Sri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track"
One of Australia's premier track ultra events, now including the marathon!
About the event
Welcome to the Sri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track", featuring 24-Hour, 12-Hour, 6-Hour and Marathon Track Races, this year being staged at the Campbelltown Athletics Centre, near Sydney over the weekend of Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June 2018.
The Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour race has been staged variously at Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney for the past 38 years, and has many times been awarded the prestigious title of National Championship. The event is renowned for the level of care and service provided to runners, and the family atmosphere amongst helpers and athletes (most of the organising team are or have been ultra runners).
Whether you are an experienced ultra veteran, or first-timer keen to explore the realms beyond the marathon – or the marathon itself – we look forward to welcoming you and encourage you to participate in this special event.
FOLLOW LIVE RESULTS THROUGHOUT THE RACES
- 9am, 2 June
- $190 early bird
- $240 after 5pm 2 May, closing 5pm 30 May
- 9pm, 2 June
- $130 early bird
- $170 after 5pm 2 May, closing 5pm 30 May
- 10am, 2 June
- $80 early bird
- $100 after 5pm 2 May, closing 5pm 30 May
- 11am, 2 June
- $50 early bird
- $70 after 5pm 2 May, closing 5pm 30 May
ContactPrachar Stegemann+61 404 071 327Send Email
Proudly supported by
- AURA sanctioned, an IAU bronze label event
Before the Race
Each entrant will receive a timing chip and two race numbers. The number must be worn on the front and back at all times. We recommend an elastic belt to allow for fast clothes changes. Registration will open trackside 90 minutes prior to each event start (7.30 am for the 24 hour run; 8.30 am for the 6 hour run; 9.30 am for the marathon; 7.30 pm for the 12 hour run); and will close 45 miutes prior to the event start (8.15 am for the 24 hour run; 9.15 am for the 6 hour run; 10.15 am for the marathon; 8.15 pm for the 12 hour run). Compulsory race briefing will be 30 minutes prior to the race start.
It is desirable that you bring your own tables and comfortable chairs (if you can). Preference for the provision of tables and chairs will be given to people travelling by air from interstate. While self-crewing is possible for these events, please consider the possibility of “adopting” a runner without a crew and at least help them out intermittently if you can.
You will be able to set up your drink table and chairs in a defined Crewing Zone, to be located on the infield of the track.
If you will be camping at the track, please inform the Race Director beforehand and upon arrival at the track so you may be directed to the correct camp site.
During the race
As individual athletes have different food/drink requirements and tastes it is recommended that competitors bring their own specific food/drink for the event. However, water, sports drink, flat Coke and a selection of nourishing food will be provided at a trackside aid station.
A microwave, hot water urn plus tea/coffee/hot chocolate/miso/soup etc. will be available. The Race Venue will not have food available for immediate purchase during the race duration. The nearest major shops for purchasing groceries and/or take-out are about a 5 minute drive away.
Helpers – Meal Vouchers
For runners’ helpers, meal vouchers will be available for $30 for the 24 hours. This will entitle you to lunch and dinner on the Saturday and breakfast on the Sunday. You will also have unlimited supply of tea, coffee, milo etc. Meal vouchers can be purchased at registration prior to each race.
All food is vegetarian.
All runners will change direction every 4 hours.
Average daily temperatures for June range from 9°C min to 16 °C max. Overnight lows range from 1°C to 10°C.
Given the weather variability at this time of year please bring a range of clothing suitable for a wide range of conditions including heat, cold, rain and/or wind.
A qualified level 2 sports trainer will be in attendance throughout the 24 hours of the event.
As this is an IAU certified event, the following crewing rules must be observed or competitor disqualification may occur:
- Crew/helpers may not enter the course nor obstruct any athlete. They may hand the refreshment to the athlete either from behind, or from a position no more than one metre in front or to the side of, the refreshment table.
- Crews are not able to pass food/drinks to their competitors anywhere else on the track outside of the defined Crewing Zone.
