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March 2018

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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Post Bendigo-Gift questions with pre-Stawell consequences (reflections from the Burramine paddocks)

Post Bendigo-Gift questions with pre-Stawell consequences (reflections from the Burramine paddocks)

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ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
As DizzyRunner looks over the pre-carnival Burramine landscape, he cannot help but reflect on last weeks hot, sweaty, yet scintillating Bendigo carnival. A number of questions have arisen as a result of Bendigo racing which lead us into the crucial lead-up to Stawell:

1. Net time/ Ceiling time? Even with the field being pulled back, about 11 athletes broke the ceiling time in the 400m, and several more in the Backies Mile. Dizzy’s mental calculator has never been the most accurate, however, the question remains, how much, if at all, should these runners come back for any other 400s they run this season?

2. Should there be a track allowance? The track was undoubtedly quicker than anything raced on this season, or any season that DizzyRunner can remember. If a track allowance is to be applied, what should it be? Should it be made public? Is there a need to explain this to runners?

3. Accountability? Organising carnivals is undoubtedly very difficult with so many variables to consider. DizzyRunner has in the past been one of the most vocal to sing the praises of the organisation and transparency of the VAL carnivals. However, a number of inconsistencies have crept into the competition this year. Several examples from Bendigo include: changes to the handicapping of the entire 800m field WITHOUT athletes being notified (eg. the race entry form stated that the field would be handicapped back to scratch, however, this was changed and not done), and secondly, the handicaps of athletes not being announced to all athletes until they are on the start line (which was the case for at least several runners in both miles). Thinking proactively, and with an eye towards improving, rather than just criticising, how might athletes, officials, and coaches be used as assets to help avoid these kinds of mistakes? Is there a place for a more formal, ‘VAL’, public/private forum where athletes can raise questions without fear of being subtly penalised?

Looking forward to hearing your responses as I wait for the Burramine sun to show itself.


1. I would assume pulls would happen even if they are minimal and fair/evenly applied. Hopefully nothing too drastic as it was a fantastic race and one would hope a race of similar quality would take place at Stawell. Don't want to see people getting yanked out of contention as most of the main players of the season featured in that race.

2. Surface was flying, not sure if there will be an allowance but was surely very fast with so many quick times posted. As mentioned, you would hate to see the best runners over the distance during the season made uncompetitive.

3. Communication has been a consistent issue this year. hopefully it gets sorted out over the off-season and those working so hard get some extra help.


if you run a backmarkers and frontmarkers mile and you want a scratch man then have the backmarkers mile from scratch to 120m and the frontmarkers from 125 to 240 then run a womens/vets 1600m and every body gets a run and the handicapper doesnt have a big headache. why runners running off 200m every week then find themselves running off 80m is beyond me, bendigo had 1 x 800m 18m out to 100m 2 heats then a frontmarkers scratch out to 150m how does this work? also 2 heats

Double Jeopardy

ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
It would be really helpful if the VAL released a statement outlining the 'ceiling time' penalties incurred after the Bendigo carnival.

There was plenty of confusion on the weekend regarding the penalties and how they were established. In particular, regarding what, if any track allowance was given for the fast times.

An official statement would help clear up the issue and quell any feelings among runners that the powers that be are making it up as they go.

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