Running Wild Race Report
Event: Narrowneck short course (14km / 20km)
Date: 9 November 2016
The Narrowneck night run is one of the most popular races on the Running Wild calendar – and for many is the feature event of the season. 2016 proved as popular as ever being sold out two weeks ahead of race day.
Every year, the Narrowneck event has a little something up its sleeve to keep runners and organisers on their toes. This year was no exception with a fierce lightning and thunderstorm unleashing over the course only minutes before the start. With little choice but to delay the start, organisers then had to scramble to find shelter for everybody. This was made all the more difficult by the remote start location. Having crammed everyone into the RW transport buses and the few vehicles permitted in the area, there was nothing left to do but wait for Mother Nature’s fearsome and spectacular display to pass.
Despite the delay, runners were well and truly ready to stretch their legs and get the racing underway once the all clear had been given. And race they did with another course record falling this season.
Gill Fowler’s speed and experience had her in the lead from start to finish, winning the ladies 20km event in 1:42:33. Second and third was a tussle for the whole distance with Pia O’Connor and Rochelle Tregear finishing second and third respectively only 12 seconds apart.
The men’s 20km race was expected to be a speedy affair with Olympian and the Australian and Oceanic 10,000m record holder Ben St Lawrence having registered. Ben lowered the 20km race record by a staggering 5 minutes – finishing in 1:11:43. Rounding out the podium in the men’s long race was Neil Urry in second place and Jaymz Hingert finishing third.
The ladies 14km event also saw some close times with the first three runners finishing within two-and-a-half minutes of each other. Patricia Twaalfhoven (1:18:32) and Alice Lance held positions one and two from start to finish ahead of a strong finishing Julia Wenner only 30 seconds behind Alice to finish third.
Not to be outdone for close results, the men’s short race offered more of the same. Matty Abel was able to clinch another Narrowneck first place – this time over 14km in 56:19. Another tight finish for second and third place ensued seeing Shayne Bunting cross for second less than 20 seconds in front of Murray Lance.
Congratulations to all of the winners and place getters.
A heartfelt thanks is extended to all runners for your patience and understanding of the decision to delay the race start due to storm weather. The safety of runners, race staff and volunteers is the highest priority and any decision made by RW is always based on what’s safest for everyone involved.
Given the unique situation of race registration for this event being at a different location to the race start, RW would also like to thank all participants for your cooperation throughout the registration and transportation process. Your assistance goes a long way to ensuring that the race starts on time (weather permitting of course).
As always of course, RW events wouldn’t work without the wonderful support of our volunteers. Narrowneck requires more volunteer resources than most events, so a huge debt of gratitude goes to all those that helped out until late into Saturday night, namely:
- Michael McGuiness and Sue Atherton for driving the buses to transport runners to & from the start;
- Brett & Lisa Phelan for having RW merchandise available for each event; and
- All volunteers on Saturday in various capacities – Luke Doyle, Steve & Liesl Gibson and Joel Carroll.
Apologies to anyone that isn’t mentioned.
In addition to the ongoing support of the Blue Mountains City Council, WaterNSW and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, our races are not possible without the services of:
- Lucas Trihey and his team from Event Safety Services who offer tremendous support with their first aid service, knowledge and experience;
- Peter and Simona from Snax on Trax are amongst the first to arrive and last to leave to ensure everyone gets their fill of pre-race coffee and post-race nutrition;
- Chris and the team at XThomas photography for capturing all the action; and
- The team at Tempus Sports Timing for accurate race times and results.
Being the final race of the year, RW would like to extend to everybody the warmest of Christmas cheer. Thank you again for your support and patronage throughout 2016. Have a happy and safe holiday break and we look forward to seeing everyone again for the second race in the long course series – the Knapsack Lap Race – on Australia Day 2017.