Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series 2019, race 3: Royal National Park Trail Runs, Sunday 5 May 2019
This first Sunday in May offered perfect conditions for the annual Sri Chinmoy Royal National Park trail race series. The Marathon runners set off early when the sun started to warm the air and brighten the skies to allow the runners to really appreciate the beauty that surrounded them out on the trails today. Close to 70 runners toed the line to take on this distance, with the field as vast and varied as the native bush that embraced them – from first-timer marathon runners still in their teens to a number of runners who have completed over 200 marathons, to the ultra runners who were taking this marathon as a mere training run. Each and every runner out there today deserves our heartfelt congratulations and applause.
Once the Marathoners were set off the Half-Marathon, 10k and 5km gathered to start their races around 8am with a simple out and back course, with the half-marathon runners tackling a little hill at the turnaround to test their legs before the homeward stretch: it's a trail race after all, it all can't be all flat and simple!
With conditions ideal for running, there were quite a few late entrants. All entrants were able to enjoy the beautiful forest environment while exercising and socialising at the same time. The standard across all races was very high today. The first three marathoners all ran sub 3 hours on a track with a number of undulations and some parts quite rocky.
With the BBQ's set up under one of the grand old trees on the flat it was a great place to relax after the race with some post race pancakes and fruit while waiting for friends or family to finish their race or just to relax and enjoy the perfect day.
The pancakes at the finish proved popular as usual, and for the marathoners, the finishing medal meant a lot, providing tangible evidence of how hard they worked to make the distance.
As the final marathon runners arrived we felt the first few light drops from above, farewelling all the runners just as the heavens opened and sheets of rain descended to conclude yet another spectacular race in the Royal National Park.
Special congratulations to the following for establishing new course records for their respective distances and age categories:
* Jess Baker – Marathon, Female Under 50 – 3:28:02
* Ray James – Marathon, Male 70 and Over – 5:28:57 (inaugural record)
* Raewyn Harlock – Half-Marathon, Female 50-59 – 1:41:03 (breaking her own record from last year by 2 minutes)
* Craig Saphin – Half-Marathon, Male 60-69 – 1:35:07
* Matt Sheather – 10km, Male 50-59 – 41:40
We look forward to seeing everyone back at Lady Carrington Drive next year at the same time to enjoy beautiful autumn weather while running in energizing nature.
Thanks to all the helpers who made this event possible!