Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival
The complete track package, from the Marathon to 48 Hours
About the event
Welcome to the Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival, offering a smorgasbord of track races from the Marathon to the 48 Hour Ultra-Marathon, at the world-class AIS Athletics Track, Bruce, Canberra from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 March 2022.
The program features:
* Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track race
Australian National 48 Hour Championship
(IAU Silver Label pending)
* Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Track race
(IAU Bronze Label pending)
* Sri Chinmoy 12 Hour Track race
(IAU Bronze Label pending)
(Note: participants who wish to race 100km should enter the 12 Hour event. Precise 100km splits will be recorded and published.)
* Sri Chinmoy 6 Hour Track race
(IAU Bronze Label pending)
* Sri Chinmoy Midnight Marathon
See who has entered the various events of the Festival program.
- 10am, 25 March
- $330 earlybird till 5pm, 25 Jan 2022
- $380 boarding call till 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- $420 final call after 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- Online entries close 5pm, 22 March 2022
- 12 noon, 25 March
- $190 early bird till 5pm, 25 Jan 2022
- $240 boarding call till 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- $280 final call after 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- Online entries close 5pm, 22 March 2022
- 10am, 26 March
- $120 early bird till 5pm, 25 Jan 2022
- $150 boarding call till 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- $180 final call after 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- Online entries close 5pm, 22 March 2022
- 2pm 26 March
- $80 early bird till 5pm, 25 Jan 2022
- $95 boarding call till 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- $110 final call after 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- Online entries close 5pm, 22 March 2022
- 12pm (Sat night) 26 March
- $70 early bird till 5pm, 25 Jan 2022
- $85 boarding call till 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- $95 final call after 5pm, 25 Feb 2022
- Online entries close 5pm, 22 March 2022
ContactPrachar Stegemann+61 404 071 327Send Email
- IAU Silver Label Event – 48 Hour race
- IAU Bronze Label Events – 24 Hour, 12 Hour, 100km and 6 Hour races
Program of Events
Friday 26 March
7.30am onwards Access to AIS track for 48 Hour participants for set-up
8.30am onwards Access to AIS track for 24 Hour participants for set-up
9am – 9.30am Registration for 48 Hour race
10am – 48 Hour race commences, lanes 1 & 2
11am – 11.30am Registration for 24 Hour race at AIS
12noon – 24 Hour race commences, lanes 3 & 4
Saturday 27 March
9am – 9.30am Registration for 12 Hour race at AIS
10am – 12 Hour race commences, lanes 1 & 2
12noon – 24 Hour race concludes
12.30pm – Awards for 24 Hour race
1pm – 1.30pm Registration for 6 Hour race at AIS
2pm – 6 Hour race commences, lanes 3 & 4
8pm – 6 Hour race concludes
8.30pm – Awards for 6 Hour race
10pm – 12 Hour race concludes
10.30pm – Awards for 12 Hour race
11pm – 11.30pm Registration for Midnight Marathon at AIS
12 midnight – Midnight Marathon commences, lanes 3 & 4
Sunday 28 March
(Awards for Midnight Marathon presented individually as runners finish)
8am – cut-off for Midnight Marathon
10am – 48 Hour race concludes
10.30am – Awards for 48 Hour race
Before the Race
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.
The infield (centre of the ground) is available for all support crew to set up tents and sleeping quarters. The infield grass area is available for camping from 8am Friday to 1pm Sunday.
No pegs are to be used. Sand from the sand pits is available – please bring your own containers or securing devices.
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.
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.
Registration for each race will open trackside one hour prior to each event start; and will close 30 minutes prior to the event start. Compulsory race briefing will be 20 minutes prior to each race start.
Registration and race briefing times are:
48 Hour race: registration 9am – 9.30am Friday 26 March at the AIS; race briefing trackside 9.40am Friday 26 March
24 Hour race: registration 11am – 11.30am Friday 26 March at the AIS; race briefing trackside 11.40am Friday 26 March
12 Hour race: registration at AIS Athletics Track 9am – 9.30am Saturday 27 March; race briefing trackside 9.40am Saturday 27 March
6 Hour race: registration at AIS Athletics Track 1pm – 1.30pm Saturday 27 March; race briefing trackside 1.40pm Saturday 27 March
Midnight Marathon: registration at AIS Athletics Track 11pm – 11.30pm Saturday 27 March; race briefing trackside 11.40pm Saturday 27 March
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.