- Crews are not allowed to run/walk with competitors at any time during the race.
In practice, what this means is that if a runner needs to give instructions to their support crew, or a crew has to provide information to the runner, they either have to do it in the seconds that the runner passes by the table or the runner has to stop for more detailed interactions.
Please always be considerate of other competitors on the track. Track etiquette should enable the faster runners/walkers to pass on the inside of the track. If you are using the inside lane please do so only in single file.
If you wish to run or walk alongside another runner or walker please move into the outside lanes.
If you are doing some slower laps please move away from the inside lane to enable faster entrants to pass without having to move around you.
In accordance with IAU protocols, any partial laps completed at the end of the race will be accurately measured with a measuring wheel. Thus, during the last 5 to 10 minutes of the race, competitors will be handed a small bean bag or equivalent marker with their race number on it. This is to be held until the final countdown to zero (PA system) or final siren/gun signalling the end of the chosen race. Unless racing for a pre-nominated record it is recommended that competitors gradually ease down their speed and move close to the track edge during the last 10 sec countdown so that they can stop walking/running abruptly at the final signal (no carryover). At this moment the marker bag should be dropped as close as possible to the edge of the track adjacent to the foot closest to the track edge.
A Race Marshal will soon attend to each competitor, check their number, mark their finish position and then acknowledge that it is OK to depart the track. Competitors are allowed to have a helper bring them a blanket/warm clothes and a chair (NB: placed off the track surface) if required.
Use of iPod/MP3 players
Portable music players may be used for all except the first and last 15 minutes of the race.
2018 Jun 2ndSri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track" – 24 Hour, 12 Hour. 6 Hour and Marathon – 2 & 3 June 2018
Sri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track" – 24 Hour, 12 Hour. 6 Hour and Marathon – 2 & 3 June 2018Saturday, 2 June, 2018
Provisional results are published. These will be confirmed once all have been audited.
24 hours can be gone in a flash, a mere flicker in our life’s unfolding history; again, 24 hours can reveal eternity.
Each adventurer-explorer-warrior-hero-soul who dared to take that one step forward to the starting line at 9am on Saturday 2 June at Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Track, stood at that line with excitement, anxiousness, trepidation and above all, eagerness for a rendezvous with destiny, a surrender to an unfolding inner and outer drama in which each runner would be both protagonist and audience, as each one chiselled, wrestled and wrangled cherished secrets from the heart of the Unknown. We, witnesses to the story, would also be changed for the better by what we would see, feel and become…
While it’s true that the “smaller” races of 12 hours, 6 hours and the marathon would not happen without the 24 hour race as the backdrop and in that sense they could be seen as supporting or subsidiary events, it’s also true that the additional energy, enthusiasm, aspiration and rich humanity these races bring to the track serve immensely to invigorate, inspire and expand the horizons of the 24 hour race and its runners. Being able to employ lane 3 thanks to the computational wizardry of an electronic timing system, brings additional atmosphere, intensity and purpose which lifts and benefits all the races and participants.
6-HOUR RACE: start time, 10am Saturday
With the 24 hour race already one hour into its journey, a new chapter opened with the arrival in lane 3 of 15 runners aiming to cover as much distance as possible in the ensuing 6 hours. Running parallel with the 24 hour racers, their aims were congruent, though operating within a tighter timeframe. The field was certainly a motley crew of diverse nationalities, ages and backgrounds.
Tom Stevens took out the major prize in the race with a fine 67.422 km, from Japan’s non-stop Energiser Bunny, Masanori Chiba who won the Male 50-59 with 64.054km with Sarah Lately leading the women and taking 3rd outright with 62.962km.
THE MARATHON: start time, 11am Saturday
Despite another marathon being held just up the road on the same day, 16 willing subjects came to test their mettle against the classic distance in the controlled environment of the track. Given that the race would continue as long as the 24 hour runners were still out there, there was effectively no cut-off time for the marathon, a fact which doubtless attracted a few who might otherwise have had concerns about testing the patience of course marshals.
