Burnie: The Sea Lyons Swim School 6km

The final race of the 2018 season is the Sea Lyons Swim School six kilometre handicap at Burnie.

A new out-and-back course will be used, starting at the rear of West Park and travelling east to the yacht club. This will take in the new path, recently completed along Marine Terrace.

Racing will be keen as members without a win this year will want to take advantage of a season of solid training.

The clear favourite must be Arnold Elphinstone who has been showing great form with several close up finishes culminating in a second last week to his wife, Ellen. This shorter course will suit him even better and he will definitely be the one to beat.

Frontmarkers should be to the fore over this distance and the top chances could be Roselyn Hendriks and Allan Bakes. Hendriks was  a great fifth last week and Bakes was sixth the week before.

Strongest of the middlemarkers look to be Nick Young, Terry Watson, John Badcock and Kelly Baxter.

If backmarkers are favoured by conditions, then any of Simon Gates, Thomas Wilson or Mark Saint-John could break the tape.

Entries close at 9:30 with the race beginning at 10:00. There will be a nominated time event at 9:05.

Following the event, end-of-year festivities will occur at The Point, West Park. There will be a club provided barbecue and trophies will be presented to the season’s consistency winners and club champions.

Somerset: The Somerset Pharmacy 10km at Somerset

The penultimate race of the 2018 season is a tough one – the Somerset Pharmacy ten kilometre handicap at Somerset.

The out-and-back course starts by the Cam River and follows the Murchison Highway to Back Cam Road and then continues on that hilly route until the half way mark.

However, with a season of running behind them, competitors should find a long, hilly race no problem and many will be looking for the win with only two chances left this year.

Table Cape runner, David Murton, looks to have a second-to-none chance. After a strong start to the year, his form dropped off a bit but in recent weeks he has shown he is back to his best, culminating in a great seventh in the Feature Race two weeks ago.

Andrew Bates has not been able to compete in many races due to football commitments but his strong effort for fifth last week has him on track for a win here. He is another who looked close to a win earlier in the year.

Natasha Mapley looks the best of the women runners if she can produce an effort like she did in the Feature Race although Ellen Elphinstone will also be very hard to beat.

Other runners to keep an eye on are Arnold Elphinstone, Matthew Greenhill, Marcus Cook and Thomas Wilson.

Entries close at 9:30 with the race beginning at 10:00.

There will be a nominated time event at 9:05.

McLean, McKenzie and Topfer Big Six 6km at Burnie

As the excitement of the Gowans Toyota Wynyard to Burnie Feature race dies down, runners are preparing for Race 25 – the McLean, McKenzie and Topfer Big Six 6km handicap at Burnie.

The course is a circuit starting and finishing at the Howe Street Netball Centre and uses West Park Grove, the Bass Highway and Brickport Road. It requires runners to be proficient at steep gradients, both downhill and uphill and that together with the distance, suits middle-markers.

With only three races left in the season, runners without a win this year will be looking to make all the training payoff by taking out a victory in one of those races.

A runner who has had to work hard to get back to fitness after time off with illness is Patrick McMullen and after a good twelfth last week he could be the victor here. Each week recently he has been improving and a deserved win is close.

Ellen Elphinstone was runner-up last week and could be the best of the female runners, although Natasha Mapley is certainly coming good as the season closes and a win would not surprise. She was a strong sixth last week and the toughness of this event will suit her.

Other competitors whose recent form gives them chances include David Murton, Hayden Bishop, Ewen Troughton and Michelle D’Monte.

Entries close at 9:30 with the race beginning at 10:00.

There will be a nominated time event at 9:05.

Wynyard to Burnie Feature race 17.6km

Feature Race 2018 Handicaps

2018 Calcutta

This Sunday sees the running of the Gowans Toyota Wynyard to Burnie Feature race.

This event which is the richest and most prestigious of the season is run over 17.6 kilometres, starting outside the Wynyard post office and culminating with a lap of West Park oval.

