126th NSW Cross Country Championships – Ed Goddard runs into history

Published Mon 24 Jun 2024

At the 126th NSW Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Ed Goddard continued his all-conquering dominance of the NSW winter distance running program, while his UTS Norths club mate, Kate Spencer turned back time returning to the top of the podium eight years after she won the title.


Over 700 athletes endured rain to travel to Nowra to compete on the iconic Willandra cross country course, located on the Gibb family property. It was the 32nd NSW winter state championship held at Willandra.


WOMEN – open 10km

In 2016, Kate Spencer was just back in Australia after clocking a 5000m track personal best. That year the distance was increased from the traditional 8km to 10km but a fit Kate coasted home to victory in 36:57. Eight years on, Kate again dominated the women’s event, claiming the win by 80 seconds in a time 36:41 – faster than in 2016, although the course has been changed with a less steep hill. She defeated Run Crew’s Danette Sheehan (38:01) and Newcastle Flyers’ Laura Simon (39:16).


MEN – open 10km

The men’s race was closer, but Ed Goddard was still a comfortable winner in 31:47, faster than his 2023 winning time. He defeated Kembla Jogger Luke Hince (32:00) and Run Crew’s Ben St Lawrence.


For Ed, it was his fourth win in the event, as he becomes one of the most successful athletes in the history of the race. Only two athletes have won more titles, and they were back in the 1920s and 1930s. M Jeff MacKenzie (Western Suburbs) won six titles (1922, 1926-1930) and Jack Sheaves (Western Suburbs) won five titles (1931-33 and 1935-36).


Ed equalled a few others on four wins, including Paul Arthur, formerly from Randwick-Botany and Easts, but now on the Central Coast. Yesterday Paul won the 55-59 years 8km race. Running in Ed’s race was a three-time winner Russell Dessaix-Chin (Sydney Uni, 2005-06 & 2008) whom Ed has now passed.


It was also Ed’s eighth individual NSW XC title, also with wins in the NSW Short Course (1), Road Championship (2) and Half Marathon (1).


Results: https://results.nswathletics.org.au/


David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW

Image: Ed Goddard (image courtesy of John Goddard)