A NEW personal best time capped an outstanding run by Bendigo athlete Andy Buchanan in the Hamburg Marathon.

Racing just the fourth marathon of his career, Buchanan charged to the line in a time of 2:08.58 to set the seventh fastest time by an Australian at the 42.2km distance.

The Bendigo star was 11th in the Hamburg Marathon, in a race dominated by athletes from Kenya, Ehtiopia and Uganda.

Although he did not reach the Olympics qualifying time of 2:08.10, Buchanan was rapt to mark a PB in one of the biggest marathons in the world. The now 33-year-old was seventh in the marathon at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Buchanan plays a key role as coach for many of the athletes who represent Bendigo Bats in cross-country action and also star for their clubs in track racing.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed bag of results for the Bendigo Bats in Saturday’s start to the On-backed XCR cross-country series run by Athletics Victoria.

Teams contested relays at Jells Park. Racing was either 6km or 3km legs per athlete.

In men’s premier division, Bendigo Bats was fifth as Glenhuntly, Western, Mentone and Box Hill led the way.

Several of Bendigo’s top runners were away, Buchanan in Germany, and Brady Threlfall, Nathan Stoate and Archie Reid at Ballarat’s Running Festival.

At Jells Park the Bats team in the top men’s division was Matt Buckell, Harrison Boyd, Jackson Eadon, Lewis Gillett, Avery McDermid and Logan Tickell.

Highs for the Bats were victory in the women’s 50-plus class, and second in the under-20 men.
Bendigo’s line-up of Jill Wilkie, Ruth Sandeman and Anne Buckley clocked an overall time of 1:20.14 for the 18km contest as Mentone ran 1:20.30 to be runner-up.
Bats’ team-mates Angus Macafee, Billy Meade and Kade Hutchinson completed the under-20 men’s relay in 1:00.55 as Mentone took honours in 1:00.28.

Other results for Bendigo Region at Jells Park were division two men, 13th; division two women, 7th; division five men, 10th, and under-18 girls, 6th.

Although it fielded incomplete teams, Bendigo was in the 50-plus men’s category, 16th; and under-18 boys, 16th.

Next round in XCR will be on May 11 at Hanging Rock.

In Ballarat, Brady Threlfall was runner-up in the marathon in 2:19.40 as Stoate ran 2:23.10 to be fifth.

A closely-fought half-marathon (21.1km) went the way of Reece Edwards, 1:05.27, as Archie Reid clocked 1:05.41 to be runner-up.