Commentary on 2019 Turkey Trot
The Sydney Metropolitan Turkey Trot for 2019, held in North Western Sydney, stood in stark contrast to the past few years events. Sure, it was a cold start but that’s where the similarities ended. The fire trails, tracks, bush and contours were replaced with a predominantly flat area with numerous parks, cycle paths, creeks and a couple of the new NW Metro stations. The morning started with a heavy damp fog that only started lifting well after runners had begun. This, and some overnight rain, ensured that most people’s feet were well and truly wet, even before they got to the creeks. Some people reported skipping across no problem, whilst others took to swimming as the best way to cross.
Ewan Shingler and Glenn Horrocks were the two fancied runners on the Long Course. Glenn has won it more times than we can remember but Ewan was looking to knock off the Turkey Trot King, in his first attempt at the premier distance. They were neck and neck, with less than 30s separating them until Ewan found some extra gas on the last few legs to relegate Glenn to second and win by just over a minute. There was daylight back to third, where Ross Morrison edged in front of a number of other contenders. The lead changed multiple times for the women too and there was only 3s in it with 3 controls to go. But Toni Bachvarova maintained her consistency and took full advantage of a Zoe Melling mistake to take the win. If it wasn’t for a slight detour to the wrong side of the creek, Belinda Kinneally could have pushed for second but had to settle for third.
In the Medium Course Fergus Mackie took the lead at the map exchange and didn’t look back. Wayne Eliot finished strongly to narrow the gap to just 15s, claiming second and Reinaldo Hora snuck a podium by just 4s edging out the unlucky Bob Morgan. Paula Shingler is a well known face at the Turkey Trot and once again she dominated the competition by taking the female lead early and slowly extending it to over 4mins by the end. (There will be some serious Rocky Road overload in the Shingler household!) Helen Parker tried valiantly to reel her in but to no avail. Unluckily, Tshinta Hopper mispunched (water control!) but this allowed Karin Hefftner to come home in third.
Both podiums for the Short Course were loaded with people that had collected Rocky Road in previous years and were obviously back for more! There was one exception. In her debut TT run, Niamh Cassar, cleaned up the more experienced opposition in the Women’s race. She must have heard about the Rocky Road! Although Carolyn Matthews was only a minute behind and Nikolett Halmai a further minute or so later for third. The winner for the guys has entered but not finished the TT multiple times. The Gods were with him this time though as Joel Putnam showed a clean pair of heels to put his TT nightmares to bed. Nick Stanley’s first foray into the TT was in the 2016 edition with his Grandad, who he left far behind. He got in trouble for that but this time his Dad managed to keep up with him as he ran home second. Malcolm Roberts rounded out the podium positions.
Congratulations to all runners and volunteers. Most runners returned with water in their shoes and smiles on their faces after enjoying the unique mass start navigational race that is the Turkey Trot. See you next year. Same time. Different place.