2008 – Frankston to Portsea

Posted on March 18, 2008 by

For the 36th consecutive year, the annual Frankston to Portsea 55km run will take place on Sunday April 6th at 7am

From what I have been hearing around the traps, this year looks like being bigger than ever.

Commemorating Percy Cerutty, the run retraces the footsteps of the many famous athletes from the 50’s and 60’s who pounded the road to Portsea under Percy’s coaching.

No entry forms are needed, just turn up on the day for one of Australia’s longest standing runs and certainly longest standing ultra.

Meeting point is at the start in the car park behind Kitten’s Nightclub on the South East corner of Davey St. and the Nepean Highway [Melway ref. 102 C3]. On arrival, just put your name and address on the sheet at the card table, five dollars in the box and you are set to go.

Traditionally, this has been a do it yourself run requiring runners to organise their own crew/helpers etc. with the nominal five dollar entry fee not even covering costs [I’m generally in the red by days end but so be it]. However, a rapid growth in interest has put an unprecedented demand upon a few of us in relation to transporting runners back to Frankston and assisting with drinks. All I ask is that you let me know in advance if you need transport back to Frankston as it isn’t always possible to guarantee transport requests made on race morning. If the worst comes to worst, there is a bus service that leaves from the finish line back to Frankston but only runs every 90 mins [I think] on Sundays.

Please don’t roll up to run with three bike riding friends to accompany you then announce at the finish that you all [with bikes] need to get back to Frankston just as the last car has left and I am standing there on my own!! No, I won’t even TRY to describe how we sorted that one out a few years back!!

For those runners with crews, we hope you don’t mind if we lean on you at the finish to perhaps provide a seat or two for someone needing a return lift.

Also, there is free parking at the finish area if anyone desires to leave a vehicle at Portsea.

Another point to consider is the fact that recent developments around Rosebud and Rye have made it neccessary at certain stages to either run on the grassy verge on the beachside of the highway or tackle the pedestrians on the footpaths through the shopping strips. Put simply, these section no longer have any spare room on the roadsides. It is only a very small percentage of the course as bike lanes are available for most of the way

I always endeavour to supply water on the course via two or three cars roving up and down the highway but, understandably, can’t guarantee particular drinks to individuals at predetermined checkpoints. Any specific individual requirements would require runners to organise such things themselves.

At this stage, I have only one other assistant [with car] and am looking for additional help in this regard. Last year, RMC and Whippet did a sterling job looking after their fellow runners as part of their 8 hours service requirement for entry to Western States. If anyone is in a similar position or could possibly spare some time to help their fellow members of the ultra community, I’m sure you would be much appreciated by all. It isn’t a difficult task. Just roam up and down the course with a few water bottles and see that runners stay hydrated. In the main, runners seem to look after themselves in this regard anyway. I am happy to provide fuel money if anyone can assist

Many runners bring along a helper/drinks waiter but others in years past have survived by planting drink bottles on the course the day before or carrying some money and relying on the numerous shops and camping ground facilities on route with both methods proving to be more than adequate.

Anyway, having said that, all standards [fast and slow] are welcome to run and etch their names into the race’s ongoing history. If you think you may take eight hours or longer to complete the course, you are most welcome to make an early start [please let me know!!] which a few runners have elected to do in recent years. Ron Hayward made a 4am start in 2004, thoroughly enjoyed his journey and was thrilled with his performance of approx. nine hours. More recently, Peter Gray has been starting around 2am and spending up to 10 hours in the course.

The traditional block of chocolate and certificate goes to every finisher along with a few other “surprise” giveaways.

Go to www.ultraoz.com/frankston for all necessary information including route description, results since 1973 and a variety of race reports since 1987

Kevin Cassidy

Email: kc130860@hotmail.com
Ph: 0425 733 336

Posted in: Australia, Road Ultra