The Victorian Race Walking Club

Facebook link

VRWC Specific Pages

The Rules of Racewalking

Records Records Records

Supporting the 50km

Other Pages

VRWC Results

Other Walking Sites

Runners World Melbourne - VRWC Sponsor

VRWC Results - Summer Season 2003/2004


The Summer Season occurs between October and March and coincides with the long hot Australian summer. The emphasis in on track walking and most races are over the shorter track distances. There is also a strong walking presence in the 'Interclub' Track Competition with all Athletics Teams fielding walkers in their regular competitions.

For this reason, VRWC only holds a small number of events during this period.


Our last event for the summer saw a good number of walkers contesting a variety of events in perfect conditions with the highlights being the performances of Colin Heywood and Tom Barnes.

Open 30 Km Walk Men
Colin, Mark Donahoo and Andy Jamieson are all in training for the World Masters Non Stadia Championships to be held in New Zealand in April. Accordingly they took the opportunity to test themselves over a 30 km distance. Mark retired at 18 km and Andy at 20 km and that left Colin to complete the distance on his own. This was his first ever 30 km race and he easily beat his personal target of 2:45.

1.  Colin Heywood      26:05  51:39  1:17:57  1:44:36  2:12:44  2:42:18 (PB)
    Andrew Jamieson    24:54  50:06  1:17:16  1:43:24  DNF
    Mark Donahoo       26:05  51:33  1:17:30  DNF

Open 20 Km Walk Men
To break 100 minutes in your first 20 km race is no mean feat and young Tom Barnes made a meal of it with a wonderful 1:37:59. He negative split and finished full of walking. Ron McGregor also walked his first ever 20 km and was still ticking the laps over nicely when he finished.

1.  Tom Barnes         24:54  49:46   1:13:40 1:37:59 (PB)
2.  Ron McGregor       36:10  1:12:34 1:50:20 2:28:41 (PB)
    Travis Martin      24:54  DNF

Open 20 Km Walk Women
Sandra Geisler was the sole lady to contest the 20 km distance and she also completed the distance successfully and was no far outside her best which she recorded last winter season.

1.  Sandra Geisler     28:07  56:33  1:25:21  1:54:53

Most walkers chose conservatively and opted for the shorter distances which were keenly contested. Results were as follows

Open 10 Km Walk Women
1.  Nicole Sansonetti  27:00 54:52
2.  Laura Gleich       28:48 58:23
3.  Mandy Emmett       29:31 59:15
4.  Anne Holcombe      29:44 60:09
5.  Gwen Steed         30:59 63:39
6.  Celia Johnson      31:46 64:45
7.  Margaret Beaumont  37:02 74:31
    Heather Carr       DNF (23:09 for 4 km)

Open 10 Km Walk Men
1.  Ross Reid          25:23 52:41
2.  John Bunker        28:07 54:52
3.  Alan Lucas         28:07 56:30
4.  Murray Dickinson   28:14 58:18
5.  Duncan Knox        28:48 58:22
6.  David Armstrong    28:07 58:49
    Robin Wood         33:53 68:22

Open 5 Km Walk Women
1.  Janet Holmes       30:00
2.  Liz Feldman        30:18
3.  Sophie DiFrancesco 30:43
4.  Marlaine Stanway   33:28
5.  Shirley Coppock    38:31
6.  Pam Mews           42:55
    Christine Griffiths 44:42

Open 5 Km Walk Men
1.  Ian Beaumont       38:35

U12 2 Km Walk Girls
1.  Chloe DiFrancesco  5:44 11:46
2.  Alicia Neylan      5:54 12:16
U9 1 Km Walk Girls
1.  Jasmin Irshad      8:51


What an event! Those of us who were lucky enough to witness the Australian 50 km Trial for the 2004 Racewalking World Cup saw the fastest 50 km ever walked in Australia and one of the fastest ever witnessed anywhere in the world.

The event promised a lot with a strong field of 12 walkers, most with high credentials.

