Well done to everyone who participated in the 17th annual McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival today — it was a mammoth morning with a record number of runners (3,264) and records broken.
Four-time Olympian Craig Mottram completed the Athlete’s Foot 10km Classic in 00:30:02, slicing 3 minutes 35 seconds off the previous record; while Esk’s Tamara Carvolth took 35 seconds off her own record set last year to finish in 00:36:04.
It was also the first time in the Townsville Marathon’s 42-year history that a female competitor won the overall event, with Ironman triathlete Sarah Crowley (Brisbane) crossing in 02:52:59.
Speaking to Sarah after the presentations, the win took her totally by surprise, but she was thrilled with the victory. “I’ve won a lot of running races, but not the whole thing before, so that was a first. It’s a really different experience, but I’m thrilled,” she said.
Shigenobu Sato, from Iwaki in Japan, was next across the line in 2:53:47, followed by Richard Banks (Manly, NSW) in 2:29:52. The first Townsville local was Phil Copp in fourth position in 2:59:58, only having recently returned from doing Three Marathons in Three Days in Cairns.
Phil said the 1000km he has covered in the past three to four months racing and training certainly stood him in good stead, plus he made improvements to his nutrition, which resulted in his strongest finish yet.
“I didn’t expect to be the first local and I’m really happy with how I went — it was a brilliant day with perfect conditions,” Phil said. “I think having all those kilometres in my legs helped, but my nutrition was definitely the key. I introduced gels a lot earlier and had one in the last 5km which got me home — I was doing 4.05/4.10-minute-kilometres in that last stretch.”
For the girls, Liz Maguire of North Ward was in second position with 3:03:57 and Mel Selby (NSW) was third in 3:07:27.
There were a huge range of competitors across the seven events, which included the Captain Active-led Townsville Airport Hero Run (623 participants); Queensland Country Health Fund 5km Corporate Challenge (235 participants); McDonald’s Junior Fun Run (286 participants); Get Branded Adults 5km Fun Run/Walk (642 participants); The Athlete’s Foot 10km Classic (662 participants); Sports Clinic NQ Half Marathon 21.1km (590 participants), and Tony Ireland Marathon 42.2km (226 participants).
McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival president Tony Gordon, who also ran a 03:10:51 marathon and came eighth overall after battling injury, said it was great to see the festival attracting interstate and international visitors, with runners drawn from 17 countries including the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and more.
“It was really good to see people coming and getting amongst Townsville this time of year,” Tony said. “There was a lot of camaraderie on the course, plus the Hero Run [where many runners dressed as their favourite superheroes] brought a whole lot of colour and the Active Living Expo created a great atmosphere — there were lots of smiles, high-fives, and PBs.”
Last-minute sponsorship from local business Coral Sea Property has also enabled the event to be turned into a 30-minute TV special to be broadcast to $300 million viewers worldwide and on Channel 7 free-to-air across Australia.
“The ultimate goal is that we’ll see more runners coming from further afield, Tony said. “We’re always looking for growth — the sky’s the limit.”
A huge congratulations to everyone who took part, volunteered or came down to cheer on family and friends, including those who entertained everyone at the Party House on the Esplanade — you should all be very proud of yourselves!
Full results here: http://www.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=7&RId=441.