BRWC Results – 2020

BRWC Merv Lockyer 3km Handicap, North Gardens, Ballarat, Wednesday 9 December 2020

The Ballarat Race Walkers Club are working hard to complete as many of their 2020 races in the covid shortened timeframe now available. Last Wednesday saw the walkers back in action for the annual Merv Lockyer 3km Handicap. Merv was a Ballarat club member who completed the Australian Centurion 100 Mile walk in 1996 after having recovered from a heart attack some years before, and having undergone a knee replacement. In 1996, aged 65, he walked his 100 miles in 23hrs 45mins 51 sec. Talk about inspirational stuff. Check out Merv’s story at

And now over to Kerrie Peart for her report.

Blue skies, little wind and mild temperatures proved to be the ideal conditions for fast times and big PB’s. It was 7 year old Tara Deb who led out the field, starting from scratch, closely followed by Millie and Lachlan Hill. However it was Charlotte MacDonell who came out ahead on handicaps, walking a 44sec PB time of 20:10. Fastest time of the day went to Fraser Saunder with a very slick 13:11. Other notable PB walks went to Scott Peart and Laura Ballinger, with Sarah Brennan only 7sec outside her PB.

Merv Lockyer 3km Handicap
1.  Charlotte MacDonell        20:10 PB 0.44
2.  Scott Peart                15:45 PB 0.23
3.  Fraser Saunder             13:11 PB 0.12
4.  Laura Ballinger            18:47 PB 0.23
5.  Sarah Brennan              16:31

1km Walk
1.  Millie Hill                 7:21
2.  Lachlan Hill                7:25
3.  Tara Deb                   10:43

Merv Lockyer 3km Handicap winner Charlotte MacDonell

Merv Lockyer finishes his 100 miler at the Collingwood Harriers track in Clifton Hill in 1996

Whilst our Ballarat Walkers are racing in Ballarat, Jemma and Alanna Peart are training in beautiful warm Thredbo NSW (1580m above sea level) at the Athletics Australia Racewalking Training camp, with racewalkers & coaches from around Australia, including Ballarat Olympians Jared & Rachel Tallent.

Four outstanding Ballarat walkers at Thredbo – Rachel Tallent, Jemma Peart, Alana Peart and Jared Tallent

BRWC Graeme Nicholls Lap of Lake and Jastec Trophy, Ballarat, Sunday 29 November 2020

Trying to pump through much of the 2020 season in limited weeks, BRWC held our double header this weekend; the 6km Graeme Nicholls 6km Lap of Lake Wendouree and the juniors Jastec Sheetmetal 1km.

Graeme Nicholls was born into a Ballarat athletic family, with his father Stan competing in the 1938 Empire Games in the 3 mile run, and he and his sister Alison both running and walking with Ballarat Harriers. Graeme progressed very successfully through his junior years setting many Australian, Victorian and Victorian Country Records and winning numerous medals. He and sister Alison become Australian Open Racewalking Champions. At age 19 he won silver in the Aust 2 mile Track Racewalking Championship in 1967, and remained amongst the top walkers until his retirement in 1973 at age 25. Graeme still holds several records – Vic U20 Country 15,000m (1.19.14 1966), Vic Open Country 30,000m ( 1969) , Vic Open Country 15,000m ( 1970). After retirement he continued recreational running and clocked up over 50 years of athletic administration roles. Read more at

Our older juniors and Graeme’s sister Alison Thompson joined us in her old stomping ground for the 6km Lap of the Lake in her brother’s honour, along with Graeme’s wife Robyn. After two recent wins, Laura Ballinger walked her first 6km in 40:35 for 4th place, behind Scott Peart who walked a huge 6:37 PB to finish 3rd in a time of 33:48. Alanna Peart set a new U18 BRWC club record time of 29:16 for 2nd, but it was Fraser Saunder who took the win in the fastest time of 27:43 (PB 2:17 PB & U18 BRWC record). Alison, on the heels of the younger walkers, enjoyed the Lake Wendouree scenery, with the sun breaking through as she reached the finish line with a time of 40:58.

Graeme Nicholls Lap of Lake 6km Handicap
1.  Fraser Saunder             27:43  PB 2:13 and U18 BRWC Record
2.  Alanna Peart               29:16  U18 BRWC Record
3.  Scott Peart                33:48  PB: 6:37
4.  Laura Ballinger            40:35  First One
5.  Jemma Peart                34:44
6.  Alison Thompson            40:58

The young juniors contended the 1km Jastec handicap, with many a keen eye on the trophy up for grabs. With solid walking in 250m loops, only 2 seconds on handicap split our 2nd and 3rd placed walkers Alex Tolson (6:30) and Charlotte MacDonell (6:17) in a 24sec PB, but it was new 7yr old walker Tara Deb who managed her first win on handicap in 11:16, a 1:11 PB.