Craig Barrett    Top NZ walker with a PB of 3:48:05 (2001) and best placing of 7th in 1999 World Championships
Frank Bertei     Repped in Australian 2002 World Cup team and a best of 4:19
Darren Bown      Former AIS walker with a PB of 3:55:05 (2001). Numerous places in Aust champs 1992 – 2002.
Duane Cousins    Current Australian 50 km champion with a PB of  3:54:38 (1995).
Nathan Deakes    Australia’s leading walker. 50 km PB of 3:43:33. Great international record and multiple Aust records.
Chris Erickson   Youngest in field. Just turned 22 and attempting his first 50 km. Placed 3rd in 2003 Aust 30 km.
Andrew Jamieson  Oldest competitor at 57 but capable of a sub 4:20 on his day.
Graeme Jones     Young NZ walker hoping for a sub 4:30 to achieve an NZ qualifier.
Andrew Ludwig    Ever consistent Qld walker with a PB of 4:25.
Liam Murphy      Current AIS walker. PV of 3:54:37. Winner of AA 50km titles in 2001 and 2002. 2nd in 2003 title.
Shane Pearson    Former World Cup rep with a PB of around 4:12. Qld based and on a comeback trail.
Tony Sargisson   Another top NZ walker with a 50 km PB of 4:02 on the track!

A Melbourne scheduling in December is always a risky procedure and the previous Sunday was in the mid-thirties with strong northerly winds. But a week of unseasonably cold weather had us keeping our fingers crossed. Would it last till Sunday? Our prayers were partly answered – a cool and partially overcast morning and a 7AM start time meant that at least the first half of the race was walked in perfect conditions. Craig and Nathan shot to the lead with a first 2km lap of 8:56, signalling that a fast time was on the cards. At 8 km the two walkers were still together but Nathan’s relentless pressure told as the fifth lap progressed and a vital 4 second break was in place by the 10 km mark (44:48 to 44:52).

From then on it was all Nathan as he relentlessly increased his pace and extended his lead. His 10 km splits tell the story. Consider this amazing set of statistics:

44:48, 1:28:52 (44:04), 2:12:57 (44:05), 2:56:36 (43:39), 3:39:43 (43:07)

The sun broke through at around 9AM and the second half of the race was a war of attrition as, one by one, the other contenders dropped their pace and went into survival mode. The temperature peaked at 27.80C early in the afternoon and it felt all of that by the time the event finished.

Craig Barrett was the next to finish in a world class time of 3:50:34, only 2 minutes outside his PB. Like Nathan, he walked impressively and was able to maintain his pace well in the gradually worsening conditions.

The next group of Liam Murphy, Darren Bown, Duane Cousins and Tony Sargisson started together and maintained contact as a group until Sargisson was dropped at the 12 km mark. The other 3, all long time rivals, matched each other until Liam eventually made his break at around the 32 km mark. He looked fresh and was moving confidently towards a sub 4 hour result when he was informed that he had been disqualified. Then within a couple of kms, Darren Bown was out with a recurring back condition and Duane was all alone in third spot. He maintained his pace as best he could and was rewarded with third place in 4:09:43.

The final group consisted of the remaining 7 walkers. They grouped together early in the race with Andrew Ludwig making the pace. The pace was perfectly pitched for a sub 4:20, the qualifying time that all were after. It was not until the 28 km mark that Andrew finally started to wilt and Chris Erickson was left on his own out in front by the 30 km mark.

From then on, Chris was the only one of the group who had a chance to beat the 4:20 mark but only if he could maintain his pace – a tough ask for a first timer in hot conditions. But he was equal to the task and came home like a train to pass a tiring Tony Sargisson and record a great first up time of 4:19:48.

