2022 August Tan Time Trial Results

/2022 August Tan Time Trial Results







President’s Tan Talk –  August 2022

A beautiful cool, clear, dry, early spring day greeted us for the August Tan Time Trial with a number of members wearing their newly received tee-shirts for the pic shown below.

As also shown in the pics below, we had two significant milestone award recipients this month, Keith Partridge completing 150 Tan Time Trials and Lucy Oehr completing 200 Tan Time Trials, both awesome achievements.

Tan Time Trial feature prominently in the sensational Running Reflections provided this month by long-time VRR members Leigh Fatchen and Rowan Cole. Both Leigh and Rowan have lived up to the requested task, reflecting on the (mostly) ups and (occasional) downs of their long and eventful years of running with VRR.

At times when I’m announcing milestone awards I suspect that some more recent VRR members may not appreciate the eventful and interesting journeys of long-time VRR members, including friendly rivalries, acts of encouragement and support given and received, occasional injuries and slow but certain recoveries. Reading the two reflections is a thoroughly enjoyable and at time very amusing experience, reliving some memorable VRR moments and hearing about others for the first time. (Who would have thought that you could trip over the same shoe lace multiple times in the same event?) You will

Running or volunteering at Princes Park (Half marathon 8am,  5k, 10k 8:30am) Sunday 21 August

On Sunday week we are at Princes Park, remembering that we changed the course last time, with all runs starting and finishing at the pavilion in Royal Parade south of Ikon Park. The course is based on a 5k loop around Princes Park, which “ducks under” Royal Parade to run along the old inner circle rail path to Royal Park station and back. We need a few course marshals to ensure no-one gets lost, so please ring, text or email me if you are available to help out, which would be much appreciated.

Tony Martin’s collection of books on running etc

At next month’s Tan Time Trial I will be bringing along the late Tony Martin’s collection of books on running, which his sons passed on to me recently. It is a sizeable collection, and anyone interested in any book/s is welcome to take what they choose. After that the books will be disposed of, so be sure to have a rummage when you arrive.

Help with organising our 40th Anniversary Dinner.

We need one or two volunteers to help us organise our upcoming dinner, so please contact me if you can help us with some organising. (Urgent!)

See you at Princes Park or the Tan,


Victorian Road Runners
Celebrating 40 Years Running 1982-2022



VRR Achievement Awards


Congratulations, Keith Partridge on your 150th TTT


And also congratulations to Lucy Oehr on her 200th TTT (which was celebrated by taking 1st place in the 8km)



VRR Running Reflections
(As part of VRR’s 40th birthday celebrations in 2022, we are encouraging members (both new & old) to share what running means to them.)



Long standing VRR member, Leigh Fatchen, who passed the 400 TTT mark recently, answers the question, “What do you make of 400 Tans” ?


At June’s Tan this year, I celebrated my 400th Tan. So the question is what does that mean? It is not that easy to explain, but here goes.

Firstly, let’s deal with just the numbers. When sharing this achievement with some other long time VRR runners after the Tan including Syd Bone and Rowan Cole, there was talk of the good old days, when our times were incredible and the bodies all in one piece. Most of the time. We talked about simple stats and what they might reveal. So here is the table of each of the groups of 100 tans. That makes percentage stats very easy.


No of tans Dates Best time Best position
% of runs under
1 to 100 Aug 1984 –
June 1996
28m 50s 1st 30 minutes – 66%
101 to 200 July 1996 – Nov 2004 29m 52s 3rd 35 minutes – 90%
201 to 300 Dec 2004 – Dec 2013 34m 59s 2nd 40 minutes – 60%
301 to 400* Jan 2014 –
June 2022
42m 44s 1st 45 minutes – 14%

* It should be noted here that sometimes 400 is not 400. To explain this conundrum, there was a challenge thrown out in the early days of the handicap Tans. A number of runners were on large handicaps, in some cases over 20 minutes. What do fit, competitive runners do for a challenge? They suggest running a 4km lap quickly, then back up for the handicapped 8km. Effectively 12km, at pace in one day. I am almost certain it was Peter Fields idea. So I was one of the first runners to accept the challenge. This means I have 16 4km runs which count towards my 400 total, as well as my 8km runs. My best time for the 4km? 14 minutes 10 seconds in my first run. Followed by an 8km in 32 minutes and 18 seconds. So effectively 46 minutes 28 seconds for 12 km. This happened in December 1994.

