Normally ‘Brighton by the Sea’ would be held much later in the season and perhaps the better weather was a reason for the increase in participation. It was fantastic to see so many SKAAC athletes competing in the staggered start handicap 9km event. The course was run the same as previous years except for the fact that APSOC moved the start and finish location to the same spot at the end of Green Point Carpark.
Sam Doble was coming off winning this event in 2015, 2018 and 2019 (uncommon to win back to back handicap events) and was looking to make it 3 wins at 3 consecutive Brighton by the Sea events. Dino Imbriano had checked a number of previous year’s results and found that you would need to run low 53 minutes adjusted time to have a good shot of winning. Alas, Sam knew the handicapper was onto him when he was given a handicap of 16 minutes meaning he would have to run about a 2.5 minute PB to win. SKAAC has a very good history in recent years at this event, often winning, or at least placing, on the ‘teams handicap’. This is a unique feature of this race which see the top 4 athletes from each club count towards a ‘teams handicap’ (normally it’s a SCRATCH team result). Olivia Mitchell and Alice McCann who had both run well against their respective handicaps a fortnight ago at the Hare and Hound new they were in with a shot of a podium finish.
The course heads south for about 3km and returns back through the start/finish and then heads north for about 1.5km before turning again to head back to the start/finish. The unique physical features of this event are the last 800m which runs along the sand in front of the Brighton bathing boxes and the small but steep tracks that you need to take a number of times from the top of the cliff to beach level.
With only 1-minute splitting 5th and 24th you can see how close the race becomes in the last few kms as the quicker runners start to catch the slower runners who had the head starts. James Kirk and Paul Hope had their first races of the 2021 season and both ran very well. James ran very well to finish 8th on scratch with an average speed of 3:50/km. Tristan Mioni and Matthew Lynch had a good battle on the course with Matthew starting 20 seconds behind Tristan and passing him early but Tristan managed to keep him in sight throughout the race and repassed him with a little over 1.5km to go. Karen Thorp, Chloe Hardman, Joseph Lynch all ran well and finished strongly.
At the front of the race both Alice McCann and Olivia Mitchell were passing quite a few of the other athletes and were looking like securing a top 10 finish. It’s always hard to tell exactly where you are in these sort of events, particularly considering athletes MUST have competed in at least 5 races to be eligible for the handicap win (so there could be 5 athletes in front of you but they will not be counted in the handicap results). Olivia Mitchell crossed the line 3rd and Alice McCann crossed the line 6th but both were promoted to 1st and 3rd respectively. TWO SKAAC athletes on the podium!!!
For full results go to: https://apsoc.net.au/apsoc-from-2013/
SKAAC summary below.