Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series 2019, race 6: Iron Cove 14km, 7km & 4km runs, Sunday 8 December 2019
After a week of smothering smoke ominously blanketing Sydney, the rare sight of blue skies over Iron Cove drew clutches of curious sightseers, and ever-more confident walkers, bikers and dog-followers – as well as grateful runners – to the assembly area of the Finale for the Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series for 2019, staged over the standard distances of 14km, 7km and 4km.
Just as the second hand of a clock covers the same ground as the hour hand, though 60 times faster, and still they end up together at the same place – so runners completed one or two laps of the Iron Cove course this morning, while simultaneously completing the journey of an entire 6-race Series “lap”, which coincidentally had started in this same place 10 months earlier. Thus runners perfectly proclaim the human condition (over and over): we are eternal travellers and eternal transiters, coming and going and going and coming, each starting point invariably our end point, and each end point inevitably another starting point in disguise. In running as in the game of life, we don’t get to choose whether we play the role of the hour hand or the second hand, for our roles are already cast – as both. So we might as well give it our best shot, play the game with alacrity, relish every moment of the drama – and enjoy the ride with all our heart!
Thanks to Anne Elizabeth Boyd, today’s race proved historical – for, after all these years, we now have a course record for the 14km Female Over 70 category … Anne’s time of 1:38:00 now stands in the record books as the mark for all Over 70 Females to aspire for! Meanwhile in the younger Female 60-69, Cathy Davenport proved her pedigree to win in 1:15:20 from Merridy O’Donnell’s 1:31:13; and in the Female 50-59, the classy Raewyn Harlock swept home in 1:05:46 from Jacqueline Korhonen’s 1:11:13. Among the more numerous throng of Under 50 women, Ukraine’s Tetiana Drahonchuk was the sole harbinger to break the one hour barrier in an emphatic 59:33, from Phoebe Fear with 1:04:05, and Jennifer MacDonald in 1:14:19.
Arthur Huxtable is among the most consistent of performers among the Male 70 and Over, and again proved the one to catch in taking out the 14km in this category with 1:27:59. Kato Tetsundo meanwhile stormed into the reckoning in the Male 60-69 to win in a whirlwind 1:02:54, from Tony Roper with 1:15:22. No-one who runs at Iron Cove would be surprised to note that Philip Balnave again won the Male 50-59 category with a superb overall 4th placing in 53:56. Indeed, 4th to 6th outright placings went to the top 3 in the highly competitive Male 50-59 category, with 2nd spot taken by the flying Korean, Soonchul Shin in 55:45, and 3rd going to a flying Geoffrey Barnes with 57:07. in contrast to the leading women who were well spread out, the pointy end of the field among the Under 50 men offered great viewing to those lucky enough to get live coverage at home, with 3 fine athletes running at the top of their form. It was Oliver Cashman who took line honours after finishing the strongest of the three in a slick 49:55, with Sean Hampson next in 50:21, providing a slipstream for the enthusiastic Silva Thales from Brazil, with a courageous 50:39.
The men’s one-lap 7km race saw a dominant run from Dominic Bullock to win in great style in 23:43, from a gallant Luke Smith with 24:25 and Michael Abawihab taking 3rd in 27:11. Brad Windon, though a late entrant, showed a clean pair of heels to take out the Male 50-59 with an impressive 28:22 from David Heazlett’s 30:55; while the irrepressible Kieron Blackmore further gilded a glowing CV to win the Male 60-69 in 29:42 from Rob Ellis in 33:20.
Ainsley Pohljina was strongest among the women to take out the race with a gutsy 30:04, from 2nd placed Philippa Scott’s 31:28 and Natasha Hammond 3rd with 32:32. In the Female 50-59, it was Zoe Melling who ran away a clear winner in 31:48 (3rd outright among all the women!), from Hollee James’ 33:27, just shading Roisin Boyle in 33:29. Gladys Amestoy – who was later spotted running extra laps of the Bay just for fun – cruised home to take out the Female 60-69 main prize in 39:58.
Son-and-father pairing of Simon and Joseph Tesvic were dead-heat winners of the 4km race today, and in so doing took out their respective categories of Boys Under 13 and Male 17 and Over – both with 16:22; while Izac Churchill won the Boys Under 17 with 19:16. Vivian Huynh won the Female 17 and Over in the 4km distance with 22:57; with Chloe Truong taking out the Girls Under 17s in 24:01; and Layla Sawyer the Girls Under 13s with 28:29.
Congratulations to all who participated in the Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series across the 6 events and various distances in 2019. A joyful and fulfilling Christmas and New Year season to all! We look forward to continuing together in 2020, refreshed and focussed for another season of ever-new surprises through our favourite hobby / pastime / journey / game / adventure / discovery / challenge / puzzle / education / drama / teacher / friend / confidant / battleground / lifelong unfailing love … running!