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Byron Shire
January 23, 2022

The Fastest Runner in Clifford Street

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Celebrating Some; Disappointing Most since 2001…

Apart from being way too much fun, the event is also an actual race and first over the line was 9-year-old Kymani Veltri. Photo Tree Faerie.

The tree-lined coastal streets of South Golden Beach, Sunday December 5, 2021 started as dramatic as a Shakespeare play. You could nearly picture an out of context King Lear amidst the wild storm and torrential rain that bucketed down in the morning, ‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!’

The all-important pre-race rules reading. ‘Don’t run over the kids.’ Photo Tree Faerie.

Yet by midday Insy Winsy spider had come out to play again. Blue skies and a sticky sun started to dry out the flooded easements that were making every dwelling a waterfront property.

And so it was that the annual fastest runner in Clifford Street, that has been celebrating some but disappointing most since 2001 was run as scheduled at 5pm. ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.’

This year the offshore winds and three-foot swell meant that many of the regular teenage competitors and other aquatically inspired residents disappeared for a late arvo glass-off surf. Magnanimously for some, that opened up an opportunity for a new generation of winners to grab part of their 15 minutes and a Clifford Street trophy too.

The very special trophies. Note the ‘Nobody-Remembers-Second Award is bigger than all the rest. Photo Tree Faerie.

Amongst the new generation was Clifford Street 9-year-old Kymani Veltri who won the fastest boy trophy. Kymani had been eyeing off the victory for several years now, as the older boys would just eclipse him, but this year was different and Kymani beamed as he crossed the line in first place. The fastest girl trophy was captured by 12-year-old Mylee Farrell which completed a hattrick of wins in this category for the very determined Mylee.

Mylee may well give Sonya Tennant, the fastest woman in Clifford Street this year, a run for her money in future years. Sonya last won the coveted trophy in 2017 so was thrilled to add another to her cabinet. Sonya’s 9-year-old daughter Ruby may also add her trophy to the family cabinet for winning this year’s best dressed, running as the most colourful clown.

Talk of clowns, this year’s Fastest Old Codger trophy went to yours truly dressed as Santa. The judges were rather generous as it was observed that Santa pranced onto the robust shoulders of a fast-finishing Hunter McKenzie. ‘Oh dear’, may well have been heard as those cheering on the punters thought what could go wrong from here? A safe dismount was made and Hunter paid the price by allowing the faster finishing Damian Mowbray to collect his first Fastest Male Trophy. To Be or Not To Be, a Horse Rider; That is Equestrian‘.

The all-important post-race pose. Photo Tree Faerie.

The McKenzie family trophy cabinet was added to this year as 13-year-old Beau McKenzie who has competed since his toddler years won the ‘Nobody Remembers Second’ much coveted trophy. It can keep his dads’ previously won ‘Hunter Who?’ trophy company for years to come. ‘How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath to say to me that thou art out of breath?’

The Clifford Street race is open to the whole community of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities not just those luni-tunes that live in the street. To this end we had the inaugural Fastest Wheels in Clifford Street won by Peggy Saunders being pushed in her wheelchair by daughter Jane.

They were actually eclipsed by father and daughter duo Penny and Joe Russell from Phillip Street in their modern-day three-wheeler pram but they kindly allowed Peggy to capture her first and only trophy this century.

We hope to make future races as inclusive as possible, so we really appreciate 3-year-old Penny’s kind gesture to allow Peggy part of her 15 minutes.

2021 Winners of the Fastest Runner in Clifford Street

The winners: Best Dressed: Ruby Spires, Fastest Woman: Sonya Tennant, Fastest Man: Damian Mowbray, Fastest Wheels: Peggy Saunders, Fastest Boy: Kymani Veltri, Fastest Old Codger: Damian Farrell, Fastest Girl: Mylee Farrell. Nobody remembers Second Award went to Beau McKenzie but he took it home to add to his expansive awards room before the photo was taken. Photo Tree Faerie.

Fastest Boy: Kymani Veltri

Fastest Girl: Mylee Farrell

Fastest Man: Damian Mowbray

Fastest Woman: Sonya Tennant

Fastest Old Codger: Damian Farrell

Fastest Wheels: Peggy Saunders

Best Dressed: Ruby Spires

Nobody remembers Second Award: Beau McKenzie

Good Sports Award: Penny (3yo) and Jo Russell

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