Justin claims ‘ti­tle’ for first lo­cal run­ner home

Whitsunday Times - - AIRLIE BEACH RUNNING FESTIVAL 2016 - By Peter Car­ruthers

AFTER the run­ning of the half marathon on Sun­day, Justin Knight-Gray said his goal was to “have ev­ery­one high fiv­ing each other when out run­ning around Air­lie’.”

“I would love for peo­ple to think of Air­lie as a sport­ing place where peo­ple are friendly,” he said.

Knight-Gray was the first lo­cal home at the Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val and said he was happy with time.

“I said I would run be­tween 1:28 and 1:32 and I was on 1:32, so spot on the money.”

The Air­lie Beach event is the fourth race in the north Queens­land half marathon se­ries with only the Townsville race left to run.

“This is my home run and a very im­por­tant race,” KnightGray said, adding his prepa­ra­tion lead­ing up to the event went well.

“I train most days. I use parkrun ev­ery Satur­day to help me with my speed, I run a lot around town and train with the Whit­sun­day Run­ning Club and the Whit­sun­day Triathlon Club,” he said.

Last year Knight-Gray ran in the 5km event at the run­ning fes­ti­val and it was this that got him back into run­ning after a 20-year break.

“It is an amaz­ingly well or­gan­ised and run event. It is the best event, I think, in north Queens­land,” he said.

“It’s been ab­so­lutely per­fect to­day. A bit cooler than nor­mal, we got cloud cover. Per­fect con­di­tions for to­day’s run.”

Knight-Gray said he was look­ing for­ward to run­ning in Townsville on Au­gust 7 where race win­ner of the Air­lie event, Sam St­ed­man, would be run­ning on home soil.

After four races in the se­ries Knight-Gray is locked on 1474 points with James Leonard.

“Townsville is the make or break race,” he said.

“It’s a very flat course (but) I re­ally en­joy it be­cause it is quite an easy race, where Air­lie has a lot of rises.”

Knight-Gray said to be the first run­ner from the Whit­sun­days across the line on Sun­day made him “feel very proud to be a part of the Whit­sun­days.”

GREAT RE­SULT: First Whit­sun­day lo­cal over the line was Justin Knight-Gray.

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