Colin Findlay (1937-) – Life Member 1981

15 January 2017

Colin joined Old Scotch Collegians Athletic Club in the summer of 1953-54, having had reasonable success in cross country and middle distance running at school. As a schoolboy, he achieved a third placing in the Victorian Under 17 Cross Country title, followed by a fifth placing in Under 19.

From 1954, Colin was a member of winning Old Scotch teams in the APSOC competition on 33 occasions. He set a course record for the Dyson Relay in 1959, and was second and third fastest on several occasions; he won the Jamieson 5k event in 1955, following a second placing in 1954. He was second in the Cooke-McClelland on three occasions and third once, and third fastest in the Orchard 10k four times. Colin was the Old Scotch cross country champion in 1958, 1967 and 1968. He has won nine APSOC handicaps – Hare & Hounds 1974, 1994, 2000; Orchard 1995, 2003; Brighton 2007, 2012; Jamieson 1975; and Lodge 8k 2011.

Colin competed for Old Scotch in track and field events for thirty years. He was a finalist in the Victorian Junior Mile championship and competed in the Victorian steeplechase championship on several occasions.

Colin has been very active over the years within the Old Scotch club, holding almost every committee position, including President from 1970 to 1976. His knowledge of athletics was brought to the fore as the editor of and major contributor to the club’s fifty year history published in 1976. In 1978 he was elected a Life Member.

Broken bones in both feet (from athletic incidents) and periods of overseas travel disrupted some seasons. Colin ran in the UK in a Loughborough University cross country team with Sebastian Coe, ran his first of several marathons in the Midlands Championship (with a best of 2:57 later in Melbourne), and won trophies in road races in Bangkok.

In addition to competing, Colin has held various other administrative positions in athletics. He was Secretary/Treasurer of APSOC in 1960 and later President for five years from 1964. This is the second longest period of holding Presidential office after Alex Jamieson. During the 1980’s, Colin was President and Team Manager of the APS United A grade track and field team for almost a decade. He was the Executive Officer of APSOC from 2005 to 2015, organising permits and approvals from the various authorities and Victoria Police for the conduct of APSOC events.

Colin initiated the APSOC Mini Marathons, now conducted in memory of his Old Scotch friend Graham Wise, running the event from the then paddocks behind his home in Grimshaw Street, Bundoora, before the event moved to Whittlesea in 1970.

Colin has always run and run well. For him, the importance is not just the running, but rather the friendships made through running over the decades. In Col’s early years, the friendship of Ken McPhail from Old Xaverians proved inspirational in instances such as organising a combined APSOC team in the Melbourne to Geelong relays, and providing general encouragement at club events.

Some personal challenges for Colin have been the years of racing against teammate Graham Wise, the results of which were being counted by both of them, as well as duels with Jim Hunt (OM), who just pipped him in the final yards in the 1958 Cooke McClelland.

Colin has always been the voice of reason and logic at meetings of the Association, talking in a calm and reasoned manner. His involvement in all areas of the sport as an elite runner, event organiser and administrator give him wide experience to call upon and he is seen as a respected elder statesman of APSOC. It was on the basis of his many years as both competitor and administrator that the APSOC Executive nominated Colin as a Life Member in 1981.

By competing in APSOC events during 2016, Colin completed a period of 62 years of almost unbroken cross country competition.