What better to spend a long weekend than running with fellow like minded people running around one of the best parklands in Sydney? AND….. you get pancakes at the end of it!
Easter Monday was an early start as I got up with the birds to travel down to Sydney, the weather was set to be amazing and I was pumped to be participating in a race on behalf of BibRave.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, and when I turned up at Centennial Park, parking was adequate near the starting location. While sign-on/pick-up runs until 7:55am with the races starting from longest distance first at 8am. A big tip is to get there with adequate time to find parking – the park itself isn’t closed off for the event and it’s a very popular location for locals to get out and bike, ride and walk.
You can pre-register for the series here, or alternatively there is an option to turn up on the day.
The course itself is a cross-country which loops around for 1.5K and runs back through the starting location, only to have a larger loop for the remainder of the 5.5K course. The Half-Marathon takes in three of these laps.
It was interesting running on different terrain ranging from grass to dirt and then pebbles. As someone who 99.99% runs on the road it did take a little getting used to, however I took cue from the other runners and followed their path after I ran through the pebbles and had some fill up one of my shoes.
The course is a mix between flat and slight incline, there are no real hills until around the 4K mark where there is a small one up into the woods but this is a great course for all levels and abilities. It’s important to note that you aren’t to run on the road as the Sri Chinmoy team have an agreement in place with the Centennial Park Trust. Any violation of this rule may lead to them losing the venue.
There are volunteer marshals along the way, and aid stations are equipped with both electrolytes and water.
I was a little worried about running around a park without any notion of where to go however the course is adequately mapped out with signage, orange cones and the marshals are located in key locations.
Unfortunately for me I ran into some trouble during the run and both feet ended up going absolutely numb. It was a scary experience and all my effort was spent trying to not panic and not trip over as they felt as heavy as concrete. I did manage to finish the race, beating my previous 7K time by 2 mins (YAY!) but I ended up straight over at the medic, who was absolutely lovely – making sure that I was adequately refuelled and had icepacks on both feet.
Once cleared by the medic I was finally able to go and get my pancakes! This is an amazing bonus that the Sri Chinmoy Sydney team provide to their runners – it’s a serve yourself scenario with multiple topping options such as Nutella, Banana, Lemon and Sugar. Who could go past Nutella pancakes on Easter Monday?
Everyone out there at the Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series team is fantastic and really make the event run without a hitch, the competitors are also quite friendly and it really feels like a not-so-secret secret that this running event is on. It certainly is value for money, with the registration fees not climbing over $30AUD. The locations do change for the event – the next one is located at the Royal National Park in May, which will include the Marathon, Half -Marathon, 10K and 5K races. Sign up is available on their website here.
I did enjoy running this event and am looking forward to running the half-marathon option in June!
BibRave review can be found here.
Disclaimer: My entry fee was covered by Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series as a member of the BibRave team. This post and all views & opinions are entirely my own.