Flanked on one side by the posh homes of Hawthorn and Toorak and on the other by the sprawling grounds of Burnley Horticultural College, the Yarra River winds its way lazily into the city and beyond. The Yarra Boulevard follows the riverâs meandering curves faithfully, providing a scenic and accessible traffic-free, 5-kilometre loop course for the opening race of the 2013 Melbourne Sri Chinmoy Races calendar.
Apart from one small, almost negligible rise the Boulevard is completely flat, the perfect course for PBs. The race is staged from the Kevin Bartlett Reserve, with 2.5km loops going north towards Bridge Road and south towards the Monash Freeway, combining to create a 5-kilometre loop â three loops for 15km, two loops for 10km and one loop for the 5km race.
The warm, still morning set the scene for some fast times, with early pacesetter Nick MacDonald leading the 5km race from start to finish and winning in 17:013. Kev Mannix was second in 17:40 and Nicholas Morrison-Story was third in 18:08. In the womenâs race, Alex Reynolds was first in 21:44, Emily Hinton was second in 22:04 and Claire Oliveri was third in 22:36.
In the menâs 10km run Steve Griffin ran an excellent race to win in 35:33 and proved that masters-age runners can still hold their own against younger rivals. Troy Wood was second in 35:54 and Luke Peel was third in 36:03. Another worthy mention was the performance of 83-year old Bill Page, who kept his sub-one hour streak for 10km intact.
In the womenâs 10km, the talented Australian 5km champion Georgie Clarke was looking in great form but three-quarters into the race a calf pain forced her to stop short of what probably would have been a course record. Ultimately it was Chelsea Smith who went on to win in 42:17, followed by Di Guiney in 45:11 and Fleur Hamilton in 46:36.
Shannon Meadows ran a solid race in the menâs 15km, staying out front long after the 5km and 10km runners had turned for home to win in 53:39. David Venour was second in 53:52 and Anthony Mithen was third in 54:48. In the womenâs 15km, winner Danielle Sansonetti ran a brilliant race to finish under the hour in 59:35 and placed fifth overall; Bridget Weatherall was second in 63:06 and Robyn Millard was third in 65:19.
INVITATION TO SPECIAL RUNNING PRESENTATION
Grahak Cunningham is a four-time finisher and current reigning champion of the worldâs longest footrace - the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race staged each year in New York. During this race runners endure pain, sleep deprivation, weather extremes and fatigue.
Grahakâs is a remarkable story of endurance and determination, the running equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. He has recently published an e-book - Beyond the Marathon - recounting the tales of his extraordinary running adventures.
We invite you to join Grahak for an inspiring and amusing afternoon of story-telling and insights and learn how his amazing abilities as a runner and a meditator can help in everyday life.
Date: Saturday 23 March, 3.00-4.30pm
Venue: Gallery 314, 314 Church Street, Richmond
Bookings: Call (03) 9853 4731 to reserve your seat(s)