Westcott ends five-year Aussie drought on Bridge title
Sunday 7 September 2008
WESTCOTT ENDS FIVE YEAR AUSSIE DROUGHT ON BRIDGE TITLE
Novocastrian Scott Westcott broke a five year dominance of Tanzanian runners in this race, claiming his first win in The Sunday Mail Suncorp Bridge to Brisbane 10km run this morning, while New Zealand’s Rowan Baird is fast making a name for herself over here, taking out the women’s division.
The 32 year old school teacher Westcott took control of the 10km run in the early stages although Beijing Olympic triathlon representative, Courtney Atkinson stayed in touch to keep Westcott honest but faded over the final stages. Atkinson did enough to secure second place from a fast finishing Chris Reeves.
Westcott sacrificed his first father’s day with 14 week old Noah to run today.
“He’s probably a bit young for that just yet and I really enjoy coming up for this race, it’s such a great buzz to be part of it,” said Westcott.
After Westcott’s controversial omission from the Olympic men’s marathon team, despite posting a B-qualifying time at the Beppu Marathon, he has put that disappointment behind him and says this win is the confidence boost he needed.
“I actually thought I’d go a minute faster than what I did but that headwind was really quite tough and the hill at the 8km mark hurt but my marathon strength certainly kicked in to help over the final 2km,” added Westcott.
Westcott will now focus on the Asics 5km Bolt at Noosa in November and look to compete in a marathon in 2009. Atkinson will also turn his attention to the Noosa Triathlon, in an attempt to secure his first title there.
“I don’t know how my sister-in-law talked me into running this morning, I just know that hurt a lot,” said Atkinson.
Baird is a fast improving runner and while she had a much tighter tussle with triathlete Sarah Crowley, just 14 seconds separating the pair in the end she was pleased with her effort today.
“Coming from New Zealand, I enjoy the cooler conditions; I felt really good out there today, it was a sweet course, really fun.”
Baird recently took out the Oceania Half Marathon Championships by winning the Gold Coast Half Marathon, while back in May she recorded 32:44 for a 10km road race, the 32nd fastest road time recorded by a female anywhere in the world then.
Triathletes filled the next four places, Crowley second, South African Ashley Finaughty followed by 2008 World Triathlon Championships silver medalist Ashleigh Gentle and Felicity Abram, currently ranked world number one.
Tamara Carvolth and Jayden Russ claimed line honours in the 5km run in very smart times. The surprise result, 14 year old Amy Hillier taking third in the women’s division.
Record crowds flocked to the annual fun run, numbers just shy of 36,000, the majority entering the 10km run with nearly 10,000 signing up to run, walk or pram push in the 5km event. All competitors gave the new distances and course (formerly 12km and 4.5km) the ‘two thumbs up’. The new finish venue at the Ekka Showground’s, Side Show Alley was a festival village of entertainment, easily catering for the massive crowds.
This now establishes the event as the second largest in the country behind Sydney’s City to Surf.
The majority of competitors who made their way across the Gateway Bridge in the 10km event and from Hamilton Recreational Reserve in the 5km event to Ekka were there to have a good time.
The many recognizable faces taking part included Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, and Premier Anna Bligh.
For our guest race starters, Beijing Olympic gold and bronze medallists Emma Snowsill and Emma Moffat, the urge was just too hard to resist: after doing their duty the pair decided to join the crowd and run in the 10km event.
1. Scott Westcott Carrington 30:35 2. Courtney Atkinson Mermaid Bch 31:26 3. Chris Reeves Estn Heights 31:56 4. Hintsa Mebrahtu West End 32:02 5. Jay Twist Oxley 32:04
1. Rowan Baird NZ 34:07 2. Sarah Crowley Lawnton 34:22 3. Ashley Finaughty Sth Africa 35:35 4. Ashleigh Gentle Robina 35:37 5. Felicity Abram Toowong 36:12
Wheelie 1. Daniel Trollope Southport 35:39 2. Jason McGregor Jimboomba 46:02
1. Jayden Russ St Lucia 15:02 2. Danny Russell Clontarf 15:11 3. Nispel Patrick St Lucia 15:15
1. Tamara Carvolth Esk 17:06 2. Tina Sherratt Cabarita 17:32 3. Amy Hillier Redbank 17:51
For further information or to arrange interviews or photographs contact Lisa Pringle, on 0417 005 743 or email@example.com.
Lisa Pringle Media Manager USM EVENTS