All members would like to add their name to the honour board listing previous winners, but only one will have that privilege. To win, a number of factors have to come together, but principal is a quality injury-free preparation to enable a competitor to utilise the handicap provided.

There are many who fit the bill. Chief among these are Rick Ferguson, who looks the best of the middle-markers, and Michael Purton who will start from a mark towards the rear of the field. Both have been in sparkling form in recent weeks.

Sven Mason would be a worthy winner as he was beaten by the smallest possible margin in this event a few years ago.

Kyle Groenewegen and Hayden Bishop will be very competitive while Arnold Elphinstone, Debbie Riley and Mollie Powell look hard to beat from their marks.

Other potential winners include Joshua Febey, Anna Murton, Simon Gates and Evan Brett, however there are many other runners for whom it might all come together on the day to enable them to breast the tape.

The race commences at 9:30 with Aaron Harvey the last away just over an hour later.

The winner is expected to finish around 11:30.

Devonport: Molly Malone’s 6km

This Sunday’s race is the Molly Malone’s six kilometre handicap commencing at Roundhouse Park, Devonport. The course usually takes runners to the Bluff lighthouse and return but this year, due to council path works on Victoria Parade, competitors will enjoy a flat out-and-back course to Horsehead Creek using the paths along Formby and Devonport Roads.

As it will provide members with their last chance for a solid hit-out before the following week’s Feature Race, it promises to be fast and furious. The winner will not have a handicap readjustment until after that event, so a victory here will not affect his/her chances in the big one.

Following a wonderful effort when she finished third last week, Roselyn Hendriks will fancy her chances. She has been showing continual improvement and will be tough to run down from a front mark.

Another one of the female runners, in Mollie Powell, could be her biggest threat. Powell has recently returned to live on the coast after completing university and with some consistent races under belt is now ready to win

Best of the middle markers may be Michael Purton and Rick Ferguson, both of whom will be fresh after missing last week’s long race. They each have both displayed the form necessary to show up here.

Others who wouldn’t surprise include Ken Williams, Ewen Troughton (a previous winner of this race) Brooke Fehlberg and Arnie Elphinstone.

The race will start at the slightly later time of 10:30 with entries closing at 10:00.

Gunns Plains: Kevin Burns Memorial, Brown Family and Tyreright 13.5km

Gunns Plains is the scenic venue of Race 22. The Kevin Burns Memorial, Brown Family and Tyreright 13.5km handicap was to be raced over a circuit course but due to roadworks in the area, will now be an out-and-back race starting at Wings’ Wildlife Park.

With the Feature Race just two weeks away, members will be looking for a good strong hit out over this distance for preparation, as next week’s race is only six kilometres.

In looking for likely winners, the longer races run this year could provide the best clues.

One runner who has mostly flown “under the radar” recently but who is fit and has shown form in tough events is Graeme Barr.

Barr’s best finish was his sixth in the King/Queen of the Mountains over 16.5km. He was only three minutes form the winner so wouldn’t have to improve much to take this out.

Backmarkers, Ben Brockman and Evan Brett will be very hard to beat, judging on their great runs in the recent half marathon to finish third and fifth respectively. Brockman has been doing huge kilometres in training and will relish the distance.

Hayden Bishop was second in that event and will be another top chance, while Ellen Elphinstone, Michael Purton and Amie Bramich cannot be discounted

Entries will close at 9:30, with the race starting at 10:00.

Entries for the Feature Race also close this Sunday.

A nominated time event will be conducted at 9:05.

Fernglade: Motors 5km

The fourth, and final, run in the popular four-run trail series takes place this Sunday when the Club heads to Fernglade for the Motors five kilometre handicap.

The course starts at the Pony Club grounds and consists of a circuit in Fernglade followed by another in the vicinity of the grounds.

With all the wet weather of recent days, there are sure to be many muddy, slippery patches to test the sure-footedness of competitors.

The return to a shorter distance after a series of longer races will be welcomed by many and one runner who is sure to perform well is Andrew Plapp who showed in the last trail run at Spreyton he likes this type of race.

In that event Plapp turned in his best performance for the year to finish fifth. He won’t have to improve much to take this out.

