Sri Chinmoy Royal National Park Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10km & 5km Trail Runs, Sunday 8 May 2022
The Royal National Park is an ideal locale to appreciate the beauty and splendour of Nature. Running is the ideal way to imbibe and assimilate the power and sweetness of Nature. Racing in such an environment nourishes us integrally on all levels of our being, in the process drawing us inexorably closer to each other and to our inner selves: a shared celebration of the best in us all. So, under a benign forest canopy framed within a greater canopy of radiant blue, today was bound to be special.
Bringing together extraordinary people from all corners and walks of life, the running community is a wonderful family of mutual appreciation and support. One of the earliest to arrive on the scene in the pitch dark this morning to help register everyone and get the ball rolling, Annabel Hepworth is a 4-time Australian Ultra-Runner of the Year, fresh from another world-class performance in the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 6-Day Race in New York a few weeks ago. All who recognised Annabel eagerly serving up pancakes for hours post-race were at once in awe and appreciation of the dauntless enthusiasm and charming humility of a true champion. In praising Annabel, we appreciate the epitome of each and every volunteer, organiser, supporter and spectator who offer their all for the simple reason – they love to. Always, we receive more than we give.
It’s never a bad idea to go for a run in the bush. That was the philosophy informing one of Sydney’s foremost running clubs – “Billy’s Bushies” – back in the day, who would enjoy much for their running and training in and around Royal National Park. So it was especially pleasing to see Billy himself – William Hick, no less – front up to vigorously walk today’s 5km along the ever-delightful Lady Carrington Drive. Billy would have been proud also of another one of his early local members, Bob Fickel, who today completed his 297th marathon, with no sign of letting up any time soon.
Months of rainfall have left the track sodden in places, making the going a little more challenging today, though you wouldn’t have known that from the beaming, satisfied smiles around the pancake table. Congratulations to all who completed their first marathon, or their 297th, or anywhere in between, and to all who finished their respective Half-Marathons, 10km and 5km outings. Even the most-used cliché sometimes proves true, and so it was today: everyone was a winner.