MITCHEL Brown from Victoria took out Saturday’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon’s Southern Cross University 10km Run in 30min:01secs.
The reigning Australian cross country champion and Gold Coast Airport Marathon weekend debutante is also editor of the nation’s premier running magazine – Run For Your Life.
The well-credentialed athlete was not only rapt with his win, but also the atmosphere on a chilly, but brilliantly fine Gold Coast morning.
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“The atmosphere was absolutely amazing,” a beaming Brown said after relegating UK Commonwealth Games marathoner Ben Moreau (30:13) into second place, with South Australian youngster Riley Cocks, third.
“I thought Ben was closer than what he was coming down the home stretch. But that is when the crowd was really getting in to it.
“I have not seen a crowd embrace an event like this before. They really get behind the event. The conditions were perfect.”
Brown and Moreau kicked away at the three-quarter point.
“Ben and I started to break away at the turnaround – about the 7km mark,” said Brown.
“As we came along the water we were pretty well clear. I came off his (Moreau’s) shoulder with about one and a half kilometres to go. Once I made the move the gap opened up pretty quickly.
“I wanted to make a bit of statement for my own benefit because I have a few races coming up.”
Brown said he now planned a European campaign.
“I had a disappointing track season and I felt like I wanted to have another go at track and get over a few niggles,” he said.
“I am going to head over to Belgium and do a few track races over there. I might do some racing in the UK as well.”
Brown is also involved at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon’s ASICS Sport and Leisure Expo at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre with a stand for his magazine.
“I am amazed at the buzz that surrounds this event,” he said. “The way that this city embraces the event is fantastic.
“I am feeling pretty good about things right now.”
Moreau was happy with his run as a preparation for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“It was a good preparation for the Games Marathon. I knew it would be competitive so I could go out and run as hard as I wanted to,” he said.
“It wasn’t a brilliant race for me, with the Commonwealth Games (marathon) in three weeks. The conditions were good and I led early trying to push the pace, but the pace I was running at wasn’t quick enough.”
Riley Cocks, 18, is no stranger to this event. He still holds the record for the boys 4km Dash – 12min29secs, set back in 2010.
“That was the run of my life,” Cocks said after his podium finish against some of the nation’s leading athletes.
“I never thought I would go out with the leaders but I gave it a crack. Each kilometre I thought I was going to drop, but I just kept on going, I was happy holding on to third.”
Sydney’s Bridey Delaney took out the Southern Cross University 10km Run women’s title for 2014 in 33:52, in what was a bitter-sweet event for the 24-year-old.
Delaney was a late entry in the run after having her wisdom teeth removed last week. She was also getting over the disappointment of just missing out on a 1500m berth at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“I am feeling pretty lucky right now,” she said after her win over Tara Gorman (35:16) and Belinda Martin (35:27).
“I had my wisdom teeth out last week and so this was just a last-minute decision to enter. I was hoping to make the Commonwealth Games but I was the unlucky fourth person.
“I finished my uni exams, was working at the ASICS Sport and Leisure Expo, so thought I would enter.
“I decided through the winter to do some longer events. The 10km is a little long for me, but it certainly worked out okay for me today.”
Delaney said she eased her way into the race.
“I started back a bit. By the turnaround I was in the lead and just kept running on,” she said.
“It (exhaustion) only really hit me with about 1500m to go. Then the crowd really spurred me on so I kept the arms pumping. I didn’t know if anyone else was close so I just kept driving to the line.
“I was pretty nervous about the two Commonwealth Games marathon girls in the field – Melanie Panayiotou and Sarah Klein – so I was really pleased with the win.
“This was a nice little silver lining after missing out on Glasgow.”
Second-placed Gorman also found positives.
“I just beat my PB by a minute so I am pretty happy with that,” she said.
Third-placed Martin said she forged through what was a tough race for her.
“I struggled a bit this morning and felt a little heavy at the start but I just kept on going,” she said.
“I was coming second for the first four kilometres, but slipped back to third.”
More than 1500 youngsters were part of what again was a highly competitive 2km and 4km Junior Dashes at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.
