BMA Mackay Marina Run
3 June 2012
Race Organisers for the BMA Mackay Marina Run were ecstatic with the record number of race entrants in this year’s event, making it the largest running event in the region. The massive wave of popularity in the race increased this year’s competitors to over 2000, approx 500 more than last year. Runners and walkers lining up to tackle the 2012 BMA Mackay Run’s various events, including the BMA 21.1km, Balance Podiatry 8km, City Fitness 5km, Clarion Hotel Corporate Team 5km and The Daily Mercury 3km. The 5km events were by far the most well attended, with approx 1600 individuals and nearly 100 teams.
Mackay Road Runners and the local branch of the Leukaemia Foundation worked hard over the last twelve months to promote the top class event to athletes of all ages and abilities, with the major focus being on individuals’ awareness of the importance of health and fitness, showcasing the beautiful Mackay City & Marina precincts and raising much needed funds for a very worthy cause.
Race Director and 2012 Boston Marathon competitor, Sandy Strong and his Committee were overwhelmed by the local and national response, where elite and everyday runners had already marked this event as a must do run on their calendar.
Very cool, rainy conditions were an ominous leadup in the week prior to the event, however as the sun rose on race day, heavy fog could be seen looming on the ocean’s horizon. As the BMA Half Marathon 21.1km race started at 6.30am, just over three hundred runners could ‘clearly’ feel the weight of the foggy humidity. Once the fog lifted one hour later, the sun brought forward unexpected heat, especially for the backmarkers, with many suffering heat exhaustion from being under hydrated, due to the unexpected weather conditions.
Local running champion, Shawn Claydon broke the tape first in a relatively slow time for him. His one hour twenty minutes forty-nine seconds finally secured him first place and the $1,000 cash prize after being the bridesmaid for the last couple of years. Mackay’s David Bellamy was also ecstatic with his race, snatching second place in 1 hour 21 min 20 sec ahead of fast finishing local triathlete Daren Galea (1:21:44). In the female event, triathlete, Mackay’s Shaneen O’Brien (1:35:42) took out the top prize one minute ahead of up and coming local runner, Skye Rettke (1:36:46). Jen Taylor from North Rockhampton put a spoke in the local& nbsp; female trifecta stakes by claiming the bronze medal (1:38:09) ahead of fourth placed Caryanne Robinson (1:41:23).
Talented local junior runner, Liam Mumford was in sensational form taking out the Balance Podiatry 8km ahead of 238 competitors in 28 minutes 38 seconds ahead of Proserpine’s Luke Henry (28:52). Their mental and physical battle was evident in the final bend, with Mumford being the eventual victor. Mackay’s Chris Colwill ran a great race to just miss the silver medal by one second, relegating him to the coveted final podium position ahead of Mackay’s Calvin Deacon and Airlie Beach’s Lloyd Clode-Roberts. First female in the 8km, Jade Erbacher (36:37) ran well to place 13th overall, followed one minute later by Kristen LeGrand, with Aimee Santacaterina 3rd (38:19).
In the City Fitness 5km, an amazing number of 1600 runners were literally herded to the start line, where race starter, Tim Magoffin sent them off in waves. In the very warm conditions, runners did a circuit through the Marina shopping and residential precincts before taking in the glorious ocean views of the 2km Breakwater stretch to then cross the line through the impressive finishing shute on the foreshores of the Mackay Surf Club. Mackenzie Rowe enjoyed a tight two second win over Lawrence Pappin, with returning talented runner, Matthew Shields claiming third (21:09). Kate Horan (23:22) had a clear victory, exactly one minute ahead of Kylie Wellard with Mackay’s Katrina Pearson third (25:07).
Congratulations to the oldest competitor, amazing seventy-three year old Fred Farmer, who has battled the effects of Leukaemia and is currently in remission. The former local Marathon champion was in his glory to be racing in the Balance Podiatry 8km event, with his ever supportive wife, hardworking committee Member of the BMA Marina Run and the Mackay Road Runners Club on hand to witness the awesome event. Agnes & Fred’s daughter, Julieanne and grand daughter, Cassie were blown away by Fred’s tenacity in completing the race in such a great time.
All runners relished in the awesome atmosphere, where hundreds of volunteers, supporters and marshalls lined the roads and finishing shute. Competitors were also entertained by local bands and musicians throughout the course, prior to finishing their respective races in front of the Mackay Surf Club.
The Race committee are in awe of the response from the local community, whereby more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and including running in their fitness regime is one of the main objectives of the Event. Congratulations to all experienced and first time runners for creating an awesome atmosphere that makes the BMA Mackay Marina Run an uplifting experience for so many people in so many difference ways, whatever the achievement.
In addition, the big winner of the day was the Leukaemia Foundation, with approximately $50,000 raised via Corporate Teams and individual fundraising, donations, etc… The most money raised for the second year in a row, came from local JSIS Engineering firm, raising over $12,375, with approximately $3,500 raised by individual runner, Melinda Murphy.
A post race celebration was held at the Clarion Hotel to thank the volunteers, sponsors, supporters and runners who made the event possible. In addition, a thank you breakfast will be held at the Clarion Hotel on 15th August to congratulate the sponsors and major supporters in a bid to promote next year’s event which will be held on 2nd June, 2013.