Runaway Barossa Run, Won
There is no better place to be than the Barossa Valley in springtime and the picture perfect region lived up to expectations, turning on glorious weather and ideal running conditions for the inaugural Runaway Barossa Marathon.
The challenging courses, the stunning scenery and good dose of old fashioned Barossa hospitality was the ideal recipe to lure thousands of athletes, friends, volunteers and local supporters out of bed early on a Saturday morning to either compete, cheer on the athletes or to join in the activities at the Finish Line Festival at Peter Lehmann Wines in Tanunda.
The initially chilly early morning made way for a glorious spring day with athletes from all over Australia and New Zealand the first to test out Barossa’s brand new Marathon, Half Marathon and 10km courses. With athletes expecting the unexpected, the pre-race nerves soon disappeared and competitors quickly settled into their rhythm, happy in the realisation that in the inaugural year everyone was going to set a Runaway Barossa personal best.
It wasn’t long before Runaway Barossa crowned its first champions, with Olivier Gissing (NSW) and Caroline Lean (QLD) first home in the marathon; Barossa local Craig Wilson and Vanessa Jackson (VIC) victorious in the half marathon; and Mt Barker’s Ken Baraglia and Georgina Eden (NSW) taking the honors in the 10km.
Sydney banker Olivier Gissing was full of praise for the event, the course and the smiling faces of the local community members at the aid stations on course.
“I am from Adelaide but I am living in Sydney. It is really important that when I am not at work that I am active, so running is what I do to keep moving. The race was awesome. It was a beautiful day for it, stunning weather and the course, although very scenic was more undulating than I thought, so the aid stations were great and very welcome.”
“I heard about Runaway Barossa at another marathon event. I am a South Australian but I had never run in the Barossa so I thought I would include a bit of a run holiday and have a few wines as well. I am here with my girlfriend and my mum and dad have come up from Adelaide to see, so I got to catch up with them as well,” he said.
Queensland’s Caroline Lean hadn’t done a marathon before so she thought Runaway Barossa would be a wonderful new running adventure and a perfect weekend away with friends.
“It was really hard because I haven’t done a marathon before. I knew it was going to be undulating but I didn’t expect it to be as hilly as it was. Strangely I found the downhills really hard but it was so beautiful and there were lots of people out there supporting us. It was a great race.”
“We saw the race on Facebook and my friends and I thought it would be great fun where we could get away for the weekend and head to the Barossa. Why not? So some girlfriends and I decided to come down for a weekend away from the kids and the husband and it has been absolutely lovely. We are doing the wineries later so we are really looking forward to that,” she said with a smile.
While the interstate athletes grabbed the honors in the Marathon, local athlete Craig Wilson flew the flag for the Barossa region claiming victory in the half marathon.
“The race was great, pretty undulating and I enjoyed the challenge of being consistent with the hills and different road surfaces, making the most of the flats and then pushing hard over the last five or six km.”
“It was a great event and I really loved the race. I am a local Barossa resident from Williamstown so I was very happy to race here. Having these types of events in this area is fantastic. I love to support them and I work in the local area and we were all out doing an aid station, so we were trying to do our bit there as well,” he said.
Runaway Barossa Marathon Race Director, Nic Hurlston acknowledged the support of the local community and the outstanding efforts of the local volunteers.
“Bringing a new event to a region is only possible with the support of large number of people. I would like to thank the two local Councils, the local businesses and the Barossa community who made us very welcome and helped in so many ways. A special thanks to the more than 250 volunteers who did an outstanding job supporting the competitors. We look forward to working with everyone again when Runaway Barossa Marathon returns” he said.
|Olivier Gissing||2:53:09 (NSW)||Caroline Lean||3:35:47 (QLD)|
|David Staehr||2:54:24 (VIC)||Tanya Tan||3:36:04 (NSW)|
|Guy McLaren||3:04:43 (VIC)||Rose Waterhouse||3:37:09 (NSW)|
|Darren Basford||3:09:37 (QLD)||Kristine Mientka||3:49:40 (NSW)|
|Jonathon Gibb||3:13:06 (SA)||Ann-Louise Scheepers||3:50:15 (SA)|
|Craig Wilson||1:24:50 (SA)||Vanessa Jackson||1:32:10 (VIC)|
|Bennett Maxwell||1:26:18 (SA)||Mia Rahja||1:35:44 (SA)|
|Patrick North||1:27:00 (SA)||Charmaine Symons||1:36:46 (SA)|
|Michael Silsby||1:27:40 (NSW)||Suzanne Ashton||1:36:49 (SA)|
|Josh Graham||1:28:01 (SA)||Nicole Standish||1:37:35 (SA)|
|Kent Baraglia||39:39 (SA)||Georgina Eden||45:37 (NSW)|
|James Courtney||42:16 (QLD)||Adele Laubsch||47:12 (SA)|
|Simon Herrmann||43:07 (NSW)||Emily Laubsch||47:12 (SA)|
|Jonathan Galbraith||43:38 (QLD)||Maria Crawford||48:27 (VIC)|
|Simon Pearce||44:33 (SA)||Carol Finnegan||49:40 (QLD)|