Harman rewrites Darlington record

The Darlington Half Marathon is West Australia’s oldest half marathon and celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in this years edition.

It seems an unlikely location to run these days, compared to the familiar flat and fast courses built for PB’s, this is a challenging course with 169m elevation gain in the first half and 33% of the course off road. It is certainly not a course for the weak of mind or limb.

In 1980, on the day of his wedding to local hills resident, Gayelene Clews, Rob DeCastella had run the course in 66.54 to take a clear win and a course record. The time and context seems inconspicuous, even irrelevant, until your realise that the race was only a month before his 2.12 second place finish at the Australian Olympic Marathon Trials which catapulted him to his first Olympic Games in Montreal. De Castella would finish 10th in Montreal and the next year break through with a 2.08.18 win at Fukuoka. 

With that context, the course record run of Front Runner elite Nic Harman becomes more than a footnote. Running 65.56 today and taking 58sec off the old mark, the 54kg 23 year old showed the strength, efficiency and endurance that would make his distance forebears take notice.

What they would still say however, is that the most stern test of the youngsters endurance is still to come and that will be his marathon debut at Gold Coast Marathon in July.