Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra
Exploring the natural heart of Canberra, on foot. For solo runners and relay teams of 4
About the event
Canberra has some of the best trails of any city in the world.
Originally staged as a 100km race to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, this unique run is a celebration of our "Natural Capital" – part adventure, part scenic tour and part epic endurance challenge.
The journey wends through the hills, nature parks and open spaces of central, south and north Canberra, describing a wide loop starting and finishing at Rond Terrace, at the foot of Anzac Parade on Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle.
Why not have it all? – this run combines the exhilarating immersion in Nature of a genuine trail race, with the convenience, safety and proximity to city services of an urban environment. Come and experience why so many runners choose to live and train in Canberra year-round.
The course is extended by 1 kilometre each year, to keep abreast of Canberra's age: in 2016 the race is 103km.
Runners can challenge themselves to attain the glory of completing the entire 103km solo; or else join with friends or colleagues to cover the distance in a relay team of 2 – 4 members.
AURA members receive $10 discount on entry prices, and will be required to show proof of current AURA membership at Registration.
HEED and other sports supplements are generously provided by Hammer Nutrition.
- 6:00 am for solo runners
- 6:30 am for relay teams
- Pre 5 pm, Wed 14 September: $130 Solos, $160 Teams
- Post 5pm Wed 14 September: $160 Solos, $200 Teams
- Online entries close at 5pm on Friday 23 September
- Medals for all solo finishers
- Trophies for top placegetters in solo categories
- Trophies for 1st 3 teams in each category
Proudly supported by
- Hammer Nutrition
Please note that the course for 2016 will be almost the same as for 2015, as that year was practically 103km. The additional few hundred metres required will be added closer to the event date.
Starting and finishing at The Rond Terraces, the route explores central Lake Burley Griffin and the national momuments of the Parliamentary Triangle, Parliament House, Red Hill, Isaacs Ridge, Farrer Ridge, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Stromlo Forest Park, the National Arboretum, Cork Oaks, Black Mountain Reserve, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie.
The full course takes in most of the significant sights of Canberra.
Download the gpx file for the entire course (click on "download track" link).
Download and print complete course descriptions and detailed maps for each leg.
We recommend the OsmAnd app for smartphone as a backup for staying on course. The advantage of OsmAnd is that it works offline and doesn't rely on a data connection.
You will need to:
Download OsmAnd (free version) to your iPhone or Android phone.
Download Australia map (warning - a fairly large file!)
Then you will need to download the GPX track for either the whole course or an individual leg from this site. You will need to open the track in the OsmAnd app. (Depending on your phone, this can be straightforward, or possibly not so straightforward!)
View, download and print detailed course maps for each leg:
Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4
|Map 1||Map 7||Map 13||Map 19|
|Map 2||Map 8||Map 14||Map 20|
|Map 3||Map 9||Map 15||Map 21|
|Map 4||Map 10||Map 16||Map 22|
|Map 5||Map 11||Map 17||Map 23|
|Map 6||Map 12||Map 18||Map 24|
- Registration and Pasta Party
- Event Nutrition Guide
- Team replacements
- Start and finish
- Number checkpoints
- Transitions & Aid Stations
- Mandatory Equipment
- Care in Nature Parks
- Road crossings & cycle paths
- Participant waivers
- Contingency plans
- Safety & Emergency Procedures
- Course cut-off times
- Finish & Awards Ceremony
- Ten Highest Moments
- Course records
For all pre-entered Solo Athletes and Relay Teams, compulsory registration – including a pasta meal for all pre-entered athletes – will be between 5 pm and 7 pm, Saturday 24 September at "My Rainbow-Dreams" cafe, Dickson Place, Dickson (opposite the Post Office). This will also the final opportunity to lodge late entries (pending the discretion of the event organisers).
If you have made changes to the composition or order of your team, you will need to have these recorded at Registration. You will also sign a waiver form, collect race numbers and information on any last-minute course alterations.
Hammer Nutrition are proud supporters of the race. Please read their comprehensive Nutrition Guide prepared for participants in this event.
Replacement of team members is allowed, provided the replacement does not alter the category of the team (eg all-female to mixed). Replacement members must sign a waiver form at Registration. Also at Registration, names are to be confirmed for each member doing each leg. Changes to this schedule will be permitted on the day, provided transition marshals are informed of the change in advance of the leg concerned.
