Tarquin Oehr (1951-) – Life member 1998

17 January 2017

After trying many sports at Scotch and not being good at those involving a ball, Tarquin took up cross country running in year 11. The following year Scotch had a very strong team and trained every night. Tarquin would usually be number six in the team or in the second team. The natural progression was to athletics in third team and after leaving school, he joined Old Scotch in 1968.

Tarquin’s first APSOC season was 1969. He remembers Colin Findlay collecting him in his Austin A30 as he searched in vain for the start of the Dyson Relay. He was then introduced to a welcoming and friendly group, and enjoyed the social afternoon teas post-race. Never having been a star, it was pleasing to see his performances slowly improve in subsequent seasons.

Despite commitments with his medical course, Tarquin competed in APSOC and VAA races each weekend. On many occasions between 1970 and 1985, he was in a winning Old Scotch team. He found the APSOC and OS team spirit especially strong; a memory was a team of Old Scotch runners venturing to Neil Lucas’ new home in Berwick for a working bee one Sunday.

Tarquin declares that he always had a desire to run a marathon, but at the time, apart from greats such as Rod Bonella and Peter Bruce, Norm McLeish seemed to be the only regular APSOC marathoner. In 1970, he and Stewart Handasyde ran both the VMC and VAAA marathons. They repeated this the following year and this seemed to spark a re-interest in marathon running amongst other APSOC athletes.

Tarquin competed regularly in winter events until, after finishing his intern year, he left for four years work in London. There he joined Hillingdon Club and ran with them and also many races in France. He has also run less formally in Rome, Fiji, Hong Kong and Wales. He returned in 1980 and continued to record PB’s.

In 1983, Tarquin was elected President of APSOC. He has never won an APSOC race, but despite being affected by food poisoning, he managed second to Bruce Hooley in the 1975 Cooke-McClelland. He claims he would have won the Lodge Handicap one year, but foolishly told handicapper Ken McPhail that his given handicap was too generous and had it changed!

Now, having acquired a property in France, and with ongoing knee problems, Tarquin has reduced his training and has found the long races such as half marathon just too hard. But he declares that even after 45 year of running he has no desire to stop.

Tarquin pays tribute to Keith Lodge who welcomed him as a newcomer, Ken McPhail for his encouragement and warmth, Bruce Hooley who was a great rival, Neil and Margaret Lucas who were generous hosts at Berwick, Graham Wise for his extraordinary hospitality and the APSOC organisation as a whole.

Tarquin’s personal best performances are;

5,000m track 15:35

10,000m track 32:25

15k road 48:36

Half marathon 71:51

Marathon 2:36.24

Cooke-McClelland 8k 27:31 (1982)

Jamieson 5k 16:38 (1984)

Lodge 16k 55:03 (1980)

McPhail 8k 26:20 (1983 & 1984)

Orchard 10k – 33:22 (1983)

Second fastest at Lodge 16km 1975, 1986

Third fastest at Lodge 16km 1980, 1987

Third fastest Whittlesea half marathon 1987, quarter marathon 1969

Then how is this for consistency?

Cooke-McClelland 8km

1980 – 27:31

1981 – 27:33

1984 – 27:35

1985 – 27:50

1986 – 27:48

1987 – 27:47

1988 – 27:59

After a long and regular association with APSOC, Tarquin was elected to Life Membership in 1998.

Notes provided by Tarquin Oehr, with assistance from Mark Purvis, edited by Colin Findlay 2014