Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series 2019, race 5: Dolls Point Half-Marathon, 10km & 5km runs, Sunday 14 July 2019
This morning, Dolls Point blossomed with orange. The brightest contribution to the tremendous atmosphere of the day came from the fantastic dedicated mentors and runners of Can Too, who turned up in force to celebrate their cause in the best possible way, letting their feet do the talking – and hearts the smiling.
The orange blossoms formed the cheery backdrop to a feast of personal effort, gutsy running, close competition, speed, endurance and camaraderie.
When staging, or running a race, there are many things that can go right, and seemingly even more that can go wrong. Some of these circumstances and forces are under our control, others not. Many things went well at the Sri Chinmoy Dolls Point Festival of Running this morning – the weather was surprisingly calm after a crazily windy freezing night, a fantastic turnout of eager runners competed in great spirits and the course (of course) offered its unfailing sea-side vistas. Of all the things that could have gone wrong however, one of the most unthinkable precisely occurred: the buckets of frozen pancake mixture stubbornly refused to thaw in time, leaving much of the field devoid of their well-earned culinary reward! The organisers unreservedly and unequivocally apologise for this failing, and assure all runners the pancakes will be ready as you finish from this race henceforth!
Back to the racing … due to a last-minute change of course necessitated by works along the pathway south of Peter Depena Reserve, the altered course employed today is not certified accurate and hence no records set can officially be recognised. In the case of Noni Cooper, who gave one of the most impressive displays of the morning in winning the women’s 10km in an astonishing 36:05, this might not matter so much, as she already holds the course record since 2014. After Noni in the Female Under 50 came Emma Fitzgerald (39:04) and Hayley Kain (41:48). Amanda Daffas finished the winner in one of the closest contests of the day in the Female 50-59, her 45:11 claiming victory over Zoe Melling’s courageous 45:26, from Roisin Boyle’s time of 47:51. Virginia Lane took out the Female 60-69 with 1:08:47.
In the men’s 10km race, Seth Healey (35:49) was too fast in the end for Nelson Santos’ 36:02, from Grant Cerkesas with 36:42.Tim Lindop won the Male 50-59 from a competitive field in 41:57, from Aaron Francey’s 43:03 and Tom Riordan filling out the podium positions in 46:56. Randy Barkacs ran a splendid race to take out the Male 60-69 in 45:24; while Arthur Huxtable came home in 56:17 to win the Male 70 and Over.
In the shortest distance, with a wholehearted run Dashiell Barr was fast enough to not only win his Boys Under 13 category, but also the 5km race outright with 21:18, just ahead of the Male 17 and Over winner Robin Fitzgerald’s 21:25. Adam Huxtable meanwhile took out the Boys Under 17 with 25:09. Fastest among the Female 17 and Over was Anaiele Tarua in 26:45, only just edging out Kody Bryden’s 26:47. Arabella Barr claimed the 1st prize for the Girls Under 13 with 27:18; with Anastasia Sawyer best of the Girls Under 17 with 33:08.
In today’s marquee event, the Half-Marathon, Sophie Bennett turned on a scintillating show, winning by 9 minutes in a superb 1:22:15 from runner-up Tiffany Knight with 1:31:35 and Jo Rankin’s 1:37:06. Mandy Lam ran with power and grace to take home the top trophy for the Female 50-59 in a wonderful 1:44:57; while Cathy Davenport ran a splendid race to win the Female 60-69 with 1:53:02.
Hamish Wallace gave an exhilarating display of free uninhibited running to win the men’s race in a slick 1:13:09, after being accompanied for the first lap by runner-up James Martin who followed with a brave 1:14:38, from 3rd placed Patrick McNamara’s 1:17:48. Mike Turner was in a stellar league of his own in the Male 50-59, taking the category in 1:22:16; Craig Saphin was sensational in winning a great battle for the Male 60-69 title with 1:31:11 from Victor Correa’s 1:31:45; and Ray James shone to take the Male 70 and Over crown in 1:54:12.
Gratitude to all helpers – and especially to our friends Penny Redfern and Michael Bedward for coming to our rescue in a time of need!