Mile Handicap Race Report
By Rob Jones
The 2021 Club Championship kicked off with 41 runners contesting the Mile Handicap at four separate ‘hubs’, plus the Victorian Milers Club (VMC) meeting at Box Hill, between 9 and 11 February.
Besides providing a welcome return to competitive Miler action, it also acted as a launch event for the four hubs (CBD, North East, Bayside and East).
As each hub race started at the same time the fields did quickly string out, unlike the dramatic blanket finishes this event usually serves up. But once the handicaps were applied and the results were collated, it was as close as ever.
In fact, handicap honours were shared, between Bruce Arthur and Andrew Compson, who ran their 1609m in 5.03 and 4.58 respectively. Ian Dent placed third, while Mel Jansen dipped under six minutes to take out the women’s event (6th overall) just ahead of Anne Martin.
The fastest scratch times were unsurprisingly recorded at the paced and tightly-graded VMC event. Mark Stodden (fresh from a super-impressive 2.01 800m pb) ran 4.42, while new member Robert Schwerkolt’s 4.58 topped the age grading list with a remarkable 89%.
Katie Siebold’s 5.34 was the second highest age grading (84%)- as well as the fastest female scratch time and equal 9th fastest overall.
With warm, sunny conditions, plenty of support and typically efficient Miler organisation, this inaugural hub event was- by all accounts- a resounding success. Special thanks to our peerless handicapper Michael Bialczak, as well as the individual hub coordinators for their reports.
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