Solo Runners- Every Solo Runner who will be commencing the final leg of the race after 4:30pm, must provide his or her own helper/pacer OR must run with another competitor for this leg. Each helper/pacer may only be responsible for one runner. Helpers may provide assistance of any kind anywhere on the course, with the exception of pacing during the first three legs (ie running with the athlete for more than 30 seconds), or physically assisting the runner to move in a forward direction (ie pushing or towing the athlete). Helpers may touch the runner as long as he or she is stationary, and may assist with clothing, equipment, food & drinks, as well as motivational, inspirational and directional advice. Helpers may not interfere with or impede the progress of any other competitor. To do so will incur the disqualification of the helper's runner, even if he or she has no part in such interference. The helper/pacer – with mobile phone, headlamp or flashlight – must accompany every solo runner commencing the final leg after 4:30pm.
Relay Teams - Teams must provide their own assistance and transport, which must be limited to a maximum of two (2) vehicles. Only members of a team can provide assistance to a team member in the course of the event. All other conditions are the same as apply to the solo runners' helpers. Any team member impeding or interfering with the progress of any other competitor or team will incur the disqualification of his or her entire team.
The race will start in two waves, from the grassy bank at The Rond Terraces (off Parkes Way, at the southern end of Anzac Parade).
Solo Runners will start at 6:00 am. Note that sunrise will be at 5:47 am on Sunday 25 September, so there will be no need of headlamps for the early part of the run.
Relay Teams will depart at 6:30 am.
Please assemble near the start for final check-in fifteen minutes prior to your start time. Final briefing will commence five minutes before the start time for both Solo Runners and Relay Teams.
Sunset is scheduled for 6:03 pm on Sunday 25 September. The race finishes where it began – on the grassy bank at Rond Terraces.
Upon the completion of each relay leg, it is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number has been recorded by the timekeepers, before tagging the next runner (for Relay Teams) or proceeding to the next leg (for Solo Runners). Besides these transition compounds, there will be several number checkpoints on each relay leg. These will be marked with a sign, and attended by an official. It is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number is recorded by the official. Failure to be recorded at a number checkpoint will incur a minimum time penalty of 30 minutes. Locals will be aware of many potential short-cuts, but should remember that to take a short-cut may mean missing a crucial number checkpoint!
Race numbers are recorded at number checkpoints and relay transition compounds throughout the race. Anyone whose number is not recorded within a reasonable time will become the object of a search (and, if necessary, rescue) mission. For this reason, any individual or team member choosing to withdraw from the event must inform, or have their helper inform either an Emergency Services marshal or a race official at an aid station or a relay transition compound.
In the event of a relay team member being unable to complete his or her leg, another team member may complete that leg on his or her behalf, provided race officials are informed of the details and circumstances before the replacement team member proceeds. The resulting split time for that leg will not be credited to any team member, and the team will not be eligible for awards. Otherwise, the team may choose to leave that leg uncompleted and another team member may start the following leg, commencing from the advertised cut-off time of the previous leg. In this case, the team will be allowed to proceed, and other team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for awards.
Each Relay Team runner must check-in with officials at the transition 15 minutes prior to their anticipated start-time. The team-member completing the previous leg must complete his or her course and be recorded by officials before tagging the next runner, who is then free to depart.
There will be full aid station supplies at each relay transition point. These will include water, sports drink (HEED), fruit, sweets, First Aid kit, vaseline, sunscreen (all of which are available to competitors only), and either public toilets or Port-a-loo.
Access to transition compounds is restricted to race officials, Solo Runner's helpers, media and team members involved in the changeover.
Transition compounds will be at the following locations:
Leg 1 / Leg 2 - the dead-end of Waldock St, Chifley, near the base of the north side of Mt Taylor.
Leg 2 / Leg 3 - Boundary Rd, behind the public car parking area, National Arboretum.
Leg 3 / Leg 4 - grassy area adjacent to the intersection of Phillip Ave and Majura Ave, Dickson.
Aside from the transition compounds, there will be aid stations offering fruit, sweets, water and sports drink, approximately every 10 km along the course. It is compulsory for every Solo Runner to carry a minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – 750 ml to one litre is recommended.