Brisbane’s Katrina Robinson continued her domination of these events with today’s win in the girls’ 4km Junior Dash in 13:47, from Mackenzey Ormiston and Cara Jardine.
Katrina won this event last year after also winning the 2km event in 2010 and 2011. She is also the record holder in the 2km.
“I’m feeling exhausted but still happy at the same time,” she said after her latest Gold Coast triumph.
“It’s hard towards the end because you don’t know how far you’ve got to go. The best feeling is crossing the line because it means it’s finally over.”
A focus from triathlon to athletics has paid dividends for 14-year-old local Gold Coaster Joel Lonsdale who took out the boys 4km Junior Dash in 13:15, from Max Dennerstein and Samuel Hargreaves.
Joel said the boisterous crowd ‘carried’ him through to the line.
“They were really amazing and really got the blood pumping,” said the Kings Christian College student.
Brisbane 10-year-old Harrison Turner took out the boys 2km Junior Dash in 6:55 from NSW’s Finley Neylan and the Gold Coast’s Adrian Spiridon.
“I’ve had a couple wins for my school in Brisbane, but this is my first at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon,” said Harrison.
“Mum and dad really support me and they are down here today, which has been great, and I even got to race with my brother Blake who is eight and finished in the top 20.”
Sydney eight-year-old Imogen Stewart won the girls 2km junior Dash in a very smart 7:06, and was also the second runner overall across the line.
“The finish is hardest part, when you’ve got 250 metres to go, you have to push yourself,” she said.
“The most fun part is at the start of the race. We’ve come up to the Gold Coast for the race and a holiday as well.”
The Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge may be a ‘participation’ event that this year attracted 3954 to the starting line, but there were plenty who went full throttle.
First across the line was Gold Coaster Jordan McLennan in 18min:20secs ahead of fellow Gold Coasters, Bradley Warnes and Jack Adams.
“I wanted to do the 10km event today, but I had a foot injury so I wasn’t sure how my fitness would be so I just did the 5,” McLennan said.
The first female across the line in the Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge was Courtney Chamberlain, from Dural in NSW.
Results from the Southern Cross University 10km Run today: Men: Mitchel Brown (VIC) 0h30m01s 1, Ben Moreau (NSW) 0h30m13s 2, Riley Cocks (SA) 0h30m33s 3, Jackson A Elliott (QLD) 0h30m47s 4, Marc See (WA) 0h31m01s 5, Andrew Buchanan (VIC) 0h31m17s 6, Michael Dowel (VIC) oh31m18s 7, Christopher Bracken (QLD) 0h31m20s 8, Louis Mcaffe (QLD) 0h31m25s 9, Mitchell J Williamson (NSW) 0h31m27s 10. Women: Bridey Delaney (NSW) 0h33m52s 1, Tara Gorman (QLD) 0h35m16s 2, Belinda Martin (NSW) 0h35m27s 3, Melanie Panayiotou 0h35m47s 4, Brianna Thomas (QLD) 0h36m31s 5, Kirra Rankin (ACT) 0h36m31s 6, Stacey Bulger (VIC) 0h36m38s 7, Sophie Walker (QLD) 0h36m 47s 8, Helen Baade (QLD) 0h37m07s 9, Cassie Higham (VIC) 0h37m12s 10.
Results from the 2km Junior Dash today: Boys: Harrison Turner (QLD) 0h06m55s 1, Finley Neylan (NSW) 0h7m15s 2, Adrian Spiridon (QLD) 0h7m27s 3. Girls: Imogen Stewart (QLD) 0h7m06s 1, Sakura Sugiyama (QLD) 0h7m17s 2, Olissa Onley (NSW) 0h7m17s 3.
Results from the 4km Junior Dash today: Boys: Joel Lonsdale (QLD) 0h13m15s 1, Max Dennerstein (QLD) 0h13m34s 2, Samuel Hargreaves (SA) 0h13m40s 3. Girls: Katrina Robinson (QLD) 0h13m47s 1, Mackenzey Ormiston (NSW) 0h14m26s 2, Cara Jardine (QLD) 0h15m00s 3.
The 42 kilometre marathon is run on Sunday closing some roads from Paradise Point to Broadbeach, see our previous article on road closures for more.