Sri Chinmoy Canberra 2019 Trail Series 3: "Gungahlin Gallop" 30km, 10km & 2.2km, Sunday 21 July 2019
There’s no beating about the bush – trail running can be tough: the ups and downs, uneven surfaces, tricky navigation in the fog, the mud and slosh, the constant drizzle … but wait! – there was no mud, no drizzle, no slosh … just another gloriously sunny, blue-skied Canberra Winter’s morning. Sure, the ups and downs were there along with some uneven surfaces, but the consensus among the burger-munchers was there could be no better way to enjoy some of Canberra’s best panoramas on this sublime gift of a day.
Congratulations to one and all who participated over whatever distance – and yes, especially to the champions who completed the 30 (+!) km course, which most agree is about equivalent to a marathon effort-wise.
New Course records fell in the 30km race to Peter Clarke, who somehow rebounded from not one, but three falls during the 5km home-stretch to post 3:00:58 in the Male 60-69; to Peter Allen who bested his own record from last year to win the Male 70 and Over with 4:33:42; and to the wonderful Jennifer Kellett who must have been training up a storm as she smashed her own record in the Female 60-69 by half an hour in 3:34:31! Meanwhile records fell also in the 10km to Elizabeth Humphries, who ran perhaps the performance of the day with her amazing 44:24; and to Margaret McSpadden who set a new best time for Female 70 and Over with 1:42:40.
The last to start but the first to finish were the mostly-children of the 2.2km race. 2.2km doesn’t sound like a particularly long way, but when you have to chug up a monster hill right from the start it’s a great achievement to complete!
Xavier O’Brien won the race outright from the Boys Under 13 in a fine 11:36 – just missing the course record by 3 seconds – from Finn Houghton (14:28) and Nicholas Kiley (15:04); while Lena Allen took out the Girls Under 13 with 15:22, tieing with Female 17 and Over winner Celeste Cook in the same time, while Joel Houghton won the Male 17 and Over in 18:24.
Elizabeth Humphries’ stellar run of 44:24 dominated the 10km race, placing her 4th outright in a strong field. Next Female Under 50 was Siobhan Jones with a fine run of 50:03, holding off a strong finish from Narelle Smyth with 50:46. Carol Harding was the best of the Female 50-59 today with 1:07:23; with Judith Bibo taking out the Female 60-69 in 1:22:10 and the marvellous Margaret McSpadden the Female 70 and Over with 1:42:40.
Tom Banks was first down the hill and onto the oval in the men’s 10km field, but he was soon joined on the “stadium lap” (sorry runners – this is really just for the spectator’s enjoyment!) by David Osmond and Jack Bigmore. Tom powered home in 43:30, with David not far adrift in 43:44 and Jack filling up the podium with 44:00. Special mention also to Glen Sturesteps, who had the race at his command until an errant turn coming off the mountain resulted in his completing an additional kilometre. Mark Duncanson continued his extraordinary run in the Male 50-59 category to win again by a huge (6-minutes) margin in 49:55; Trevor Jacobs continues to age like a fine wine to take out the Male 60-69 with 53:19; and Terry Dixon simply doesn’t age, winning the Male 70 and Over with 1:07:04.
The 31km race was well won by Dave Hardwicke, who ran a negative split in compiling an excellent 2:26:42, coming in before Elliot Cooper’s 2:31:32 and Glen Robinson with 2:32:16. Gareth Prosser was best among the Male 50-59 with 2:50:57, from Kim Houghton’s 3:03:38 and Jonathan Miller with 3:04:50. Peter Clarke’s fantastic achievement in breaking the Male 60-69 record in 3:00:58 has already been lauded – and will continue to be; likewise Peter Allen’s 4:33:42 to finish oldest competitor in the 31km field.
Patricia McKibbin was cool and controlled in taking the major award for the women’s 31km race with her fine 2:53:54, from Isabella Comfort with 3:01:01 and Keira Doherty in 3:02:54. The amazing Pam Muston ran with her accustomed nimbleness and strength, to take the Female 50-59 with 3:23:45 from Debbie Maher’s 3:41:51 and Kerron Clare with 3:43:03 – just ahead of Jennifer Kellett’s record-breaking win in the Female 60-69 of 3:34:31.
Our thanks to all volunteers on the course and around the finish area, and to all runners who made this year’s Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series so memorable and enjoyable. See you at the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail 100 in September!