Botanic to Bridge 8KM 6th - 1st Master 26m53 (3m21K's)
Botanic to Bridge 3KM 2nd 9m58
I travelled up to Gladstone Saturday afternoon on the ponderous 'Spirit of the Outback' train - 8 hours from Brisbane. All the cheap air tickets had gone by the time I booked up and I never want to drive there and back again (13 hours).I stayed at the Gladstone Backpackers and had an 'OK' nights sleep in my twin share room. Race day morning was really mild and I drank plenty of pre race water.
The race starts up an 18% gradient hill for about 400m and then runs undulating in a near straight line for 8KM with the occasional further steep hill to traverse. After the initial starting gun exertions I tucked in behind a lead group of 5 including usual protagonists in this race Jackson Elliott, Drew Williams, Neil Labinsky, Paul Tucker and newcomer Christopher Bracken from Ireland by way of the mines at Emerald.
I got stuck in 'No Mans land' with the group ahead pulling away to eventually gap me by a minute 10 secs (to 5th) with the gap behind me 2minutes 30 to 7th place and first female Margie Athow.
I ran hard but did not push to the absolute limit.
This year the course added a loop before the bridge to increase the distance over the two times I had raced here before, 7.94KM according to my Garmin though others with Adidas (tomtoms?) told me they read it spot on 8KM.
Jackson Elliott won this race for the 3rd time running 3m03sec KM's which is pretty good going on this course.
I jogged back to the conveniently situated backpackers and got changed into dry kit and jogged up to the start of the 3KM race. Typical fast start with kids and youthful exuberance blasting out and it was not till the second uphill KM that I managed to pull myself up into 2nd place. The leader was coming back the whole way but I didn't have the distance to catch him and at the finish I was 10 secs behind him. The Garmin read this course as 3.1KM
|Drew Williams Neil Labinski(hidden) Paul Tucker and Christopher Bracken if you look real close you can see me falling back a minute on these guys|
|Typically seeking to suck in the big ones|
|Start of the 3K with the kids and I am running with race Tee Shirt in hand and Masters award winner Terry Hill bare chested beside me. Winner is Red Tee Shirt and 3rd place is #1006|
|Finishing the 3KM|
|This photo does not quite give justice to the 18% gradient at the start line of the 8KM|