Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series, race 2: "Tuggeranong Trot" 20km & 8km, 2 July 2017
299 runners today showed that a minus 8.3 degree morning in Canberra is nothing to be afraid of. Rather it is to be embraced, appreciated and celebrated!
Certainly frost was abundant at the outset of the day and drawers were ransacked for the warmest mittens and even balaclavas, but with a 10am start time and a sun-drenched azure sky motionless above, none could have asked, hoped or prayed for more favourable or auspicious conditions.
The second of the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series for 2017 – the “Tuggeranong Trot” over the distances of 8km and 20km – was staged along tracks and trails above and along the Murrumbidgee River, seemingly in remote bushland, yet within cooee of the Tuggeranong Town Centre.
Kate Chipperfield ran a sterling race to win the women’s 20km in a fine 1:37:32, from Laura Lewis (1:39:06) and Kym Somi (1:40:26). Mhairi Craig smashed her own age group record by an astonishing 10 minutes in taking out the Female 50-59 with her outstanding run of 1:48:24; while Lynne McDonald won the Female 60-69 in 2:25:59.
Joseph Hughes proved the strongest in a competitive 20km men’s field, winning with 1:19:27, ahead of a great tussle to the line between Daniel Oehm (1:20:05) and Sam Burridge (1:20:06). Geoff Breese from Wagga took out the Male 50-59 in 1:34:10 – spare a thought for defending age-group record holder Kerry Baxter from Goulburn, who inadvertently changed out of his shirt with race number and timing chip attached right before the race start, and hence could not be recorded! Michael Sullivan ran out the winner of the Male 60-69 with 1:46:34; while stalwart Terry Dixon set a new course record for Male 70 and Over with his dauntless 2:15:33.
The shorter 8km race was no less competitive, with Andrew Wallace edging out several contenders to take the Male Under 50 in 30:34, from Liam Stewart (30:48) and David Simpfendorfer (31:25). Geoff Ives won the Male 50-59 with 40:30; Jim White set a new best time for Male 60-69s with his winning 44:59; and Alastair Kinloch likewise set a new course record for Male 70 and Over for the 8km of 58:38.
The women’s race saw the closest finish of the day with Claire Osborne (39:25) outsprinting Emily Hill (39:27), with Kate Gilmore (39:49) also in sight at the finish of a thrilling race. With 81 women under 50 racing the 8km, this was the largest category on the day. Karen Daniels again proved her strength and versatility to take out the Female 50-59 in 43:27; while Jennifer Saul was too good in the Female 60-69 with her 58:33.
The next and final event of the 2017 Series will be the “Gungahlin Gallop” over 10km and 30km from Hall Showgrounds on Sunday 30 July.