Doncaster 40+ Newsletter

(edition 59)

XCR Rounds 3-5; June 18, June 25 and July 9

XCR Round 3 – Saturday June 18

Eight 40+ distance athletes made the journey to Cruden Farm; a private property in Langwarrin. It has been a favourite of many winter athletes for cross country, and on Saturday 18th it did not disappoint them!   The Open and Masters (long course) event was 12km for both Men and Women, and this was an excellent test of their winter preparation.  The Masters short course event was 8km, and still quite the challenge over sometimes muddy and slippery ground.  There were certainly some thrills and spills, but thankfully no major injuries.

After 3 weeks of miserable Melbourne winter weather, the day was beautiful; still, sunny and around 15 degrees!  Perfect running weather!  The resident cows kept their distance, and only their deposits and footprints etched in the mud signalled their presence. 

It was another excellent performance from Sue Kilmartin, 2nd in the Women’s 50+ short course event.  Sue commenced competitive running only in recent months.  It seems – ‘A Natural’!!  Sue later reported that on the course the eventual winner from Box Hill took a ‘pit-stop’, saw Sue, and said “F”, before quickly getting back into it (running)!   David Vaughan had another great run – being 7th in his M55 event (12km), and the quickest male Masters athlete for the club.  Kate Downward flew the Donny flag in the Women’s long-course event – pictured below with a grin from ear to ear!!

In the teams’ competition, we faced tough opposition.  Furthermore, we were slightly down on numbers, affecting team scores.  Some Masters Athletes were competing in a Masters competition on Sunday 19th – the Doncaster Masters Athletics Winter Inter-venue Track Challenge.  It was great to see them supporting the Doncaster VMA club.    After 3 rounds of XCR competition, positions on the season ladder were becoming established.  Congratulations to all athletes who took on round 3 at Cruden Farm. 


Women 40+ (12km)



Kate Downward 1:01:31






Women 50+ (8km)



Sue Kilmartin 39:22




Colleen Kelly 43.38







Men 40+ (12km)


David Vaughan 50:34




Campbell McLennan 53:42



Jason Merrett 58:43




Darryl Kilmartin 1.05.39



James Finch 1:11:10







XCR Round 4 – At Anne’s Eikiden Relays June 25

Six  Masters Athletes (2 teams) made their way to St Anne’s Winery (Bacchus Marsh) for Round 4; Eikiden Relays  The course, mostly cross-country, included a number slippery sections, and thankfully, no injuries resulted.  The Men’s 50+ team narrowly missed the podium (4th), and included both Darryl and Sue Kilmartin – the happy couple enjoying a Saturday out together and who are ‘A Team’ both on and off the running circuit!  The 40+ team competed admirably – thank you to Richard Mattison for coming along as an invitee to complete this team.  It was a little hard to compare and contrast athletes’ performances – running different distances and on a different course to that in previous years – so no chance of club records!  





Men’s 40+ –  21.9km 6th (INV) 1:43:27



Richard Mattison: 41:47 (8.8km)



Jason Merrett: 35:08 (7km)



James Finch: 26:32 (4.7km)






Men’s 50+ –  18.8km  (5th), 1:31:36



David Vaughan: 32:12 (8.8km)



Sue Kilmartin: 35:00 (7km)



Darryl Kilmartin: 24:24 (4.7km)













XCR Round 5 – Sandown Road Relays – Saturday 9th July

13 Masters Athletes and 4 teams competed in the Sandown Road Relays; a fantastic turn-out!  The road relays have been an important part of the XCR season for decades, and we were sad to hear that ‘progress’ has prevailed – the Sandown race track has been sold off for housing development!   It’s still unclear whether we’ll still be racing there in XCR 2023? 

As we arrived the drizzle persisted, and there was hurried activity to swap around a few team members.  The weather then lifted; relatively still and sunny made for exceptional running conditions by the standards of the often-notorious Sandown course and provided fast times.  Masters teams ran 2 laps of the 3.1km circuit = 6.2km.  It was important to remind yourself about the extra 167 metres when accounting for your time…… actually did better than it might have first seemed (based on only 6km).   We welcomed Emma Schuette as an invitation runner, and she was the quickest of the club’s 40+ Women!  David Vaughan was the quickest of the Masters men.

The Sandown course commands a bit of “respect”; it may have seemed innocent and flat, but the slow and steady hill climb on the far side was a test!  If you felt like it; you could even log in to “Strava” on your watch, accelerate, post it and tell the whole world!  AV have introduced this extra challenge in season 2022!  However, many of us were content just to reach the top in one piece, and have whatever happened at Sandown – especially on that back straight – stay at Sandown! 

A big thank you to Heather Marasco and Laurie Scholes-Robertson who assisted as club helpers at Sandown.  This was much appreciated and we hope to share around the load throughout the season. 


Women’s 40+ – 6th and 7th



3×6.2km: (Natalie Harvey: 26:20, Sue Kilmartin: 29:46, Laura McLennan: 34:30) 1:30:36;



Team 2 (Emma Schuette INV: 26:16, Colleen Kelly: 31:09, Kath Gawthorn INV: 33:49) 1:31:14;




Men’s 40+ – 5th



3×6.2km: (Jason Merrett: 27:51, Warren Hattwich: 26:37, Campbell McLennan: 25:30) 1:19:58;


Men’s 50+ – 10th



3×6.2km:  (David Vaughan: 23:31, John Curry: 27:07, Darryl Kilmartin: 30:21) 1:20:59;



Team 2 (James Finch:33:53)















New 40+ Records (XCR Rounds 3 and 5)

Unofficial Club Records for 40+ athletes (in 5 year age groups) were established 3 or 4 years ago. It’s a great incentive to have your efforts recognised in our newsletters, and compared with athletes in your age group.  Athletes are eligible for a record only if they are registered as “Athlete” not “Recreational”.  During XCR season several of the courses are repeated year-on-year, including Cruden Farm (round 3 in 2022) and Sandown (round 5).  The following athletes have achieved new club records as follows:

Cruden Farm (12km)

Kate Downward (W45) – 1:01:31

David Vaughan (M55) – 50:34

Cruden Farm (8km)

Sue Kilmartin (W50) – 39:22

Sandown (6.2km)

Natalie Harvey (W45) – 26:20

Sue Kilmartin (W50) – 29:46

Colleen Kelly (W60) – 31:09  (previous record held by Evelyn Kuys (2019 – 37.43)

David Vaughan (M55) – 23:31 (previous record held by Jim Finch (2019 – 31.23)

Jim Finch (M60) – 33:53

Track Now Open!!

In case you missed it, the newly resurfaced track is back in business!  During club training times (Tuesday and Thursday 4:30 – 7:30pm) you can dial the turnstile number on your phone, and it will click open.  At other times the track will be open to the public.  (Turnstile: 0493 384 224 save to your contacts). Send your phone number to and make sure you are a registered member to ensure the turnstile recognises your number.
The lights are amazing and to be enjoyed during these winter months!  Thanks to club Committee members for their hard work in working with Council to bring us such exceptional training facilities!  

XCR Round 6 – Saturday 23rd July

XCR Round 6 has us back on the cross country trail at Bundoora Park.  Masters athletes are challenged over 10km. (Short course option for Women 50+ and Men 60+ is 6km).  Entries must be completed by midday on Wednesday 20th July via the AV portal.