Today was quite remarkable, the weather was bad, but not too bad, hard rain on the drive down was ominous, but Kings Park suffered drizzle at worse. The turn out from AFD was nothing if not exemplar, the individual and team performances were exceptional, and the feeling of a true family, there for each other, there together was simply unique.
The U13 Boys and U15 Boys repeated recent successes with AFD providing multiple runners in the top ten of each, U17M saw Robbie work through his fatigue, both physical and emotional to push home a 4th place finish. But today, AFD and what makes us, all of us, part of the AFD family was reflected in the performances of the two senior events.
The Women, as is the usual in these events went off first, and AFD showed a huge scope of participation with Louise Small carrying the flame over the line and taking the win for AFD, closely followed by other AFD runners, with 3 of the top 5 finishes being AFD. A little further back was a crowd pleasing group of runners, sticking together, being AFD in adversity and showing their love for the team mates so recently and tragically lost completing the course as a group, holding hands and wearing their black ribbon pins with a show of respect that was unprecedented.
The Men took to the field, the number of AFD shirts was quite astounding, the number of black ribbons had spread throughout the day to the extent that every team present had a runner with a ribbon. Today wasn’t just the AFD family, it was the entire running community coming together to show their support, and the AFD Men’s team provided the ultimate performance for the ultimate respect for the sport, and for those that choose to live it as part of their life. From the start the AFD Men’s lead runners took the field by storm, working together they conquered all in their path and as a group of 5 they turned in to the finishing straight together, a whole 300m in front of the next runner. It didn’t stop there, as the group approached the line, there was no mad bid for placing, no need to take first, there was a spreading across the straight as the 5 runners formed a flat line, arms around each other’s shoulders they crossed the line together as an AFD Family.
Today was about running, it was about AFD, it was about those that love the sport, it was about results, but it wasn’t about any of those things for a personal reason, it was about all of those things for two very special girls. Today was for Lucy Pygott and Stacey Burrows, and AFD stated loud and proud that they would never be forgotten, and that they would always be loved.