I have only ever run one 4km Tan, when 8km was an option. That was in November 2010. I walked the whole way. The reason? I suffered a heart attack in September and was just beginning my recovery following open heart surgery. I often joke now that it took less time to get back to running after that, than when I had my ACL operation in my football days.

What else can be said about 400 tans? I still clearly remember my first one with Road Runners. We were completing the second lap of the 8km. I had been keeping pace with another VRR runner. It was actually Greig McEwan. It had been a struggle to keep up with him and a real effort to draw level, with an aim to hopefully pass him before the end.

The next action, from Greig, is why the Road Runners are such a special group. Instead of putting on a burst or gritting his teeth, he simply turned to me and said, “If you want to break 30 minutes, then you will need to catch Rowan. He’s the next runner ahead of us.” So I left Greig and did chase down Rowan Cole. And yes I did break 30 minutes!

The number of times I have been trying my hardest to pass or catch a runner and at the end there has been that sort of comment. “Well done you pushed me hard today.” Or “Thanks I needed your help on the hill.” Simply supportive and yet still competitive. That’s the way I love my sport, not just running.

Over the years, there have been some unusual happenings. At one stage, we had to run the tan as an out and back. One of the majestic trees lining the course had been affected by the weather and had started to tilt over. So it was up to the tree, turn around, complete the loop and return around the tan. Unfortunately, someone’s car was under the tree. Not a pretty sight at all. On another occasion in 1995, the Tan event was moved to Fawkner Park, for either Moomba or another major event. A couple of VRR die-hards refused to be beaten, going to the Tan to complete an unbeaten run. Have you ever heard of the B 46s? It was a running group that ran before the real Tan. As far as I know, it consisted of helpers for the Tan including one former president. There were others who just wanted the challenge of extra laps to build up the kilometres in their legs. You may have heard Mike’s boast about dry weather at 7:30am on the first Saturday of every month. We do have an almost perfect record for the Tan. But there was a day where the weather was so bad that even when a number of people turned up, the run was officially cancelled. The date was not the middle of winter, but February 5th 2011. The track itself was the reason, with huge washed out areas, making it a challenge to run safely. As I joked with Mike, maybe a Bakers Dozen t-shirt was a possibility with those who turned up completing the rescheduled Tan on March 19th as well.

I have run or walked the Tan with all of my 3 daughters at least once. Many of the VRR members would know Petrice who has run many of the Tans with me before going on to beat me more often than not. Age offers no favours. My new partner Julie is aiming to make her Tan debut soon and perhaps her son Asha as well. The first one will be special.

The attraction the Tan holds is hard to explain. The challenge it presents still draws you in. Can you run well? Do you stick to a pace or just try to get to the finish line? The warm up, the welcome to new runners, the old friends you can chat to all add to the special place it has for me and so many others. Who knows how many more are still to be run?



Another long standing VRR member, Rowan Cole, talks about his VRR experiences over the years.
Rowans story will ‘reward you in spades’ and I recommend it to you.


I will be forever grateful to the VRR for providing a safe, encouraging environment to run for an aspiring young runner.
Hard to believe VRR is now ‘forty years on when afar and asunder’.  And if I was around at the start of the VRR (sort of), I must also be 40 years older than when I joined.
I was not sporty at school, slow and completely uncoordinated.  A friend and I always used to vie for last place in foot races (of any and every distance), and to be picked last for any sporting teams, either during PE classes or lunchtime teams.  We were known as Fat and Skinny, and I wasn’t the skinny one. .