Jastec Sheetmetal 1km Handicap 
1.  Tara Deb                  11:16  PB 1:11 
2.  Alex Tolson               12:00 
3.  Charlotte MacDonell       12:02  PB 0:24 
4.  Millie Hill               12:32 
5.  Lachlan Hill              12:40

Fraser Saunder

Tara Deb

Jastec Sheetmetal 1km walkers

The field in the Lap of the Lake: Alison, Jemma, Laura, Scott, Jemma and Scott

BRWC Benita Van Raaphorst 3km Handicap, Ballarat, Wednesday 25 November 2020

A field of 11 walkers greeted the starter for the Benita van Raaphorst Memorial 3km Handicap. Benita, like her running Van Raaphorst family, was a very talented runner as well as a talented racewalker, and enjoyed being active and making the most of life. Unfortunately she was unable to realise her full potential due to a car accident, and her family provided trophies in her honour to both the Ballarat Race Walkers Club and the Ballarat YCW Club. We were fortunate that Paula Nankervis (nee Van Raaphorst) and her family were present to award to present the trophy to the winner.

Perfect conditions allowed for quick times, with Fraser Saunder continuing his fine start to the season with a very smart 13:42, the quickest time of the day. However it was Laura Ballinger, backing up from her win a week earlier, who once again took handicap honours in a win of 19:10. It was great to see Sarah Brennan keeping the young ones on their toes with a fast finishing 2nd place, just narrowly miss out on the win. Our young juniors Millie and Lachlan Hill walked a long 2km in 16:26 and 16:34 respectively, and new walker Tara Deb finished her 1km in 12:27.

Benita van Raaphorst Memorial 3km Handicap
1.  Lauran Ballinger           19:10
2.  Sarah Brennan              16:24
3.  Fraser Saunder             13:42
4.  Jemma Peart                15:03
5.  Scott Peart                16:30
6.  Charlotte MacDonell        21:12
7.  Alanna Peart               14:25
8.  Alex Tolson                23:18

2km Walk
1.  Millie Hill                16:26
2.  Lachlan Hill               16:34

1km Walk
1.  Tara Deb                   12:27

Alex Tolson

Millie Hill

Winner Laura Ballinger with Paula Nankervis and family

BRWC Willi Sawall Cup – 3km Handicap, Ballarat, Wednesday 18 November 2020

Ballarat’s own Olympic, World & Commonwealth Games walker Willi Sawall joined us to watch the race held in his honour at our North Gardens course at Lake Wendouree. Our young juniors dominated the numbers, with 7 year old Tara Deb stepping out for her first racewalk (700m 6:48), and Alex Tolson joining us from Maryborough for his first BRWC race. Ted Brennen walked the 1km with great style, recording 6:55. Twins Lachlan and Millie Hill tested themselves over 2km in 15:11 and 14:12 respectively.

The Covid starting restrictions spread the field out over the 1km loop track, with Fraser Saunder and Alanna Peart both walking solidly through the handicapped field, and Fraser storming home in a 15sec PB to place second in the days fastest time of 13:23. Charlotte MacDonell (20:54) and Alanna Peart (13:49) placed equal 3rd on handicapped times, but it was Laura Ballinger (who also is an on pointe ballerina) who walked a very determined and focused race to finish in a 7sec PB (19:10) and take home the coveted Willi Sawall trophy. And a BIG thank you to Graeme Saunder who has revamped our start/finish sign to this impressive state. Any new signs required, please see Graeme Saunder.

Willi Sawall Cup 3km Handicap
1.  Laura Ballinger            19:10  PB: 7sec
2.  Fraser Saunder             13:23  PB: 15sec
E3. Charlotte MacDonnell       20:54
E3. Alanna Peart               13:49
5.  Alex Tolson                22:20

2km Walk
1.  Millie Hill                14:12
2.  Lachlan Hill               15:11

1km Walk
1.  Ted Brennan                 6:55

700m Walk
1.  Tara Deb                    6:48

Willi Sawall Handicap – Alanna Peart, Fraser Saunder, Laura Ballinger, Daryl Biggin, Alex Tolson, Charlotte MacDonnel, Willi Sawall, Ted Brennan, Lachlan Hill, Millie Hill and Tara Deb

Willi Sawall Handicap – Winner Laura Ballinger

BRWC Daryl Biggin & Sharon Schnyder Founders Cup, Ballarat, Sunday 20 October 2020

At long last we started our COVID impacted 2020 season on Sunday 20th October. It was fantastic to have a large group of keen walkers, including our Maryborough & Geelong walkers, to dust off the North Gardens Lake Wendouree track in very sunny mild Ballarat weather. Due to the COVID restrictions all walkers were sent off in separate intervals to ensure no blanket finishes. We miss the old days when we eagerly look forward to a tight handicapped pack heading for the finish line.

