HMAS Coonawarra has reinvigorated the Petras Memorial Trophy Cross Country race after a four year hiatus. The course, which historically ran from the Shoal Bay Receiving Station to the now Defence Establishment - Berrimah, has been reduced to five kilometres within the confines of Larrakeyah Barracks. The new track makes full use of the Barracks' undulating terrain and with a final 200 metre uphill stint runners are completely exhausted by the end.
Over 70 personnel posted to Coonawarra, Larrakeyah Barracks and various Patrol Boats took part in this year's hilly course.
Defence Health supported the event by providing prizes to the winners of the different divisions. Taking out the men’s division open category was Lieutenant Sam Taylor from NORFORCE. First place for the women was Midshipman Lara Carr from Head Quarters Northern Command. Assail 5 Patrol, led by LEUT Michael Kerrisk, won the team prize.
The Physical Training Instructors (PTI) at Coonawarra Chief Petty Officer Donna Edge and Leading Seaman Ben Knight worked hard to ensure all challenges were incorporated into the cross country and were happy to see solid attendance.
PTI Ben Cain, who only recently finished his PTI course at HMAS Cerberus and posted in to Coonawarra, was impressed with the turn out of tri-service personnel.
“It was a very challenging course, clearly the 70 plus runners are conditioned to the heat, but the hills were very demanding,” LS Cain said.
Winner of the female division, Midshipman Carr, found the hills provided a good challenge.
“Participating in the event also gave me the opportunity to get out of the office and see the base,” Midshipman Cain said.
Commanding Officer of Coonawarra, Commander Ben Favelle was very supportive of the activity.
“This event is a good indication of the community spirit and the esprit de corps which is building now with Single LEAP opened and the refurbished married quarters on Larrakeyah Barracks.”
“I am keen to build on the success of this year and reinstate it as an annual event.”
The Cross County trophy was named in honour of two former sailors, Garry and Sharyn Petras (husband and wife) who tragically died in a car accident while posted to the former Coonawarra in 1989.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20130853.