Sri Chinmoy Telopea Park Half-Marathon, 5 mile and 2 mile races, Canberra, Monday 12 June 2017
Despite a significant decline in participation in the Half-Marathon, a dramatic rise in numbers in the 2 Mile race led to one of the largest fields ever assembled for the annual Sri Chinmoy Half-Marathon, 5 Mile and 2 Mile races in and around Telopea Park on the Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday, Monday 12 June 2017. A blanket of fog kept the temperatures reasonable for the start and early stages of the event, with the sun finally blazing through towards the end of the Half-Marathon.
Joshua Torley today almost achieved a unique feat. In not only winning the Half-Marathon but also setting a new course record time of 1:14:22, he would have held the records for the fastest times in various categories over all 3 distances at this event – Half-Marathon (2017), 5 Miles (2012) and 2 Miles (2010, for Boys Under 13). The only catch was that his record for the 5 Mile race fell today (more of that below…) While it is true that some faster times were recorded for the Half-Marathon back in the 1990s, these records have been lost. Congratulations for this amazing feat, Josh! A telling statistic from today’s run was that Josh’s last mile was also his fastest – a cracking 5:17.
Nine minutes behind Josh, though still running beautifully, David Beaven (1:23:30) outpaced Nicholas O’Neill (1:24:31) for the podium placings. Neal Ames took out the Male 50-59 in 1:36:18; and Laurie Irvine the Male 60-69 with his 1:54:43.
Jodie Barker was again outstanding in the women’s race, winning for at least the 4th time in 1:34:32. While most of us experience ups and downs in our running, Jodie is an inspiring example of consistent excellence, always running with fine form, focus and poise. Michelle Burns came in 2nd with 1:41:20, from Kelly-Ann Varey with 1:41:50. Paula Gaudry took out the Female 50-59 with 1:43:43; and Ruth Shegog the Female 60-69 in 2:22:21.
Jeffrey Van Gangelen ran a superb race in the Men’s 5 Mile, raining on Josh Torley’s parade by eclipsing his course record with an outstanding new best time of 27:49. Another age category record fell in the Female 60-69 with Jennifer Kellett taking a full 7 minutes off the old best time with her rapid 41:52 over the 5 miles.
Jeffrey was followed home in the men’s race by Glen Sturesteps in 2nd in 29:51, and Tobias Genet with 30:49 for 3rd placing. The male 50-59 was won by an ever-improving Kim Houghton, whose 34:12 was a lifetime PB over this distance. Now that’s an amazing feat! The Male 60-69 belonged today to Ewen Thompson’s fine 45:44; while the Male 70 and Over category – which boasted a field twice the size of the Male 60-69s – was won by Kevin Chamberlain in a sprightly 44:31.
Stephanie Torley was in a class of her own in the women’s 5 mile race, striding away to win stylishly in 31:48, from Claudia Brown in 35:42 and Natty Bech with 37:09. The Female 50-59 was won by Tracey O’Donnell, who made the drive down from Sydney to take out the category in a sizzling 40:44.
The largest field ever assembled for the 2 Mile race did not daunt Emma Dunn, who not only took out the Girls Under 17 – she won the race outright in fine style with a compelling 12:03. Mel Sykes-Bridge won the Female 17 and Over category in 14:51; and Hannah Quispes the Girls Under 13 in 15:42.
Andrew Welch was the fastest in the men’s 2 mile field, taking out the Male 17 and Over in 12:33; while Rohan O’Grady was not far behind to win the Boys Under 17 in 12:38; and Xavier Quispes the Boys Under 13 with 12:46.
The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run – history’s longest torch relay, which this year is carrying the Peace Torch in relay from Brisbane to Adelaide – happened to be in Canberra for the weekend. Three members of the international relay team participated in today’s run: Abhinandan Willis from Melbourne and Kanyaka Arini from Bali both ran in the 5 Mile race, while Eniko Soron from Hungary ran in the 2 Mile. With the Peace Torch on hand, many participants took the opportunity to either run with or else to hold the Torch after their races. Thanks to all who took part in this inspiring global event!