With its impressive shade giving trees and abundance of bird life, the Barwon River track is a favourite for Geelong runners, and a near perfect venue for a fun run. The weather, too, was wonderful for running, with a strong breeze keeping the runners cool, and sun and blue sky holding at bay the rain that was predicted for later in the day.
In all three races today we had some great results from young runners. The 6km race was won by a young looking Beng So in 21:55, and third place was won by Fergus Neal, who is in the 15-17 age category. The first male and the first female in the Under 15 category for this race , Connor Hoekstra, and Jessie Rowsthorn, placed well ahead in the field, being 8th and 6th respectively in their gender. Lucy Rouse, who was in the 15-17 age group was not only first in her age group, but 5th female overall. The female winner of the 12km run, Georgia Reupert Allen was also in the 15-17 age group.
Some of the masters runners out performed younger rivals, with Charlie El-Hage, taking out 2nd position in the 6km race, Ken Walker holding first place in the 12km race and Connie Anskaitis being second female in the 18km event. Charlie and Ken have been frequent medal winners in the Barwon River Run and it was great to see them keeping up their tradition!
We were thrilled to have world champion ultra marathon runner Grahak Cunningham competing in the 18km race. A race of this distance is like a warm-up jog for Grahak, his speciality being the 3100 mile (5,000km) distance. Not only has he completed the 3100 mile race on four occasions, but he won the race in 2012, in a time of 43 days! Grahak gave us some inspiring words about his experience running in ultra marathons, and assisted us in the award ceremony by giving out some of the 18km race awards.
Above: Grahak Cunningham, New York 3100 Mile Race Champion, enjoying some Geelong running environs.
Top: Race start on King Lloyd Recreation Reserve
All in all the day was a great success, and we hope to see everyone back for next year's race. You will find results for all three races here.
Our next race, the Princes Park 15km, 10km and 5km Run is on 28 April. We look forward to seeing some of you there.