This was my second time running the Sri Chinmoy Sydney Series, the first occurring back in April of this year. My original plans had me run the 21K race this weekend, but unfortunately that didn't go my way as I was dealing with complications from both the previous run & the Nike event in May.
The ability to change race distances without pain was greatly appreciated. There is the option to change it online, however this wasn't available to me. A quick email to the race directors meant that my 21K became a 7K within 24 hours of notifying.
The course was exactly the same as the previous run, however it had been raining all week so the off-road track was soft & at times wet - being mentally prepared to have damp feet really helped in this situation!
A surprisingly big turnout occurred at this event (given the weather), a lot more running teams were gathered than what was experienced over the April long weekend - the field for the half looked to be almost double this time around and there was a definite range of runners tackling this distance. The 7K also looked to have more runners of all skill & fitness levels, there were quite a few new faces - all eager to get the run underway and tuck into the pancakes!
Luckily the rain subsided for the run. It was still chilly, but with the first small 1.5K loop back around to the starting point, you were well warmed up before you made way for the 5.5K larger loop. There were no really big obstacles in the way along the course this time around, as mentioned above - the ground at times was quite soft and really did affect your stability and also made the effort a little harder!
Once again, sign up can occur online or on the day entry; the aid stations are well stocked with water (4K & 7K) and Powerade/Gatorade (Half runners) at adequate spots along the course. Upon completion of the event, there is water & fruit (Bananas, Oranges & Watermelon) available as well as a pancake station (THE reason to run!).
As the course does cut into the starting/finish area, there is a constant call for those standing around to make sure they aren't actually standing on the course as the half participants continue on (3 laps of the 7K route). There were some close calls as kids were wandering around unknown to the runners that were coming through. The volunteers are great at reminding everyone of this.
Parking is off street (in the park), and sign on finishes at about 7:45am, with the first race beginning at 8am. This time around the park was a little more crowded than the previous race, so I parked near the starting location - at the first one that I could find. It's important to remember that the park is still open for everyone, this time around there were many people who were using the same track that we were on for parts of the run, including people with dogs, strollers & even people riding their horses. While they may not be aware of the race (although it is hard to not see it), it's up to you to be aware of all people and if needed to pass safely!
I cannot recommend this run enough! It has a great course, great location (in Sydney) and great people running it!