Sri Chinmoy Princes Park Running Festival - Marathon, 30km, 20km, 10km & 5km Runs, Sunday 28 July 2013
The Marathon Returns to Princes Park
They appeared out of the early morning gloom . . . 64 shadowy, brave souls challenging the 42.195km marathon distance around Princes Park in Melbourne's university precinct of Parkville. Not since the Olympic Tyres Marathon staged back in the 1970s and '80s by the South Melbourne Athletics Club had this scene been witnessed in this place. The Olympic Tyres Marathon was staged on the old 2-mile loop around the park and runners completed 13 laps of the course. Today it was eight-and-a-bit laps on a 5km loop, making the task no less of a challenge.
The Princes Park "Festival" has grown out of our original 30km run, designed to give a good hit out for the marathon later in the year. Following the demise of the popular Williamstown Festival a couple of years ago, several runners contacted us asking if we would stage a marathon in conjunction with one of our other events. The 30km seemed the logical choice and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the field, although not large by any measure but still double what we had expected and obviously undaunted by the number of laps.
The marathon started at 7.00am and runners were given five hours to complete the course. After completing an initial 2.195km out-and-back loop, they were off on an eight-lap journey. Joining them at 8.00am were 465 runners across four other distances - 5km, 10km, 20km and 30km - doing single or multiple laps of the park and adding a huge injection of energy into the event.
Soon runners were coming and going in all directions. In fact you could stand in one place on a certain part of the course and see a multitude of bodies moving in three different directions, quite an inspiring and energising sight indeed. While the course is mostly flat, there are a couple of testy little rises - one going out to the Zoo turn-around and a smaller climb up from the Capital City Trail and back onto the main circuit.
Coming and going in all directions!
There were some solid performances and surprising results, with many runners in the Masters categories taking out the honours on the day. This is how the races unfolded on what was a perfect morning for a run . . cool, still and a veil of cloud cover that kept everyone comfortable.
From the start of the main race, 10km runners John Bernstein took control of the front of the pack with Tim Hilton hot on his heels. At the point in the race where runners turn into the finishing chute, these two runners had already started on their second lap, leaving Phil Stokes, a Masters runner, to take the honours for the 5km race in 18:26; second was Lucas Butcher in 18:39 and third Tim Byrne in an amazing 20:34; Tim is in the 60-69 category! In the female 5km the placings were fairly tight, with Tamara Burton first in 20:45, Katherine Thomas second in 22:06 and Monique Protopopov in 22:21.
In the 10km race, John Bernstein held his lead to win in 35:04 with Tim Hilton second in 35:28 and James Hunt third in 37:45. In a reverse trend for the morning, James ran in the junior 15-17 year category and will be a runner to watch in the future. In the female race Chelsea Smith was first in 40:51, Nicole Joseph second in 41:08 and Jillian Kelders third in 47:01 running in the 50-59 year category!
The 20km race saw another Masters runner victorious in what turned out to be a very tightly fought race . . . Daniel Pelly from the 40-49 age category came first in 1:16:04; Andrew Compson was second in 1:16:13; and third was Pete Ainsworth in 1:16:28, a mere 24 seconds separating the three. The female race also included some very creditable performances, with winner Amanda Wison coming 10th overall in 1:22:42; second was Sarah McMullen in 1:28:34; and third Jodie Ball from the 40-49 age category in 1:32:56.
A pack of 30km runners, still looking very strong . . .
Previously the longest race of the day, the 6-lap 30km has always been a popular event and produced some excellent results with three of the podium finishers in the 40-49 year age category: Adrian Schwarz, Joe Margheriti and female winner Debra Beveridge. Results were first Jarrod McMullen in 1:57:08, second Adrian Schwarz in 2:00:31 and third Joe Margheriti in 20:01:27. In the female race, Debra Beveridge, already mentioned, was first in 2:06:08 and 7th overall, second Donna Kean 2:12:32 (10th overall) and third Jane Schmik 2:17:45. An honourable mention should also go to 85 year old Tony Martin, who completed the 30km in 4:10:39!
Debra Beveridge receiving well-earned applause from Sri Chinmoy!
And finally to the marathon! For casual on-lookers it would have been difficult to work out whether runners were doing 5km, the marathon or any distance in between. The different coloured race numbers, however, were the give-away and one purple number in particular kept passing by with amazing regularity and determination . . . marathon winner Clint Van Beveren who ran a solid 2:52:58. Second was Rohan Day (40-49 category) in 2:58:13 and third Jason Ryding in 2:58:48. In the female race, Tovy Vu was first in 3:40:15, Robyn Fletcher second in 3:50:16 and third Shannon Mace in 4:03:38. And another honourable mention goes to 9th place finisher Lester Smith in the 60-69 age category, who travelled across from Adelaide to run the marathon in 3:16:15! Lester is wearing the race number 1223 in the top photograph.
The agony and the ecstasy . . . marathon winner Clint Van Beveren
Thank-you all for your attendance and your patience with the results. Our next race is the Yarra Boulevard Half Marathon, 10km and 5km on Sunday 22 September. We look forward to seeing you all there and in the meantime, happy training!
Melbourne Sri Chinmoy Races Crew