fok: 44:46:00.
10km Women Vanessa Alford: 47:31:00, Emily Sharpe: 48:18:00, Ruby Tinker: 52:46:00.
5km Men Lachie Collins: 19:40, Henry Richards: 21:34, Hunter Hodgson: 21:48.
5km Women Juliette Haddow: 23:20, Ingrid Howlett: 24:07:00, Nicole Humphreys: 25:53:00.
2.2km Men Paul Donahoo: 9:33, Yestin Sanchez: 9:52, Liam Knight: 10:43.
2.2km Women Anna Firth: 10:11, Abbey Morgan: 10:13, Mieke Considine: 10:40.
U8 Boys Rafa Johnson: 0:54, Harry Malone: 1:01, Adhrith Paratal: 1:05.
U8 Girls Evie Beal: 1:11.
Gallery: SANDI MILLER