Weekend warrior versus olympian, runner versus minibus, labrador versus snake. 4am start, head torch, SKINS prizes, 126 runners and bacon and eggs on sourdough. That is the day that was for the 5th running of the Bellarine Rail Trail Run, held on Sunday August 3.

For those not familiar with the run, in brief it is a 34km run along the Bellarine Rail Trail from Geelong to Queenscliff. Each year, a couple of runners can’t resist making the return trip for a total day of 68k, though this is not officially part of the run. The aim is to offer a fun training run with many using it as an ideal lead up to the Melbourne Marathon. As such, it is not a race, there are no prizes and there are no road closures. But it is free, there is always a great atmosphere and everyone (well nearly everyone) finishes with a big smile on their face.

Having started with 11 runners in 2004 as the brain child of ultra enthusiast Phil Essam, the run has continued to grow. Each year provides an opportunity to add more features to the run and this year was no exception. Perhaps a first in FatAss history, the run took on its own website. Perhaps the links to a true FatAss event, however, have been well and truly left behind. SKINS kindly offered their support with two $150 vouchers given away at the start (congratulations to Simon Senior and David Elliott) and an official postrun breakfast was held at the completion.

Once again Lee Troop kindly supported the run that would be his last long run prior to the Beijing Olympic marathon in 3 weeks time. Not surprisingly we couldn’t emulate the heat, humidity and pollution of Beijing, but we could guarantee him a great post run breakfast!

The start was scheduled for 8am but that didn’t stop Brett Saxon & Peter Grey from getting into the spirit a little earlier. Brett started at the Queenscliff end just after 4am with the aim of getting to the Geelong showgrounds just in time for the official 8am start (a target he unfortunately missed by about 10mins in 2007). A lack of sleep, darkness and thick fog midway slowed his going, but he made it with a surge over the last few kms to reach the start at 7.55am! Leaving from the Geelong end at 6am was Peter Grey, keen as always for a headstart to similarly complete the return trip before daylight had receded.

To highlight the fact that this is not a race, I will refrain from discussing the intricacies of how the run unfolded. Other than to say that everyone who turned up and completed the course was a winner! That said, my father-in-law did his best to lower the number of winners when he almost took one runner out by driving one of the minibuses across the finishing straight. He denies it, but I’m sure he thought it was me coming in to finish!

Finishers enjoyed snacks and drinks but regrettably the lollies were down in numbers after my Labrador decided to test out 1kg of snakes the night before! Not wanting to be too graphic, the snakes ended up winning that battle and hopefully my dog learnt a valuable lesson – but I doubt it…

One of the highlights of the run actually occurred off the course in the form of a postrun breakfast at Gusto Café, 150m from the finish. They kindly opened their doors for us in the middle of their 6 week winter break to cook up a storm. Those present were privileged to hear Lee Troop talk about his training and expectations for Beijing, as well as receive a few useful tips they could apply to achieve their own goals. Thanks Troopy for giving us your time and we wish you all the best in Beijing.

Finally, a big thank you again to all of those who helped to provide another enjoyable and successful run. In particular, thanks to all of my volunteers, SKINS for their spot sprizes, PFD food services for bottled water, Supersprint Promotions for sports powder, Geelong Triathlon Club for equipment, Gusto Café, Athletics Australia and the City of Greater Geelong. I hope to see everyone back in 2009 and I will work on a few more innovations in the meantime.

Best wishes,

Brett Coleman

Run Times

NB: Times are approximate. This was a group run and not a race as all who took part understood. Those finishing in the same minute are listed alphabetically (ie not necessarily in finishing order). Please let me know if any times are incorrect.

