Albury Wodonga’s Nail Can Hill Run was originally the brainchild of orienteer’s Peter Harper and Lester Sawyer. First held in 1977, the run attracted 98 starters. The following year this grew to 474 and now attracts well over 1500 competitors.
The Nail Can Hill Run has been conducted by the Albury Wodonga Orienteering Club from 1977 to 2009 after which the Rotary Club of West Albury took over the running of the event.
Over the years, this event has become a local institution attracting tremendous support from the community. The run attracts large numbers of competitors, from the serious athlete through to walkers and family groups. The scenic and challenging course is along the fire trails on the ridgeline of the hills surrounding the western side of Albury. Many of the competitors are “once a year runners” (or walkers) who take on the run as an opportunity to get outdoors, get fit and enjoy the scenic beauty of the local bushland surrounding Albury.
In 2003 Steve Moneghetti smashed the long-standing men’s record previously held by Greg Webster. Steve ran an amazing 34min 57sec taking almost 2 minutes off the previous record which had stood for 10 years. The only other people to go under 38 minutes are former Olympian Pat Scammell, Jeremey Horne and Melbourne runner Ian Minter. A new women’s record of 43min 53sec was set in 2008 by Kate Seibold-Crosbie, eclipsing Julie Gollan-Foard’s 2002 time of 45min 28sec.
In 1993 the Age Buster category was introduced. To qualify, a runner has to complete the course in a time lower than their age (or age plus 20% for women). For example a 50 year old male must run under 50 minutes whereas a 50 year old female must run under 60 minutes. This is quite a challenge with only a small percentage of the total field able to qualify. Age Busters receive a commemorative T shirt and those achieving this five times are presented with the Max Scherleitner Medal. Max was a legend of Nail Can completing more runs than any other person including achieving the Age Buster fourteen times.
2006 saw the introduction of the Age Masters. Age Master status is awarded to anyone who can achieve Age Buster on ten occasions. Age Masters are awarded lifetime entry into the run, a permanent number and a commemorative singlet with race number. Donn Stevens became the first qualifier in 2006. He was joined by Daniel Cole in 2007, David Cromarty became the third Age Master in 2008 and Ian Spencer in 2009.
In 2009 The Rotary Club of Albury West took over management of the run. The Rotary Club is committed to maintaining the Nail Can Hill Run as a major community event in Albury Wodonga with all proceeds going to local charities