17/12/2017   Melbourne (AUS): Perseus Karlstrom wins 50km with the new record of Sweden

What a difference a fortnight can make. The Australian 50km championship meet, initially scheduled two weeks ago, had to be cancelled due to catastrophic weather forecasts. Fast forward 14 days and competitors were treated to an overnight low of 17oC and an expected maximum temperature of 26oC, not too bad for Melbourne in summer and definitely a vast improvement!

Sadly, the two week postponement cause havoc from a numbers perspective, with only 28 of the original 52 entrants, along with one new entrant, actually making it to the start line. The 50km was most effected, with the original fields of 4 men and 1 woman reduced to a single male walker, Perseus Karlström (SWE). He must have felt a bit lonely during the first hour before the 20km walkers joined him on the fast flat 2km circuit in Fawkner Park.


While attention was at times taken by the 20km, U20 10km and U18 5km races going on around him, Perseus maintained focus on his own performance, and what a performance it was, with his final time of 3:44:35 bettering the Swedish Record of 3:44:49 (Bo Gustafsson, 1988) and improving his own 2013 PB by an amazing 8 minutes and 8 seconds. The 10km splits from the race tell the story of his race: 45:38, 45:04, 44:49, 44:29 and 44:35. It was a masterful performance.


For New Zealanders Quentin Rew and Alana Barber, the 20km races were of special significance, being the official New Zealand Commonwealth Games trials. Their winning times of 1:22:17 and 1:33:36 can only enhance their prospects of selection – both wins were definitive.


For his part, Quentin led the men’s race from start to finish, with splits of 41:22 and 40:55. The chasing duo of Tyler Jones and Rhydian Cowley gradually lost ground but were both still walking strongly. Sadly for Rhydian, he collapsed around the 15km mark and was forced to retire, leaving Tyler on his own, to eventually take second with a PB 1:26:44, ahead of Adam Garganis with 1:28:16.


If the men’s race was clear cut, the women’s race was anything but, with Claire Tallent building a short lead over a chasing group of Alana Barber, Jemima Montag, Regan Lamble and Clara Smith. When Claire was forced stop at around the 11km mark, the race quickly changed, with Alana and Jemima soon breaking clear and Claire chasing, while Regan and Clara were dropping back. Claire soon caught and passed Jemima but could not catch Alana who was still going away at the end. Claire’s second place time of 1:33:59 was a solid performance, while Jemima’s inaugural 20km time of 1:34:18 was the best ever by an Australian U20 girl. Regan was next to finish with 1:35:04, meaning the first 4 girls had all bettered the Commonwealth Games and World Race Walking Teams Championship standard of 1:36:00.


The standout walker in the U20 10km was Western Australian Declan Tingay, with a 7 sec PB time of 42:02. The other underage winners also walked well, with Philippa Huse 51:08. Will Thompson 24:29 and Alanna Peart 24:54.



50km Men Australian Championship, 7AM


  1. Karlström, Perseus 90 SWE 45:38 1:30:42 2:15:31 3:00:00 3:44:35 PB 8:08





20km Men, 8AM


  1. Rew, Quentin 84 NZL 41:22 1:22:17
  2. Jones, Tyler 98 NSW 43:45 1:26:44 PB 0:23
  3. Garganis, Adam 97 VIC 44:13 1:28:16
  4. Carl Gibbons 96 NSW 46:05 1:34:16
  5. Kozica, Jason 87 VIC 47:35 1:38:57 PB 7:35
  6. Prasad, Pramesh 74 VIC 49:59 1:45:02 PB 0:18

Cowley, Rhydian 91 VIC 43:45         DNF

McCutcheon, Luke 98 QLD 46:05     DNF

Hess, Albin 60 VIC                         DQ

Jamieson, Andrew 46 VIC               DQ

Blackwood, Mark 77 VIC                 DQ







20km Women, 8AM


  1. Barber, Alana 87 NZL 47:07 1:33:36
  2. Tallent, Claire 81 SA 46:57 1:33:59
  3. Montag, Jemima 98 VIC 47:08 1:34:18 First one, Aust U20 best
  4. Lamble, Regan 91 VIC 47:05 1:35:04
  5. Smith, Clara 98 QLD 47:10 1:37:06 PB 2:38
  6. McInnes, Simone 91 VIC 50:01 1:42:01
  7. Papadopoulos, Christina 96 QLD 50:53 1:43:47 PB 2:15








U20 10km Men, 9AM


  1. Tingay, Declan 99 WA 42:02 PB 0:07
  2. Swan, Kyle 99 VIC 44:58
  3. Richardson, Dylan 00 NSW 46:05 PB 0:27

Bedford, Kyle 00 NSW DNF



U20 10km Women, 9AM


  1. Huse, Philippa 99 VIC 51:08
  2. Peart, Jemma 01 VIC 51:56 First one

Randall, Alice 00 TAS DNF



U18 5km Men, 10AM


  1. Thompson, Will 02 VIC 24:29
  2. Dickson, Corey 02 VIC 25:35



U18 5km Women, 10AM


  1. Peart, Alanna 03 VIC 24:54   PB 0:40
  2. Hass, Jasmin 02 VIC 26:33   PB 0:57
  3. Hay, Charlotte 03 VIC 26:50   PB 0:40


Once again, Fawkner Park proved fertile grounds for fast times, with the shaded course the perfect antidote for the Melbourne sun.


That is the last major race for the year in Australia. But many of the Fawkner Park competitors, along with a number of international walkers, will be coming together early in the new year in Canberra where a major walks camp and study will be held at the AIS. The Australian 20km championship, to be held in Adelaide on Sunday 11th February, will be highly anticipated.



Tim Erickson

Sunday 17 December 2017





Full results (20km men is still unofficial) in the section Results or  directly download from this link: click here




Photo album (by Nathaly Miers - AUS): click here




Videoclip of the evnts (by AthsVicTV - AUS): click here





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