Sri Chinmoy Half-Marathon, 5 Mile Race and 2 Mile Race, 6 August 2006
Canberra's annual Sri Chinmoy Half-Marathon in Telopea Park was this year supplemented with two new races - a 5-Mile and a 2-Mile race over the same course...
The annual Sri Chinmoy Half-Marathon is generally at the coldest time of year and has occasionally been held with ice on the track. 2006 was different however, as bright sunshine greeted an eager field for a 9 am start, with temperatures quickly becoming tolerable and (almost) even comfortable!
For the first time, two additional races were staged over the same course, to provide the Half-Marathoners with extra company and an injection of fresh energy after one hour of exertion.
The Sri Chinmoy 5-Mile and 2-Mile races started at 10 am with a modest but promising field, one hour after the commencement of the Half-Marathon, providing new colour, excitement and atmosphere to the scene. These once-common "Imperial" race distances have become a rarity in Australia since the introduction of the metric system.
The course for all 3 races was a 1-mile (1.623 kms) loop on cycle path and road-verge in and around picturesque Telopea Park. The loop course provided runners with regular access to drinks and the encouragement of friends and support crew, as well as a convivial atmosphere amongst the field, who were able to mingle with each other throughout.
Dean Chiron lead Andrew Howes from the outset of the Half-Marathon, and the placings remained that way to the finish line, with Dean clocking around 6 minute laps consistently to win the race in 1:19:52.
Third outright was 59-years-young Des Brown, who led an outstanding contingent of over 50's athletes, all of whom featured in the first half of the field. Meanwhile Geoff Barker defended his Men 60 - 69 title from 2005, and the astonishing Rad Leovic (pictured at right) returned from winning a Silver Medal in the 75 - 79 years age group at the World Duathlon Championships just last week in Newfoundland, Canada.
The women's Half-Marathon field saw the first 5 women finish within 4 minutes of each other. Thea Zimpel took line honours in the excellent time of 1:38:02, though the race of the day belonged to Sue Archer racing in the women's 50-59 category, who crossed the line a mere 3 seconds behind Thea. Alexa McKay, Reegan O'Keefe and Deahne Turnbull followed soon after. Val Chesterton took out the over 60's main award.
Meanwhile Barton McPherson (pictured at left) showed a clean pair of heels to Andrew Law and his other pursuers in the men's 5-Mile race, flying around the course in 27:08. Elizabeth Bennett likewise overcame the strong running of Kym Chisholm to finish in the fine time of 32:36.
Shane Farrant, running in the under 17 boys' category was the fastest finisher in the 2-Mile race in 12:43, with under 13 girl speedster Nicola Torley showing the rest of the fields how it's done with a 12:53 finish!
A pancake breakfast was enjoyed by all while awards were distributed under cloudless blue skies.
For the first time, complete lap (1 mile) time splits have been published for all races including the Half-Marathon, so athletes can accurately gauge their relative pace throughout the race.
Complete results by age category are now published for the Half-Marathon and the 5-Mile and 2-Mile races. Visit the photo gallery covering the 3 races.
We look forward to the company of runners for the next Sri Chinmoy Races in Canberra, the traditional Labour Day 10 km & 4 km to be held on Monday 2 October from Acton Ferry Terminal. Online entry is now available for both races.