Ballarat Cross Country Races

YCW Harriers offers a busy calendar of cross-country events for athletes of all ages.

Lap of the Lake

The Steve Moneghetti Lap of the Lake is the premier race on the Ballarat Regional Centre Cross Country calendar.

The race consists of a 6km lap around the picturesque Lake Wendouree. Not surprisingly Mona holds the lap record, running 16:10 in 1992. On the morning of the race Mona’s father, Henry, even raked a path along a 300m grassy section to clean up the leaves and sticks!

Kelli Baird set the female club record of 20:38 back in 1990. This record is testament to one of the toughest athletes to ever represent the athletics club. In the same year, KB also clocked an impressive 9:36 for the Club 3km Championship: a record that also still stands.

In early September, YCW holds a handicap race named in honour of club legend, Ern Dowling. This race around the lake has been held every year since the clubs inception in 1946.

The top 10 YCW times around Lake Wendouree are:


Steve Moneghetti 16:10, 1992
Tony Benson 16:59, 1967
Dennis Boyle 17:12, 1991
John Walsh 17:12, 1992
Maurice Prendergast 17:16, 1992
Shane Nankervis 17:16, 2003
Rob Ellis 17:19, 1999
Wayne Dyer 17:24, 1987
Paul Hayes 17:26, 1993
Richard Gleisner 17:26, 2002


Kelli Baird 20:38, 1990
Anne Martin 21:40, 1998
Helen Stanton 21:42, 2002
Paula Nankervis 21:48, 2001
Helena Cullinan 21:50, 1992
Ann Reeve 21:54, 1989
Anna Howley 21:58, 1995
Cara Waters 22:22, 1998
Judy Millar 22:23, 1981
Geraldine Riley 22:24, 1999

Club 8km Championship

YCW’s 8km Championship is run on a tough and hilly course at St Georges Lake, Creswick, which is about 16 km from Ballarat.

This is a very popular run with club members. Perhaps thats because of the traditional post-race afternoon tea, which helps erase the memory of the steep 2km climb that marks this race.

The 8km Championship also incorporates a handicap race named in honour of Benita van Raaphorst, who died tragically in a car accident in 2001.

Tom Conroy 8km Handicap

Every August, YCW holds the premier handicap race of the year. The race is named after Tom Conroy, who was the last remaining link between YCW and its predecessor, CYMS Harriers.

The course starts at Scarsdale Primary School and is a tough undulating run through the Scarsdale Forest. The post-race club BBQ provides a great opportunity to catch your breath and share your stories.

Club 3km Championship

Traditionally held in Late August this prestigious race was first run in 1948. It served as the selection race for the Daylesford Relay team. The first 13 runners home made the A grade team.

Starting at the Botanical Gardens the race runs clockwise around Lake Wendouree, finishing on the opposite side. Often a favourable tail wind prevails and many club members 3km personal bests have been posted on this course

In 2015 a new trophy was created for the winner of the sealed handicap, The Michael Hayes 3km CC Handicap is named after our second, and still continuing handicapper. Michael has been in this role since 1985

King of the Mountain

This road running race, which was established in 1969, gives club members a chance to race for the titles of King and Queen of the Mountain.

The race starts at the foot of Mt. Buninyong on the outskirts of Ballarat and runs 4.3km to the top of the mountain. With barely a flat section in the run, this is undoubtedly one of the toughest races of the year.