The views are extensive and gratifying – but they come at a cost. The trail following the ridgeline which forms the northern ACT/NSW border offers a variety of terrains and habitats, yet for the runner completing the 31km out-and-back race, which includes a full ascent of One Tree Hill TWICE (in both directions), the course hides demons as well as angels. This is a challenge for the fit and the earnest, offering nowhere to hide…
The Queen of the 31km Gungahlin Gallop was re-crowned today as Pam Muston claimed a new record in her new age group of Female 60-69 with 3:21:53, to ink her name against 2 records for the same event, her 50-59 time from 2018 still standing tall. Clare Wall (3:47:34) and Jennifer Kellett (3:59:28) also deserve praise for their tremendous runs in this age group. Penny Slater took out the younger Female Under 50 with a fine-paced 2:45:23, from Ada Klinkhamer with 2:53:54 and Isabella Comfort’s 2:54:32 taking 3rd. Debbie Maher won the Female 50-59 in 3:35:38, from Kerron Clare with 3:36:20 and a slightly-battered Kerri Vaughan in 3:45:00.
Michael Chapman’s 2:15:25 was one of the swiftest times ever for this most challenging course, winning convincingly from Aaron Smith (2:21:20) and Andrew McConnell’s 2:23:25. Glenn Paterson was 1st among the Male 50-59 in 2:43:00, showing a clean pair of heels to Stuart Whitten (2:59:17) and Brad Archer (3:14:32). Paul Newall took out the Male 60-69 with 3:46:05 from Peter Badowski’s 3:58:57 in the Male 60-69; while Peter Allan defended his Male 70 and Over champion’s status with a gutsy 4:57:38.
Runners in the 10km showed that a few months of lockdown have not dulled fitness levels or competitive spirits, as 5 or the 8 available course records were toppled. Glen Sturesteps neglected to take a crucial turn in last year’s Gungahlin Gallop, and after 12 months was determined to make amends, which he did in style to take out the men’s 10km race in a new course record 40:50 for the all-ascending, all-descending excursion of One Tree Hill. Glen was followed onto the oval at Hall Showgrounds by Trevor Spencer (41:15) and Jonathan Fearn (41:43). Matt Lemm lead home the Male 50-59 in 50:21 from Martin Fryer’s 50:48 and Will Sharpe’s 51:22; while the elder statesmen blazed stunning new records with Trevor Jacobs (52:35) taking out the Male 60-69 and David Baussmann setting a new best time for the Male 70 and Over of 1:03:47.
The women’s race was a convincing win to Jess Ronan in 46:21, from Nicola Connell’s 49:59 and Ainsley Pahljina with 50:16. Anita Scherrer was in a league of her own in the Female 50-59 with a swift 56:02. Elizabeth Simpson showed superb form to sweep away the Female 60-69 course record with an impressive 59:18, from Carol Harding’s 1:05:05; while Ruth Baussmann likewise raised the bar in the Female 70 and Over with her fine gallop of 1:21:21.
Daniel Randall zoomed around the short – but not flat – 2.2km route in an impressive new record time for Boys Under 13 of 9:50, the first runner ever to break 10 minutes for this course, and winning the race to boot; though Caleb Quispes was not far behind to take 2nd in this category with 10:19, from Xavier O’Brien’s 10:41. Caleb’s sister Hannah meanwhile also took an age group record with her 12:01 in the Girls Under 17 – though she trailed the flying Zahli Smith who won the female race outright in winning the Girls Under 13 category in yet another impressive age group record time of 11:30, from her sister Arabella in 12:52. Carly Wilder won the Female 17 and Over in 21:18; and Dominic Yau the Male 17 and Over with 14:25.
Congratulations to one and all for a memorable day of racing and transcendence!