In year 9 (‘form 3’, back in the day), I decided I’d had enough of being large (probably obese under the medical definition) as was the family tradition, and went for a run around the block in my Dunlop Volleys.  As well as wanting to lose weight to fit in better at school, I wanted to get slimmer for life saving, that I had begrudgingly been dragged into a few summers earlier.
I gradually extended from running one block to running a few kilometres, and in my second year of running, met a teacher who lived in the next block at 6 am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to run increasing distances, up to 8 km.  In 1980 I ran (I use the term loosely) my first Sun Superun over the seemingly never ending Westgate Bridge, with a modest time of 101 minutes 13 seconds for the 17.5 km (5’47”/km).  In the following year, I ran 89:48 (5’08”), and in 1982 a more respectable 75:56 (4’20”).
I received the VRR flyer with the 1982 Superun materials, wrote an apology because I would miss the inaugural meeting because of HSC (year 12) exams and sent in my membership application.
My first Tan Time Trial was March 1983, with a time of 31:08 (4’06”, as the early Tans were 7.6 km), which was a very pleasant surprise.  This was out of character for me, competing in an athletics event, yet I felt welcome by everyone present.
Over the next few years, I enjoyed racing against VRR stalwarts (in no particular order) including Greg McEwan, Wayne McGeogh, Syd Bone, Leigh Fatchen, John Hall, Peter Field, Doug Stokes, Russell Bullman, Rowan Richardson (the other Rowan 😊) and many others.
What VRR gave me was a warm, welcoming, encouraging environment where, on a regular basis, I could test my ability.  I managed to improve my time to a Tan PB of 29:00 (3’37.5”) in June 1986 (now 8 km), by hammering as hard as I could from go to whoa!
I never became more involved in VRR than an active member, because at that time I was fully committed to lifesaving, patrolling most Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, instructing, examining, and competing, and at times managing the junior and senior competition teams.  All the swimming I did with lifesaving did help enormously with lung capacity and general fitness.  I remember numerous times at Tans and fun runs people near me said I couldn’t be trying as I was hardly breathing.  I felt as though I was trying really hard on the inside!
I managed to do the Big M Melbourne Marathon whilst at university in 1984 on an average 35 km per week training leading up to it – not ideal, and only possible because of the significant swimming and lifesaving cross training. I finished in 3:29, but really struggled for the last 4 km along St Kilda Road.  I remember waking up at 2 am the next morning, my legs were aching so much.  I used to work as a waiter in a local restaurant on weekends through uni, and I worked until 1 am on Saturday night, which gave me about 5 hours sleep before an organised 20 mile / 32 km marathon lead up run south from the Middle Brighton Baths.  That run was really hard from 20 km (at 80 minutes, 2’30” for the 32 km).
I have had issues with my Achilles (and general body inflexibility) since primary school, as evidenced by various entries in my library of VRR Official Running Diary, such as one for July 1983 of ‘torn muscle above right ankle’ for the best part of two months – and no Time Trials.  Also issues with blisters.  It’s fascinating looking at old diaries and the litany of issues that keep recurring:

  • Right ankle sore
  • Sore right calf
  • Tight left calf

In the February 1995 Tan, I pulled a hamstring at 6 km (approx. Gate H of the Botanic Gardens).   I hobbled to the end (the car was parked there) in a time of 66:19 ☹.  Finally, a month later, I was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc, which put me out of running for the best part of eight years.  Initially I was told I would require surgery, and would likely never run again.  I remember though, that Greg McEwan and Syd Bone in particular encouraged me, and suggested that I would ultimately return to running.  I dutifully did stretching and strengthening exercises day and night for years, and avoided those who suggested surgery.
I started running again in 2003, having gained over 20 kg., attending only intermittent Tans due to recurring injuries.
Whilst trying to return to consistent running, I had constant issues with sore / swollen Achilles and calves.  At one point I followed concurrent advice from a physio and chiro to get orthotics, which may have eased some problems, but created others (foot sitting too high in the heel counter, blisters), and wore ‘motion control runners’ that felt like straight jackets for my feet.  With a variety of exercises, they helped me run until 2018, at which time I experienced tears in my calf and soleus in separate events – more on that to come later.  My running was more consistent from late 2007, with times ranging up to 46 minutes (5’45”/km), and a PB for the new millennium of 37:54 (4’44”/km) in 2012.
Standout memories of my time running with VRR include:

  • Mum driving me to the first Jells Park run, because I was on my learners.Being a ‘flatland’ (Bayside runner), I found the Jells Park hills somewhat challenging.It’s curious what some runners like and don’t like.I’ve learnt to train for and tolerate hills, because lots of runs have hills, especially the Great Train Race.Because I have run at the beach for the whole of my life, I take wind as being normal (a non-windy run is a bonus), whereas I know some other runners who live and train in the protection of hills hate the wind.
  • Dad coming with me to time trials (with me driving on L or P lates), and then going to Georgiana’s restaurant at the St Kilda Travelodge afterwards for a full hot breakfast.
  • I ran a Time Trial on the morning of my wedding in 1993 (surely a pretty normal thing to do) and orchestrated the honeymoon ever so slightly to return in time to run the next month.
  • Being pushed, achieving more than I ever would by myself, when competing with other VRR members in a variety of VRR and non-VRR events
  • I clearly remember pacing with John Hall in the 1984 DOXA fun run, 12.73 km from Albert Park to Elwood Beach, which led me to a faster time than I ever imagined of 47 min 40 sec (3’45”/km) – if the distance is true.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, I unwittingly participated in the 1983 Apex and Lions Clubs Mount Abrupt Fun Run (near Dunkeld in Western Victoria).After staring on the local horse racing track (which was full of divots), like the other participants I made like a mountain goat and went up and down the fire trails of Mt Abrupt, with the time of 2 hours and 2 minutes for the (I think) 10 km course (12’12” per km!).
  • There was also a series of VRR “Track Trots” in conjunction with the Box Hill Athletics Club. During the 1984/5 season. in a 5,000 m, I remember being the leading VRR member, valiantly chasing the trailing Box Hill member!It is hard now to imagine that I ran 16’10” for 5,000 m. Two weeks later the best I could do in the same event was 17’36 for 5 km.Although 16’10” is clearly written in my diary, I do wonder whether it is a lap (approx.. 40 seconds) short.
  • I remember various Winelands and Princes Park Half marathons
  • The Flinders fun run, through the golf course there (about the only time I’ve been on a golf course), with wind coming off Bass Strait and hills
  • I remember winning a medal (2nd open male for the season) at a VRR presentation night in the 1980s– the first and only athletics medal I have ever achieved.I’m sure that a younger me, and no one at school, would ever have believed that.
  • Whilst not a VRR event, I also have fond and other memories of the Train Race.Really rather a simple race, there is only one hill, which starts soon after the downhill start and goes most of the way until the end (ok, there’s a bit of poetic licence in there).I managed to beat the train on a few occasions, but it beat me more times.One year I tripped on my own laces (long story), to the extent that I fell over quite spectacularly.Having got up, dusted myself off and started running again (with encouragement and support of the runners around me), stuff me if I didn’t do the same thing and trip over myself again about a km down the road.One of the loops of my laces had been stretched and was flapping more than normal, and I threaded my toe thru it, so over I went again, only heavier this time.At this point I was really annoyed with myself (insert multiple expletives) and tied my laces in macrame knots never to be undone again, and stormed off angrily to the finish.When I got home, my wife asked why I had run in pink socks.I looked down to see both grazed knees had bled enough to turn my white socks pink.
  • At another Train Race, I had willed myself to the start line, thinking that I had done enough to prepare myself for the hills.Nature proved otherwise, it was a very rare ‘DNF’, as I pulled out a few kilometres into the race (before Menzies Creek) with two very swollen Achilles (to the extent that they needed medical attention from St John’s Ambulance).That took a long time to recover from.
  • I managed to run one Sydney City to Surf in 2004.I caught a 6:00 am flight on the morning of the race wearing a track suit over my running gear, and took a taxi to my strategically chosen hotel which was across the park from the start line.In the lobby I stripped off to my running gear, popped my track suit in my luggage and checked it in at the concierge (I was there for work for the next two days), and jogged across to the start line in plenty of time.The first few km was a mass of people and as much walking as running.It was also a lot warmer and more humid than training had been in Melbourne winter.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I tended to run at night during the week, after work or after dinner, sometimes when it was quite late after studying, often when it was dark, going out at anything up to 11 pm.  I only tripped over once, on the beach track I know so well.  I miss counted the 13 steps on the way to Sandringham Yacht Club, tripped on the last one, skinned a knee, and finished off the 6 km of the 8km that I had started.  I went home, showered, went to bed and headed off to work the next morning.  My wife phoned me at work to ask what had happened, because it looked like some had been murdered in bed.  In the Naughties (early 2000s), I reverted to running in the morning during the week (Tuesday and Thursday), which is dark in the winter.  I tripped at exactly the same location some years later, and taped a handkerchief over my bloodied knees under my suit when I went to work.
There was the Sandy Point to Point 10 km, where the wind (and rain) was that strong it below over the trestle tables at the drink stations (let alone the paper cups filled with water!).
I travelled extensively for work between 2005 and 2019, and took my running kit if I thought there was an opportunity to run.  As a result, with work I have run in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Leonora – Gwalia, Kalgoorlie, Solomon Islands, Simberi Island in Papua New Guinea, Miami, at altitude in Denver (elev: 1,600 m ‘mile high city’) and Beaver Creek (elev: 2,460 m) in the USA, London and Zurich.
As some know, since late 2018 I have been transitioning to minimalist or barefoot running.  I’ve had a couple of significant setbacks (with 5 months off running late in 2021), but the vital signs are promising.  I ran my first 8 km Tan since 2018 recently, with hopefully many more to come.
Running has helped me navigate stressful times during my life, providing thinking and alone time and, quite simply, makes me happy.
Thank you to everyone associated with starting and maintaining VRR.  It would be hard to image the last 40 years without you.