Kevin Heaton ran a superbly-paced marathon to win in 3:29:05, from Tom Luxton’s 4:11:01 and Victor Ziegler’s 4:32:07. Kathleen Ho was 1st placed among the women with 4:43:05, from Tina Wills in 4:51:22 and Celine Lamy with 4:52:23. The star of the show was undoubtedly 85-year-old Francis Dearn who ran in the company of Belinda and Glenn Lockwood, to clock an impressive 8:43:42 for the full marathon distance, a gritty performance of courage and faith rewarded with that sweet taste of completion.
12-HOUR RACE: start time, 9pm Saturday
Dark had well and truly descended on this early Winter’s night and the 24 hour stalwarts were already tunnel-visioning themselves for the push or grind or climb or float through their toughest ordeals ahead, when another group of fresh faces and legs gathered for their own assault of the night: the 12 hour race.
Standout performers in the 12 hour adventure were outright winner Dan Lollback with 121.533km, alongside 2nd overall and female winner Katy Anderson who clocked a breezy yet mighty impressive 113.772km. In addition to their own great performances, the 12 hour runners provided a wonderful service to the 24 hour field, keeping them company and bringing extra firepower to the track when it was most needed.
24-HOUR RACE: start time, 9am Saturday
An athletics track is always a sporting arena: during a 24 Hour race, it morphs also into both drama theatre and battlefield. Many of the dramas and battles are staged and fought entirely within the hearts, minds and bodies of the participants, while the helpers and spectators are privileged to witness some of the results of these inner struggles, duels, setbacks and victories. The competition between participants is largely secondary, and tends to follow the outcomes of the inner plot lines.
Gary Mullins set the pace early in a bid to gain a qualifying time for the Australian National 100km team; however he soon realised it was not to be his day and withdrew from the arena. From this point it was seasoned campaigner Matthew Eckford who led the way, with Stephen Redfern, Karsten Schiemann and Bruno Lorenzi Lima close together for the first 50km. The women’s race likewise saw a close contest through the marathon with the vastly experienced Sharon Scholz closely tailed by Heather Hawkins and Sabina Hamaty.
All eyes were on Rod Rainey as he steadily progressed towards his goal of a new 6 Hour Australian Record for Males 70+, which he duly set with a new best distance of 55.723km (yet to be ratified). Rod continued beyond the 6 hour mark up to 100km, at which point he called it a day.
Matthew Eckford’s goal was the 240km final distance required to qualify for the Australian 24 Hour team. It didn’t bother him that he was running so far ahead of the pack – 240km beckoned loud and clear and kept him focussed as he continued with brisk pace and strong form. At 100km he led by 40 minutes; at 150km his lead had grown to nearly one hour over the field. Inevitably his relentless output started to take its toll and his lap times gradually decreased. Both Karsten and Bruno dropped out of contention by now, yet Stephen Redfern continued bounding around the track with the same quiet reserve and effortless, weightless style. Now firmly in second place, he continued to make up ground throughout the night and the early hours of the morning. The other steady improver was John Yoon who had moved into 4th by the 100km mark, and 3rd place by 150km.
In the women’s race, Sharon Scholz was never going to be threatened nor would she ever much reduce her pace; nor would the mighty impressive Heather Hawkins be in danger in the women’s 50 and Over category. It was Cheryl Symons who slowly worked her way through the field. At the 100km point she was still a long way behind Sabina Hamaty, Karen Chan and Vanessa Phillips: by 150km she was comfortably in front of them all.
