Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series 2018, race 1: Iron Cove 14km, 7km & 4km Runs, Sunday 25 February 2018
You can come back to certain places time and time again, and not only do you not tire of them; their magic only increases.
Iron Cove is one such place. Tucked in a nook of Sydney Harbour, not far as the crow flies from the very heart of the bustling CBD, this corner of the city is not especially beautiful, with no outstanding physical features, historic claims to fame or socioeconomic status. It’s standout feature is basically a pretty flat pedestrian path looping around a nondescript bay a bit off the centre of a major metropolis. Big deal… yet this nondescript pathway has worked its way into the heart, memory, focus and very life-breath of every resident of Sydney who has considered themselves a “runner” in the past 40 years.
Its status as Sydney’s most-loved running loop derives not from its outer attributes, but rather all that it has facilitated and all that it has witnessed: the solitary early morning runs in the dark, the training packs, the human interactions, the individual and collective sheer effort, the groundbreaking personal achievements, the sorrows and joys both shared and withheld, the tragedies and triumphs. Every time another person runs or walks or cycles or skates or scooters around this loop and offers their own personal aspiration, dedication, reflection and appreciation – their fond dreams, schemes, hopes, loves and ideals along with their regrets and disappointments – the value, legacy and magic of this living cultural treasure deepens and broadens.
So we came today to both appreciate and participate in this ever-growing, ever-blossoming adventure.
The impressive Josh O’Connell set a rare course record in the 4km Boys Under 13 this morning of 14:16. Such records are rare because this course is run so often that the times are inevitably tough to beat. Yet Josh’s time wasn’t quite fast enough to beat a flying Rhys Shariff’s 14:11, though Rhys was running in the Boys Under 17 category and also won the race outright. Next home was another impressive run from a Boys Under 13, Matthew McLachlan, in 14:29. Alex Li took out the Male 17 and Over category in 18:38.
Sally Hannah was an outstanding winner of the women’s 4km race in 16:45; with Saskia Hughes taking the Girls Under 13s in 21:43 and Katherine Hughes the Girls Under 17s with 29:48.
Men’s 7km race winner Alex Kirk (27:08) was pushed all the way to the line by Greg Churchill (27:12). Kevin Chamberlain’s 30:43 was the best of the Male 50-59; Kieron Blackmore continued his run of domination in the Male 60-69 to win in 32:33; and David Iverarch narrowly missed his own course record in the Male 70 and Over category with a fine run in the windy conditions of 32:17.
Sophie Bennie was a convincing winner of the women’s race in 31:07 from Amandine Tena (32:40) and Rita Kazzi (32:50). Sachiko Spears was 3rd female overall while also winning the Female 50-59 category with a spirited run of 32:44. Gladys Amestoy took out the Female 60-69 in 43:12.
Tiffany Knight was a clear inner in the women’s 14km 2-lap event today with a fine run of 1:03:07, from Rocio Orellano’s 1:09:18 and Heidi Griffiths’ 1:09:30. The legendary Raewyn Harlock marked her return to the Sri Chinmoy Series with a win in the Female 50-59 of 1:08:32 for 2nd place overall; while Mary Sheehan ran a wonderful race to again take out the Female 60-69 with 1:14:11.
In the men’s 14km race, Mark Higgs was too strong in the end with 52:18 to hold off any challenge from Christopher Strom’s 52:39. The flip-flop-clad Phil Balnave took out the Male 50-59 and 3rd outright with 55:04 from Soonchul Shin, whose 56:29 was also good for 4th outright. In the Male 60-69, Rob Ellis took the crown with 1:14:21; while Arthur Huxtable was best of the Male 70 and Over in 1:29:57.