Solo runners who wish to prepare drop-off bags with special drinks etc to be collected at the transition points, must bring these, clearly labelled with their name, race number and transition number where they are to be collected, to Registration on Friday evening, or else to the start at least 15 minutes prior to the race start.
In addition to the transition compounds, aid stations will be located at the following points:
a) Hindmarsh Dr tunnel, northern end – end of Hartigan St, Garran
b) Crossing of Athllon Dr
c) Corner of Eucumbene Dr and Hindmarsh Dr, Duffy
e) Near Stromlo Forest Park roundabout entrance (Dave McInnes Drive)
f) Car park adjacent to Black Mountain Dr, after summit loop of Black Mountain
g) Roundabout at Fairfax St and Dryandra St, O'Connor
h) Mt Majura summit
i) Mt Ainslie summit
For safety, NO RUNNER may wear an iPod, radio or other listening device during the course of the event.
For Solo Runners: every solo runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for the entire event. This equipment will be checked prior to the start, and may be checked at other points along the course:
* Mobile phone
* Minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – it is recommended to carry 750 ml to one litre
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 3.30pm must carry a headlamp or torch
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 4.30pm must be accompanied by a helper/pacer, who must also carry a mobile phone and headlamp or flashlight OR must run with another competitor for this leg
For Relay Team Runners: every relay team runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for their entire leg. This equipment will be checked prior to the start of each relay leg:
* Mobile phone
* Every relay team runner starting the final leg of the race after 3.30pm must carry a headlamp or flashlight
Most of the course of the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Ultra Trail Run is within Canberra Nature Park, which includes Red Hill, Isaacs and Farrer Ridges, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Black Mountain Reserve, Bruce and O'Connor Ridges, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie – as well as through Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum. We are very fortunate to have been granted permission to stage this event through these areas. The authorities of Environment ACT have been extremely cooperative and helpful.
However, please be aware that this event takes place in a public domain. We do not have exclusive use of any of these areas, all of which are used by many people on weekends. Please treat other users with courtesy, especially walkers.
ALL RUNNERS MUST GIVE WAY TO ALL TRAFFIC AT ALL ROAD CROSSINGS. While marshals will be stationed at major crossings, they will not be stopping traffic, but simply assisting you to make a safe crossing. Please be patient and cautious. In the context of an all-day event, a short delay at a road crossing may be used as an opportunity for a brief rest. Failure to give way at a road crossing, or failure to obey the instructions of a marshal at a road crossing, will result in immediate disqualification from the race.
Athletes must show due courtesy and concern for all users of public cycle paths, including giving way to all pedestrians and recreational cyclists.
All gates in Canberra Nature Park, the former Stromlo Forest and the National Arboretum which are normally locked will remain locked for this event. Where a gate is closed, you may open the gate to pass through, but must then close the gate behind you. Where a gate on the course is locked, it must be climbed.
Please note that all competitors who have entered or have been entered into this event online, whether as Solo Runners or Relay Team members, must sign the participant waiver before commencing their respective leg or legs of the race. Copies of the waiver will be available at each transition area.
Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver is subject to immediate and automatic disqualification, and is no longer deemed a participant in the event.
In the event that any area of the course is closed to the public for any reason – including but not limited to fire, flooding, traffic or other accident – an alternative route through or around that area will be sought, and advertised at Registration or else signposted on the day of the race. In this case, it cannot be guaranteed that the amended course will be the same distance of the originally advertised course.
In the event that the entire Canberra Nature Park is closed to the public for any reason, the event will be postponed to another date. All entries in an event thus postponed will be held over to that later date, or else may be redeemed for any future running of the event within 3 years of the originally advertised event.
The event is being attended by trained personnel from Sports Medicine Australia who will be on hand to treat injuries. Every competitor must carry a mobile phone.
This is an endurance event, where a spirit of mutual assistance will benefit all. No amount of planning can adequately protect a 103 kilometre course through bushland, and many sections are without medical personnel or marshals for several kilometres. If you encounter another runner in difficulty, please stop to ascertain their condition and lend assistance where possible, and be sure to report the situation to the next marshal you see.
All times listed are in 24-hour clock time according to Eastern Standard Time, which assumes that the race commences with the start of the Solo Runners at 0600. These times apply to both Solo Runners and Relay Teams (even though Relay Teams commence 30 minutes after the Solo Runners).
|Relay Leg 1 - 1000|
|Relay Leg 2 - 1430|
|Relay Leg 3 - 1900|
After these times, there will be no marshals, checkpoints or aid stations on the course, and split times will not be recorded.
