Centennial Park has many fine faces, virtues and attractions, yet today exhibited another remarkable capacity – its ability to recover from a sustained drenching. After all the rain dumped on Sydney, one might have anticipated the Park’s dirt tracks and trails to present as a soggy quagmire, yet its sandy soil demonstrated an amazing facility for drainage, presenting a mostly dry course under a glorious sunny sky.
It’s been a while since the last Sri Chinmoy 14km race at this venue, with this popular “C2S” distance proving a likeable middle ground between 10km and a Half-Marathon. Angus Pearson led from the start to take out today’s men’s race with a sterling 53:57, ahead of David Jenkins (55:13) and Craig Gilbertson’s 56:17. Brenan Liston was fastest in the M50-59 with 1:02:50; with Benito Setoue taking home the main M60-69 prize in 1:14:48. Erin Jones was a comfortable winner of the women’s 14km with her front-running 1:06:58, from 2nd placed Gemma Lysycia in 1:09:23 and Elizabeth Duggan in 3rd with 1:12:56. Fastest in the F50-59 was Avril Swan with 1:09:44.
The one-lap 7km event saw a thrilling exhibition race between two 14-year olds, with Thomas Poynton running from the front to claim an outstanding victory in 26:52 – though he was shadowed all the way by a flying Emily Rogers, who finished just 4 seconds adrift of an outright victory to win the women’s race in a flowing 26:56. Both finished well clear of their respective competitions: next home in the Male Under 50s was Nicholas Foale with 28:03, ahead of Chris Vallely in 29:42. Chasing Emily in the Female Under 50s saw Rochelle O’Connor take 2nd in 29:32, with Michaelle McAlen 3rd in 30:06. The evergreen Zoe Melling was fastest in the F50-59 with 34:30; while Sylvia Nichols took out the F60-69 in 41:12; and the amazing Helen Stanger staged an overdue return to Centennial Park to win the F70+ in 46:46. Robert Pearce was too good in the M50-59s with an impressive 30:01; while Kieron Blackmore showed his class in the M60-69 with a return of 31:44; just a few minutes ahead of the stylish David Iverach, 1st M70+ with 35:33.
Isabella Groves won the women’s 4km race and the Girls Under 17s with 22:45; while Genevieve McAdams took the Girls Under 13s in 30:50; and Krista Bednarz the Female 17 and Over with 28:24. Meanwhile Peter Groves took out the 4km men’s race in 15:32; ahead of Boys Under 17s winner, Felix Malcolm with 15:41; while Eddie Falkner won the Boys Under 13 in 22:12.
A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came to help out this morning: without you these events simply could not happen!