How do people observe or celebrate Easter Monday? What’s this day signify?
We’ve already honoured and celebrated Easter Day – each according to our faith, understanding or tradition – so what are we supposed to be celebrating or honouring on the following day that warrants a National Public Holiday?
That’s a rhetorical question.
As runners, we don’t need a reason to celebrate – we just need the right course and an occasion, any occasion.
Certainly there were plenty to agree that Easter Monday is an ideal occasion for a run – whether competitive or casual – in the soothing surrounds of Centennial Park. Organisers found our registration capacity tested with the volume of on-the-day entries as folk flocked to the park for an 8am start.
With Daylight Savings ending the previous day meaning the sun would already be one hour higher in the sky by the time of the race start, and an unseasonably (and unreasonably) warm and humid morning forecast, the Half-Marathoners were going to be facing some tough running by their third lap as the sun mounted and blazed ever higher and stronger.
Perhaps this explains why the 7km distance was the soup-du-jour, with a field the same size as the Half-Marathon and 4km fields combined. With only one lap to cover and a much earlier finish, the 7km runners were assured of avoiding the most testing time of the day – and of getting in before the pancakes ran out! Organisers apologise unreservedly to the few Half-Marathoners who missed out on pancakes today as our stocks were completely exhausted.
All Half-Marathon finishers are to be admired and congratulated for their determination, application and courage no matter what their finish time. No-one reached the goal with a brighter smile of elation than Siyu Wang, our final finisher in an impressive 3:16:30! Several runners pulled out after one or two laps which is entirely understandable – the more who withdrew only increased our appreciation for how tough it was and our respect for the efforts of those who endured and conquered.
Rod Chisholm ran a superbly controlled Half-Marathon, leading from the get-go to win the race in a fine 1:20:28 from a fast-finishing Philip Balnave, who won his Male 50-59 category in taking 2nd outright with a pleasing 1:20:58 to mark a superb recovery from a serious setback only a year ago. Next home in the Male Under 50 was Christopher Strom in 1:23:41, with Lachlan Dansie completing the podium placings with 1:25:27.
The ever-enthusiastic Masanori Chiba came 2nd in the Male 50-59 with 1:38:50 from Dave Graham’s 1:40:01. Keith Robbins took out the Male 60-69 in 1:51:51 from Ian Jarrett in 2:04:15; while Peter Allen bravely strode to a 2:24:44 to win the Male 70 and Over category.
Tiffany Knight was in a league of her own in the women’s race, winning in a sleek 1:36:49 from Shannon Proffitt in 1:43:05 and 3rd placed Danielle Kirby’s 1:43:44. Raewyn Horlock has bounced back strongly from injury last year to win the Female 50-59 in an impressive 1:46:55 from the ever-cheerful Pamela Blaikie’s 2:07:59; while Raisa Kolesnikova took out the Female 60-69 category with 1:56:33 from Mary Sheehan in 2:02:04.
The closest competition of the day, and a very significant one – that for the largest category – turned out to be a dead heat between the women and the men. The 71 finishers in the Female Under 50 exactly matched the 71 in the Male Under 50s of the 7km race!
A very impressive run of 30:04 saw Naomi Tancred take out the Female Under 50 in the 7km race, from Natalie Malligan in 30:57 and Sophie Bennie with 31:12. Kathleen Wallington took out the Female 50-59 with a fine run of 35:58 from Elizabeth Houseman’s 38:39; and Julie Sanders the Female 60-69 in 43:44 from Gladys Amestoy’s 44:28.
Robbie Neill was a strong leader and winner of the 7km circuit, taking out the top prize in the Male Under 50 with 24:17 from a close finish between 2nd-placed Mark Higgs with 24:58 and 3rd, Ben Forrest’s 25:04. Martin Cosby claimed main prize in the Male 50-59 with 28:43 from Michael Wilding’s 30:45; while Kieron Blackmore led the charge in the Male 60-69 with a fine 31:07; and David Iverarch continued his patronage of the Male 70 and Over category with another quality outing of 36:04.
Oliver White was a clear and impressive outright winner of the 4km race in a high calibre time of 14:14 – even more impressive as he was running from the Boys Under 13s, for which category he now claims the all-time course record! The previous record had stood for 9 years. His next rivals in his category had a close tussle for the minor placings as Jack Johnson’s 16:06 was just good enough to close out Mitchell Dean’s excellent run of 16:08. Marc Mardini took out the Boys Under 17 and 2nd place outright with an strong showing of 15:04, from Aidan Karaman’s 16:38 and Ethan Touchard in 17:45; while Skander Malcolm was fastest of the Male 17 and Over with 15:24 from Brendan Loughrey’s 16:20 and Scott Groves in 17:16.
Willow Sewell won the women’s 4km race from the Girls Under 17 category in a wonderful time of 16:23, next in her category being Charlotte Tsui in 17:21 and Alice Malcolm with 19:23. Piper Simpson was the fastest of the Girls Under 13 today with a super time of 16:41, placing her 2nd Female outright. After her in the Girls Under 13 were sisters Amber and Sophia Kusano with 17:46 and 19:28 respectively. Claire Simpson was the best of the Female 17 and Over finishing in 19:57, from Katherine Squire’s 20:43 and Felicity Schlederer in 21:35.
Our gratitude to all who helped make the day such a memorable and enjoyable occasion.