WATCH: Australia Day had started full of run
RUNNING: Riley Barton and Helen Rolfe both flew the Gladstone flag at the Australia Day Gladstone Roadrunners Fun Run yesterday morning at the Gladstone Marina.
Barton breezed through in humid conditions to be the first Gladstone athlete to the finish line in a time of 17:35 minutes in the 5km distance while Rolfe geared up for the Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km Endurance Race on February 10 to be the overall female first place-getter.
"It's the ideal preparation and no injuries," an exhausted Rolfe said.
"Charmain Thompson (event organiser and Gladstone Roadrunners Club president) has been with me for all the training."
Rolfe said her tactic in the shorter distance runs is to basically go full pace the whole way.
"It's just close your eyes and hope for the best and the quicker I run, then the quicker I get there and the quicker it's over," she said.
Barton continued his Parkrun form where he clocked 17.22 minutes with a dominant effort.
But he said there were some challenges.
"I like the course because it's flat, but the only thing is the sun hits the track and it gets hot," he said.
"On the way back there's always a bit of a headwind and that was the hardest part."
Barton's next challenge is a triathlon at Tweed Heads on February 10.
Gladstone's Brady Blake and Annali Philpott made short work of the 2km race and Blake said the win will give him confidence for tomorrow's Tannum Sands Points Day and next weekend's Junior Branch Titles at Moore Park.
"The humidity made the course a little harder," Blake said.
Philpott said she will use her win as a spur to more success for the state championships in Hervey Bay in March.
Rockhampton brothers Jayden and Dylan Mills were overall male winners in the 5km and 2km.
"I went out to get a sub 17-minutes and that's what I have achieved," Jayden said.
"Coming from Rocky, the conditions were basically the same."
Dylan has only been running for two years, but has certainly found his niche and found the Gladstone course easy.
"I have been to these events in Gladstone the past couple of years and I'm going to try and make it into the Queensland Cross Country later in the year," he said while still trying to capture his breath.
Yesterday's public holiday event drew in excess of 290 competitors across a broad spectrum of ages.
Thompson said it was great to see such big numbers.
"It was a fantastic morning and was really happy to see so many runners and families coming down and they have all come down in a good time so they could all get registered," she said.
"It was a beautiful morning after the rain that we've had and gave us a reprieve of those sunny band warm days that we've had."
Thompson said the turnout exceeded that of last year.
"We had really good support today from the Gladstone community and got support from sporting clubs around town and the people that run Parkrun have been promoting it for us as well as 3D Coaching have had a training group here as well," she said.
Thompson said all proceeds have gone to the Gladstone Chaplains Schools Program.
1st: Helen Rolfe 21.29
2nd: Charmaine Thompson 21.35
3rd: Zarah Nash 22.55
1st: Jayden Mills 16.56
2nd: Riley Barton 17.34
3rd: Jonathan Easton 18.02
1st: Annali Philpott 8.09
2nd: Dayna Sharpe 9.03
3rd: Rhiannen Copsey 9.04
1st: Dylan Mills 7.08
2nd: Jye Spanner 7.29
3rd: Brady Blake 7.57