Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series 2017, race 4: Dolls Point Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10km & 5km Runs, Sunday 16 July 2017
Magic is happening always, all around us: usually we are too busy to notice. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time, and to have made the right choices ... like this morning.
Just as the marathoners were embarking on their journey alongside Botany Bay, the sun, sea, sky and clouds conspired to stage one of life’s thrillingly auspicious moments … sure there’s a dawn, a sunrise every day, yet this one was the peal of a cosmic gong, the rising of a curtain portending an engrossing drama, an announcement of impending glory and confirmation of the soul’s approval for all who had committed to hurling their wills into that bravest of challenges: the Marathon.
Every marathon finisher is always a winner. Today’s race saw the completion of marathon # 258 for Ray James, and marathon # 251 for Bob Fickel – that’s over 500 marathons between these two humble yet extraordinary champions. Even if no-one else had turned up, it was worth the price of admission just to witness these greats of our sport in action. Gentlemen, please accept our virtual standing ovation!
The women’s Marathon saw a very happy Jane Trumper triumph from the Female 50-59 category in 4:13:23; while Virginia Botha’s 4:20:40 was enough to eclipse Muriel Demarcus’ 4:22:06 in the Female Under 50.
Michael Lough ran a fine controlled race to take out the Men’s Marathon in 2:54:05 from Gareth Franklin’s 2:57:45. Kevin Heaton won the Male 50-59 in 3:25:50, and Victor Correa led home the Male 60-69 with 3:38:41. A special congratulation to Donalito Bales Jnr who was ecstatic to finish his first Marathon in 5:21:57!
Today was an historic day for the Male Over 70 category in the Half-Marathon and 10km races, with for the first time ever, a higher number of participants than the younger 60-69 division. Arthur Huxtable led the way in the Half-Marathon Male 70+, setting a new course record of 1:57:49; while Geoff Smith led home the Male 60-69 in 1:49:28. Martin Cosby placed 5th outright in winning the Male 50-59 in a fine 1:26:51. The podium places in the Open Men’s race were taken by Matthew Rofe (1:21:46), Yohei Kawase (1:22:58) and Stephen Redfern (1:25:05), with Stephen backing up from his wonderful victory last weekend in the Sri Chinmoy 24 Hour race at Campbelltown.
Just as with the men, some of the main action in the women's race happened in the higher age brackets. Mary Sheehan led the way by smashing the course record for the Female 60-69 with her extraordinary run of 1:48:00. Catherine Anderson led home the Female 50-59 in 2:03:39; while Magda Karimali took out the Female Under 50 in the Half-Marathon with 1:32:52, from Natalie Bye (1:34:31) and Stephanie Bilic (1:38:31).
The 10km race saw David Iverarch add to his burgeoning Male 70+ record harvest with another brilliant run of 50:40; coming in on the heels of Male 60-69 winner Rob Ellis’ 50:34. Masanori Chiba was an outstanding winner of the Male 50-59 in 41:13, which placed him 5th outright. The Male Under 50 was won by Jake Foster with 37:22 in a sprint finish from Ian Gabriel (37:24) and Julian Murray not far behind with 38:10.
Merrily O’Donnell continued her fine form in the Female 60-69. winning with 55:53; not far behind Nadia Tesser who led home the Female 50-59 in 52:17. Fastest female on the course today was Zoe Melling with 46:26; from Martina Nimac (47:04) and Barbara David (47:43).
David Thorne took out the Men’s 5km race today in fine form in 17:25 from his brother Aaron Thorne’s 19:06; followed in by Kate Hill winning the women’s race in 19:29. Patrick Hadjiantonio was fastest of the Boys Under 13 with 20:14 and Allen Chantharasonthi the Boys Under 17 in 20:32. Unfortunately it is common when running, that we tend to follow whoever is in front of us, rather than focus on course signage. This happened today in the 5km race. After the leaders ran the correct course as marked, quite a few of the field then apparently followed a runner who was not even in the race, onto an alternative path which meant they completely missed the northern turnaround, thus adding considerable distance and time to quite a few of the 5km results. While organisers make every effort to ensure the course is clearly marked, while racing we can never assume that the runner in front of us knows where they are going. When running in a group we tend to “switch off”, yet this is when we are most in danger of missing a sign and going off course: please, remain always alert for course signage!