Full results (with 10 km splits) are as follows

  COMPETITOR        STATE    10KM   20KM     30KM     40KM     50KM
1 DEAKES, Nathan    VIC/AIS  44.48  1.28.52  2.12.57  2.56.36  3.39.43
2 BARRETT, Craig    NZ       44.52  1.30.15  2.17.24  3.03.42  3.50.34
3 COUSINS, Duane    VIC      48.20  1.35.58  2.23.14  3.13.02  4.09.43
4 ERICKSON, Chris   VIC      51.32  1.41.40  2.33.03  3.25.51  4.19.48
5 SARGISSON, Tony   NZ       48.20  1.37.30  2.44.09  3.31.44  4.27.48
6 BERTIE, Frank     VIC      51.55  1.43.43  2.36.18  3.33.36  4.27.52
7 JONES, Graeme     NZ       51.32  1.41.40  2.33.56  3.31.48  4.29.54
8 LUDWIG, Andrew    QLD      51.23  1.41.19  2.33.48  3.32.01  4.36.02
  BOWN, Darren      SA       48.20  1.35.58  2.22.49  Ab
  JAMIESON, Andrew  VIC      51.35  1.44.02  2.36.48  Ab
  PEARSON, Shane    QLD      51.55  1.42.48  2.41.55  Ab
  MURPHY, Liam      SA/AIS   48.20  1.35.58  2.22.55  Dq

The news of Nathan’s time spread quickly around the world and the following article (reproduced in part) was published on the IAAF website by the next day:

Gruelling 35km sessions on a treadmill primed Commonwealth 50km Walk champion Nathan Deakes for a dramatic comeback from career-threatening injury to stake his claim yesterday for a medal in the 50km Olympic Race Walk.
Canberra-based Deakes, 26, became the 11th fastest in history at the punishing road event and smashed Simon Baker's 14-year-old Australian record by four minutes in an Olympic selection trial in Melbourne.
His phenomenal time of 3:39:42 is a huge boost for Deakes personally and for Australian athletics.
Deakes, 2001 Goodwill Games 20,000m and 2002 Commonwealth 20km & 50km Race Walking champion, missed Paris while recuperating from an April 30 operation on the hamstring muscles of his left leg to clean up scarring around the sciatic nerve.
While Sydney Olympic champion Robert Korzeniowski set the world best of 3:36:03 in Paris and led four others to go faster than Deakes, who was fourth over 20km at the 2001 World Championhips in Edmonton, Deakes was training on a treadmill at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Coached by a former Sydney rival, Brent Valance, the Geelong-born Deakes logged up to 35km at a session on the treadmill.
"I had a couple of 200km weeks. I was determined to burn that machine out,'' Deakes told yesterday.
"That made me mentally tougher. It's been a long hard road back but I'm glad to do my bit for the sport at a time when there's been so many negatives.''
Though Deakes won the 20km and 50km titles at last year's Manchester Games, the part-time university commerce student remains unsponsored.
"I'm supported by my wife, Antoinette, who works in marketing and communications for Seeing Machines which has created lifesaving computer technology for motor vehicles."
With Luke Adams, who was a revelation placing 5th in the Paris 20km and Jane Saville, 11th in Paris, Deakes is leading the strongest event group in Australia's 2004 Olympic athletics team.
"We could have three really good goes at the medals in Athens next year."

Mike Hurst (Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Australia) for the IAAF

Five walkers have now beaten the Australian qualifying standard of 4:20:00 and are in contention for Racewalking World Cup selection. As a team of up to 5 walkers may be selected, we could see them all in action in Naumburg in Germany next May. Qualifiers are as follows

3:39:43  Nathan Deakes   (V)  Melbourne  07/12/03
3:59.33  Duane Cousins   (V)  Melbourne  18/05/03
4:04.56  Liam Murphy     (S)  Melbourne  18/05/03
4:18.43  Darren Bown     (S)  Melbourne  18/05/03
4:19:48  Chris Erickson  (V)  Melbourne  07/12/03


In addition to the Australian 50 km trial, there were a host of other race distances to choose from at Albert Park on Sunday and there were a number of other fine performances.

Open 20km
Super talented junior Jared Tallent broke his previous PB by nearly 2 minutes to record an excellent 1:31:23. Jared has to take another couple of minutes off this time to get a guernsey in the Racewalking World Cup 20 km team but he is ready for that big breakthrough and his AIS scholarship should provide the imputus for the next big push.
Cheryl Webb of NSW also produced a beauty in recording 1:36:21. This is a Team Standard qualifier for the Racewalking World Cup so the top performers are starting to come to the fore.
We also saw the top NZ lady walker, Gabrielle Gorst, in action. She zipped through the first 10 km in a speedy 48:37 before retiring due to some nagging back problems. It is better to stop in such circumstances and we can expect to see Gabrielle representing NZ in the World Cup 20 km for women next year.