During the race
Average daily temperatures for Canberra in March range from 11°C min to 25 °C max, though considerably higher temperatures have been experienced in recent years, and should be anticipated.
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.
As individual athletes have different food/drink requirements and tastes it is recommended that competitors bring their own specific food/drink for the event. (IN NORMAL YEARS – water, various sports drinks, flat Coke, sweets, snacks, seaweed and a selection of nourishing foods) – FOR 2021 ONLY – WATER ONLY will be provided at two trackside aid stations – one on the infield for the exclusive use of 48 Hour runners, and the other in lane 5 for the use of entrants in all other races.
A microwave, hot water urn plus tea/coffee/hot chocolate/miso/soup etc will also be available throughout the event at the trackside kitchen at the far end of the track.
Helpers – Meal Vouchers
For runners’ helpers, meal vouchers will be available for $70 for the 48 Hour race and $30 for the 24 Hour race. The meal voucher will entitle 48 Hour helpers to lunch and dinner on Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday; and 24 Hour helpers to lunch and dinner on Friday, and breakfast on Saturday morning. Meal voucher holders will also have unlimited acess to tea, coffee, hot chocolate etc. Meal vouchers can be purchased online at the time of online registration. Individual meals can also be purchased on the day for $10/meal depending on availability.
Helpers Meal Vouchers Menu, 2021
All food is vegetarian.
Friday lunch – humming burger and brownie
Friday dinner – lasagne & salad with homemade cookie
Saturday breakfast – "Not bacon" (ie vegetarian) & egg pie with spinach muffins & homemade sourdough
Saturday lunch – curry, rice & dhal + apricot slice
Saturday dinner – savoury bake & salad + lemon slice
Sunday breakfast – scrambled eggs, spinach & mushrooms on homemade sourdough
Sunday lunch – lentil burgers & cookies
Note: this menu includes items containing gluten, nuts and dairy products. Please advise IN ADVANCE if you have any allergies or other requirements in respect of these meals.
- Toilets and showers are available trackside throughout the Festival.
- First aid is provided for the full Festival. The venue is also less than 5 minutes from Calvary Hospital, which has a 24 hour emergency department.
- Massage bed and therapist available during races – SORRY, NOT IN 2021.
- Rest rooms attached to the male and female toilet and shower blocks will be open for breaks, sleeping or changing.
- Within the AIS campus you will find a swimming pool, spa, cafe and AIS clothing store.
- Dedicated car parking for entrants and crew (free of charge).
- View the AIS campus map.
The race venue is 5 minutes' drive from 2 major shopping centres:
Westfield Belconnen is a large shopping centre and has multiple chain and specialty stores, 24hr KMart and late night Woolies and Coles. Westfield Belconnen is located on Benjamin Way, Belconnen.
Jamison Centre is a closer local shopping centre, hosting Coles, Aldi and other specialty stores. Jamison Centre is on Bowman Street, Macquarie.
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.
- No smoking, alcohol or pets allowed in the boundaries of the venue during the entire period of the event.
Note: This applies to participants, crews and spectators.
- The computer lap scoring tent is strictly out of bounds to all except those involved in lap scoring. All queries to go to the race director/referee who will liaise with lap scorers/timing. The lap scoring team will provide a live display to competitors and a separate live screen for crews and spectators as well as having live results available online via the event website.
Portable music players may be used for all except the first and last 15 minutes of the race.
Please allow faster movers to be on the inside of a lane. Please move to the outside of the lane (lane 1 or 3) or the next lane (lane 2 or 4) to allow faster athletes to continue.
- LANES 1 & 2 Reserved for athletes in the 48 Hour race AND the 12 Hour race. Single file only please, unless overtaking. Crews for the 48 Hour race and 12 Hour race will be located on the inside of the track.
- LANES 3 & 4 Reserved for athletes in all other races. Single file only please, unless overtaking. Crews for these events will be located in LANE 6 of the track on the main straight.
