World comes to city run
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