For sheer running pleasure, few courses match Mirambeena. Whether it be the generous canopy cover; the lush green of Garrison Point; the numerous creeks, lakes and ponds; abundance of birdlife; the elegant contour of its cycle path; the invigoration in the very air; the resonance of the name itself â Mirambeena offers at once soothing peace and rejuvenating vitality.
"Every treasure is guarded by dragons" â so says the Chinese proverb. In the case of Mirambeena, the only 'dragon' is the effort of traveling a few extra kilometres to the venue â for many, a disincentive enough to ensure this event retains the intimate charm of an extended family gathering.
The first race to be run and won was the 2-miler (3.2 km), the only course of the day to avoid the hills. Boys under 17 entrant Benjamin Moss (12:03) set a new course best time to turn the tables from last year on defending champion Kenneth Wong, who won the Male 17 and Over category in 12:08. Next home was Boys under 13 winner Max Jameson in a fine 13:18 (also a new course record!)
In a rare performance, Girls under 13 entrant Sianna Steele won the women's race outright AND set a new all-comers course record with 14:31. Peta Bray was 1st among the Females 17 and Over in 18:30; while Emma Dixon took out the Girls Under 17s in 21:19.
The 8 km race was a good one for the Malligans â Shaun winning the Men's race in 30:49 and Natalie taking out the Women's event in 36:52. While Natalie had a lead of over one minute on her rivals, Shaun had a tougher time of it, only just edging out Men's 50-59 winner David Riches (30:51) by 2 seconds, with Victor Correa (30:55) and Hamish Wallace (31:00) in close pursuit. Witold Krajewski continued his record-breaking run of wins, setting another course record for the Men 60-69 in 33:18; while Edward McMaster won the Men 70 and Overs with 57:23.
The 8 km race saw fine performances from two of Sydney's most consistent female runners â Sylvia Nichols taking the Women 50-59 category in a superb new course record 40:03; and Dot Siepmann the Women 60-69 in 48:18.
Adam Stroud led the Men's 16 km field strongly through the first 8 km lap and looked to have the race in hand, but there was no stopping a determined run from Adam Horder, whose big negative split saw him take the race in 1:02:26. John Dawlings showed what a fine campaigner he is with another excellent effort to take the Men 50-59 category in a new record time of 1:06:19; not far ahead of a sensational run from Dave Byrnes, who smashed the Men 60-69 course record with an outstanding 1:08:26.
Louise Noble placed in the top 10 outright and joined the list of new course record holders, winning the Women's race well in 1:07:39. The Women 50-59 category was taken by Rosamund Plummer in 1:48:48; while Kerry Bray was again superb in winning the Women 60-69 category in 1:36:21 (and breaking her own course record to boot).
Yet another record was set today â 13 individual course records in various age categories being the "Record for the most Records" at a single (non-inaugural) event since these races' inception!
View the full results for each of the three distances, along with a photo album from around the course.
We did not have a huge race this morning; but we did have an unforgettable one â for what this venue does not offer in quantity of attendance, it more than makes up for in quality of experience.
The Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series will return eagerly to Mirambeena in 2012!