The runner who smashed the women’s record in Sunday’s Nail Can Hill Run says she won’t compete again on principle if the present $5000 race record prize arrangement isn’t altered.
Commonwealth Games steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell completed the 11.3 kilometre course in 42 minutes, 46 seconds, more than a minute faster than the existing women’s mark.
The first three men home Jack Rayner (36:15), Andy Buchanan (36:27) and Liam Adams (37:49) posted three of the best Nail Can run times ever, but could not conquer the 34:57 required to earn the special cash prize.
Mitchell, of Mansfield, who placed fifth overall, said offering just the one prize for a race record was discriminatory.
“My issue is they supported the men’s record and not the women’s,” she said.
“I just find that really sexist and major inequality and it shouldn’t be happening.
“How can you do that in this day and age?”
Rotary Club of Albury West president Stuart Abbott said the single prize related to the record, not a gender.
“We have offered even prizes for both the male and female winners, second and third prize, but there has ever only been a major prize for the race record,” he said.
“If she (Mitchell) broke the race record, we would be celebrating with her.
“There’s absolutely no desire to discriminate against anyone.”
Mr Abbott said the Nail Can Hill Run as a whole aimed to raise about $40,000 each year for charity.
Sunday’s event saw 1147 entrants take part in the full race, the 4km Half Can and the Ironman/woman event that included a 15km mountain bike ride.
Race co-ordinator Peter Nicol said numbers were down on last year, possibly due to a website error that made people think entries on the day weren’t being accepted.
Overall winner Rayner, of Altona, found out about the race only a fortnight ago.
“I’ve done a fair few races in my time, but this one takes the cake, I think, such steep inclines,” he said.
“Once I was 3kms in, I looked down at my watch and thought, ‘Yeah, that record’s not going to happen today’.
“Close, but also not so close, it was still a minute-something; over 10kms that’s quite a bit.”
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