At no point in the race did Matthew Eckford appear to be on track for anything but 1st place: even the early burst from Gary Mullins was only ever likely to yield 100km or at most 100 miles. Yet as he passed his goal of 240km a curious thing happened – a combination of sheer exhaustion from the Herculean effort of running alone at the edge of his capacity and endurance for nearly a day, utter relief at having reached his goal, and perhaps the prospect of a physically and emotionally painful showdown with a fast-finishing Stephen Redfern, saw him happy to step off the track with a mere 15 minutes remaining in the race, with 242.201km to his name. Stephen meanwhile, who had already surpassed his personal best distance by more than 20 kilometres, was riding a rare tidal wave of inspiration and simply could not slow down, taking the lead soon after Matthew’s withdrawal and gliding to an astonishing and memorable victory with 245.566 golden kilometres. Both were ecstatic with their efforts and rightly so. John Yoon likewise finished powerfully to also claim a personal best and 3rd place with a remarkable 227.61km, an effort which would be good enough to win many a 24 hour race.
The next 3 placings were filled by women: Sharon Scholz ran a beautiful race, always seeming in control to again claim the crown of Female Champion with 188.45km. Heather Hawkins also ran an amazing race to win the Female 50-59 category and 2nd place overall with an incredible 178.927km; from the remarkably consistent Cheryl Symons with 177.35km. Not far after Cheryl came the first placed Male 50-59, Soonchul Shin from Korea running his first ever 24 hour track race with a wonderful effort of 176.531km, having been pushed all the way by Colin Wiley with a fine run of 173.033km.
Also topping the immortal 100 mile mark were Arthur Sargeant with 165.158km; Sabina Hamaty with a fantastic 164.294km; and the great Anyce “Kip” Melham, running his 31st or 32nd Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour race and taking the Male 60-69 category, having dug ever so deep for a mightily impressive 163.852km. Craig Gustard came home with 163.009km; while Justin Scholz completed at least his 10th Centurion effort by walking 100 miles in 21:50:43 at which point he withdrew from the race (thus slipping a few notches in the standings). Karen Chan just barely missed the 100 mile mark by a mere 28 metres and deserves a most creditable mention for her wonderful run of 160.906km.
Constance Attard had never entered a race of any distance in her life, let alone a 24 hour race. Her plan was “to walk with a happy heart” for as far as she could, and that she certainly did, clocking an amazing 123.426km to take 2nd in the Female 50-59 category – an impressive race debut if ever there was one!
David Attrill came to the track today expecting to walk about a marathon: however he was so inspired by Rod Rainey’s record-breaking run that he continued … and continued … eventually taking out the Male 70 and Over category with a whopping 120.632km, all of them walked.
Every runner and walker in the race deserves their own write-up and many a victory is not recorded in the results pages; these victories are recorded on the tablets of our aspiring hearts, on the beaming smiles at the finish line, and in the lasting legacy and memories of these fleeting 24 hours on a track in Campbelltown.
Our gratitude beyond words to Billy Pearce who provided medical expertise and cheerful on-track support to organisers and runners alike throughout the entire 24 hours; to Martin Fryer for his superb timing and results service as well as untiring support and encouragement from his own vast ultra experience; to the caretakers of Campbelltown Stadium Athletics Track for their incredible embrace of the event; to “My Rainbow-Dreams” vegetarian cafe in Canberra for supplying food throughout for runners and helpers; and to volunteers from the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Mongolia, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
2017 Jul 8thSri Chinmoy 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour races, Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Track, 8 & 9 July, 2017
Sri Chinmoy 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour races, Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Track, 8 & 9 July, 2017Saturday, 8 July, 2017
The Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race has been a fixture on the Australian Ultra Running calendar since the early 80s. Without fail, every single edition of this event has been memorable for the heroism and glowing inspiration of the many types of runner – noble athlete-warriors, philosophers, poets, battlers, explorers, adventurers, dreamers, angels and sheer sloggers – who have graced the track with their stupendous self-giving deeds.
2017 was a another wonderful addition to the tradition.
