2009 Yearly Report

The 2009 Coburg 24 Hour Carnival was expanded in concept and spread over 2 weekends, with the 6 Hour events being held on Sunday 15th March and the 24 Hour events being held on the weekend of 18th - 19th April.

Coburg 6 Hour Track Championships
Harold Stevens Athletics Track, Coburg
Sunday 15 March 2009

The 6 hour races were held on Sunday 15 March, 5 weeks before the 24 Hour events. The Melbourne weather was at its fickle best as the competitors battled early rain and wind, were tempted mid race by some weak late morning sun and then finished the event in overcast conditions. A large field of 38 contestants faced the starter's gun at 8AM and all but 4 were still on the track when the final gun sounded at 2PM.

This event saw the runners confined to lanes 1-2 and the walkers confined to lanes 3-4. This proved a successful experiment as it allowed both the faster runners and the faster walkers a clearerpassage around the track.

A number of competitors have beaten existing Australian records in the 6 Hour events

  • Terry O'Neill bettered his own M50 record for the 6 Hour walk.
  • Clarrie Jack set a new M60 record for the 6 Hour walk.
  • Dawn Parris set a new W55 residential record for the 6 Hour walk.

In the 6 Hour walk for men, centurions Terry O'Neill and Clarrie Jack swapped the lead on several occasions before Terry eventually established a winning break. His winning distance of 53.191km was a new Australian M50 record while Clarrie's second place distance of 52.505km was a new Australian M60 record. Steve Jordan, Alex Poore and Rudolf Skrucany took the next 3 places with PBs of 46.201km, 45.246km and 44.183km respectively. Doug McKay improved a lot on his 2008 Sri Chimnoy Adelaide 24H walk to record 44.124km for 6th place while Deryck Skinner, the oldest in the field at 76 years of age, showed that he has lost none of his form with a fine 43.836km.

The women's 6 Hour Walk Championship saw a great battle between Dawn Parris and Karyn O'Neill with the two ladies never more than a lap or two apart. After chasing Karyn for the first 5 hours, Dawn finished the stronger to pass her in the last hour and win narrowly with 45.719km, a new Australian Residential W55 record. Karyn was close behind in second place with 45.320km while Sandy Howorth was third with 36.317km.

6 Hour Walk Men
Terry O'Neill
   53.191 km
2 Clarrie Jack
52.504 km
3 Steve Jordan
46.201 km
4 Alex Poore
45.246 km
5 Rudolf Skrucany  
44.183 km
6 Doug McKay
44.124 km
Deryck Skinner
43.836 km
Gary Turner
41.671 km
Ken Carter
30.122 km
6 Hour walk Women
1 Dawn Parris
45.719 km
2 Karyn O'Neill
45.320 km
3 Sandy Howorth
36.317 km
Janet Hunter
19.188 km
Jean MacDonald
15.807 km

Coburg Carnival 24 Hour Championships
Coburg Athletics Track, Coburg, Melbourne
19-20 April 2009

A total of 37 walkers and runners contested the 24 Hour weekend. The starter's gun was fired at 10AM on the Saturday morning in sunny conditions but a welcome cloud cover soon swept across from the west and provided welcome relief for the entrants. This cloud cover stayed for the entire 24 hours of the event and ensured a mild night. This, combined with the still conditions, made for one of the best events we have seen. The runners and walkers revelled in the ideal temperatures and big performances were seen across the board.

The Australian Centurions was pleased to see four walkers reach in excess of 100 miles and was able to welcome three new members to our exclusive club.

Belgian couple Rudy Schoors and Caroline Mestdagh won their respective divisions in masterly fashion, adding Australian Centurion badges to their British and Continental Centurion badges. They both recorded 100 mile personal best times and obviously enjoyed their first track 24 hour walks. Rudy became Australian Centurion number 55 with 22:01:45 while Caroline became Australian Centurion number 56 with her time of 22:40:27

Behind them, two Queensland based Australian walkers also achieved the elusive 100 mile mark. Geoff Hain (C 49) who already has 5 of the 6 available Centurion badges, produced yet another Australian badge (his fifth) with a great time of 23:24:50, after suffering early with leg problems.

Behind him, Ian Valentine, aformer winner of the Coburg 24 Hour run, showed that he can walk as well as run. Using an impeccible racewalking action nearly the whole way, he strolled through to a wonderful inaugural 100 mile time of 23:37:03 to become Australian Centurion number 57.


Rudy Schoors
Caroline Mestdagh 
Geoff Hain
Ian Valentine
C55 ** 
C56 ** 


24 Hour Walk
1 Rudy Schoors (c 55)
   167.954 km
2 Ian Valentine (C 57)
161.810 km
3 Geoff Hain (C 49)
161.733 km
4 Doug McKay
138.687 km
5 Steve Jordan
129.801 km
6 Gerald Manderson (C 31)  
126.499 km
7 Louis Commins
118.372 km
8 Terry O'Neill (C 18)
112.384 km
9 Rudolf Skrucany
102.349 km
Clarrie Jack (C 4)
49.349 km
24 Hour Walk Female
1 Caroline Mestdagh
164.636 km
2 Dawn Parris
137.445 km
3 Val Chesterton
115.578 km
Karyn O'Neill (C )
92.478 km
Sandy Howorth
85.930 km
Heather Carr
51.423 km


Terry O'Neill
2 Ian Valentine
3 Rudy Schoors
1 Caroline Mestdagh   
2 Dawn Parris
Val Chesterton

The Jack Webber Trophy was awarded to Ian Valentine for the most meritorious Centurion performance on the day

Other highlights included two new Australian Ultra Distance Masters walking records

  • Melbourne walker Heather Carr had told me before the event that she only intended to walk for 6 Hours and this she did, but it was a very impressive 6 hours of walking that saw her set a new W55 6 Hour record of just over 51 km (exact distance to be confirmed).
  • Canberra walker Val Chesterton became the first W65 woman in Australia to complete a 24 Hour walk event so her distance of 115.578km becomes the inaugural W65 24 Hour record. This is actually a greater distance than her W60 record of 109.567 km, set in 2005 and confirms the quality of her performance.