Zatopek Graded 10,000m track event – Essendon Athletics

Mel Douglass

Congratulations to UNI’s Russ Jenkins on starting off the Zatopek campaign for Bendigo with another great run in the Zatopek Graded Event at Essendon on Tuesday night in warm conditions.

10km track event official time: 36:44. 23rd of 40 qualifiers for Div One and 28 Starters. Well done Russ.

Below is Russ’s race report for your reading.


Andy may not find my time too daunting, however, Tuesday nights meet was a rippa!

Strong and deep fields. 80 entrants, 59 of whom had qualifying times under 40 minutes for 10k. To further reinforce the quality of the fields, runners with qualifying times of 36 mins 40 were “relegated” to the Division 2 Race!

To top it off, whilst a tad warm, it was a beautiful still night.

I just squeezed into the Division One Race. Quite an honour I thought given I was clearly old enough to be either the father and in many cases, the grandfather, of my fellow starters. Rest assured, this showed when the gun went because they took off and Rusty followed! (Well I didn’t follow all the field – but I followed most of it)

The temperature took its toll with a number of runners pulling out through the race. Sadly, one of the place getters overheated to the extent that he couldn’t receive his medal. He was lying still on the ground, in the hands of the medical team. He was still lying there as we left. Hope he is ok.

Great event guys. Whilst I didn’t place – it was an open age event only – did my best to represent Uni Aths and the Bendigo Region. Think I succeeded as there were lots of positive comments at the end re the age Graded effort and “strong” run. Also nice to hear a number of the guys discussing what they see as the strong Masters fields we have in Bendigo. Amongst others, Mike Bieleny’s and Peter Cowell’s names and reputations are obviously well known in the Big Smoke.

In closing, I cherish being part of the Uni Aths Family. It’s with great pride that I don our singlet be it for the Gold Coast Marathon, Brooklyn Mile, Zatopek or club events. Such a supportive and friendly crew to be part of. Bravo to Rosco, the Committee and all. And bravo to the Craig and the Athletics community in The Bendigo Region. It’s clear our reputation grows.

With the lead in event done and dusted it’s now over to our reps running this evening. All the best guys, we know you will do us proud. Oh – and Greeny, a few of us reckon we should look at taking a bus load of runners and supporters down to the Zatopek Graded in 2018. I’ve run it twice now – it’s a rippa!

Official Time: 36:44. 23rd of 40 qualifiers for Div One and 28 Starters.