Solo Runners: Any runner commencing the final run leg after 1630 must be accompanied either by another competitor OR by his or her helper/pacer, with a headlamp or flashlight. A sweeper will follow the backmarker throughout the course.
Relay Teams: In the event that a team member fails to complete his or her leg before the designated cut-off time, another team member will be allowed to start the next leg at that time. In this case, the team will be permitted to proceed, and all ensuing team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for any awards.
The race finish and communications HQ will be at The Rond Terraces. Updates on results will be posted here from 3pm onwards. The nearest hot showers are available at Civic Pool. Relax with a drink, cheer on your friends, and share stories of the day's exploits.
The awards ceremony will be held at The Rond Terraces at 8pm. Awards will be presented to all Solo Runners who complete the course; and the first three all-male, all-female and mixed Relay Teams.
Check any of the following vantage points for stunning vistas...
1. Mt Majura (4th relay leg) 888m
2. Mt Taylor (1st relay leg) 855m
3. Mt Ainslie (4th relay leg) 843m
4. Mt Stanley (1st relay leg) 841m
5. Black Mountain (3rd relay leg) 812m
6. Sheaffe Trig (1st relay leg) 793m
7. Mt Stromlo (2nd relay leg) 782m
8. Mt Arawang (2nd relay leg) 756m
9. Davidson Trig (1st relay leg) 749m
10. Red Hill (1st relay leg) 720m
Note that these records were set on the 2013 course of 100 km
Solo Male Under 50: 9:48:48 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
Solo Male 50 and over: 14:11:08 – Colin Wiley (2013)
Solo Female Under 50: 11:24:57 – Susan Keith (2013)
Solo Female 50 and Over:
1st leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:04:57 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
1st leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 2:25:24 – Colin Wiley (2013)
1st leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:25:22 – Susan Keith (2013)
1st leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
2nd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:45:28 – Paul Cuthbert (2013)
2nd leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 3:50:00 – Colin Wiley (2013)
2nd leg Solo Female Under 50: 3:18:52 – Susan Keith (2013)
2nd leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
3rd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:27:19 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
3rd leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 3:26:59 – Colin Wiley (2013)
3rd leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:43:41 – Susan Keith (2013)
3rd leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
4th leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:24:35 – Andrew Donaldson (2013)
4th leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 4:28:45 – Colin Wiley (2013)
4th leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:57:02 – Susan Keith (2013)
4th leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
All-Female Team: 9:17:56 – "Here We Go" (Aimee Davenport, Margaret Helmsley, Hannah Every-Hall, Tiffany Bonasera) (2013)
All-Male Team: 6:59:46 – "@runcanberra" (Matt Fenech, Rob Walter, Martin Dent, Philo Saunders) (2013)
Mixed Team: 8:10:09 – "Enough of the Puffs" (David Osmond, Louise Sharp, Elizabeth Humphries, Stuart Doyle) (2013)
Relay Leg Records
1st leg male: 1:43:25 – Matt Fenech ("@runcanberra") (2013)
1st leg female: 2:11:23 – Aimee Davenport ("Here We Go") (2013)
2nd leg male: 2:06:38 – Rob Walter ("@runcanberra") (2013)
2nd leg female: 2:30:49 – Hannah Flannery ("Formaggi che corrono") (2013)
3rd leg male: 1:26:02 – Martin Dent ("@runcanberra") (2013)
3rd leg female: 1:59:58 – Elizabeth Humphries ("Enough of the Puffs") (2013)
4th leg male: 1:42:58 – Stuart Doyle ("Enough of the Puffs") (2013)
4th leg female: 2:08:50 – Sarah Buekerfield ("ANU MC-Hammer") (2013)
2015 Sep 27thSri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra, 102km, 27 September 2015
When a perfect day comes, you just have to cherish it. You know there will be wet, cold or super-hot, dusty and blustery days when just to put one foot in front of the other is a supreme effort – so when the sky is blue, the air calm and the sun mild; when birds are singing, balloons hovering and the very trees are smiling … these are days to be grateful for.
