Sri Chinmoy 24 hour, 12 hour & 6 hour track races, Campbelltown Sports Stadium Athletics Centre, 18 & 19 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.