24 hour race
In the women’s 24 hour race, Cheryl Symons offered a master class in the value of endurance and persistence. Initially, Annabel Hepworth had led the women with her sprightly clip; once Annabel “pulled the plug” after 100km, Jade Crime inherited the lead. Yet through the small hours of the night it was Cheryl who was to bring her stamina to the fore and finally prevail with an impressive 165+ km. It was over 22 hours before Cheryl took the race lead. Jade took the 2nd placing with 100 miles – 161.2km; while Tracy Turner filled out the podium spots with 145.7km. Tracey Hind came in 4th by completing a shade over 133km; while evergreen Joy Walden won the Female 50-59 division with 111.4km.
Among many fine performances, Stephen Redfern’s was judged by many to be the standout run of the race. Winning one of Australia’s premier 24 hour races only 4 years after taking up running, is a phenomenal achievement. After completing a mighty impressive 196km to take 2nd place at this event last year, Stephen’s maturity, grace and composure were notable signs of his rapidly ascending curve of improvement, which saw him rewarded with a huge Personal Best of 220.4km and the Male Champion’s Trophy. All, both on and off the track, were inspired by Stephen’s attitude, drive and energy throughout the 24 hours.
Next home for the men was our German visitor from Bangkok, Karsten Schiemann, whose dogged determination saw a fine result with 206.6km. Regular participant in the Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour race, Chris Toyne ran another superb race to take 3rd place with 181.5km, from Robert Philpott’s consistent and calm 176.7km.
First among the Male 50-59 and 5th among all the men was the remarkable Anyce Kip Melham, completing over 100 miles (161.6km) in tallying no less than his 30th Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race – having raced this event over 4 decades in Adelaide, Brisbane and Blacktown prior to its present incarnation in Campbelltown. An athlete who runs totally from his heart, Anyce carries a deep radiance of love and oneness, his very presence bringing together the community of every race in which he participates. Dean Metcalf was not far behind Anyce with 156.7km to take 5th Male Under 50, ahead of Sean Smith’s and Arthur Sargeant’s 153.9km (6th and 7th respectively). Canberra’s Colin Wiley (133.6km) would take 2nd in the Male 50-59; Philip Balnave 3rd with 123.6km; Tony Wilms 4th with 120.4km; and Peter Tutty finishing 5th with 75.2km.
Kieron Blackmore, reigning in his tendency for speed through much of the race, brought home the Male 60-69 with exactly 120km from Robert Osbourne (113.8km), Louis Commins (110km) and Victor Correa (84.4km). The Male Under 50 were completed by the popular Eddy Oba with 116.9km; Steve Domonkos with 115.6km; Kurt Topper’s 107.8km; Hamish Knox who covered 89.2km; and Andrew Meagher completing 88km.
12 hour race
A full moon unobstructed by a single cloud shone bright throughout the night, gazing over proceedings like a benign and approving deity, flooding the arena with a silver serenity.
It is rare that a race is won outright by someone in the 60-69 category. Perhaps rarer still that an open race is won by one walking the whole way. Almost unheard of is it that both feats would be accomplished in the same event, yet that is exactly what veteran walker John Kilmartin achieved in the Sri Chinmoy 12 Hour Race, with his outstanding 1st placing of 84.3km.
The next placing was also remarkable: Lib Smith, competing in the Female 50-59 not only beat all the other women home, but also all the (running) men of the field with her 78.2km! Nova Gallagher came in after Lib, winning the Female Under 50 with 76.2km.
Sarankhuu Jargal, visiting from Mongolia, was first of the Male Under 50, clocking 61.2km to run the furthest he has ever run in a race. Martin Pluss took out the Male 50-59 with 42.4km.
6 hour race
A decent field of 21 runners tackled the “short” race of 6 hours, with a wide spectrum of purposes, aims and goals. While it was the briefest of the 3 events staged over the weekend, this one certainly upset the record books!
