Held in the middle of Canberra's Winter, the annual Sri Chinmoy Half Marathon staged on a one-mile loop in and around Telopea Park is traditionally a glove-wearing occasion.
The race has been held very year since the late 1980s, and has often been used as a 'hit-out' by those in training for either the Australian Marathon Championships at the Gold Coast, or the Sydney City to Surf in August. It is the Canberra Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team's main running event for the Winter season.
The loop course is mostly flat, though a few undulations offer variety for the running muscles. A short hill near the top of the cycle path section is more than offset by a long, slightly downhill run along the road next to the park. The course through the park is certainly a pleasant run on a good running surface, while the one-mile loop format offers the opportunity for regular contact with other runners and supporters, as well as a reliable drinks service.
Those who reckon on taking over 2 hours for the run can avail themselves of the opportunity to start half an hour earlier than the rest of the field. Some of these surprised themselves by finishing well inside 2 hours, with several of the women early-starters figuring in the awards.
The later (9 am) starters had the advantage of an extra 30 minutes of sunshine, which was valiantly striving to banish the pervasive grip of what had been a cold, wet night. In all, 56 runners started the race, with 54 ultimately finishing. The outstanding performance on the day was by Over 50s runner Steve Bradford who won the race outright, offering his younger competitors a master-class in controlled, focussed racing.
Among the women's field, Michelle Wu stamped her class on the race from the outset, showing smooth and dynamic form throughout to finish a clear winner.
By the time the race was over, the sun had transformed the chilly dawn into a glorious Winter's day, with runners thoroughly enjoying an impromptu picnic breakfast of pancakes and fruit.
Full results by category are now posted, listing all finishing times.
Images from the event can be viewed at the race gallery.