The 39th annual HMAS Penguin, White Ribbon Gate to Gate Fun Run/Walk was fiercely contested at Middle Harbour in Sydney this week.
Joining forces with the NSW Police and Ambulance Services and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, nearly 200 runners and walkers took to the scenic, five kilometre circuit in recognition of White Ribbon Day.
Penguin’s Physical Training Instructor Leading Seaman Callan McDonald said it was a challenging course, steeped in history.
“The event has its origins as a physical training session the Navy divers would do,” he said.
“It’s always been a challenge with a steep incline from the bottom gate to the top gate and back down again.
“Over the years it’s branched out to include the panoramic and undulating Chowder Bay route.”
Nearly four decades strong, the race has always been contested in November and adopted its association with White Ribbon when the international campaign emerged in Australia.
“Obviously, it’s a great initiative. The White Ribbon Foundation is focused on putting methods in place to stop violence against women at its root cause,” Leading Seaman McDonald said.
“As Navy we should be role models in the community. It’s important if we see something wrong, we step in. That we can go to that individual and ask ‘are you ok?’”
Commanding Officer, Penguin, Commander Ian Campbell lead the ship’s company, Army and Air Force contestants and invited guests in the White Ribbon oath ahead of the race start.
“The oath is more than a statement of support for White Ribbon,” he said.
“When you swear the oath, you make a commitment to lead by example, to be a role model and to intervene safely when needed.
“You also make a commitment to break the silence about violence.
“It’s everybody’s business. Do not stand in silence while you see something happening that should be either stopped, or reported, or both.”
The event featured awards in five categories including men’s and women’s open category, veterans (35+), legends (50+), open walkers and ‘Unspecified Power Walker’.
Dominating the field, Amphibious Task Group’s Lieutenant Rowan Walker achieved the fastest open male time of 19 minutes, 34 seconds and HMAS Yarra’s Lieutenant Brianna McConville achieved the fastest open female time of 26 minutes, 15 seconds.
More results of the White Ribbon Gate to Gate Fun Run/Walk can be found here: https://secure.tiktok.biz/results/list/HMASPenguin/2017/RUN