Gene Dykes from Pennsylvania, USA dominated the first stanza of the race as he flew about the track in pursuit of several age records. In the process Gene successfully collected no less than 7 consecutive USATF Masters Track records: for 15km, 10 miles, 20km, 25km, 2 hours, 30km and 20 miles for the M65-69 age group. Congratulations Gene on your outstanding run!
John Nuttall smashed the existing 6 hour Australian National M65 record by about 10km with his superb outing of 65.491km. Larissa Tichon also triumphed in her quest to break the W25 Australian 6 hour record by completing 66.149km.
Ryan Gooding defended his title, narrowly missing his distance from last year with 68.5km this time around, looking as good as ever. Next home were the record-breaking Larissa Tichon and John Nuttall. Following them was Geoff Barnes, winning the Male 50-59 with 63.2km from Masa Chiba’s 60.9km. Rod Rainey took out the Male 70 and Over with his 49.8km; and Belinda Lockwood the Female 50-59 with 47.04km.
Our deep and flowing gratitude to Billy Pearce who offered medical support with heart throughout the 24 hours; and to Martin Fryer and his assistant Tom of Flyer Ultra timing services for their consummate timing and results service.
Mighty congratulations to every entrant, every finisher and every supporter of this wonderful event!
2016 Jun 18thSri Chinmoy 24 hour, 12 hour & 6 hour track races, Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Centre, 18 & 19 June 2016
Sri Chinmoy 24 hour, 12 hour & 6 hour track races, Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Centre, 18 & 19 June 2016Saturday, 18 June, 2016
Note: the results published here are provisional only.
A 24 hour race is run not so much Against the Clock, as With the Clock. This particular 24 hour event might also be remembered as a Race Against The Rain: a massive low pressure system was all week threatening to unburden itself over Campbelltown during the course of the event. As it turned out, the race was held almost totally rain-free; with some light showers at the start and again during the take-down post-race before an enormous downpour struck.
Sharon Scholz always looked to have the women's 24 hour race in her keeping, with such wealth of experience and deep reserves of determination and courage to draw upon. In taking the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour Women's Title for 2016, Sharon placed 2nd outright in the race and crested the magical 200km marker with a final tally of 201.931km. She led a small but high-quality women's field which more than held their own, taking 3 of the top 6 placings overall.
The 24 hour men's race saw several leaders. First it was David Turnbull from England, who was aiming at 100km and therefore started at a brisker clip than most. Brendan Davies – current Australian Ultra Runner of the Year, surprisingly appearing in his first ever 24 hour track race – was running with superb form and control, as was the New Zealand champion and 12-hour M60 World Record holder Bryan McCorkindale. Yet when running at such high intensity, any number of hidden forces can assail the attempt, and both Brendan and Bryan would be forced to withdraw during the night.
Malcolm Gamble ran a steady race from the outset, and proved the immense value of a clear and steadfast plan, no matter what else might be happening around him. Malcolm was resolute throughout the night and by morning held a clear, unassailable lead which he would carry to the finish to be crowned the 2016 Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Male Champion with a fine 222.656km.
The second place winners in both the women's and the men's races were 24 hour first-timers, and both came seriously close to topping 200km at their first attempt: Donna Urquhart took 2nd in the women with a wonderful 192.53km while Stephen Redfern came even closer to 200 with a superb run of 196.575km.
John Yoon (185.916km), Kristy Lovegrove (175.327km) and Sean Smith (163.603km) were next in distance, just ahead of the indefatigable Centurian Justin Scholz, who proved his resilience and class by yet again cracking the elusive 100 mile mark – walking.
The Male 50-59 race turned into a friendly duel between 2 gentlemen of the track, with Kieron Blackmore (157.555km) ultimately yielding the title to the evergreen Anyce 'Kip' Melham (166.720km), racing in his 29th Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race!
Every entrant is deserving of our admiration, congratulations and awe. We hold you all in the highest standing.