Another frontmarker with a big chance is club president and veteran of over 1 150 club races, Barry Ling. It is some time since he has been competitive, mainly due to persistent injuries, and a victory for him would be a popular one. He was sixth at Spreyton, just behind Plapp.

Among the middlemarkers, Russell Horton and Michelle D’Monte will be hard to beat, while brothers Isaac and Ewen Troughton may be the best of the “backies”.

Entries will close at the normal time of 9:30, with the race starting at 10:00.

A nominated time event will be conducted at 9:05.

Railton: Anvers Confectionery 10km

Railton is the venue for race 20 of the season as members compete in the Anvers Confectionery ten kilometre handicap.

The course is a circuit, starting at Goliath Park and is affectionately described as flat with one hill. However, that one hill, is a long and high one and presents a good challenge.

One runner who won’t be at all daunted by the task, because he trains here, is the “Railton Rocket”, Gerard Lowry.

As implied by his nickname, Lowry lives in Railton and knows the course well. He has been in sparkling form lately and will be keen to win his hometown race. His best recent effort was a third four weeks ago, and he has also been close up twice since.

Evan Brett has been consistently running on strongly from the second back handicap. He was a great fifth in the half-marathon last week and will fancy his chances here.

However, there are many other runners who have been showing promise all season but unable to break through and with the end of the season looming will be keen for a win.

Among these are Kelly Baxter, Hayden Bishop, Nick Young and Ken Troughton, who is a previous winner of this event

Entries will close at 9:30, with the race starting at 10:00.

A nominated time event will be conducted at 9:05.

Ulverstone: AJL Lifestyle/AJL Yamaha Half-Marathon

Half-marathon handicaps part 1

Half marathon handicaps part 2

This Sunday competitors will meet at River Park at Ulverstone for the AJL Lifestyle/AJLYamaha half marathon.

The 21.1 kilometre course takes runners to the end of the Esplanade at Turners Beach and return.

The terrain is mostly all flat but the classic distance is a good test of stamina as that flatness usually means faster running rates so care is needed not to go too hard, too early. Many runners in the past have fallen for that trap and struggled over the last few kilometres.

The top chance in the event looks to be Ellen Elphinstone who  has been in wonderful form. In recent weeks she followed a seventh in the 25 kilometre event at Forth with fifth and then fourth in 10 and 12 kilometre races respectively.

Longer distances suit her perfectly as she proved  in winning the tough16.5 kilometre race from Burnie to Ridgley in 2017.

Backmarkers Bryan Tuit and Brad Taylor will be storming through the field and be hard to hold out. Taylor was a close second in this year’s Club marathon and will be looking to go one better.

Other top chances include Ben Brockman, and Simon Gates, while, Debbie Riley and Rick Ferguson, who was recently second over 25 kilometres at Forth, will take catching.

Entries have closed for the event, which starts at the earlier time of 9:30.

The nominated time event will be the normal time of 9:05.

Spreyton: Spreyton Cider Company 5km

One of the most popular events of the season takes place this week with the running of the Spreyton Cider Company five kilometre handicap. The race starts at the cidery and takes competitors on an out and back course through apple and cherry orchards.

This event is also the next in the trail race series and runners will be looking to secure points towards winning the titles for men and women.

Following on from his impressive fourth in the last five kilometre race, Alan Bakes will be the hardest to beat. Specialising in the shorter events, this will be right up Bakes’ alley and he should start favourite.

Karina Mason will once again look the winner for a long way and she could break through for a well-deserved win. She has been close on many occasions this year and must surely win soon.

Club handicapper, Nick Young, has started to show some good form and will be a chance. He is running from the handicap given to him by the previous handicapper and solid training has given him a chance to break the tape.

Others to keep an eye on include Russell and Ann Horton, Josh Febey and Michael Bates.

Members are reminded that entries close this Sunday for the half marathon conducted on July 22nd,

New runners are always welcome.

Entries close at 9:30 with the race starting at 10:00.

A nominated time event will be held at 9:05