MACKAY'S wet and hot summer is a long way from the conditions an aspiring Winter Olympics competitor might be used to.
But international athlete Karel Viigipuu showed his competitors a clean pair of heels when he raced in the Mackay Road Runners' 10km Tilse Toodle on Sunday.
Viigipuu, from the Northern Europe state of Estonia on the Baltic Sea, is in Mackay until July.
He competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and is looking to qualify for the biathlon, which involves cross country skiing and shooting, for the Sochi Games in Russia in February next year.
The Sochi Winter Olympics are the first to be held in the Russian Federation. The 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow were in the Soviet Union.
Viigipuu was involved in a competitive battle with talented local junior Liam Mumford on the weekend as about 60 runners defied the teeming rain, breaking away in the final two kilometres to sprint home.
"While Karel is thoroughly enjoying swapping the snow for the tropics, he is also using his coaching expertise to support many local athletes, including triathlete Nicholas Johns," club spokesman Janelle Tilse said.
"Well done to the many first time runners at the Tilse Toddle, where new and experienced runners were well rewarded for their sensational efforts with yummy post-race treats.
"Even though there were no race records set on the course, Mark Pashalis is to be congratulated on setting a record of his own at the goodie table: not one but seven samples of a particularly yummy cookie treat.
"Mark ran a great race, so, well deserved and the chef felt well complimented."
This Sunday's first official 2013 handicap points 4/8km run starts at 6.30am at the mountain bike club, Rowallan Park, Farleigh.
New and existing members are welcome to compete.