- There is no lane reserved exclusively for walkers.
- Entry to and from the track to either the toilet block or crew area will be at the 50 metre point, directly under the large display screen.
- Athletes taking extended breaks from the track or withdrawing from their event should alert the race director/referee. In the latter case the timing chip and Velcro strap must be returned or a $100 fee will be incurred.
- Crew support is only allowed from the tables used by each athlete on the home straight. The remaining 300 metres of the track is a “no crewing zone”. Please be aware that the competitor may be disqualified if they receive support in the 300 metre “no crewing zone”, except in a true medical emergency.
- No supporter pacing is allowed, including anywhere on the inside of the field or in any of the outer lanes.
- It is strongly recommended that all runners and crews runners read and understand the following document. This is particularly important for runners on record attempts who should note any perceptions of “pacing”: http://www.aura.asn.au/data/General/Guidelines_on_Assistance_to_Athletes_AURA_Version_1_September_2012.pdf
- Competitors are responsible for the actions of their crews and supporters.
- All complaints and/or protests to be made in writing to the race director/referee.
- Rule violations may lead to disqualification.
- An appeal can be lodged track side to a race director/referee within 30 minutes of the incident or decision being appealed.
- The appeal will be reviewed by an expert panel consisting of the Race Director, Timing Official and an a representative of AURA. The outcome of the panel will be final.
- Competitors are to advise in advance in writing of any record attempts at any of the race distances or events. Given the large numbers of runners on the track, crews of these competitors should work with the timing official to alert of upcoming key distances/times that need recording (some require extra stopwatch validation or markers dropped on track with wheel measurement).
- The electronic timing chips to be used for lap scoring are Race Result Active Pro Transponders, which are high-end chips with a built in battery for 100% reliable detection (incorporating a 3D activation antenna) and ultra-high precision (0.01 s). These will attached to a very comfortable neoprene Velcro strap that should be worn around the ankle (leg choice doesn’t matter). These chips cost close to $100 a piece and runners and crews should ensure that they do not leave the race venue without having returned the chip, either directly after the race or after withdrawing from a race. Failure to do so will incur a $100 charge.
- NO CHIP = NO TIME. If you neglect to put the chip on and complete any laps without the chip, you will not be credited with these, irrespective of video recording. Crews should take responsibility for ensuring their runner is always wearing their chip, particularly when the chip has been taken off for socks changes or showers etc.
- Each athlete will receive two Race Numbers, which are to be securely pinned front and back (not on the side). It is best to place these on a race number belt or vest for easy changing of clothes. Two race numbers are given for identification by the video back up recording system. While these numbers do not have a timing chip, if they are obscured this could interfere with any video lap auditing after the race if this is required.
- Each walker must walk honestly in such a way that he/she is not gaining an unfair advantage over other competitors through his/her mode of walking. Walkers are not expected to strictly comply with current race walking rules unless pursuing a specific walking record. Otherwise, styles ranging from proper racewalking to brisk street walking are acceptable.
- Walkers attempting walking records will be notified of any style infringements. A competitor may be retired from the race if repeated warnings do not bring about a satisfactory modification to walking style.
- Race rules are not able to include every possible scenario that can play out in such long endurance events. Fair play, good sportsmanship and the absence of actions perceived of as gaining unfair advantage are deeply appreciated.
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.
All runners will change direction approximately every 4 hours, around a cone placed at the start line between lanes 1 & 2 for the 48 Hour and 12 Hour races, and between lanes 3 & 4 for all other races. Direction changes will be announced a few minutes in advance. Please turn from lane 1 into lane 2, and from lane 3 into lane 4, and remain in the outer lane until all runners have been passed in the reverse direction. If a runner is off the track at the time of a direction change, the runner must complete the lap in the same direction they were heading at the time of leaving the track, before completing the direction change at the start line – be sure to notify the timers when this is the case.
In accordance with IAU protocols, in the time-limited events (48 Hours, 24 Hours, 12 Hours and 6 Hours) 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 if required.