50 solo runners and 72 relay teams lined up at The Rond Terraces on Lake Burley Griffin for the dawn start, to venture forth along Canberra’s tracks and trails, wending an enormous circular route around the nation’s capital, cresting the peak of almost every hill and savouring a smorgasbord of superb vistas along the way. 102 kilometres would honour the 102 years this wonderful city has graced the Limestone Pains.
Paul Cuthbert and Sarah Fien are locals who know these trails better than most. Paul had come in second place both years this event has previously been held – in 2013 and 2014 – and this year, though his 10:17:57 was slower due to a more challenging course, his persistence triumphed with a front-running victory, having led the field from the first 100 metres. Sarah had also experienced disappointment here, having been forced to withdraw last year, but came back stronger and more determined, winning the women’s race in 11:35:18. placing her 7th outright. Both looked fresh and relaxed throughout the race, never more so than at the finish line.
Rob Mason (10:45:06) and Andrew Donaldson (10:55:46) both came in under the 11 hour mark, both working their way through the field to finish “on a roll.” Glenn Gielissen took out the Men 50-59 category in 14:07:37; and last year’s women’s winner, Pam Muston the Women’s 50-59 in an excellent 13:21:09. Deep respect and congratulations to all solo runners for their courage, vision, faith and heroism which permeated the whole race and only intensified the beauty and glory of this memorable day.
Having tasted winning teams in previous years, Martin Dent and Rob Walter decided to handicap themselves this year by each running twice as far as their competitors in the All-Male teams. Each ran 2 of the 4 legs for Team “2614”, and found it very demanding to back up for a second leg, yet still ran out convincing winners in 8:13:40 – 40 minutes clear of their rivals. Martin’s 1:59:38 was over 10 minutes clear in the 29.3 km leg 2.
Team “Malteesers” were convincing winners in the All-Female teams category, winning by 50 minutes. Tiffany Bonasera, Margaret Hemsley, Kyralee Bunt and Alison Mungoven were each in the top few for their legs, their combination proving unbeatable this day.
The “race du jour” was in the Mixed Teams category, between “StuLouElizDave” (David Osmond, Elizabeth Humphries, Louise Sharp and Stuart Doyle), and “The anu’s” (Joelle Ducommun-Dit-Verron, Richard Skelton, Jessica Amies and Emmanuel David). Both teams sprinted out at the start, with Dave and Joelle running the fastest male and female times for this leg. The anu’s drew away on leg 2, as Richard took the fastest male time for this leg and Jessica went further ahead on leg 3. Heading out of T3, Stuart was faced with a 9-minute deficit (abetted by Louise managing to run an additional few scenic km), and ran his heart out over Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie to bring his team victory by a mere 90 seconds.
Gratitude to all helpers, supporters, onlookers and well-wishers: especially to the Gungahlin SES; to Sports Medicine Australia; Triathlon ACT for the loan of equipment; to the staff of NCA, Environment ACT, the National Arboretum Canberra and Stromlo Forest Park; Martin Fryer for designing an outstanding course; the course markers, sweepers and clearers; to the transition and drink station attendants and marshals; to Shane Rattenbury for presenting the awards and supporting the race so wholeheartedly.
The race will return next year, maturing as Canberra does, to 103…
2014 Sep 28thSri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, Canberra, 28 September 2014 – Results
Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, Canberra, 28 September 2014 – ResultsSunday, 28 September, 2014
The Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run was staged in and around Canberra on Sunday 28 September 2014. Full results, both overall and by category follow, along with the top 3 times for each leg by category:
2014 Sep 28thSri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run Race Report
When the human being – body, vital, mind, heart and soul – is focussed on greatness, then astonishing strength, power, goodness, love and creative capacity flows from within to reveal in our little, limited world something infinitely marvellous.
When several hundred souls gather with one magnificent, transcendent goal, then we glimpse the glory that is our very best.
This glory is in the striving, in the pain as much as the joy, the stumbles alongside the confident strides, the so-called failure hand in hand with the triumph. For it is in striving to go beyond ourselves that we glimpse who we truly are.
The Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run brought together a family of champions. Every participant – solo and relay runner, helper, volunteer and well-wisher – gave their all to a day-long symphony of celebration, a soaring song of the human spirit.
Every individual performance was remarkable. Every achievement was sublime. Every participant should take a bow.