If the 24 hour race had seen a fast start, the 12 hour race started as a veritable sprint: with Rick Cooke running as though late for an appointment, American Steve Stowers and Dan Symonds hot in pursuit. This small field produced a nevertheless intriguing race which was always captivating. Steve came with a mission, which he fulfilled to perfection, breaching the US 50 mile and 100km records for M50, making the trip well worth his while. Dan Symonds won the race convincingly in the end with 116km completed.
Gemma Worland took out the Female Under 50 with 86.781km, and Lib Smith the Female 50-59 with 72 km.
The 6 hour race proved a right ding-dong battle with the top 4 placings separated by only 1 km each. Ryan Gooding took the honours with 69.821 km, and Sonia Green the women's race with her wonderful run of 63.029km.
Our gratitude to all who played a role in this magnificent drama: each and every runner; all of the runners' helpers, family and supporters who came with their hearts' encouragement and goodwill; alongside the medical team of Robert Glasson-Smith and wife Lina; Martin Fryer whose dedication to perfection produced an immaculate set of results and enabled us all to enjoy peace of mind through the race; the ever-helpful staff of Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Centre; and members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
In 2017 the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour, 12 hour and 6 hour races will likely be held in July, on a weekend to be confirmed – at the same wonderful venue.
2015 Jun 13thSri Chinmoy 24-Hour, 12-Hour and 6-Hour Race, 13 & 14 June 2015, Results
Ancient cities had their stadia, where citizens flocked to witness great dramas of the human condition – epic tragedies of Sophocles, lavish intrigues of Seneca, masterful eloquence of Shakespeare – for entertainment, edification and ultimately, for transformation.
Today our stadium is but a simple 400 metre loop of synthetic compound; our protagonists humble runners and walkers: yet our drama is every bit as gripping, as moving, as universal, elevating and yes, as transforming as any offered on any stage of yore.
Here the drama unfolds largely within: the outer quest to pile up loop after loop after loop, mirrors the inner quest to transcend. The outer prize may be a trophy and a pat on the back: the inner prize a glimmer of self-discovery, a further finger-hold on the baffling rockface of self-conquest.
2015 saw the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour, 12 hour and 6 hour races staged for the first time at Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Centre track. With all amenities of a world-class facility, yet removed from the turbulence and tension of the inner city, the atmosphere at Campbelltown amongst athletes, organisers and facility staff was friendly, supportive and happy throughout. We look forward to returning next year and beyond.
In an event which is more about inner reward than outer accomplishment, it is not always meaningful to focus on distances and comparisons – for one who may have covered only a slight distance may yet have resolved all manner of inner conflicts along the way and achieved a sense of blissful liberation as a result.
Yet one performance commands our attention, admiration and amazement: Bryan McCorkindale from Christchurch, New Zealand broke the World Record for Men 60 and Over for 12 Hours. Bryan, the defending champion from last year’s 24 hour race had entered the 24 hour event again with the intention of having a shot at the 12 hour and 100 mile records and then seeing what might be left for the remaining time. As it happened, he was on good pace for the 12 hour record but had to dig very deep to stay on pace during the final few hours. His determination and focus were extraordinary and swept the entire environs and spectators into an all-consuming effort of will to reach and breach that goal: first the track record of 129.525 km set by our own Cliffie Young in Sydney in 1982; and next the all-time 12 hour record of 132.167 km by the legendary Frenchman Max Courtillon at Moreuil in 1988 … Bryan’s outer calm belied an indomitable power that felt like a volcano burning on a measured fuse. All else was blocked out of the awareness as we witnessed the stupendous effort required to transcend the best that 60+ humankind has yet achieved. In the end, there were only 400 metres in it – a mere one of those laps after laps after laps – as 12 hours yielded 132.565km and a new World Record for Bryan and, it felt, for us all.
Bryan, we salute you, a true champion among champions.
About the Organisers
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
Serving the athletic community for over 40 years...
Team Founder Sri Chinmoy
A lifelong advocate of fitness and self-transcendence...