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New Bennelong Foundation Tan Track clocks unveiled for Melbourne

Melbourne’s famous Tan Track running circuit has received a next generation upgrade with the installation of new Bennelong Foundation Tan Track digital clocks.

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor Sally Capp AO today unveiled the monumental timing devices to coincide with the 12th annual running of the Bennelong Foundation Tan Track Challenge. Olympians Steve Moneghetti AO and Peter Bol, and Paralympian Jaryd Clifford, also joined the celebrations.

Both the original clocks, which were installed in 2012, and these new versions were designed by the City of Melbourne and gifted, with the support of Victoria Walks, to the people of Melbourne by the Bennelong Foundation - continuing our tradition of supporting social inclusion through community activity and sport.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said: “The Tan Track is synonymous with Melbourne, and we’re thrilled it’s time to unveil the next generation of digital running clocks.

“We thank the Bennelong Foundation for its ongoing support and generosity, and we can’t wait for Melburnians to race against the new and improved clocks on their next lap of the Tan.”

Carena Shankar, co-founder and Chairperson of the Bennelong Foundation, together with her husband and co-founder Jeff Chapman AM, came up with the idea for the original clocks when they lived close to the Tan and walked or ran the Track every day. They wanted to give people practical encouragement to maintain an active lifestyle and foster community engagement.

Ms Shankar said: “The Tan Track is such an iconic part of Melbourne life and these clocks are much more than simply timing devices, they are a meeting place that bring us all together as fellow Melburnians.”

The Bennelong Foundation Tan Track Clocks stand a towering 4.3 metres high and feature large LED screens displaying the top 10 fastest laps of the Tan by males, females, and, for the first time, Para-multiclass athletes. The screens provide greater visibility from as far away as 15 metres and in the future could sync with data from personal devices and apps like Strava.

In 2019, the Bennelong Foundation collaborated with ex-elite athlete Darren Templeton of Run the Tan to start officiating the fastest times around the course. Run the Tan’s annual showcase event in April attracts Olympians and athletes to break the records and raise money for mental health charities.

The current record holders include high-profile names. Four-time Olympian Craig Mottram holds top spot for the fastest man with a time of 10:08 minutes. Olympian Jessica Hull is the fastest female with a time of 11:31 minutes and Michael Roeger is the fastest para-multiclass athlete at 11:03 minutes.

The clocks stand on the land of the Wurrundjeri peoples. They are located at the Pillars of Wisdom and on Birdwood Avenue, along the Tan Track in the Royal Botanic Gardens precinct.

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