The 32nd running of this iconic Canberra running event was conducted in perfect weather and the start was spectacular as numerous hot air balloons paraded overhead and these could be seen throughout much of race. It is an undulating and challenging course, all run on bike paths, with no road crossovers. Thus it is a safe and extremely scenic course with views over Lake Burley Griffin for most of it.
There were 69 individual entrants and two relay teams of three each competing in the half marathon, of whom 30% were female.
This race was particularly special for two people, Jim White and Graham Burke, who had each completed 22 races of the 31 run to date. Jim White was unable to compete this year due to his health issues and he had specifically asked me not to mention the 32nd running of the half marathon to Graham. Naturally, as soon as I got home after that conversation I sent Graham an invitational flyer and he responded promptly saying that he would love to run it again if his health was up to it on the day. In the event Graham did complete the run and now holds the record for the most Weston Creek Half marathons run by an individual at 23. Congratulations Graham! Jim turned up at the end of the race just to ensure that Graham finished the race. You will find photos of Jim and Graham accompanying this article.
You will find the full results elsewhere on the web site but congratulations to Paul Tilse, Thien Voung and Daniel Redman who were the first three males to finish; Kim Wilmhurst (who has won the event twice before in 2011 and 2012), Georgie Farrar and Kym Somi who were the first three females to finish and to the winning relay team ‘Reid em an weep’ comprising of Peter Daley, Colin Reid and Stuart Gorham.
The ‘age group winners’ were M40 Douglas Brendan, W40 Serena Lawlor, M50 Tony Oakden, W50 Sally Galbraith, M60 Peter Clarke, W60 Clare Wall and M70 Mick Saunders. They have all earned a free entry in the 33rd Half Marathon which is to be held one week later than this year on 17 March 2019.
The inaugural running of the 10Km community fun run attracted 31 participants and they set off 15 minutes after the start of the Half Marathon. Next year the gap will be 30 minutes and it is planned to introduce a free kids/parent run 30 minutes later again to provide some interest for the spectators while they wait for their parent/partner to complete either the half Marathon or 10km. The course will start and finish at the same spots as the other two events, a distance of about 2km.
Again the full results can be found on the web site but congratulations to Adam Leane, Shane Hutchinson and Andreas Catteau (who is visiting Canberra from Belgium) who were the first three males home; Tracy Clinch, Lilian Anderson and Verity Farragher who were the first three females to finish. Nigel England, who is a very competitive M55 runner in ACT Masters Athletics and Parkrun events, told me that he let Tracy go during the first part of the race thinking that she would soon tire and he would catch her but realised when he was running down the steep incline just before Scrivener Dam and he could see that she was just crossing the Dam that she would not be caught. Well run Tracy! Nigel’s wife Lorna walked the course while his daughter Ruth also competed, making it a family affair.
The event took a lot of organising but the outcome was very pleasing. Next year’s event promises to be even better with improved PR and greater numbers.
The event could not be run without the help of lots of volunteers and I thank all members of the Canberra Redbacks who assisted before and/or on the day, especially the Caley family. I also thank Life Member Vince Craig for his guidance and support. Two Kambah Lions Club members, Janeen and Janet Faes, manned the second drink station, thank you.
Thanks also to our major sponsor, Nick Walshe of The Runners Shop, who supports a number of similar running events in Canberra.
24 March 2018