Six Foot Track - Race Report

by Kevin Cassidy (1994)

A crack team of 4 Victorian Superstar athletes (Well naturally seeing as they were from Victoria !) headed north for this race, the 4 being: Cassidy, Shilston, Hook and Witt, and what a team of hacks we were. Alan Witt was suffering a lack of fitness and a nagging calf injury, whilst Ross and Hookie were slowly returning to fitness after long periods of inactivity, and as for me, well, aggravating a groin injury a few days prior did not help me one little bit. However, despite all our woes, we still made the trip. The plane flight was interesting with The Hook sitting beside an elderly lady who took quite a fancy to him. She arranged an extra meal for him and, upon arrival in Sydney, she followed him all around the terminal like a love-sick teenager. The Hook responded by carrying her bags and when she finally climbed into a taxi, she left, blowing him a kiss. Soon after, Big Helen arrived and we piled into the car for the trip to Katoomba.

Saturday morning, and the race is on. It may only be 45km, but it is a very tough course. I ran well for about 18km, when my groin gives out and Ross goes powering past, looking good. I continue walking, when the Hook goes past. Rather than risk further injury, I walk all the way to the finish in an embarrassing 6 hours plus. Big Al is still behind me and it turns out he has suffered the same fate as me when his calf gave out on him, and he finishes in about 7 hours.

Ross and Hookie have finished ahead of me and I am trying to find them. Finally, I come across them in the first-aid room. Poor Ross looks deathly grey and has a drip in his arm. It turns out, he had a vomiting attack after drinking some warm coke on the trail, and became severely dehydrated, but managed to stagger to the finish before collapsing.

Meanwhile, Hookie is having a large bandage applied to his arm. He managed to finish in a respectable sub-5 hours, but, in doing so, had taken a nasty fall and impaled his arm on a wayward gum-tree branch. Rumour has it that he had to rip the tree out of the ground and carry it all the way to the finish before having it surgically removed, but I suspect the real story is that he was speared by a native during a Mabo dispute. Never the less, he was advised to have his arm treated by a doctor without delay. So after the presentation, and when Ross was looking a bit healthier, we piled back into Big Helen's car and headed for the Katoomba Hospital. You should have seen the look on poor Hookie's face when Helen delivered his to the Maternity Ward.

Two days later, we are back at Sydney airport. The place was full of some rather suspect characters who were returning home from the weekend's "Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras". The flight home was interesting to say the least, with the two seated in front of me referring to each other as "Big Warren" and "Big Derek". You can guess the rest!

Kevin Cassidy
Melbourne, VIC