2014 Sep 28th2014: Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run - Paul Cuthbert's Race Report
The Sri Chinmoy Canberra Centenary ultra is one of my favourites, more than anything because it showcases what a beautiful place Canberra is. Where else in the world can you host an ultra run that circumnavigates a major city while spending most of its time in the bush? Throw in a heap of mountains (hills actually) and you have a great race.
This was the second year running, with an extra km added to celebrate. I came second last year, and was hoping to improve this year. I am fitter than last year, and scoping out the form guide I didn’t see any super stars, but as always in racing you never know what’s going to happen on the day. Long story short I ran really well, everything went to plan, but was beaten by a stronger competitor. Kudos to Bradley Carron-Arthur. On the negative side I missed out on first place. On the positive side I did a PB, plus I have extra motivation to train hard for next year. I’m a glass half full kind of person.
My lead up to this race involved a bit more tapering and less running than I usually do. I strained a glute two weeks before race day and despite loads of stretching and massage it still wasn’t fully healed. It was the sort of injury that could easily go away with a long run and not be a problem at all, or might flare up and risk my first DNF. I briefly considered pulling out to avoid the risk of a DNF, but being motivated by the great Kilian Jornet, “I am not afraid to fail”, decided this really wasn’t kosher. Fortunately the injury went away in the first leg and caused no problems after the first 20 metres limping down the hill. Love the body.
Pretty much from the start I was running with Brad. There were a couple of other people as well. John Power broke away at one stage early on which made me uncomfortable, because being a mate I really didn’t want to see him blow up. He ended up having a great race so my fears were unjustified. Another “unknown” to me (Stuart Davies) made a serious break away on the first leg, and was out of sight for ages, but it was too early on to know if he could maintain the pace.
Coming into CP1 my plan was to ditch Brad and run the rest of the race at my own pace (aside from Stu, who was still in front). I raced down Taylor and did a super quick change of packs with Tom Brazier on support. The plan seemed to be going well and I was running by myself for most of this leg, aside from passing Stu who looked in a bad state a few km later. (Checking the results later I see that although he slowed, Stu kept going and was consistent the remainder of the race - so kudos to Stuart Davies as well).
Approaching CP2, Brad had caught up and we ran together into the CP. By now we had covered over 50km and so I knew I had real competition by my side. The second half of this race was clearly going to push me!
I managed a quick transition and left the CP in front of Brad. He was soon to catch up and passed me heading up Black Mountain. I was quickly realising that Brad was faster than me on the uphills and I was faster on the downhills. Usually it’s the opposite, with race competitors passing me on the downhills. I ran the mexican hat on Black Mountain feeling less than ordinary, but somehow managed to catch Brad again later as we were leaving Black Mountain.
Around this time I stumbled a couple of times, and finally fell and grazed myself. I was getting tired and sloppy with my feet. This was definitely not the message I wanted my competitor to see. Brad managed to break away after I fell (after checking I was OK and graciously offering his help), and so I chased him all the way into CP3.
I hung around a little too long at CP3 and was gradually giving in mentally. I could see that Brad was a tough competitor, and having run Canberra to Cape York I knew he would not give up easily. Still there’s was always the hope he was feeling worse than me so I pushed on and tried to avoid losing too much time. I figured I would push at least until the Mt Ainslie summit ridge, where I would see what sort of lead he had and what condition each of us was in.
By the time I made the summit ridge I could see Brad had a decent lead. It was not insurmountable if I was feeling good and he wasn’t, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling good! At this point I was pretty sure it was going to be a 2nd place finish, provided nobody was right behind me. I made it to the top and down again without seeing third place, so with 15+ minutes up my sleeve I had a pretty comfortable lead on third.
I really didn’t want to get lazy for the remained of the leg, so I kept telling myself that either David Baldwin or Andrew Donaldson (both running the last leg) would soon overtake me, and how embarrassing it would be if this occurred while I was walking on the flat. It was a silly mental game but helped me keep going to the end.
I crossed the finish line in a time of 9:53:27, which is almost 17 minutes faster than last year. The course didn’t climb Stromlo, but was an extra km, so I really don’t know if it was easier or harder this year around. I figure it was about the same so I’m wrapped with a PB and pleased with how I ran. Can’t wait for next year.
About the Organisers
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
Serving the athletic community for over 35 years...
Team Founder Sri Chinmoy
A lifelong advocate of fitness and self-transcendence...