The third and final event of the inaugural Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series has been run and won. Congratulations to all who participated in any way – running, helping or supporting these events which have been a heartening success and much enjoyed by all. Three varied courses at three compass points around Canberra have highlighted the rich variety of natural resources Canberra runners are blessed with.
The “Gungahlin Gallop” was staged over two distances – 30km and 10km – from the Hall Showgrounds on Sunday 17 July 2016. Following a record wet month of June, the trails were still wearing a fair coating of mud, quite sloshy in places. After some horrid weather mid-week, the day was glorious: sunny, still and rising to a full 15 degrees.
View Peter Komidar's video of the 30km race from a participant's point of view on youtube.
Both distances started and finished with a loop around the expansive Hall Showgrounds. The 10km route followed the Centenary Trail to the summit of One Tree Hill (all uphill) and returned via the same route (all downhill!). The 30km route completed the same course as the 10km, with the addition of another 20km out-and-back following the northern ACT/NSW border a little further than Oak Hill. The actually distance of the longer course was more like 31km.
All winners of all categories are new course record holders: all will need to return next year to defend their titles!
The 30km race saw a dominant performance from Reece Edwards, who ran smoothly and strongly up and down, through mud and over rocks all with the same fine form and steady concentration to win in 2:14:58., from Sam Burridge in 2:20:55 and Joseph Hughes with 2:25:18. Jeff Grey had a superb run to win a competitive Male 50-59 category in 2:34:41 from Kerry Baxter’s 2:36:22. Evergreen master of Canberra’s hills and trails, Steve Appleby, on the eve of his departure to live in Tasmania, took out the Male 60-69 in a fine 3:06:01.
Shannon Jones was in a league of her own in the women’s race, running “in the zone” to win in a superb 2:44:32, from Kate Vandenberg’s 2:57:19 and Sally Parker in 3:00:28. Carol Bruce took out the Female 50-59 in 3:37:23.
The 10km run saw 190 starters – by the far the largest field assembled for any run of the Series to date. Liam Stewart (42:43) outran Paul Cuthbert (42:59) and Rowan Beggs-French (43:26) in the men’s 10km event; while Christian Dussault took out the Male 50-59 in 51:14 and Trevor Jacobs the Male 60-69 with 56:23 and Geoff Barker the Male 70 and Over in 1:33:14.
Bernie Connors was too strong in the women’s race, winning in 49:13 from Karina West (54:42) and Nicole McMillan (56:49). Catherine Hanley continued her good form to take out the Female 50-59 in 59:23, while Marian Blake won the Female 60-69 in 1:35:48.