World comes to city run

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

THIS year’s Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val had a dis­tinct in­ter­na­tional flavour with Ethiopian Sa­muel Ge­bremichael and Japan’s Miyuki Takano fin­ish­ing as male and fe­male marathon cham­pi­ons.

Com­ing in at two hours, 23 min­utes and two sec­onds Ge­bremichael was just 14 sec­onds shy of the race record and he con­ceded the course was harder than he had an­tic­i­pated.

“I was go­ing for the record, but I’m still pretty happy,” he said.

“I just wanted to run my own race, I was run­ning for my­self.

“It was harder than I ex­pected, es­pe­cially with the three laps, but I’m very happy I com­peted, I’ll be back next year.”

Mag­netic Is­land’s Ju­lian Pi­cot was sec­ond in 02: 50: 46 and Misaki Hi­rayama, from Iwaki, Japan rounded out the top three in 02: 51: 00 flat.

Ja­panese dis­tance run­ner Takano was the first fe­male to cross the line at a time of 02: 53: 39, with the tal­ented ath­lete mak­ing the most of com­pet­ing through the Townsville City Coun­cil’s Sis­ter City Part­ner­ship Pro­gram.

El­iz­a­beth Maguire from Townsville was the sec­ond fe­male fin­isher in a time of 02: 59: 36 while Kiwi run­ner Colette Read claimed third in 03: 27: 24.

“It’s been a truly in­ter­na­tional race to­day, with com­peti­tors from Ethiopia, Japan and New Zealand plac­ing in the marathon, which in­di­cates how far this event has evolved,” Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val pres­i­dent Tony Gor­don said.

“Across the board we have also seen strong re­sults from our Vic­to­rian com­peti­tors,p , how­ever,, our Townsville com­peti­tors very dom­i­nant force.”

Last year’s win­ner of the marathon, De­jen Ge­bre­se­lessie, re­turned to the event this year and came in sec­ond in the half marathon, be­hind fel­low Mel­bourne lo­cal Zac New­man.

Cross­ing the line with the win­ning time of 01: 10: 48, New­man said he had felt the hu­mid­ity around 12km into the race.

“I ran a de­cent time to­day, es­pe­cially with the race con­di­tions and how it panned out,” he said.

“I felt the hu­mid­ity about 12km in, but still man­aged to fin­ish off pretty well, so it’s been a good day.

“De­jen and I com­pete against each other in our lo­cal cir­cuit in Mel­bourne so it’s great to get one up on him here to­day”

New­man is train­ing for a marathon in Japan in De­cem­ber.

Vic­to­rian run­ner Rhiannon Snipe claimed the fe­male half marathon ti­tle in 01: 24: 51, beat­ing out Syd­ney’s Au­drey Hall ( 01: 25: 40) and lo­cal star Deahne Turn­bull ( 01: 26: 41).

Four- time Olympian Craig Mot­tram com­peted in the Townsville Road Run­ners 10K Clas­sic, fin­ish­ing in a time of 00: 35: 54 to place fourth over­all,

“This was my third year here and this time I bought a few of my own elite ath­letes with me and they had a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Craig.

“They are al­ready ex­cited about com­ing back in 2018.”

De­spite the pre­dicted heavy rain, the event drew record crowds cheer­ing on com­peti­tors all the way from Pal­larenda through to The Strand. are still a

RIS­ING SUN STAR: Fe­male marathon cham­pion Miyuki Takano, of Iwaki, Japan. All pic­tures: ZAK SIMMONDS

PACK MEN­TAL­ITY: Fe­male win­ner Miyuki Takano in the lead­ing pack. VETERAN: Four- time Olympian Craig Mot­tram.

CHAM­PION: Men’s marathon win­ner Sa­muel Ge­bremichael.

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