  1. Elliott, Stuart 2.16
  2. Does, Richard 2.20
  3. Troop, Lee 2.22
  4. Whitmore, Luke 2.22
  5. Hornery, Dan 2.24
  6. LaGerche, Andre 2.24
  7. Wyatt, Kristen 2.24
  8. Ant Rickards 2.24
  9. Christian, Ryan 2.24
  10. Polidano, Adrian 2.24
  11. Dan O’Connor 2.24
  12. Christian, Phil 2.26
  13. Bradbury, Ray 2.26
  14. Everett, Paul 2.26
  15. Ackerly, Brian 2.26
  16. Sing, Colin 2.27
  17. Thornton, Colin 2.28
  18. Blake, Duncan 2.28
  19. Jenkins, Alan 2.29
  20. Pretty, Stuart 2.30
  21. Griffin, Ben 2.31
  22. Skinner, John 2.31
  23. Allardice, Jane 2.33
  24. Boyle, John 2.33
  25. Barker, Liz 2.33
  26. Croughan, Paul 2.34
  27. Gibbs, Max 2.34
  28. Elliott, David 2.35
  29. Mill, Andrew 2.36
  30. Nickelson, Dylan 2.37
  31. Wilson, Tony 2.37
  32. Butcher, Seamus 2.37
  33. Robinson, Anesa 2.38
  34. Miller, Emma 2.40
  35. Rafferty, Dennis 2.40
  36. Lolait, Lawrie 2.40
  37. Greening, Travis 2.41
  38. Creed, Rohan 2.41
  39. Cashmore, Adam 2.41
  40. Finnis, Matt 2.43
  41. Maher, Tim 2.43
  42. Senz, Matthew 2.43
  43. Bignell, Peter 2.44
  44. Stirling, Jason 2.44
  45. Dell, Tony 2.45
  46. Richardson, Kevin 2.45
  47. Osman, Sam 2.45
  48. O’Halloran, Peter 2.45
  49. Reilly, Dylan 2.46
  50. Dale, Michael 2.46
  51. Spanswick, Lucy 2.46
  52. Patten, Naomi 2.46
  53. Hargreaves, Bruce 2.46
  54. Gregory, Rowan 2.48
  55. Nichol, Claire 2.49
  56. Fitt, Amie 2.49
  57. Bailey, Grace 2.50
  58. Mason, Stuart 2.51
  59. Sunderland, Michael 2.52
  60. Sing, Ann 2.52
  61. Paynter, Lou 2.52
  62. Loone, Ken 2.54
  63. Tony Jones 2.54
  64. Colson, Mark 2.56
  65. Falls, Mark 2.56
  66. Phillips, Scott 2.57
  67. Ronacher, Kristian 2.57
  68. Robinson, Greg 2.58
  69. Pearce, Adam 2.59
  70. Eade, Damian 2.59
  71. Hughes, David 3.02
  72. Kenedey, Natalie 3.03
  73. Greening, Clare 3.03
  74. Hosking, Warren 3.04
  75. Kelly, Wanda 3.04
  76. Micky Gall 3.04
  77. Thompson, Nick 3.05
  78. Haugen, Peder 3.05
  79. Senior, Simon 3.06
  80. Johnson, Dianne 3.06
  81. Flectcher, Robyn 3.07
  82. Stokie, David 3.08
  83. Lagas, Nick 3.08
  84. Black, James 3.09
  85. Lange, Katrina 3.09
  86. Vu, Tovy 3.10
  87. Reddie, Anna 3.11
  88. Scarborough, Tim 3.12
  89. Rowsell, Andrew 3.13
  90. Terry, Brett 3.13
  91. McMahon, Noel 3.13
  92. Whyte, Peter 3.13
  93. Pate, Karen 3.14
  94. Todd, Paul 3.16
  95. Coutts, Helen 3.16
  96. Gillies, Cameron 3.16
  97. Ohlsen, Jan 3.18
  98. Reid, David 3.18
  99. Cable, Olivia 3.20
  100. Dobson, John 3.20
  101. Cassidy, Kevin 3.31
  102. Post, Jono 3.34
  103. Post, Jenny 3.34
  104. Watt, Ken 3.35
  105. Finch, Leanne 3.41
  106. Jarvis, Simon 3.44
  107. Bauska, Mick 3.44
  108. Geyer, Zoe 3.45
  109. Kimpton, Sarah 3.49
  110. Batholomew, Janice 3.53
  111. Donnelly, Michelle 3.53
  112. Speller, Elisabeth 3.53
  113. Glover, Brian 4.01
  114. Saxon, Brett 4.13 (3.44 Q’cliff – Geelong at 4am! Total 7:57)
  115. Stevenson, Jill 4.15
  116. Hart, Gerry 4.30
  117. Gray, Peter 4.32 (5.15 Q’Cliff – Geelong. Total 9.47)

Other distances: