Before the event I took the 'Fun' word little too literally, having only a few warmup runs. On the day we rocked up a little early and I realised that this fun run was a lot more serious for many people. I was standing there with my keys and a camera thinking maybe I should be in running shorts and a singlet. About 4700 people were running, which is a pretty good turnout for a town of less than 400 000.
The event is a 10 km run, between Woden (near the cemetery) and Civic (Commonwealth Park near the lake). It is usually held in September, which usually means lovely weather and this year was no exception. Mid 20's (Celcius) and sunny, which was great weather for running, if a little bit too warm.
We waited for a while and the 'wheelie' racers started racing. Curiously after they started we were delayed while the organizers confirmed that all the roads had been closed. Surely wheelie racers don't want to be run over by a confused motorist wondering why there isn't any traffic on a main road?
In the picture below the crowd is gathering at the starting line. You can just make out the ambulance which was ready to follow the runners and pick up any unlucky runners who couldn't keep up the pace.
After the short delay we were off and racing. After about 1 km the crowd started to spread out a little as you can see below. It looks like I've managed to catch the serious crowd - not too many smiles there and it's early days in the race.
I took the organizer's advice and ran at a pretty slow pace for the first 5 km and then picked up the pace a little for the final 5. I was still a little disappointed when I reached the finish in 50.16 minutes. If I want to cut that time I'll have to avoid stopping to take photos and should probably leave the camera at home. George finished in 1:07.49, below her predicted time of 1:15 which was pretty good. The winning time was just over 31 minutes by an engineer who also won it last year.
The finish is in a very pretty part of the lake with Parliament House in the background. We were treated to fresh fruit, powerade, copies of The Canberra Times and even some complimentary massages, which was a great way to relax after the race. I'd highly recommend giving it a try if you're in town next September.