Runners sprint to city fun run

Runners sprint to city fun run

Hundreds of local competitors pounded the pavement in Mount Gambier on the weekend as they took part in the Blue Lake Fun Run.

Local runners dominated the 21.1km Lakes and Craters Half Marathon, filling plenty of the podiums.

First place female and male for the event won $250 each, while the runner up in each category was awarded $150 and third place female and male ran away with $100 each.

South Australian Johanna Pham from Brompton was the first female winner in the half marathon with a time of 1:30:31.67, second place went to Grant High School PE teacher Stephanie Wighton and Kathryn Auld from Glencoe placed third.

Pham is trained by RunAsOne whose coaches include last year’s top female and male Blue Lake Fun Run half marathon winners Izzi Batt-Doyle and Riley Cocks.

Half marathon fourth placed female Maria James was the participant from furtherest away, making the journey from Townsville.

The top three placing males for the 21.1km were all from Mount Gambier with Danny Habets winning with a time of 1:25:49.73, only about two minutes in front of runner up Tre Davies followed by Tye McManus 17 seconds behind Davies.

Habets won the second instalment of the Blue Lake Fun Run 21.1km Lakes and Craters Half Marathon this year, which is reminiscent of 2011 when he won the second edition of the 10.4km Blue Lake/Warwar Run.

OneFortyOne Blue Lake Fun Run Committee chair Mark Praolini said the colder conditions on Sunday morning made for a wonderful start to the half marathon, with runners preferring to compete in the cooler weather.

Mr Praolini said registrations were down this year with 600 participants, but remained a strong showing despite a number of challenges.

“There are a lot of factors, the ones that come to mind might be cost of living and we have held it for a number of years so I think people have already done it, we need to encourage them back,” he said.

“The other factor might be initially we were heavy on all the school teams, but they seem to be lacking this year.

“We had great support from volunteers like the runners club and fantastic support from local businesses.”

The 10.4km Blue Lake/Warwar Run was won by Josh Cameron in the male category with a time of 38:22.42, while Nikki Smart completed the course in 41:25.90 to be crowned the first female finisher for the third year in a row.

The 6.8km Mount Gambier/Berrin Run was won by Joshua Peter and the female champion was Rubi Watson.

In the more fun-focussed 3.2km Cave Gardens/Thugi Dash Harry Thomas and Shayden Russell claimed gold.

The biggest teams were Mount Gambier Runners Group, OneFortyOne, Ilumident, Blue Lake Cross Fit, Active8 and Gordon Education Centre.

The Mount Gambier Runners group won the most distance covered with 38 members while Active8 won best dressed team.

Five children eight years and under won $30 vouchers from The Book Place for filling out questionnaires while on the course.

The Lakes Rotary Club presented over $20,000 from the Blue Lake Fun Run to seven local charities including Limestone Coast Domestic Violence Service ($6000), Foodbank SA Limestone Coast ($2000), Limestone Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group ($2000), Mount Gambier Breast Cancer Awareness Group ($4000), Backstage Incorporated ($2000), Mount Gambier City Council Disadvantaged Youth Sports Scholarship ($3000) and Mount Gambier Hospital Day Surgery ($2800).

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