Hall Showgrounds is the venue for the annual National Sheepdog Trial Championship in March, when Australia’s best and finest dogs show off their astonishing wits and skills. it’s also the stage and staging point for the finale of the annual Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series, the “Gungahlin Gallop” in July, where we are again privileged to witness displays of the extraordinary strength, style and stamina of some our best and finest trail runners.
This year's 31km race saw a sensational new outright race record from the superlative Matt Robbie of 2:10:01. Running smoothly and strongly up and down the “inclines” as though on the flat, Matt reached the far turnaround point only 2 minutes after the course marker had finished his job. Crossing the line, you might have thought Matt had just jogged around the block. Tom Banks (2:15:35) who would have won the race almost any other year, had to settle for an excellent 2nd placing, ahead of Adrian Gebers’ 2:22:21. James O’Neill was fastest among the M50-59 today with 3:19:53; Douglas Taupin taking out the M60-69 in 4:07:43; while Peter Badowski set out a new best-time marker for Male Over 70s for this daunting event, of 4:03:17.
Lindsay Hamilton excelled on this course, coming into her own with 2:58:34, the only woman under the 3 hour mark today. Caitlin Chandler took 2nd in 3:19:42, ahead of Fiona Margin with 3:26:16. Debbie Maher led the F50-59 in 3:36:46; while the indefatigable Jennifer Kellett shone in the F60-69 with 3:49:10.
A flying Etienne Blumstein-Jones barely missed the 10km course record by 3 seconds, crossing the line in a wonderful 40:25; ahead of super-consistent Kodi Clarkson’s 41:35 and Brayden Clews-Proctor with 44:24. Andrew Tully broke the M50-59 record with his scintillating 44:33, to add to his existing 31km record at this venue; while John Woollard took out the M60-69 in 56:52. Trevor Jacobs also eclipsed the old best time for M70+ with his winning 1:00:19, and now owns course records for this distance in 2 age categories.
Bronte Clifford was fastest among the woman in the 10km with a fine 47:39; over 4 minutes clear of her chasers in Keira Banks (52:07) and Rowena Woods (52:23). Sarah Boyd led home the F50-59 with 1:13:23; and Razz Wilkins carried home the top award in the F60-69 with 1:11:15.
The 2.2km “sprint” race this morning saw a runaway Elsie Osborne take line honours in a canter from the Girls Under 13 category in 12:18, ahead of Madeline Gloede (16:22) and Evelyn Fisher (16:32). Mayumi Takeuchi took out the F17+ in 16:54, and Thomas Pooley was an impressive winner of the Boys Under 13s in 21:50.
Our gratitude to all involved in the 2022 Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Series – we look forward to welcoming you back to the trails next year!