1. TALLENT, Jared        VIC  1:31:23.85
2. WEBB, Cheryl          NSW  1:36:21.28
3. PETERS, Megan         VIC  1:48:54
4. LUCAS, Alan           VIC  1:57:17
5. GEISLER, Sandra       VIC  1:59:05
6. EVANS, Simon          VIC  2:01:34
   ADAMCEWICZ, Erin      VIC  Ab (1:23:41 for 15km)
   DONAHOO, Mark         VIC  Ab (1:01:45 for 12km)
   GORST, Gabriella      NZ   Ab (48.37 for 10km)
   KNOX, Duncan          VIC  Ab (56.13 for 10km)
   ROSEMAN, Justijana    VIC  Ab (61.00 for 10km)
   LOONE, Rachael        VIC  Ab (35.02 for 6km)

Open 10km
Michael Beaton-Wells headed out at a very fast pace and finished just over a minute ahead of SA and former AIS speedster Claire Woods. Both recorded good times and were well clear of the field. It was good to see Murray Dickinson back in action and looking a bit fitter than when he last raced.

1. BEATON-WELLS, Michael VIC  49.45
2. WOODS, Claire         SA   50.51
3. DICKINSON, Murray     VIC  56.18
4. HOLCOMBE, Ann         VIC  58:53
5. GARDINER, Robert      VIC  1:00:57
6. HOLMES, Janet         VIC  1:03:05
7. WOOD, Robin           VIC  1:08:04
8. COPPOCK, Shirley      VIC  1:22:29

Open 5km
1.  Kylie Bonney         26:16
2.  John Bunker          26:19
3.  Heather Carr         27:59
4.  Eda Girgin           29:01
5.  Timucin Girgin       30:16
6.  Gwen Steed           30:28
7.  Nicholas Mirarchi    31:36
8.  Celia Johnson        31:51
9.  Egrenekon Girgin     32:51
10. Stephen Egan         34:58
11. Christine Griffiths  41:40
    Pam Mews             3 km in 33:50
    Tina Baarslag-leb    DQ

Under 15 3km
1. Sarah Alexander       16:07
2. Ann Whitworth         20:02

Under 12km
1. Jayson Stoddart       11:30
2. Alicia Neylan         11:52
3. Josephine Mirarchi    16:52

Under 9 1km
1. Jasmine Irshad         9:00


VRWC Open 30 km
Frank, Chris and Andy were using the occasion as a hitout before the AA 50 km Racewalking World Cup trial in December. They walked a very evenly judged race and Frank and Chris in particular hardly seemed to raise a puff as they recorded a comfortable time in just over 2½ hours. But the man of the moment was club captain Andy Jamieson who broke the Masters M55-59 30 km World Record by nearly 100 seconds. The record had been held by New Zealander Gary Little and Andy now adds that to his considerable collections of Masters Records. Andy and Mark Donahoo will be racing in the World Masters Long Distance championships in New Zealand next April and both look strong contenders.

E1. Frank Bertei      51:07 101:25 151:19
E1. Chris Erickson    51:07 101:25 151:19
3.  Andrew Jamieson   51:07 101:25 152:04.3 (WMA World Record, M55-59)
    Mark Donahoo      52:17 104:23 DNF

VRWC Gus Theobold Memorial 20 km for Men
A sizzling pace was set by Nathan Deakes who passed the 5 km mark in 20:01 and the 10 km mark in 40:12. Further back, Jared Tallent and Liam Murphy were locked together for the first 8 km before Jared kicked ahead to record a PB time of 43:31 for the 10 km. Liam, walking more conservatively, was content to pass the 10 km point in 43:40.
But then the complexion of the race quickly changed. Nathan retired at the 12 km mark and Jared slowed after his 10 km hitout, leaving Liam to walk a solo second half. He was certainly up to the challenge and negative split to come home in a very fast 86:32 and become our Gus Theobold Memorial holder for 2003. The only other finisher was the ever consistent Duncan Knox who had a training walk with Erin Adamcewicz.

