The Frank Dyson Relay is the third oldest event on the APSOC calendar. It was first held in 1939, but was suspended during the war years between 1942 and 1945. The race resumed in 1946 and has been held every year since then on the famous Tan track around the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.
When looking at previous results, the older team and fastest lap times appear slower than in recent years, but this is because the original course included extra distance beyond the Tan track to create a 4 km circuit. Since 1989, all runners have been required to run a single 3.82 km lap. The current start and relay changeover point is near the Swan Street Bridge and horse trough at the point known as “the Pillars”. Runners travel in a clockwise direction, so that the initial section is relatively flat to the bottom of the feared Anderson Street hill. From the top of Anderson Street, there is a mostly downhill run to the finish.
There have been many outstanding performances over the years in this event, including Steve Austin’s lap of 10:55 at 40 years of age, but none better than Matt Clarke’s incredible time and course record of 10:45.6 in 2019. The women’s course record is currently held by Anna Thompson (OW) at 12:12. Old Scotch’s winning team in 2001 clocked 1:07.26, an average of 11:14 per runner.
Afternoon tea is held at Melbourne Grammar.