Prize missed but ti­tle won

Multisport Mecca - - Marathon Festival - Steele Tay­lor steele.tay­lor@sc­news.com.au

DUAL Olympian Col­lis Birm­ing­ham hopes to make an­other at­tempt at break­ing Pat Car­roll’s 23-year-old record af­ter miss­ing the mark at Alexan­dra Head­land on Au­gust 20.

The Victorian went into the Sun­shine Coast Half Marathon de­ter­mined to be­come the fastest Aus­tralian on Aus­tralian soil and claim a $25,000 prize purse with it. He was two min­utes shy, at 1hr03min18sec, in the event, which dou­bled as the na­tional cham­pi­onships.

“It was tough out there. I never re­ally got into the pace that I needed to,” he said.

“When we turned around and were com­ing back there was a lit­tle bit of wind and it was pretty hard work but I’m happy with the ef­fort.

“I knew it wasn’t go­ing to be easy so the out­look is maybe I’ll have an­other crack at it some other time.

“I think it just shows how good the record is.”

He may have missed out on the lu­cra­tive re­ward but he still claimed the na­tional crown and the 32-year-old did man­age to break one bar­rier.

In fact, he crushed the race record, beat­ing Alas­tair Steven­son’s old mark by al­most six min­utes in the event’s sixth edi­tion.

He fin­ished al­most a minute ahead of Chris Hamer, with Mitchel Brown an­other 1min21sec back.

“Once the hill was out of the way (within the first 5km) I wanted to open up and try and make up some time,” he said.

“I felt pretty good for most of the way but I just wasn’t on pace and it was a bit too dif­fi­cult to try and claw it (Car­roll’s time) back by the end.”

Birm­ing­ham has his sights on run­ning the marathon at the Com­mon­wealth Games on the Gold Coast next year and is pre­par­ing for a qual­i­fy­ing op­por­tu­nity in Ja­pan in De­cem­ber.

He rep­re­sented Aus­tralia at the Olympics at Bei­jing in 2008 and at Lon­don in 2012, on the track in the 5000m.

He has run quicker than Car­roll be­fore, but over­seas, clock­ing 1min056sec in Ja­pan in 2013.

In the women’s event, Linda Spencer ad­mit­ted she didn’t set out to claim vic­tory in the Aus­tralian Half Marathon Cham­pi­onships but she’ll gladly take the ti­tle.

The 35-year-old from Man­durah in West­ern Aus­tralia stopped the clock in 1hr15min38sec to fin­ish al­most three min­utes ahead of Stephanie Aus­ton, with Ten­nille El­lis an­other minute back.

The half marathon was just one of sev­eral events at the 7 Sun­shine Coast Marathon and Com­mu­nity Run­ning Fes­ti­val.

It also in­cluded a marathon (42.2km), 10km, 5km and 2km races.

More than 5000 par­tic­i­pants con­verged for the event, which was held in cool con­di­tions.

PHOTO: DARRYN SMITH

Alice Latham (1:34:37), Sarah Sherwood (1:47:49) and He­len Green­field (1:30:44) post the half-marathon.

PHOTO: MICHELLE SINGER

Dan Sow­den and Dan Smith of Ray White take part in Run­ning with the Stars.

PHOTO: MICHELLE SINGER

Gary Binet (left) and Garry Crick en­joy the in­au­gu­ral Run­ning with the Stars event.

PHOTO: DARRYN SMITH

Win­ner of the men’s half marathon Col­lis Birm­ing­ham.

PHOTO: DARRYN SMITH

Rachelle Mallinder. Brut­nell and Sam

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