McLaren Vale Running Festival

The main street of McLaren Vale put on a show this morning as approximately 800 South Aussies toed the start line of the McLaren Vale Running Festival hosted by Hardy’s Tintara Winery. The South Australian Road Runner’s club did another fantastic job organising this event despite Covid restrictions still causing headaches. Therefore, it was fantastic to see so many people making the most of the opportunity in perfect conditions, on a well marshalled course. RunAsOne had another strong contingent entered in all 3 distances on offer, and the team once again came away with a host of personal bests. As a bonus, we also cheered home a number of podium place finishes both outright, and within Age Group categories!

The first event to kick off this morning was the half marathon distance. Starting within the winery, the atmosphere was electric at the start line before the gun was fired at 8:00 am sharp. It was not long before Ryan Haylock was joined at the front of the field by only one other runner. These two enjoyed a close race for the full distance before Ryan prevailed to take outright line honours in a new personal best time of 1:14:44. As a mostly remote RunAsOne athlete who does most of their training without the benefit of training partners, we think Ryan is a very deserving winner today! Joining Ryan on the podium was Tash Jarrett who was 3rd female in a new PB of 1:25:12! To return to overall finishing order, Matt Warner improved 3 minutes to be top 8 overall in 1:20:24 (3rd AG)! Before Jack White overcame missing the start and weaving through runners to finish in 1:24:16; a pass mark considering the circumstances. Remarkably, Cameron England took yet another 2.5 mins from his PB to finish next in 1:24:56 making that 10 minutes of improvement at this distance in the last 18 months! Behind Cameron, coach Dylan Trenerry helped Matt Hart to the finish line of his debut at the half marathon! 1:26:33 is a great starting point for Matt, who trains on his own in the blistering heat of Roxby Downs! Behind Matt, Brendan Capper had a consistent run finishing just outside his personal best in 1:27:54. Paul Sideris was next home as he puts the finishing touches on a marathon prep! Paul finished agonizingly close to the 90 minute barrier in 1:30:04, but will no doubt be happy with the PB and a 2nd place AG finish. Jessica Baillie was also close to adding her name to the PB tally despite some unrelated injury troubles. Her time of 1:37:19 earned her a 2nd place finish in her AG! Ben Obrien was next, and he took a whopping 6 minutes off of his PB running 1:43:42! He’s clearly recovered well from the Adelaide Marathon in August. Behind Ben, Nicole Connolly ran well to finish in 1:47:47 to finish just ahead of Mayuko Kurashima who scored a 2nd place in her AG in a time of 1:48:14! The race against the clock then started to heat up, as the 2 hour barrier was approaching fast! Matt Cooper snuck home just in time to record another consistent performance finishing in 1:56:35. Just missing the barrier this time were Lili Thomas and Amy Watson who finished in 2:05:17 and 2:05:25 respectively. This was a great return from injury for Lili, and no doubt both of these ladies will be eyeing off that 2 hour barrier next time! Jen Chataway finished next in 2:15:49, ahead of Alessandra Perna who complete a solid training run finishing in 2:17:34. Behind them, another of our remote teammates Glen Robbins finished in 2:30:21 after making the trip from Port Augusta!

After the excitement of the half marathon start line disappeared in to the picturesque vineyard surrounds of the McLaren Vale wine region, it was the 10km runners who now had their turn to attempt a PB! Katie Wyschnja did just that, and was super impressive finishing as first female in a new PB of 40:10! That “3” is going to look good next to her name next time! Reece Tilbrook joined Katie on the PB list finishing 5th overall in 37:04. We look forward to seeing Reece take a large chunk off this time in the near future as he settles in to the group training! In finishing order, Nick Stokoe and Jonny Pisanelli worked well together to finish in 39:17, and 39:24 respectively. Incredibly, Jonny only broke 20 minutes for 5km for the first time 3 weeks ago, and now he’s done it twice in the same race! Noa and Steve Goddard were the next pair to halfway! While Steve went on to record a very respectable 2nd place finish in his age group in a time of 52:14, Noa took off and broke 50 minutes to win her age group and take home family bragging rights in a time of 49:56! At the finish line, Sharlene Vears split the Goddards to finish in a PB 51:46. This was an astonishing 5 minute personal best for Sharlene, and earned her a 2nd place finish in her AG! Nola Paul smiled the whole way and finished next in 53:11. Behind Nola, Felicity Wilson beat home the 60 minute barrier to finish in a PB time of 58:42! Maryanne Campbell-Hand just missed that barrier, but that wasn’t going to wipe the smile off her face in her second event back after a long injury lay-off. Rowan McKeown was next behind Maryanne in 67:32, and just ahead of a PB run (67:54) from Fiona Stokoe! As the 10km finishers continued to rejoice in the finish line celebrations, our young guns Rio Hamajima (20:19), Hina Hamajima (21:30), and Leon Kurashima (21:24) lead the way in the 5km event! They each recorded a PB as well as an Age Group 1st place finish! Furthermore, Rio was actually the first female to finish overall, and Hina was 3rd overall! Mariko Hamajima chased her children home in this event and was also rewarded with a PB for the distance finishing in 30:25!

So we leave McLaren Vale with another 15 personal best performances for the team, as well as a host of podium finishes highlighted by outright wins to Ryan in the half marathon, Katie in the 10k, and Rio in the 5k! It was also fantastic to see a large group of RunAsOne runners on the sidelines this morning, but still present to support their teammates. Next week, RunAsOne will have a big presence at the Athletics SA 10 000m championship on the track, ahead of another host of road running and trail events starting with Greenbelt and the SA trail running championships. In the meantime, it’s back to the training track Tuesday where we will come together to continue with the common goal of being better than we were last time!