On Sunday the 3rd of August a small but dedicated group of Striders lined up for this year’s Brisbane Running Festival in a variety of events. The group entailed Paul Dack, Laurence Younger, Alison Exton, the unstoppable Jenny Cawood and myself. A modest troop, but not surprising with the number of events to choose from and many runners still recovering from the Gold Coast Marathon and gearing up for events later in the year.
Brisbane put on another fine winters morning for running, cool, light winds with the sun shining. I will attest to going into this event with a little trepidation after reading a previous race report on the web a few weeks earlier, from a rather aggrieved runner. They wrote “ shambolic race number collection…” “expensive city parking…” “limited road closure..” “having to share the path with aggressive cyclists…” and on and on it went, they also complained about a faulty PA system. Well you can imagine the relief that washed over me when I arrived at the starting line to the sounds of booming PA system clearly functioning correctly. Personally I can’t really fault the event, I believe the course has been improved from previous years, organisation was good, and the drink stations were well organised and very enthusiastic! I didn’t think the paths were too congested even though I was prepared for a little dodging and weaving. I did scold one cyclist for straying into the path but this was at the back end of my 10km and my usual courteous nature was all but exhausted. The city parking remains an issue but the event certainly does not have the same state government backing like the city2south, Bridge2Brisbane and GCM, but overall it was pretty good, nice and scenic, a little pricey but by no means as described above. I must say I usually prefer gold race number pins but sadly had to settle for silver this time round, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The course had a couple of hills to contest, but also long sections of flat, “challenging but forgiving” remarked Dacky. It was run on a mixture of roads and paths, with a short section of cobblestone under the kangaroo point cliffs for an added challenge. The 5km looped around Southbank and North Quay taking in a number of bridges, the 10km looped a few of the inner city streets and heads up over the Story Bridge before returning to the gardens via the Victoria Bridge. Whereas the half and full marathon runners head out down to Toowong and also West End.
In the half, and running as himself this time round Paul Dack recorded a great time of 1:28:51, with a perfectly executed even split. Jenny Cawood came in with a time of 1:49:30 and showing her experience ran a nice big negative split, Laurence Younger smashed his PB with a time of 1:59:57. Great work guys! In the 5km Alison Exton coming back from injury did a great time of 24:43, well done! I managed to squeeze out 38:26 (PB) for the 10km and ended up in a nice tussle with some guys from inTraining. The famed Striders Kit proved its worth in the end as I managed to kick away in the last 400m. Some nice racing and it was great to have my little cheer squad bring me home (thanks Nat, Harry and Abi)!
One final mention goes to Phil “the Eggman” Rorke from the Sandgate Parkrun community. He made another attempt at the World Record for the marathon with an egg-and-spoon (3hr47mins) after dropping the egg at the Gold Coast marathon. Sadly he missed the mark with a time of 3hrs 50min, I am yet to confirm if the egg made it to the finish but an impressive effort all the same. Run Strong!
By Chris Edwards