Image – Cristina Annibali.
Rain didn’t slow down the 92 dedicated runners who participated in Sunday’s (July 19, 2015) Armadale Half Marathon and its two minor races, the 10-kilometre and five-kilometre events.
The half marathon saw 64 participants conquer the treacherous uphill course, which at its highest peak was at 280-metres above sea level and some gradients reaching about 16 per cent.
Podium finishes in the men’s category went to Chris Lark in first (1:27:52), Rob Badger second (1:29:45) and Radek Dzitkowski in third (1:35:15).
In the women’s division first place went to Georgie Smith (1:42:31), Elyse Cripps took out second (1:47:59) and Harmony Waite stole third (1:58:21).
Lark, who hails from Beeliar, specialises in the half marathon distance and said the Armadale course was likely the toughest he had ever done.
“I really do enjoy the hills in the halfs but Armadale was tough, running non stop uphill,” he said.
“Getting 1:27:52 is seven minutes slower than my personal best this year so those hills definitely slow everyone down.
“It’s probably the most challenging course around and coming in first was excellent, I couldn’t be happier.”
Women’s third placer Waite, from Upper Swan, agreed that the course was tough but said it was one of her favourite races so far.
“It was very scenic and pretty, which is always a nice distraction while racing,” she said.
“About halfway down the hill I realised I was on track to get sub two-hours and I also knew I was fourth female so it was a sprint finish to get third place.
“I was absolutely thrilled that my efforts paid off with a place and such a great time with only one minute off my personal best.”
Fifteen runners battled the 10-kilometre route and saw in the men’s division Robert McManus first (00:46:05), Jack Griffiths second (00:51:25) and Aaron Field third (00:56:09).
In the ladies’ it was Tania Mercado with a first placing (1:03:58), Jocelyn Martin in second (1:10:02) and Chantelle Vorenberg taking third (1:10:29).
The five-kilometre event only had three participants – junior runner Dylan Bailey sped through the course to take it out in a fast 00:21:16 and he was closely followed by Helen Savage (00:28:01) and Lauren Shelley (00:34:50).
An array of running groups participated, including Running Mums Australia, Secret Rocky Runners and Squash+Runningworks.