Saturday November 7 saw the 14th running of the Bill Burke Classic. Moved from the traditional April time slot due to COVID19, there were limited spots available in the event this year. The handicapped start made things a little bit easier in terms of social distancing. With four competitors and a timekeeper, we were also joined by Renus Burke and Michael Burke.
With no actual races for 6 months, it was hard to get any sort of read on the competitor’s form. Handicapping was going to be a difficult task. Matt Goodger was the front marker, with David Jones, Brian Anderson and John Cooper following.
The clock was started, then at 0:24, Matt embarked upon the 4km journey. David Jones was the next to start off at 2:12, with Brian Anderson starting at 5:11, John Cooper being backmarker at 5:28. After recently seeing his Tigers win a second consecutive AFL premiership, John couldn’t really expect to fly under the radar.
Matt was the first to complete the first lap, covering the 2km distance in 11.15. Brian had overtaken David to run 8.55 for the first lap, still being 2.27 behind Matt. He needed to make up 4:47 in total, so it was going to be line ball. John Cooper had bridged the gap to David Jones and they both passed through the line together with a lap remaining.
As the competitors came into sight the second time, Matt still had the lead, but Brian was closing. Down the hill past the cricket pavilion, it looked like the gap had been cut to around 35 seconds. With only about half a lap of the park to go, did Matt have enough of a lead? As they passed the last group of trees before the home straight, it was clear Matt wasn’t going to be caught. Brian was close enough to yell out for Matt to hear him, but not able to draw level. Matt found another gear into the home straight and it was victory for the big man from Oak Park.
Brian followed in 22 seconds behind Matt with John and David finishing equal 3rd.
Full results are as follows:
Name Start Finish Actual time Placing
Matthew Goodger 0:24 22:48 22:24 1st
David Jones 2:12 25:45 23:33 =3rd
Brian Anderson 5:11 23:10 17:59 2nd
John Cooper 5:28 25:45 20:17 =3rd
Thanks to Michael and Renus for attending the event. We hope to return to our April timeslot in 2021 with a full field of competitors. But in a year when the National Championships and the Olympic Games and Wimbledon didn’t happen, the Bill Burke Classic has continued.