PERFORMANCE 0F THE DAY – One of the most impressive achievements in all of the Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series up till now, has been Helen Stanger’s amazing Female 60-69 record for the Half-Marathon at Centennial Park, of 1:44:05 set back in 2012. Today, on a course which was part quagmire and heavy going at best, and with every other winning time in each category of all 3 races being well off record pace, Raewyn Harlock surpassed Helen’s record with an incredible run of 1:42:53 – and in the process, won the women’s Half-Marathon race outright, in itself an historical achievement. Just a week after Camille Herron’s trail-blazing new 48-hour World Record of 435 km in Canberra, Raewyn is similarly soaring to new heights on behalf of not only all women, but everyone who aspires to transcend their boundaries in any field, anywhere, at any age. Raewyn, your thrilling run today has inspired our deep respect, admiration, joy and awe – long may you continue!
On a morning which saw intermittent deluges from the early hours before first light peeped from behind further ominous blanketing banks of darkening rainy-stuff, it turns out that to reach the starting line proved to be a significant victory – with over one third of all entrants not arriving at that primary destination. Ironically, once the actual running started, the skies released barely a drop from their copious stores, holding back further blessings till the packing up was nearly done.
Hot on Raewyn Harlock’s heels, winner of the Female Under 50 race was a flying Nikki Tulliani with 1:43:12, just edging out Stephanie Bian’s 1:43:46, with Jilly Collins taking 3rd in 1:47:52. Susan While was best among the Female 50-59 with 2:13:30.
With the course passing the start/finish area twice each lap, spectators get 6 glimpses of the action over the 3 laps of the Half-Marathon, to follow the tussles for podium spots among the leaders, as well as numerous other contests unfolding throughout the field. The men’s race saw several changes up front, with Angus Pearson finally drawing away to win in an impressive 1:21:24, from Maurice Kelter of Ireland – who had come across the race by chance while on his morning run through the park, and entered at the last minute – with 1:22:30, sprinting to the line to hold off a charge from Craig Gilbertson who claimed 3rd a mere two seconds later, in 1:22:32.
Steve Temmo was 4th male home, and fastest among the Male 50-59s with 1:37:05, from Eddie Guo’s 1:40:15; Lars Lindvuist, running with his son Martin, took out the Male 60-69 category with a sterling run of 1:39:12; while the indefatigable Bob Fickel (175 Half-Marathons and 302 Marathons to his name) claimed the Male 70 and Over award with 2:49:41.
Chris Vallely took out the 7km men’s race in 29:08, though not too far ahead of the Male 50-59 winner, Shane Maundrell whose 29:38 stood him in 2nd place outright. Mark Bligh’s 32:09 to take out the Male 60-69 category also placed him in the top 5; while David Iverach took out the Male 70 and Over in 36:17, despite still recovering from Covid. Eileen Cantwell was in amongst the leading men home, to claim the premier women’s prize with 32:36; while Sha Zhu took out the Female 50-59 with 42:42; and Sally Warneford the Female 60-69 with 42:24; and Mieke Masselos the Female 70 and Over in 45:27.
The 4km race saw a close finish between Boys Under 13 1st place-getter and outright winner, Oliver Fyfe in 16:41, from Girls Under 13 winner, Eliza Smith (16:52). Eliza’s sister Ruby, running in the Girls Under 17s, was next in 18:31, ahead of Oliver’s brother George (18:35), with Terry Couchman coming next to claim 1st place in the Male 17 and Over category. Caroline Fyfle brought a third medal home for the family, with 1st place in the Female 17 and Over in 20:06.