'Griffins' are runners who have completed ten or more Canberra Marathons or 50 km events. If you complete 20 events you become a 'Burley Griffin' and after 30 events a 'Walter Burley Griffin.' Griffins receive a free singlet and a certificate on completion of there 10th run and also receive discounted entry ad personalised bib in future Canberra Marathons. 

There are now (post-2017 marathon) 171 runners who have completed ten or more Canberra Marathons, with Bernie Millett and Bob Fickel leading the way with 33 runs.

For a full list of the Griffins and the number of events they have completed see HERE. If you think you should be a Griffin and are not on the list, please contact the YMCA Canberra Runners Club admin office, please include your details, in the email.

There is also a closed Facebook group for the Griffins. If you would like to be added to the group, please let the admin office know.

I would also like to hear from anyone who has completed nine Canberra Marathons and is aiming to run in the 2018 Canberra Marathon. This will ensure that all new Griffins are appropriately recognised. Already, Giles Lamb and Peter Foster have advised me of their intention to become Griffins in 2018.

2017 Canberra Marathon Wrap

Congratulations to all 57 Griffins who participated in the 2017 Australian Running Festival. This was easily the all-time Griffin participation record!

In summary, 40 Griffins (including six new Griffins) completed the Marathon; three Griffins (including one new Griffin) completed the Ultra; five Griffins, unfortunately, were DNS or DNF; five Griffins were active volunteers on the day; two Griffins completed the half; one Griffin completed the 10 km; and one Griffin completed the 5 km event.

There were plenty of highlights including: 

  1. There are now 171 Griffins, so a third of all Griffins were part of the 2017 Running Festival.
  2. Welcome and congratulations to the seven new Griffins – Sven Wittchen, Scott Pittard, Robert Virgona, Graham Ridley, Dennis Sharrock, Bob Harlow and Ronny Marks.  Bob only took 34 years to become a Griffin.  Ronny decided to become a Griffin by doing the Ultra!
  3. It was very pleasing to have all four new Griffins from 2016 partaking in the 2017 Running Festival.  It was fantastic to see Gil Buerdlmayer, Jeff Buxton and Glenn Lockwood proudly wearing the Griffin singlets for the first time.
  4. Likewise, all Griffins look forward to the seven new 2017 Griffins joining us in the pre-race photo and wearing the Griffin singlet for the first time in the 2018 Canberra Marathon.
  5. How great is it to run a marathon in a personalised bib?  Next year I hope to ensure that Griffins running the Ultra also get a personalised bib.
  6. Congratulations to Michael O’Mara on running his 20th  Canberra Marathon and becoming the 17th Burley Griffin.
  7. Six female Griffins completed the Marathon or the Ultra this year. It was fantastic to have Clare Wall and Anne Fleischer back to run their 11th Canberra Marathons; both became Griffins in 2015. Also, special mention to the other four female Griffins who competed this year’s Marathon. Ngoh Ngoh Nestor makes the trip to Canberra each year from Bendigo and despite a niggling injury still finished. Jane Trumper was again much appreciated as the 4-hour 30-minute pacer. Ruth Baussmann and Pam Muston have both now completed the Canberra Marathon 16 times. Only Sue Kesson (17 Canberra Marathons) is ahead of them. I understand Pam and Ruth are both taking it “one marathon at a time” but both are planning to become the first female Burley Griffins in 2021.
  8. There are only 14 female Griffins, and the goal has at least ten female Griffins complete the 2018 event and to grow the number of female Griffins to 20 in the next four years. Both Liz Bennett and Keri Vaughan, two of our very regular female Griffins, were unfortunately not able to join us this year but I look forward to them being back next year.
  9. Congratulations to Chris Graham, Graham Wye and Rick Patzold on not only being the three fastest Griffins this year but also on enabling the Griffin Team to come second in the Teams event!
  10. It was great to see 19 Griffins in the now traditional pre-Marathon Griffin photo at the Marathon start line. Next year the goal is to get 40 Griffins in the photo.
  11. It was spectacular to see so many Griffins wearing their Griffin singlet in the Running Festival and supporting each other on the course with something highly intellectual and motivating such as “Go Griffin”.
  12. The return of some Griffins including John Diamond (all the way from Queensland), Anne Fleischer, Robert Virgona, Bob Harlow, Clare Wall and Michael O’Mara who did not run the Canberra Marathon in 2016. It would be great to have you all part of the team in 2018! In fact, we need you!
  13. Three Griffins (Ronny Marks, Pam Muston and Peter Clarke) who completed the Ultra Marathon. Without doubt, Peter and Pam are the King and Queen of the Canberra Ultra.
  14. How special was the weather this year? For any of us who took more than 2.5 hours to do the marathon, we enjoyed a free long wash. For those Griffins who took more than 4 hours – you were the best looking drowned rats when you crossed the finish line!
  15. Penultimately, on indulgence, I want to make special mention of two Griffins this year. Firstly, how amazing is Bill Arthur to complete his 22nd Canberra Marathon given that he spent two weeks in hospital last October and had a metal rod inserted in his neck to support his spine following a close encounter with a tree. Secondly, I am awarding the inaugural most outstanding Griffin run this year to Bernie Millett who is 75 years old and ran a sub 4-hour marathon!
  16. Finally, I wish to acknowledge all the volunteers at the Running Festival, and the ongoing support of the Griffins by both the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club and Fairfax.  I especially want to thank Christina Klugt from Fairfax and Carol Ey, the President of the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club.

Let’s aim to get 50 Griffins including ten female Griffins completing the 2018 Canberra Marathon.

Peter Thomson - Griffin Coordinator

18 May 2017
Birth of the Griffins by Rob Ey

It must have been in January 1994. I was coming back to work after a lunchtime run when I bumped into Dave Cundy, who was at that stage Race Director for the Canberra Marathon. We worked in the same building.

Dave mentioned that he had received a letter from a chap called Kevin Browne, suggesting that the Canberra marathon set up something similar to the Spartans in Melbourne for people who had run the race ten times.

I did a quick calculation and said that it sounded like a good idea as I was aiming to do my 10th Canberra in a few months’ time. Dave, never one to miss an opportunity, said something along the lines of ‘Good. How would you like to look into it and come up with a proposal’.

I had become the first Griffin (although at this stage we didn’t have a name) coordinator.

Read more . . .

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