Graham Croker
Sydney University Athletic Club members Lachlan Renshaw and Anneliese Rubie spent Sunday morning running up a lung-busting hill at Balmoral – all in the cause of charity.
Renshaw, the national 800m champion and Rubie, the national junior 400m champion, won the men’s and women’s Balmoral Burn, a charity event run by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.
Competitors are called on to run 420m straight up the notoriously steep Awaba St at Balmoral on Sydney’s North Shore.
Renshaw faced one of the toughest fields in the event’s history, featuring most of the country’s best middle-distance runners, including Ryan Gregson the national 1500m champion. Gregson and Renshaw will be representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi later in the year.
According to SUAC coach Dean Gleeson, the race did not disappoint. “When Renshaw fought his way to the lead with 50m to go, the prize looked to be his,” Gleeson said. “But with just 20m to go his legs buckled beneath him and Gregson took the lead. Somehow Lachlan launched a fightback and dived full length at the finish line to beat Gregson by the narrowest of margins and record his fifth consecutive title.”
A perplexed Renshaw said: “I don’t know what happened, my legs just stopped working. Thankfully I was able to somehow get to the line.”
In the women’s race Rubie went to the lead with just over 100m to go to record an impressive maiden victory, defeating the defending champion and NSW 800m champion Lara Nicod. Her time of 1.44 was one of the fastest recorded by a female on the hill and will give her great confidence going into the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, in July where she will contest the 400m.
Meanwhile, Sydney University athletes travelled to Miranda on Saturday to contest the NSW Cross Country relays. The men’s team, consisting of national junior medallist Hugh Williams (5000m), Perth City to Surf winner Dave Mulvee, NSW 10km road champion Russel Dessaix-Chin and NSW 1500m champion James Nipperess, battled appalling conditions to take the silver medal in a tight tussle with Randwick Botany Harriers.
The Students led for a good portion of the race against a Randwick Botany Harriers team featuring two Commonwealth Games representatives and the winner of the Sydney Morning Herald half marathon.
Sydney University’s women’s team, featuring a number of junior athletes, finished a creditable 7th.