2021 Mar 26thSri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival, AIS Athletics Track, Canberra, Friday 26 – Sunday 28 March 2021
Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival, AIS Athletics Track, Canberra, Friday 26 – Sunday 28 March 202126 March
This report commences with an apology – to every runner who is not named herein, and to their personal helpers, family and supporters. Victory and triumph are achieved, experienced, recorded and appreciated in multiple dimensions and by numberless criteria – not just who ran the furthest or the fastest in which category or race. We chronicle only what is measurable by our wheels and timepieces: the glory and worth of all that is felt, perceived, given, striven for, offered, sacrificed and surrendered with such wholehearted commitment with each footfall of each hero-runner along the way, can only be appreciated in the inner annals of human aspiration and super-human dedication – and treasured in the heart-depths of those who truly care.
Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Race, AURA Australian National 48 Hour Championship
The 48 Hour race stands a proud summit: either as a beacon calling the brave to the ascent, or as a looming peril to be avoided by the wise in favour of flatter, familiar terrain. Among the brave souls assembled for this inaugural Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track race in Australia, half were tackling this mountain for the first time. While not all were atop the peak to scan the view when the final horn sounded, all certainly reached sublime heights along the way, establishing secure basecamps for future ascents.
While the 6 female entrants might have represented only 25% of the contestants, yet they occupied 3 of the top 6 placings at the finish. Outstanding performance of the Festival surely goes to Cheryl Symons, whose 322.352 hard-earned kilometres to win the Female 50-59 category placed her 1st woman, and 3rd outright amongst a stellar field. Whoever did not know Cheryl before this event, will never forget her absolute concentration, maintained throughout with grace, strength and equanimity in the face of every obstacle. The ever-cheerful Niki Wynd also topped the 300 peak, winning the Female Under 50 category with 304.906km, from Kris Ryan who completed 208.436 km. Rounding out the F50-59s, the indefatigable Saranyu Pearson clocked 141.988 km, while Cassie Smith walked her way serenely to 95.95 km.
Canberra local Paul Mahoney won the M50-59 category with a suburb personal best of 252.448 km, showing his year of training and focus since the 2020 race was cancelled, has been put to very good use indeed. Stepping up from the 24 hours to 48 hours for the first time, after participating in a record 33 Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour races since the early 1980s, Anyce Melham plumbed and offered all the depths and beauty of his heart as though composing a love poem, in winning his M60-69 category with a wonderful debut 256.155. John Timms ranged from the depths of losing almost all energy and inspiration, to the heights of frenetic sprint laps, in taking out the M70+ with 149.021.
In the men’s field (under 50), the race on paper looked to be between proven 24 hour stalwarts, Ewan Horsburgh, Stephen Redfern (both NSW) and Matthew Eckford (Qld). Racing for 48 hours for the first time, Ewan and Stephen each brought their “A-games”, while Matthew also won many admirers for the way he continued with utmost intensity despite setbacks along the way. While all bring their distinct personalities and consciousness to the field of any game, gathering or event, nevertheless in a race of this scale, the attitude and demeanour of the leaders plays a formative role in everyone’s ultimate experience, offering inspiration and aspiration not through words but the force of their sheer presence, deeds and actions. In olden times, any self-respecting King would ride at the head of his troops into battle, so it was only appropriate that the President of AURA should lead from the front. The current AURA President, Ewan Horsburgh ran in a seemingly monk-like bubble, a picture of focus, form and energy-efficiency as the remainder of the field dutifully, and admiringly followed while he tallied a wonderful 48 hour debut of 346.546 km. Stephen Redfern was both an admiring follower of Ewan, and exemplary leader to the rest of us through his nobility, consistency and loyalty to his purpose – and beautiful running form, bringing home another superb 48 hour debut 326.441 km. More familiar with 24 hour and 100 mile racing, Matt Eckford tallied 275.738 km for a PB over the 48 hours, extending his inner resources of courage and perseverance to establish a powerful base for future expeditions in these rarefied, high-altitude realms.
Once again, our apologies, deep respect and gratitude to all the unnamed participants who, like the unmarked graves of the anonymous fallen soldiers without whom no military victory could ever have been carried, complete and enrich this compelling human epic of aching bodies, yearning hearts and soaring souls.
Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Race
24 hours is a complete rotation of our massive planet; the sum total of every conceivable arrangement of the hands of the clock; the gamut of our physical, emotional and mental perspectives on the passing of hours, minutes and seconds; a choc-full calendar diary page; multiple life-spans of numerous smaller life-forms; an entire season of “24”.
If 24 hours is the standard-bearer of Time, so is running the simplest, purest expression of humanity’s aspiration and progress. So is the 24 Hour Race a perfect metaphor and distillation of the soul’s journey in and through time and space.
While the 48 Hour race claimed lanes 1 and 2, the 24 Hour race offered an equally compelling revelation and inexorably blossoming drama as counterpoint in the adjacent lanes 3 and 4, albeit a story told in a complementary dialect, rhythm and metre. Witnessing both races unfold alongside each other was akin to reading “War and Peace” and “Great Expectations”, or Dante’s “Divine Comedy” and Goethe’s “Faust” simultaneously; or listening to Bach’s “St Matthew Passion” and the “Goldberg Variations” at once; or taking trips to Mars and the Moon at the same time – each perfect, complete, utterly engaging and fulfilling in its own terms.
For observers, one of the absorbing dimensions of an Ultra is the pacing and tactics of the runners, as each strives toward their personal goals, while taking in stride the inevitable setbacks along the way. Those who lead in the early hours, quite often do not find a place on the podium, though they can be winners in the great school of learning and experience.
Matt Griggs ran the ideal race, the arrow of his aspiration shooting a perfect arc across the span of a full day to land him in the hallowed realm he had so fervently sought – “240+”. While Matt’s winning distance of 244.087 km was streets ahead of the field in the final analysis, yet he was powered forward by many others, providing a slingshot to his efforts – including those like Thomas Allen and Michael Brennan whose own early speed had to bow before the laws of physics and blisters. Special mention also to Ashley Colquhoun (187.77 km, 2nd place); Stephen Kiley (174.598 for 3rd) and Stuart Wallace (171.104, 4th place); and to Aaron Francey whose 162.048 km earned him 1st place in the Male 50-59 category.
Kathryn Austin won the women’s race with her sterling 169.223 km, ahead of a controlled and inspired run from Niboddhri Christie of 151.636. It was also heartening to observe and admire Kree Wright accompany her good friend Kim Falco (1st F50-59) the entire way to clock identical milestones of 100.358 km.
Sri Chinmoy 12 Hour Race
Because the 12 Hour race was the only event sharing lanes 1 and 2 with the 48 Hour runners, the field was limited and hence only 14 starters toed the line; yet what this race lacked in numbers, it more than made up for in quality and performance!
Bernadette Benson was the early shooting star, aiming for stellar records over the 6 hour, 50 mile and 100 km distances, though hampered by badly bruised ribs suffered in a fall only days before the race. Once Bernadette withdrew after 82 km – claiming a new Canadian W50 6 hour record (yet to be ratified) – the contest came into clear focus between 3 strong and steadfast warriors of the track, with a slender 4 laps separating them at the close of their journey from late morning to late night: Joe Ward emerging triumphant with an impressive 125.754 km, just edging out Adam Keighran’s 125.085 for 2nd place, while the dauntless Tia Jones took 3rd outright from the Female 50-59 category, to claim a swag of National W55 records en route, including for 6 hours, 50 miles, 100 km and 12 hours (all to be ratified).
Vice Hazdovic took out the Female Under 50 prime award with 102.72 km; and Lib Smith the F60-69 with 76.474; while Kieron Blackmore was the lone yet glorious representative of the M60-69 brigade, clocking an impressive 92.16 km.
Sri Chinmoy 6 Hour Race
It’s not often in an open running event that the top 3 places outright are taken by females! (and 6 of the top 9 placings…) The largest field of the Festival assembled at the respectable hour of 2pm Saturday for a race into the evening. From early on, it was clear that the men in the field would have their work cut out for them to match the pace, style and stamina of the leading women, especially after the withdrawal of David Reis and Justin Hiatt from the contest: and what a race it turned out to be!
