Princes Park is a popular inner-city venue for Sri Chinmoy runs and all the more so as fortunately we were able to return the course to the 5-kilometre loop, otherwise runners in the long race would have looked forward to a 10-lapper instead of six!
The weather forecast predicted a cold morning with sunny breaks and it lived up to all its promise, providing a perfect day for racing, with not even the slightest breeze. A total of 495 runners lined up at the start to contest 5km, 10km, 20km and 30km runs, with the 10km proving most popular and a healthy 133 starters in the 30km.
The perfect weather brought out many runners who signed up on the morning to take full advantage of the conditions and the camaraderie of a large bunch of friendly runners.
Brendan Kean took to the front and stayed there for the first two laps, outrunning the 5km field and winning the 10km event convincingly in a very respectable 33:45. Having said that, Tim Dornon won the 5km race in a solid 17:16 and Monique Protopopov won the womenâs 5km in 21:56.
The winner of the womenâs 10km race was also quite a performance by Emma-Lise Donati, whose time of 37:54 was equal third time overall!
Meanwhile the longer 20km and 30km races were starting to shape up with very clear leaders â Clint Van Beveren in the 20km race eventually winning in a time of 1:18:04 and Sarah McKay winning the womenâs race in 1:23:12 and placing fourth overall, another very strong result for the women.
Daniel Pelly looked impressive throughout the 30km race, leading from the start and keeping a strong, steady pace to take out the main race in a winning time of 1:57:59. In a similar vein, Debra Beveridge ran a convincing lone race in the female division, winning in 2:10:48, a convincingly clear 13+ minutes ahead of Pauline Allan in second place.
While there were some very good performances at the top of each race, the morning was also characterised by many PBs and a great atmosphere back in the venue as runners finished their respective races, lined up for a hot pancake and maple syrup snack and lingered to chat with old and new friends.
Mention was made at the race start, of the Sri Chinmoy 3100 Mile Race currently under way in New York, with an Aussie race leader Grahak Cunningham of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team already breaking several Australian ultra distance records along the way and set to win the race in a record time. You can follow Grahakâs achievements on his blog www.grahakcunningham.com. It is a very inspiring plus amusing read.
Photos of the race and full results are available.