Not many running races start with a spectacular hot-air balloon display over a lake prior to the start; just one of the many treats afforded the runners in the annual Sri Chinmoy Canberra Day Fun-Runs.
A beautiful morning, mild and clear, greeted the small but eager field assembled by Lake Burley Griffin for either a 10km or a 4km hit-out to start their Public Holiday in the best possible fashion.
Alex Hughes not only won the 4km race outright from the Boys Under 17 category: he set a new age group course record of 14 minutes flat in doing so, ahead of Male 17and Over winner Gordon Milne’s 14:27. The next two home were also from the competitive Boys Under 17s – Xavier Quispes in 15:16 and Rohan O’Grady in 15:22. Boys Under 13 winner was Harry Martin in 17:05.
Emily Hill was a clear winner of the Female 17 and Over in 17:42; while Hannah Quispes won the Girls Under 13 in 22:17.
The 10km run is certainly no stroll in the park, some striking lakeside scenery tempered by a few decent hills heading in both directions on this out-and-back course.
Jason McRae made the best of the morning, returning a 37:37 to win the Male Under 50s from Samuel Lowe’s 38:11 and David Beaven in 38:27. David Clarke took out the Male 50-59 in 41:28; Peter Clarke the Male 60-69 in 44:08; and Peter Gentry the Male 70 and Over category in 1:03:03.
Sally Parker showed good form to win the Female Under 50 race with her 43:39, from Ellie Barrett in 44:27 and Michelle Burns with 46:59. Kelley Horan won the Female 50-59 with 49:44; and Robyn McLelland the Female 60-69 in 59:01.
As the area around the soon-to-be-defunct Acton Ferry Terminal heads into a major redevelopment, we sincerely hope that this event, now in its 35th year, will be able to continue along this lovely course for may years to come.