Chloe Skewes-Weir ran a phenomenal race to claim a new Australian National W20 age group record (to be ratified) of 63.097 km, to place 3rd overall. Ahead of Chloe there unfolded an Herculean tussle between the front runners with Simone Hayes ultimately triumphing with 66.613 km, ahead of 2nd placed Cassie Cohen’s 66.419 km – the difference at the finish a mere sliver of 194 metres. Cassie's consolation was a new Australian W25-29 6 hour record (to be ratified). Our thanks to these wonderful runners for staging such an engrossing drama, which kept the spectators and the 48 hour participants on the edge of our seats till the ultimate lap.
Kelly Bennett took out the Female 50-59 category with 51.773 km; while Anne Skewes was first among the F60-69 with 39.984. Gregory Jenkins took out the M50-59 with 53.617.
Sri Chinmoy Midnight Marathon
To most of the world, The Marathon embodies the pinnacle of running endeavour and achievement. In a twist of context, on this weekend of super-human performance, the marathon is the ‘baby’ of races on offer. Starting at midnight on Saturday night, after all the intensity and flurry of the 24 hour, 12 hour and 6 hour races all having concluded on this busiest of days, and the night’s calm and inward quiet has fully descended on the arena, with only the 48 hour warriors still performing their circular devotions on the inside track, 14 fresh faces and eager hearts lined up to commence a new adventure, a sprint over the relative fun-run of a mere 42.2km. Unlike every other race of the Festival, this one had a finishing point defined not by the clock but by an ageless distance, and the faster one reached that goal, the sooner to bed!
Sarankhuu Jargal, having helped for most of the weekend trackside and infused with the energy and inspiration of the occasion, sped out to lead the field home in 2:58:00, breaking 3 hours for the first time. Following were Phillip Aerts (3:22:53) who rode his bike to and from the race, and Oliver Carey (3:29:45). Rick Patzold took the main honours in the Male 50-59 with his umpteenth marathon in 3:52:49; while the only 2 females in the field excelled in their respective age categories: the amazing Susan Archer proclaimed that she felt ‘a bit of a fraud’ running ‘only’ a marathon in the company of such incredible ultra athletes, before taking the Female 70 and Over prize in 4:51:41; while the superlative Jane Sturzaker chalked up Marathon number 302 (having completed the Sri Chinmoy Marathon in Melbourne last Sunday) to take the Female 60-69 in 5:39:51.
Our sincere gratitude to all participants across all races of the Festival and to their helpers, supporters, families and well-wishers; to the staff of the Australian Institute of Sport; to AURA (the Australian Ultra Runners Association) for honouring this event with the title of 48 Hour National Championship, as well as promotional and in person support; to Martin Fryer of Flyer Ultra timing services; to Rebekah Stamatis and her team for medical support; to Jon Schol, Steven Hanley and John Harding; to "My Rainbow-Dreams" café for catering; and to members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Mongolia, the UK, New Zealand, the USA, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra.
2019 Jun 15thSri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track", Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Track, Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June 2019
Sri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track", Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Track, Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June 201915 June
Why and how does the sight of a bunch of runners circling around a track bring such a surge of joy? The venue is unremarkable – a suburban athletics track; the runners mostly “ordinary” people – no Olympic champions, Oscar winners or rock stars here. Countless times we’ve seen folks running around tracks and not felt this inexplicable thrill, so it’s source can’t be just the outer activity; it has to be the inner reality, the combined aspiration, daring, sacrifice, willpower and quest for transcendence radiating from the hearts, infusing the minds and powering the limbs of each runner-dreamer-warrior-hero before our eyes. We recognise our own better selves, our own yearning for something higher and vaster, the battle against our own self-doubts and fears, the drama of our own lives’ journeys; we feel the quiver of our own souls.
An ultra track race presents a unique concentration, a distillation of single-minded focus, resolution and shared purpose, a revelation, affirmation and celebration of just a glimpse of the infinitude of spiritual power within us all.
It is rare indeed that every single entrant in a 24 hour race toes the start line – customarily there are a few “no-shows” on the day for one reason or another. So for all 41 entrants to assemble trackside for the 9am start was in itself an auspicious augury for a memorable edventure.
