Event:               Lawson short course (9.2 / 17.4 km)

Date:                 24 September 2017

Lawson was the first of this season’s short course races – and with warm weather, a record number of entrants and nice mix of fire trails, runnable single trail and steep hills – everything was in place for a fast, fun day of trail running.

Virtually no rain over recent months had made the steep sections of fire trail out and back from the Queens road turnaround dusty, loose on top and very slippery, requiring light feet and steely nerve.

Lawson had certainly attracted some big names to the start line this year – such as Loughlinn Kennedy, Jackson Sharp, Gary Howard and the current ladies short course record holder Jasmine Sargeant – this year running the extra lap for the long race.

The 9.2 km event is a fine balance between running flat-out and pacing oneself up lung burning fire trail ascents and runnable, technical single track along the Empire Pass. Heather Bray held off a determined field to finish ahead of a clustered top ten, with Sian Kennedy not far behind in second and Cheryl Webb also close in third. All three runners finishing inside of five minutes apart.

Loughlinn Kennedy broke the forty-minute barrier (39:37 – and only just outside the race record) to win the men’s race ahead of Ben Francis and Adrien Wallace in second and third respectively. As in the ladies’ race, the first three place getters also finished less than five minutes apart.

Those running the long course don’t have the luxury to linger at the race hub as they set course for another undulating 9-plus kilometre lap to finish their race. Jasmine Sargeant obviously enjoys running at Lawson – backing up last year’s win in the short race with a victory this year in the 17.4 km event – with Sophie Brown and Monika Holmwood rounding out the podium crossing the line in second and third respectively.

With a time of 1:13:12, Jackson Sharp impressed by winning the men’s 17.4 km race by more than five minutes. Tony Fattorini and Zak Brown – in second and third – also proved to be incredibly quick around this tough course with both men also recording a finish time better than 80 minutes.

Congratulations to all of the podium finishers. Well done.

All podium finishers receive a RW gift voucher that can be redeemed at either Summit Gear in Katoomba or Blue Mountains Running Company in Glenbrook. Thanks to both stores for being such wonderful supporters of RW.

We’re delighted that The Run Beyond Project had registered numerous runners again this year. A school based initiative that started in 2015 at one western Sydney high school, The Run Beyond Project has been incorporated into several Sydney schools and uses running as a mechanism to teach high school students about goal-setting, commitment and resilience. Students commit to a fun and challenging program with interim commitments along the course of their journey which ensure they are physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to complete a goal race ranging from 10km to a half-marathon. Congratulations to the students in this year’s race and to the teacher’s guiding these young runners along their respective campaigns.

This was one of the smoothest run, incident free events that we’ve had the pleasure of hosting and that (as always) is in no small part to our amazing volunteers. Thank you all again so much. Remember, that volunteers are entitled to a free race entry, so as well as being great fun, it’s also well worth your while helping out occasionally.

Additional thanks and appreciation goes the way of those that make Running Wild races the best value for money on the globe….namely:

  • 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;
  • The Glenbrook Greengrocer for supplying fruit for every event;
  • Chris and the team at XThomas photography for capturing all the action;
  • Murray and the team at Tempus Sports Timing for accurate race times and results;
  • Blue Mountains City Council;
  • NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service;
  • WaterNSW; and
  • Department of Lands.

Our next event is one of the most demanding half marathons on any race calendar – Kedumba on 22 October. For those that have run this course, you know what you’re in for and you know that you don’t want to miss out. For those that haven’t, register first and ask questions later.

For anyone with kids that want to follow in mum’s and/or dad’s trail running footsteps, don’t forget that Trail Kids will be hosting a 1km and 3km race at Kedumba as well. This is a terrific way for kids to develop some running confidence in a well organised and fun environment.

Running Wild Membership

Don’t forget that you can become a Running Wild member, and by doing so you could potentially save more than $100 on race registrations in one season alone!

It’s worth remembering that RW is a not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to organise excellent trail-running events that cater for all levels of runner. Our events are the best way to meet a wonderful group of like-minded people, as well as enjoy some of the most stunning trails in the Blue Mountains. Annual membership is only $40 and you can register online.

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