May 30, 2011
Gurr burns to brilliant victory
An elated James Gurr (UTS Norths) charged up the Awaba St hill to win the Elite Men’s division of the 2011 Balmoral Burn in equal record time on Sunday (May 29).
In an impressive demonstration of pace and power Gurr blitzed a quality field to cover the incredibly steep 420m incline in 1m21s to equal Sydney University Olympian Lachlan Renshaw’s race record.
Race favourite James Kaan (Hills), the reigning Australian 800m champion, was seven seconds behind in second place fractionally ahead of Randwick Botany’s James Roff.
Amazingly after the race Gurr claimed he still had ``some bikkies left’’.
``I didn’t want to go too early as the hill keeps on getting steeper and steeper,’’ he said.
But he did admit to his legs being ``a bit wobbly’’ after the adrenaline wore off.
His coach Penny Gillies was delighted but not surprised by his emphatic victory, saying he had run the course in an astonishing 1m18s in a pre-race rehearsal.
Fran Schmiede made it a UTS Norths double taking out the elite women’s event in a surprise result.
Although she was third last year, few gave her any chance of upsetting face favourites and training partners Anneliese Rubie (Sydney Uni) and Sianne Toemoe (UTS Norths), the two previous winners of the event.
Rubie led early with Toemoe sneaking ahead as the pair approached the finish line.
Their coach John Atterton looked like bringing home the trifecta as another member of his squad Emma Hunt (UTS Norths) was poised to strike in third place.
However Schmiede emerged from the ruck with a withering burst to challenge.
Rubie was the first to crack. Toemoe tried to go with Schmiede and the pair forged to the line.
As Schmiede gradually gained the ascendancy Toemoe threw herself at the line and astonishingly Rubie raised another effort.
But Schmiede was too strong winning in 1m50 with Rubie second in 1m51, Toemoe third in 1m52s and Hunt fourth in 1m54.
In the women’s 50-59 years race NSW Masters’ Cris Penn maintained her remarkable record with her fourth successive victory in the event.
Despite carrying a hamstring injury Penn was dominant, winning the race by 37 seconds.
``If the winner of the elite race is the Queen of the Hill, I must be the Queen Mother,’’ she joked.
Ron Bendall and David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW
Image: Male Winner James Gurr with James Kaan and James Roff