1. Liam  Murphy      43:40   86:32
2. Duncan Knox       56:25  113:46
   Nathan Deakes     40:12  DNF
   Jared Tallent     43:31  DNF
   Andrew Blood      60:27  DNF
   Travis Martin     5 km in 26:47

VRWC Open Women 20 km
Sandra Geisler and Erin Adamcewicz were never far apart but Sandra maintained her lead in the latter stages to record a good win.

1. Sandra Geisler    54:28 112:01
2. Erin Adamcewicz   55:51 113:46
   Megan Peters      52:31 DNF
   Rachel Loone      4 km in 22:12

VRWC Stella Murnane Memorial 10 km for Veteran Women
Our other major race was the Stella Murnane Memorial and Heather Carr won it for the fourth or fifth time in a row, although in a fairly easy time by her high standard. Janet Holmes and Celia Johnson took the minor medals.

1. Heather Carr       59:27
2. Janet Holmes       61:12
3. Celia Johnson      63:02
4. Marlaine Stanway   66:13
5. Margaret Beaumont  74:35
6. Shirley Coppock    80:40
7. Christine Griffith 91:07

VRWC Open Women 10 km
14 year old Jessica Rothwell continues to impress over all distances. In her first 10 km walk, she shone with a wonderful 53:14. She looks good enough to challenge for a spot in a few of the A.A. underage events in the next couple of years. Nicole Sansonetti is getting back into top form herself and seems to be completely over her recent injuries.

1. Jessica Rothwell   53:14
2. Nicole Sansonetti  54:16
3. Mandy Emmett       61:08

VRWC Open Men 10 km
A good  battle between Michael Beaton-Wells and Travis Middlemiss with Michael showing his usual withering final lap speed to take the honours.

1. Michael Beaton-Wells 48:00
2. Travis Middlemiss    48:13
3. Alan Lucas           56:18
4. Bob Gardiner         58:50
Robin Wood              DNF (4 km in 28:10)

VRWC Open  5 km
1. Stuart Kollmorgen    23:45
2. Gwen Steed           31:35
3. Tina Baarslag-Leb    37:06
4. Ian Beaumont         39:53
Bruce Conboy            DNF (2 km in 13:48)

Although the summer races do not normally attract many of our under age walkers (there are just so many walks on for them to contest), a small number contested our Club Championships and all were rewarded with medals. Well done to Daniel, Anne, Alicia, Emily, Nicole and Nikki.

VRWC U15 Boys 2 km Club Championships

1. Daniel Payne        17:48

VRWC U15 Girls 2 km Club Championships

1. Anne Whitworth      19:32

VRWC U12 Girls 1 km Championship

1.   Alicia Neylan      8:32
2.   Emily Payne        9:07
E3.  Nicole Hallett    10:06
E3.  Nikki Apostolidis 10:06


Walkers may have been forgiven for thinking we had reverted back to winter as the rain pelted down ALL morning without a break. But I am sure that those who made the effort were rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing that they had a good morning’s training! And to top it all off, Michael Beaton-Wells recorded a 10 sec PB over the 10 km distance after a great battle with Travis Middlemiss. Well done Mike!

VRWC Open 20 km
1.  Mark Donahoo         54:40 105:38
2.  Sandra Geisler       57:05 117:07

VRWC Open 15 km
1.  Alan Lucas           58:34 87:46
E2  Erin Adamcewicz      60:29 91:18
E2  Duncan Knox          60:29 91:28

VRWC Open 10 km
1.  Michael Beaton-Wells 47:58 (PB)
2.  Travis Middlemiss    47:58
3.  Simon Evans          55:09
4.  Bob Gardiner         61:48
5.  Marlaine Stanway     67:38
6.  Robin Wood           69:07
7.  Christine Griffiths  92:18
     Nicole Sansonetti   DNF

VRWC Open 5 km
1.  Ann Holcombe         28:32
2.  Janet Holmes         29:25
3.  Gwen Steed           30:20
4.  Celia Johnson        31:19
5.  Margaret Beaumont    37:17
6.  Pam Mews             45:55

VRWC U12 2 km
1.  Jayson Stoddart      11:49
2.  Alicia Neylan        12:12
3.  Emily Payne          13:02