Adelaide Marathon Festival 2021

Amidst a string of border closures and race cancellations, Adelaide was finally able to break the trend and fire the starting gun on their marathon festival weekend! At Bonython Park, the South Australian Road Runners Club had paired up with a range of local businesses to create a fantastic event village on the banks of the river torrens. At the RunAsOne tent, over 70 runners made up the 1500 runners in total who were ready to put their recent training to the test across the full quota of events on offer. In addition to this, the team had a number of supporters on site taking happy snaps, and just generally ensuring all of their training partners got across that finish line!

At 6:30am, the marathon runners were sent on their way for a two lap journey of the city and its immediate surrounds. RunAsOne had four participants in the longest event on offer, with each runner making it home in a personal best time! Claire McNamara and Kelly Barns finished just two minutes apart in PB times of 3:41 and 3:43 respectively. That performance earned Claire a top 2 finish in her category, while Kelly was 4th in hers. Ben O’Brien was not far behind them in 4:02 and will no doubt be eyeing off that 4 hour barrier next time! To change the narrative point of view for a moment, I also finally made it to the start line of a marathon. With the promise of an automatic PB, paired with the overwhelming support from the RunAsOne team on the course, it was impossible for any negative thoughts to creep in throughout my longest run ever (they did try). I crossed the line first in a time of 2:22:43. I didn’t really have a goal time in mind for this race, so it’s nice to now have a benchmark and a target for the next one! I look forward to joining Claire, Kelly, Ben and a host of other RunAsOne team mates on the start line of the next opportunity to run a marathon, all with the common goal of going faster than we have before!

By 7 am the distance had halved, but the numbers had nearly doubled! The half marathon was the most popular event of the morning, and it attracted 36 RunAsOne runners! Oscar Bloomfield lead the way and just missed a top 10 placing with his substantial PB time of 1:17:44. Matthew Ormsby was next over the line in a PB of 1:21:40 and a top 5 category placing. Jack White snuck between Matthew and Nick Edwards in 1:22:27 (PB) ahead of Nick’s 1:23:03 (PB). Chasing Nick to the line, Tristan Taorima added his name to the list of PB’s with a 1:23:04 finishing time. Not far behind Tristan, Andrew Heathershaw continued his string of PB runs with a 1:24:41. That run earned him a top 2 category position! Then the girls came flying through, with Tash Jarrett and Ashlee Shepherd leading the way with top 5 placings. Tash crossed just 1 second ahead of Ash in 1:26:33 to Ash’s 1:26:34! Rounding out the sub 90 minute finishers, Cameron England also scored a PB running 1:27:44. Chasing down that barrier time right to the final stride Paul Sideris was next to finish in 1:30:07. We have no doubt that barrier will fall for Paul on his next attempt! Not long after Paul had finished, cult figure Jarryd Pike crossed the line in 1:32:52 in his debut at the distance. He lead home great runs from Naomi Miatke (1:35:16 /8th female) and Jessica Baillie (1:39:01) who were just shy of their previous best times. Tayla Haslam then joined the PB club with a 1:40:16, as the finisher count still read inside the top 20 for the female competitors! Michelle Leyden grabbed that 20th spot in 1:41:54 and earned an age category win for her efforts! Liam McInerney then crossed in a big PB of 1:42:48, ahead of another PB from Melanie Fiora in 1:44:04! Mayuko Kurashima then finished 4th in her age category recording a 1:47:47 time, earning line honours over Samuel Potts (PB), Brian Wagner (PB), and Atsushi Ogai who finished close together in 1:48:22, 1:48:37, and 1:48:52 respectively. Then, the exciting race for sub 2 became the next focus point at the finish line! Nicole Connolly (1:50:59) and Linda Follett (1:52:03 / PB) achieved that comfortably. They finished just ahead of Olivia Buchanan pacing sister Nicole Buchanan to a new PB of 1:52:21! Olivia Stephens smashed her PB to cross the line next in 1:53:23, ahead of PB’s from Matt Cooper (1:54:12), Jo Howie (1:54:42), and Tracy Baldwin (1:54:57)! Amelia Mislov (1:55:11/ PB), Mardi Olsen (1:56:07/ PB), and Phil Mellors (1:56:27/ PB) were next to cross. After them, the race for sub 2 began to gain a little more momentum as Melissa Starfield snuck home under the barrier in 1:57:40 (PB), ahead of Carla Scragg in 1:58:07 (PB), and Amy Watson in 1:59:15 (PB)! Just missing out on debut was Sarah Schubert in 2:10:53, ahead of Bianca Rogers who fought on well to make it to the line in 2:48:41.

As the Marathoners, and half marathoners continued to negotiate the course, the pace got a little hotter off the start line as the gun fired for the 10km and 5km runners in close succession. Luke Mitchell was superb finishing in 3rd only beaten by two of Australia’s best 10km runners. His time of 31:59 was a new PB. Patrick Hunt was next to finish and he also scored a PB with his 7th place finish in 33:42 ahead of PB’s from Ryan Haylock (34:07) and Josh Young (34:11). Mark Routley was next to finish in a PB of 36:54 and a 2nd place category finish. He was just ahead of Brant Lang (37:23) who was 3rd in the same category! Brant lead home Issie Hume who was 2nd overall female in 37:34, ahead of Zoe Toland who claimed the 3rd place on the podium finishing in 38:07 (PB). In between Issie and Zoe the youngster Luca Wagner stormed home to a 12-14 years category win in 37:41 (PB)! After Luca and Zoe, Sophie Hlipala just missed that podium spot but recorded a new PB of 38:09 to finish 1 second ahead of Tom Cooper who is on a very quick rise to fitness as he added another PB run to his series with a 38:10 performance. Jack Blake was then the last RunAsOne runner to sneak under the 40 minute barrier with a PB run of 39:46. With that barrier in mind next time, Russ Harris ran strongly to record a PB of 42:48 and earned a 3rd place in his category. Similarly, Gus Wilson finished high up in his category (5th) to finish in 43:56. Alison Sorrell might have missed a PB this time, but she still won her category in 45:34! Ola Wicik was next home in another 10km PB of 46:42. Rosey Batt was not far behind Ola in 48:17, and she won her age category! Liz Ward then snuck home under the 50 minute barrier with a time of 49:48. So, the 50 minute barrier then becomes the target for Brittany Modra who finished in 51:27 (PB) this time. She was ahead of Voula Nysirios who ran a strong 54:23, and Francesca Trott who ran a big PB of 54:53! Lauren Channon was next home under the 60 minute barrier in a PB of 58:21, just ahead of Lucy Teicher (1:00:25), and Rowan Mckeown (1:01:13) whose new PB means that the sub 60 minute barrier is her next goal! To finish off the morning, we had 6 runners in the 5km dash! Nick Mallia won his age group in a PB 17:50! Rio Hamajima and Leon Kurashima joined Nick as age group winners with their respective PB’s of 19:43 and 20:53! Hina Hamajima was 2nd in her age category with a time of 21:17, ahead of yet another 5km PB for Georgia Van Der Jeugd in 23:07 (3rd in AG). Mariko Hamajima was the final finisher in the 5km in 31:44 and will no doubt be looking to lower that to a time in the 20’s next time!

So that’s a wrap on RunAsOne’s biggest mass participation event yet! Thanks to the South Australian Road Running Club for the opportunity! It was fantastic to see the many RAO hats and singlets out on course, and we look forward to seeing more personal best times, podium finishes, and smiling faces at the next events scheduled on the SA Road Running Calendar! For now, it’s back to work on Tuesday for a group fartlek session that I will happily support from the sidelines this time around!