Records set to fall in Running Festival
TOWNSVILLE Running Festival organisers are optimistic two records could be broken at tomorrow’s event, with favourable overcast conditions forecast.
Sydney- based Ethiopian Samuel Gebremichael has been tipped as the man to beat in the marathon with his personal best time five minutes better than the event record, and he has his sights set on making the 2020 Olympics.
Last year’s marathon winner Dejen Gebreselessie, the youngest winner of the marathon event at 23 in his first pro race, has his sights set on smashing the half marathon benchmark.
Liz Maguire, who finished second in the 2015 race, is the favourite to take out the women’s marathon.
“I have run a sub- three ( minute time) on the Gold Coast and a couple of times in Melbourne but never here in Townsville, I would love to change that this weekend,” she said.
Local Sam Murphy will compete in the half marathon to help maintain a fitness base for Ironman 70.3 events later this year, which features a 3.8km swim, an 180km cycle and 42km run.
“Often with the half marathon it just allows me to keep going with my training and target some Ironman 7.3 races later in the year,” Murphy said.
“It’s a good speed test. I really enjoy that distance, it’s a good challenging distance and always some hot competition come up through it and it should be fast conditions, especially if it stays overcast.
“Like any race you’ve still got to pace it, you can’t go out crazy and expect to finish strongly.
“It’s long enough to fall apart and walk home if you go too hard.”
The Townsville Marathon will kick off at 5.30am at Jezzine Barracks.