"Night's candles are burnt out and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain-topâ¦"
Shakespeare might have been describing today's dawn, jocund day tiptoeing in over the faraway silhouettes of Canberra's many hills and flanking mountains, and yes, a little mist before sun-up and the 10 am kick-off to the Sri Chinmoy Yerrabi/Mulligans Flat Multi-Sport race.Around 50 of us line up for the Long Course or Short Course options of this multi-sport event â a run leg, a kayak section on Yerrabi Pond and a mountain bike foray in the eucalyptus parklands that sprawl around this city of hills and vistas â then a final lap of Yerrabi Pond before the finish line. Then pancakes, melon, food galore courtesy of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team and their generous hearts.
This is a wonderful event and my own first foray â an untrained one â into the challenging world of multi-sport racing. How wonderful the camaraderie of the participants and the enjoyment of a weekend race that encompasses so much of Canberra's natural beauty. I arrived in Canberra the day before from Auckland to offer some week-long meditation classes and was encouraged to participate in the race after a fusillade of flattery from my Canberra friend and race director, Prachar. A kayak materialised from the garage and was dusted off, a bike presented, and I was signed up! But what an exhilarating event and a perfect start to my visit â especially that high-velocity bike ride along the gravel roads and tracks of Mulligans Flat, charging through the gum trees and orange hills at breakneck speed. Lines from Banjo Patterson's "Mulga Bill's Bicycle" a refrain in my mind.
Heartfelt gratitude to the wonderful team of organisers and the encouraging and welcoming hearts of my fellow competitors. I will definitely be back to participate in the Long Course option next year â trained and ready to go! â Jogyata Dallas, Short Course competitor #602