There’s a mix of anticipation, excitement and nervousness in the air – from runners and organisers alike. For nearly 200 runners lining up to collect their permanent race number bib, this will be their first taste of a Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series event, and they’re not sure what to expect. For the organisers, this is the first outing for a brand new course, and while we’ve run it ourselves we’re never really sure how a new course will be received by those who matter – the runners.
After a chilly start, the most glorious Autumn day imaginable settles over Weston Creek, taking all into its embrace as though to reassure and remove any possibility of apprehension.
Congratulations to every age group winner in each distance today, as you are now all course record holders, your achievement etched in the history books for at least one year!
Chapman Oval proved an ideal rallying point for the race, offering a almost rural ambience along with access to power, an amenities block and an impeccable sward of green.
The one setback of starting on a a suburban oval, is that there is 1km of quite steep uphill to climb on footpaths before reaching the trails of Cooleman Ridge. This km featured in both the 5km and 10km courses: fortunately it had to be run downhill towards the finish, though the hill stayed in runners’ memories more for the outward journey than for the return.
The 10km course was designed by Martin Fryer, who as an ultra marathon runner living in the area, probably knows every inch of every conceivable track and trail on, along and around Cooleman Ridge – as this course showed. Superb views on all sides from the very best vantage points, were interspersed with wooded single track, fire trails, management trails, some long flat stride-out opportunities … and of course, some gut-busting ascents. In particular, it was noted by many, that the climb of Mt Arawang chooses undoubtedly the toughest of any available approach to the summit. For someone wanting a good taste of some of the varied surfaces, terrains and demands of trail running, this course certainly fit the bill!
Our inaugural course winner and record holder was local speedster Matty Robbie, running a commanding 40:16, in front of Andrew Gatenby’s excellent 40:37, just ahead of the gallant Sean Smee in 40:45. Andrew Tully was fastest among the Male 50-59 with 44:46; David Alder took out the Male 60-69 with 52:01; while the amazing Peter Clarke ran away with the Male 70 and Over prize in 53:34.
Petra Mossop is now owner of the Female course record, winning in 47:57, from Alice Arch (48:54) and Mandy Smyth with 52:18. Bron Adams was best among the Female 50-59 with 58:52; Elizabeth Simpson took out the Female 60-69 with 59:55; while Susan Archer confirmed her class yet again, winning the Female 70 and Over in 1:08:00.
The 5km route orbited around the central regions of Cooleman Ridge, avoiding the higher trig points to the south and north, while venturing over to the western slopes to take in the sweeping views across the Bullen Range and the Brindabellas.
After an initial flurry of speed from some over-eager starters, Lachlan Dow settled in to cruise away with a clear victory in 20:35, from Kodi Clarkson (21:34) and Xavier Quispes (21:42). Peter Tinnock took out the Male 50-59 with 28:50; David Jarvis the Male 60-69 in 29:22; and Jim White the Male 70 and Over with 33:09.
The women’s 5km race was much closer, with almost a sprint in the chute between Frederike Stock (26:17) just besting Yvonne Carter (26:19) at the finish, with Kate McConchie (26:53) taking 3rd place. Nicole Havranek (30:02) was too good in the Female 50-59; Ros Barrett took out the Female 60-69 in 41:97; and Patti Wilkins strode away with the Female 70 and Over win with 44:05.
The 2.2km course was 2 loops of a 1.1km circuit around the outer perimeter of Chapman Primary School, which gave all he spectators a chance to cheer the participants through their 1st lap and applaud again at their finish.
Ryan Huynh won the race outright from the Boys Under 13 category in a fine 8:25, from Daniel Randall (Boys Under 17) in 8:49. Talia Chambers took out the Female 17 and Over with 10:13; Zoe Shepherd the Girls Under 13 in 12:18; and Andrew Shepherd the Male 17 and Over with 12:46.
Congratulations to all finishers and our immense thanks to all involved in such a splendid morning, a fine portent for the upcoming season of Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail runs.