Hmmmm – A few of Rowan’s training diaries.



August TTT Photos


Hey, Rowan it pays to be tall !!


Alice Oehr looking very comfortable on her 8km TTT
And Geoff Wheeler is another looking very relaxed on the ‘dog leg’ climb.


Greg Osbourne looking pretty good in his VRR tee shirt
Kevin Armstrong looks happy here!




Princes Park Fun Run 2022
August 21, 2022
Venue: Princes Park
5, 10, & 21.1 k runs starting from near Ikon Park near Walker Street and Royal Parade, North Carlton.

  • Member           $15
  • Non-Member    $20
  • Junior              $  5



August 2022

TTT Results


Find out more



The September TTT will have the usual 7.30am start at the ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ and is on Saturday 3rd September.
Refer to the website (vrr.org.au) for more details



Club News


The club has limited stock of short sleeve t-shirts (12), long sleeve t-shirts (5) – limited sizes.
But LOTS of singlets.
$20 or two items for $30.
Contact Doug Stokes (vrrtreasurer@gmail.com) for details.ANNUAL DINNER. 11/11/2022.
After more than two years we finally hope that this time it will actually happen.
Location will be the Postmaster Hotel Kew.(previously QPO where we were last time).
Further details will follow in due course.



VRR extends birthday greetings to the following members who will celebrate birthdays in August
Brian B, James Y-C, Phillip U, Andrew M, Jane H, Syd B, Jenny K, Lynn K, Margaret L, Michael M,
John K, Scott J, Christopher R, Alice O, Geoff H, Peter S, Rebekah R,


If we missed your birthday we are very sorry.  Please let us know so that we can acknowledge you in the next Stride Out.



Harrietville Half Marathon
Following the continued success of our event for 5 years, our small group of dedicated runners in Harrietville, after  ‘Covid cancels’ in 2020 and ’21, is organising and very much looking forward to our road running event, the ‘Harrietville Half’, again this year.
The event comprises a Half Marathon run and 10, 5 & 2km Fun run/walks on Sunday, Oct 2nd 2022. We wondered whether your runners may be interested in participating and if you would share our website with them – www.harrietvillehalfmarathon.com on your Facebook or social media sites. Our Facebook site is Harrietville Half Marathon which also has the link to our website.We are very excited this year to have a new running course entirely on the new Great Valley Trail which is even more scenic and interesting than our previous course. We can’t wait for you to all enjoy it too.Thanking you in anticipation and hope to see you and some of your members here on October 2nd.

Robyn Downey (Race Director).
ph: 0417656965
em: robyn.downey1@gmail.com




Stephen Barker, Kevin Browne, Sally Browne, Tony Doran, Graham Edwards, Jenny Field, Peter Field, Vern Gerlach (dec), Peter Gunn (dec.), Don Hampshire, Eileen Helmers (dec), Frank Helmers (dec), Betty Horskins, Graeme Horskins, Mike Kennedy, Lynn Kisler,  Greig McEwan, Ross Martin (dec), Vin Martin, John Morris, Helen Myall,  Peter Nicoll, Bill Noonan, Brian O’Dea, Rod Opie, Graham Prossor, Melissa Sirianni, Doug Stokes, Brian Toomey, Stuart White, Robert Wilson, Judy Wines, Tom Worrell (dec) and Val Worrell.


Can you ask your running friends if they are receiving their email copy of Stride Out.
If they aren’t, can you get them to send me an email (gprossor@bigpond.net.au) asking to be put on the distribution list.

































Position Member Run Time
1 Peter Seal 4km 20.52
2 Shaun Kemp 4km 21.10
3 Kevin Armstrong 4km 22.11


Position Member Run Time
1 Lucy Oehr 8km 35.28
2 Carmel Taylor 8km 36.02
3 Keith Partridge 8km 37.39

Download Results


2022-08-17T11:19:21+10:00August 2nd, 2022|