A 24 Hour race invariably unfolds in ways no one could have anticipated. The faces assembled at the start line mask a myriad mysteries about to unravel – some surprising, some disappointing, some perplexing, some exhilarating. The faces assembled at the awards ceremony reveal the unravelled threads of searching, struggling, crying, smiling and flying which together comprise the complex tapestry of this rich and rewarding epic.
Donna Urquhart (212.4km) and Daragh O’Loughlin (221.2 km) were both humble and popular winners of the women’s and men’s race respectively. Each remained steadfast, sturdy and strong throughout the long day and night to triumph and surpass their personal goals. Donna also took 3rd outright across the entire field, after an impressive 1st time Campbelltown runner Hoong Wei Wong from Singapore, with 216.8km. The steady and solid Stuart Hughes came in next with 210.4km, followed by 2nd female Simone Hayes with a fantastic sustained performance netting her 198.4km.
Sabina Hamaty took our the Female 50-59 category with her calm and controlled 162 km; Soonchul Shin was outstanding to take out the Male 50-59 with a wonderful 186.8km; while the Elder Statesman of this event, Anyce “Kip” Melham completed his 32nd Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour Race (variously held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Campbelltown) to win the Male 60-69 category with a hard-fought and glorious 166km. Rod Rainey was best among the Male 70 and Over with 101.6km.
Much of the attention in the front half of the event was on the remarkable Bernadette Benson who ran a stellar race, closing her account after 100 miles in 14:22:30, claiming numerous Open and F50 Canadian and Australian records up to and including 100 miles (full details to be verified and published).
The 12 Hour race boasted perhaps the fastest (though the smallest) field, with “gun” runner Phil Balnave setting the early pace from the 9pm starting bell. It was defending 24-Hour 2-time champion Stephen Redfern who outlasted the best however, maintaining his trademark bouncy lope through a testing night to record a PB of 131.875 km, from John Pearson’s 125.24km and Wayne Calvert with 110.311km. Aaron Francey ran the furthest of the Male 50-59 with 104.09km, and Jonh Nuttall took the Male 60-69 with 61.376km. The only entrant in the Female Under 50, Margie Raymond, completed her marathon in 5 and a half hours.
The 6 Hour race field was next to join the 24 Hour runners on Saturday morning, one hour into proceedings, and added energy and enthusiasm to the track in lane 3 and 4. By 4pm, it was James Chen who had covered the furthest with an impressive 65.954km to take out the Male Under 50, with next home Masanori Chiba in fine form to also take out the Male 50-59 with 64.754km. Kerrie Bremner ran perhaps the standout performance of the event with her wonderful 63.109 winning her the Female 50-59 category (and females outright) as well as taking 4th overall. Bob Marden won the Male 60-69 with 50.65km; Jiyoung Lee took out the Female Under 50 category with 37.233km; while the amazing Margrit Smith, who will turn 85 in 2 days time, gave masterclass to all in focus, calm and determination.
One hour later, at 11am the Marathon brought 24 additional friendly faces to the party in lane 3. With no cut-off time and a relatively straightforward course to follow, a diverse group of marathon newbies, veterans, stalwarts, hares and tortoises variously jogged, galloped and shuffled through the better part of the afternoon. Oliver Carey was the fastest to finish in 3:17:11, from Male 50-59 winner and 2nd outright Eunsu Park in 3:25:48. Jenny Brownlie took out the women’s main award with 3:58:40; Paul Andersson the Male 60-69s with 5:55:37; Jo Andersson the Female 70 and Over trophy in 6:05:41; and the famous David Attrill outlasted them all to take the Male 70 and Over award with a remarkable 8:38:16.
Immense gratitude to Penny Redfern whose cheerful, heartfelt service kept our volunteers in good spirits all day and night; to Billy Pearce, our indefatigable medic who served tirelessly throughout the 24 hours; to the kind staff of Campbelltown Council who take such good care of this wonderful venue; and to volunteers of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team from Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
2018 Jun 2ndSri Chinmoy "24 Hours on Track" – 24 Hour, 12 Hour. 6 Hour and Marathon – 2 & 3 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, 20178 July
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!
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...