Young Ted Brennan started the group with his great racewalking style, finishing his 1km in 7:19. Our young walkers Charlotte MacDonell, Rhiannah Tatlock and Kaylah Heikkila-Dubowik walked well, with all 3 finishing on actual time, within 43 seconds of each other. The fastest time of the day went to Fraser Saunder, who is ever improving and finished with a slick 13:40 3km actual time. But it was a tight finish on handicaps, with 16 seconds separating the top 3 places. Scott Peart managed 1st in 16:09, with a mere 15 second handicapped gap to just pip a fast finishing Sarah Brennan with 16:44, and Fraser Saunder a further second back. Great racing by all to start the season.

Daryl Biggin & Sharon Schnyder Founders Cup 3km Handicap
1. Scott Peart              16:09
2. Sarah Brennan            16:44
3. Fraser Saunder           13:40
4. Charlotte MacDonell      20:54
5. Alanna Peart             14:42
6. Jemma Peart              15:43
7. Rhiannah Tatlock         20:11
8. Kaylah Heikkila-Dubowik  20:28

1km Walk
1. Ted Brennan               7:19

Founders Cup winner Scott Peart

BRWC Founders Cup, North Gardens, Ballarat, Thursday 13 February 2020

They say Better Late than Never. Thus the 2019 Founders Cup was finally held on Thursday 13th February 2020 at our usual North Gardens course at Lake Wendouree, followed by the 2019 End of Season Awards, AGM and BBQ.

The meet was well supported, with a large number of juniors joining us from outlying areas of Geelong and Maryborough. It was fantastic to see our very own Mr. Racewalking himself Tim Erickson join us on the track along with our cheer squad of Olympian Willi Sawall, Centurion walker John Kilmartin and BRWC co-founder Daryl Biggin.

In a sealed handicap, Fraser Saunder led out the pack, leaving everyone in his wake and finishing in a very slick 13:38 (PB: 0:01) and new club U16 record. Our other walkers powered home, with Scott Peart finishing 2nd with 17:36 and Tim Erickson showing the juniors how it was done by finishing 3rd with 18:25. Our young juniors walked the reduced distance of 1km and showed plenty of style – Ted Brennan, twins Lachlan and Amelia Hill and Geelong’s Heath Tatlock trying out their first walks with the club.

Daryl Biggin & Sharon Schnyder Founder Cup 3km Handicap
1. Fraser Saunder          13:38
2. Scott Peart             17:36
3. Tim Erickson            18:25
4. Kaylah Heikkla-Dubowik  18:36
5. Rhiannah Tatlock        18:45
6. Charlotte MacDonell     22:23

2km Walk
1. Jorja Tallent           16:29

1km Walk
1. Zahlia Heikkla-Dubowik   6:12
2. Lachlan Hill             6:49
3. Ted Brennan              6:55
4. Amelia Hill              7:38
5. Heath Tatlock            8:24

Our AGM followed the walk with aggregate & various club awards. Tim Erickson was awarded the 2019 Best Club Person award for his dedication to the Racewalking community both in Melbourne and as a whole, and the on-going support he has provided to our Ballarat club over the 24yrs of its existence. Thank you Tim, the award was well deserved.

2019 BRWC End of Season Awards
Aggregate Awards   Winner        Scott Peart
                   Runner up     Fraser Saunder
                   Third         Charlotte MacDonell
Encouragement Award              Laura Ballnger
Most Improved Style Award        Scott Peart
Best Club Person Award           Tim Erickson

Riannah Tatlock
Ted Brennan

Daryl Biggin with winner Fraser Saunder

Lining up before the Founders Cup gets underway – Willi Sawall, Fraser Saunder, Tim Erickson, Scott Peart, Jorja Tallent, Amelia Hill, Charlotte MacDonell, Ted Saunder, Lachlan Hill, Riannah Tatlock, Heath Tatlock, Kaylah Heikkila-Dubowik and Eija Heikkila-Dubowik

2019 BRWC Aggregate winners Charlotte MacDonell, Scott Peartand Fraser Saunder