|No. 21 April 1999|
Fun Run Photos
The GIO Australia
Women's & Girls' Fun Run
Select Photo for Large Image
Pinning on race numbers [24k]
Over 800 participants starting in the 99 Women's and Girls' [41k]
Joy Terry chases a disappearing Mary-Jane Harding after 400 metres [37k]
SCT's Rosemary Longstaff and Nicole Daley both had good runs [30k]
The third pack contained Jane Zeller (in blue) and Michelle Davis (in yellow) [34k]
Susan Hobson makes the winning break from Mary-Jane Harding [35k]
This years 5km T-shirts were popular [36k]
A new run and course record for six-time race winner Susan Hobson [38k]
The unknown runner in 9th place was Seanna Robinson [35k]
Erin Lenon (left) overtaken by Michelle Ward-Pearson on the line [32k]
A new venue and course was introduced for the 13th running of the Women's and Girls'. Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park was race headquarters with an out-and-back run to the Carillon using the middle section of the previous course reducing the distance to 5 kilometres.
Steady rain the previous day and overnight had race director Fiona Jorgensen contemplating squeezing hordes of people undercover on the stage. It was 'lucky year 13' for all concerned with clouds clearing prior to the start so blue skies and a mild 18 degrees could greet the 800-plus runners and walkers.
Pre-race talk amongst officials had Olympian Susan Hobson installed as favourite with former winner Elaine Cooper and '97 Canberra Times champion Angela Luchetti mentioned as possible challengers. Other well credentialled runners included Joy Terry, Nicki Taws, Erin Sutcliffe, Jane Zeller and Mary-Jane Harding.
An uphill run for the first 150 metres on still damp grass seemed designed to quell the usual enthusiasm of a fun-run start. However Mary-Jane Harding put prudence aside and began as though running the first of half a dozen hill repeats. The 22-year-old Combined Universities athlete broke away to a 50 metre lead after the first half-kilometre. A very fit looking Joy Terry held second position with a couple of unknowns tagging along and a further 25 metres to the main 'pack'. This tightly bunched group consisted of Susan Hobson, Elaine Cooper, Jennifer Beer, Angela Luchetti, Erin Lenon, Nicki Taws and one or two others. The question being asked by spectators was 'would the National 1500m bronze medalist stay away from the chasers?'
Lead cyclist Jim Tucker reported that Mary-Jane maintained a lead of up to 100 metres until the Carillon turn-around. It was here that Susan started to claim back some of those metres. The pack had long since dissipated. Elaine Cooper's steeplechase PB (10:55) the previous week at Nationals left her looking a little tired. The triathlete-turned-marathoner Angela Luchetti was running strongly in third position, some distance ahead of Joy Terry.
Hard mid-race running from Susan Hobson paid dividends as she joined Mary-Jane in the lead with just over a kilometre remaining. A surge after the Nerang Pool bridge opened a gap which Susan maintained to the finish. Third place was only decided in the last half kilometre. A kick finish from Joy Terry saw her claw back a 10 metre deficit to Angela passing her on the 250m grass run to the finish, in doing so breaking the 18 minute barrier.
At the presentation afterwards Susan talked about the race: "Firstly I'd like to thank Fiona, Dave (Cundy) and their team who put this run on every year. As always, it turned out wonderfully. Thanks also to the run sponsors - GIO, The Canberra Times and all the supporting sponsors. Well done to all of you out there who competed. I'd particularly like to thank Mary-Jane because I was chasing her for most of the race and she really did make me work hard. Some people may have thought that I was doing it easy but I definitely wasn't and I still have a little way to go yet. So, I think the course record is there for the taking next year if anyone would like to have a crack at it. I'd like to thank all those people out on the course who encouraged me during the run. That's one of the things I like about running in Canberra, you do get so much support. We are moving west and that's one of the things I'm really going to miss. Thanks everyone."
Some great results were achieved by SCT runners. A sprint finish between Michelle Ward-Pearson and Erin Lenon saw both under the 20-minute mark with a PB to Michelle of 19:54. A group of four SCT runners followed soon after. New member Alison Stanfield in 20:07, just ahead of Kim Sainsbury, Tricia Johnson and Rosemary Longstaff. Rosemary took out first place in the 45-49 age-group. Nicole Daley ran a great PB of 21:53 to place 3rd in the 10-14 years category. 'Concise Couple' Erin Sutcliffe and Karen Daniels took out the mother and daughter category in a combined time of 44:48. Sisters Jillian, Rebecca and Jessamy Hosking were successful in the sisters category. First team to finish were 'Mike's Mob', consisting of Serena Romeyn, Kim Sainsbury, Michelle Ward-Pearson, Donna Ward-Pearson, Nicole Daley, Jade Sutcliffe and Jane Woodward. Complete results are available at the official website.
The new venue and course received generally favourable comments as did the 1999 '5km' commemorative gear. See you all again next year for the Y2K Women's and Girls'. Perhaps Susan will be on the line defending her title?