The Fernleigh 15

This blog post was bought to you by the letter F….

The festivities for the Fernleigh 15 began on Friday night, 18th October, with the Friday Fire-Up at the Adamstown Club.

Doddy opened the night with a bit of fun Fernleigh trivia for freddo frogs. After that, he gave one of the longest and the best intros I have ever heard. I’m disappointed that the only part that I can remember is, “he’s the baron of the barcode…”

We heard from Scott Westcott and Kurt Fearnley, who is a really funny guy. We then met two of the younger wheelchair athletes, Nathan Arkley and Rheed McCracken.

After this, we met some of the contenders for the Men’s title, including Vlad Shatrov and Hugh Williams.


I got the chance to represent the girls, as the only female speaker of the evening. I felt a little out of place on the stage next to all the elite athletes, I am just a motivated amateur. Adam Clarke was the final speaker of the evening. i could listen to running talk all evening, and will definetly be back next year.

The 2013 Friday Fire Up Panel
The 2013 Friday Fire Up Panel

On Sunday morning I got dropped off at the start line, and lets just say it was pretty easy to find my friends, all one hundred of them. It is pretty awesome to rock up to a race and see this…


The Fernleigh 15 starts in waves, because of the number of participants and the narrowness of the track. It is crowded for the first kilometre, but thins out pretty quickly. As we came out of the Fernleigh tunnel, near the 2km mark, I was running with Helen and Nic. I knew there would be a photographer there as we came out of the tunnel, so we all got into a line.

Kirby, Helen and Nic at the 2km mark.
Kirby, Helen and Nic at the 2km mark.

A few km later, going through one of the drink stations, I fell behind Helen and Nic a little, but they still remained in my sight for most of the rest of the race.

We ran through the old rail stations of Kahibah, Whitebridge and Redhead. It was great to see so much Night Strider support on the course. Those who couldn’t run still turned up to cheer.

I crossed the finish line at Belmont in 67:28, about 2 and a half minutes faster than last year. so after backing up after a PB in the Melbourne marathon a week ago, I should be happy with that.

The finish line atmosphere was fun, with commentary from the Naked Runners, and lots of Night Striders hanging around to cheer others across the line.

Night Striders at the Finish line
Night Striders at the Finish line



Wheelchair Division

1. Kurt Fearnley 33:51

2. Nathan Arkley 34:55

3. Rheed McCracken 42:44

Mens Division

1. Hugh Williams 46:56

2. Matthew Cox 47:17

3. Vlad Shatrov 48:06


Womens Division

1. Natalie Archer 54:05

2. Celia Sullohern 55:39

3. Bree Tisdell 58:20

A complete list of results can be found here:

3 thoughts on “The Fernleigh 15

  1. Kirby, the intro for Robbo at the Fireup went something like this. Doddy.

    My privilege to introduce you to your host for the evening:
    He’s the Mayor of the now famous Region of Runners

    The man who brought parkrun to Newcastle – and helped give birth to Newy, Lake Mac,
    Fingal Bay, Blackbutt …. Soon Maitland

    Host of the weekly parkrun show podcast
    He’s got one of the fastest parkrun dogs in Australia
    He invented the Monthly Monday Magic Maryville Mile

    He’s the entreprenaur who introduced Olympic Silver Medalist Sonia O’Sullivan to the RoR

    He’s right behind the push to upgrade Newcastle’s Blue Track
    He’s the Barron of the Barcode
    He’s the promoter of the positive exchange
    He’s the President of Newcastle Runners

    He’s done more than anyne else to promote running in the RoR over the last 2 years

    He’s a naked runner through and through and tonight – thankfully – he’s fully clothed in
    his blue blazer, Olympic pin – headband

    Runners ………………. would you welcome Dave “Robbo” Robertson

      1. At the end I did break from the written script and said …. Runners …. would you put your hands together and give polite applause as you welcome to the Fernleigh Room ….. Dave … People did not listen one bit and gave him a very large clap … and I got a high-5.

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