CQ mine worker's unique 58th birthday gift to himself
RUNNING: Two years ago, Emerald's Lance Price couldn't run 100m.
One week ago, on his 58th birthday, he completed his first competitive half marathon at the Yeppoon Running Festival.
Son David Price and daughter Katherine Keiler joined him on the 21km run and despite battling the lingering effects of the flu, Lance crossed the finish line in a time of 2:50:54.
"It was extremely satisfying to finish it,” Lance said.
"I was disappointed I was going so slow but I felt like a winner because everyone was cheering me on.
"I still beat everybody who didn't have a go.”
Lance, who has worked in the mining industry for years, made a conscious decision about two years ago to get fitter.
He was encouraged by his mates at the Moranbah camp, where he was based, to start running.
"We would go for a run in the afternoon and I tried to get a little bit faster and a little bit further each time,” he explains.
He did that, and when working on a job at Wheatstone in Western Australia's Pilbara, he clocked up 20km around the camp.
Knowing he was physically able to go the distance, Lance registered for the Yeppoon event about 10 weeks out.
"I paid up and that helped me keep at it,” he said.
"I asked the kids if they were interested in coming for a run on my birthday and they both said yes. I've got four other children but they had other commitments.
"I got the flu about three weeks before and it knocked me around but knowing the children were going to be there inspired me to still have a go.
"It was my birthday and that felt like my gift - to have enough health to run and have the love of my family.”
Lance said the Yeppoon festival was incredibly well run and the support of fellow competitors and spectators was amazing.
"It's something I really want to do again,” he said.
"Getting older and getting better aren't two things that normally go together but I'm pretty sure I'll be fitter and I'll be better next time.
"I'd urge everyone to have a go but know your limitations; there's nothing negative about having to walk for a bit.
"It's all positive if you're prepared to have a crack.”