The race that stops a base

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Dave Devlin (author), POIS Phil Cullinan (photographer)

Location(s): Harman, ACT

Topic(s): HMAS Harman, Running, Physical Training (PT)

Competitors from across the Defence community throughout the Canberra area, South West NSW, and a team from HMAS Success based in Sydney, all braved a clearing overnight storm to participate in this annual fun run/walk event.  (photo: POIS Phil Cullinan)
Competitors from across the Defence community throughout the Canberra area, South West NSW, and a team from HMAS Success based in Sydney, all braved a clearing overnight storm to participate in this annual fun run/walk event.
Fit for life, fit for work, was the theme for the running of the 55th Bonshaw Cup, at HMAS Harman, in Canberra on 27 October.
 
Competitors from across the Defence community, the region and beyond, and a team from HMAS Success based in Sydney, all braved a clearing overnight storm to participate in the annual fun run/walk event.
 
Race organiser Leading Seaman Physical Training Instructor Matthew Rowe said the measure of the event's success was based on the number of participants.
 
“We had over 120 competitors register for the event from all areas of the Defence community,” he said.
 
“I think it’s important to ensure this event is embraced and we continue the long history it has on the Harman calendar.”
 
The Bonshaw Cup is the second oldest running event in the Australian Capital Territory. The oldest being the R.G. Menzies trophy awarded for the Australian Capital Territory cross country championships.
 
First held in 1963, the then 6.4-kilometre ‘out-and-back’ race around the Bonshaw transmitting tower, has since been reduced to a 5-kilometre course due to the changing landscape.
 
The event attracts runners, walkers and those who compete in fancy dress contesting for awards in Open, Veteran and Masters categories.
 
Commanding Officer Harman Commander Alison Westwood, said it was an excellent opportunity to get out from behind the desk and leave the office.
 
“Events like the Bonshaw Cup allows each of us to support a healthy lifestyle, in both our physical and mental health,” she said.
 
“When our workforce is healthy, then our productivity, endurance and overall well-being advocate our resilience and necessity to be fit to fight.”
 
First past the post was Weapons Electrical Engineering Officer Lieutenant Matthew White from Success who finished in 19 minutes 20 seconds.
 
“It was a good undulating course with only a few obstacles, and the odd kangaroo,” Lieutenant White said.
 
Second place and first female competitor was Seaman Cryptographic Technical Specialist Sarah Madden-Johnsen from Harman who completed the course in 19 minutes 24 seconds.
 
“I’m a member of the Australian Defence Force running team so I have run in a few 10-kilometre events this year in Toowoomba, Brisbane and I also competed in the Canberra Times Fun Run which was 14 kilometres,” she said.
 
Both competitors also recently participated in the ‘Tour of the T’ event at the Naval Air Station HMAS Albatross in Nowra, running around the usually closed airfield runways, an event that Lieutenant White also won.
 
In 2018 Harman will celebrate it’s 75th anniversary where they hope to host their biggest race attendance yet.