Running Festival a 'walk in the park' for Sapphire Coast entrants

Run winner: Steph Auston running to victory in the marathon distance of the Australian Running Festival in Canberra last weekend. Picture: supplied.

Run winner: Steph Auston running to victory in the marathon distance of the Australian Running Festival in Canberra last weekend. Picture: supplied.

The Sapphire Coast Runners took part in the Australian Running Festival last weekend.

Club officials said a large contingent of the club made the trip to Canberra for the annual fixture.

The Far South Coast group took part in a number of events with runs ranging from 10km through to the full-length marathon of 42.2km.

A spokesman for the group said the festival was held in "fantastic autumn weather over the two days ensuring fast times and we recorded some personal bests".

Saturday saw both Amanda Wheatley and Glenn Edmonds compete in the 10km event. Neither runner was chasing a personal best on the day with both happy to enjoy the atmosphere and participation with all the other runners.

The half marathon and full marathon were staged on the Sunday morning.

Steph Auston and Mike Kirwin were off first in the marathon with Kirwin taking on the marathon distance for the first time.

Kirwin completed the distance in three hours, 27 minutes and 49 seconds.

Meanwhile, profound distance runner Auston continued her brilliant start to 2019 finishing as the first female by leading the race from the gun to take out the race in a personal best time of two hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds.

The club spokesman said it was a magnificent time that "sealed a dominant victory 13 minutes ahead of the second placed athlete".

Auston will now take time to recover from a heavy racing schedule and turning her focus to the UTA22 in the Blue Mountains in May before heading to Portugal in June for the World Trail Running Championships.

The largest group of local athletes took part in the half marathon. Tammy Edmonds, Cath Griffin, Peter Dickson, James Lukassen and Hanna Marshall took part in the event with some achieving personal best times.

The local group commended organisers, saying it had been well organised and enjoyable.

For the Sapphire Coast Runner, all focus now shifts towards the Merimbula Mother's Day Classic - an annual fun run and walk raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research.

The event will be staged jointly by Pambula Rotary and the Sapphire Coast Runners on May 12 with the start of both the 10km and 5km events at Spencer Park.

You can register at www.mothersdayclassic.com.au. Officials said the Classic supports a wonderful cause, is open to everyone and will showcase a scenic loop around the lake.

The Classic supports a wonderful cause and is open to everyone.

Sapphire Runners