Central Queensland Olympian Anna Meares (right) receives the Commonwealth Games relay baton from Queen Elizabeth II at the launch of the relay at Buckingham Palace on March 13.
Central Queensland Olympian Anna Meares (right) receives the Commonwealth Games relay baton from Queen Elizabeth II at the launch of the relay at Buckingham Palace on March 13. AP

GAMES FEVER: Runners can compete in Rocky's Own Baton Relay

ROCKHAMPTON will host its own baton relay on Friday to coincide with the arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay, which is bound for the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on April 4.

Rockhampton's Own Baton Relay is being hosted by the regional council and will start at 6pm on Sir Desmond Huish Dve after the final Queen's Baton Relay baton bearer crosses the finish line.

Rockhampton Regional Council's Parks and Recreation chair, councillor Cherie Rutherford, said council was hoping to attract more than 200 participants of all ages.

"This is really about coming together as a community and having a bit of fun,” Cr Rutherford said.

"It's great to have the Queen's Baton visiting Rockhampton, so why not use this opportunity to create some excitement of our own.

"We have a wide variety of runners in Rockhampton and having our own baton relay provides a chance for all to come together for a little bit of fun.

"This is not a serious race, it's all about participation in a community-focused event.”

Craig McCormack, Rockhampton parkrun's event director, member of the Rockhampton Road Runners and a nominated baton bearer, has helped council create the Rockhampton relay.

"The relay involves five runners per team, each team member running 1km. Participants nominate individually and will be randomly selected to represent one of the 71 Commonwealth nations or territories,” he said.

"It begins with the slower runners and will build to what we hope will be a very fast finish.

"This is the next most international event being hosted in Australia, second only to the Gold Coast.

"Yes, we are bending the selection criteria a little and perhaps the athletes aren't all at their peak, but I can't wait to meet our local Kenyan and Jamaican relay teams who must be two of our event favourites.”

Mr McCormack said anyone would could run 1km in under seven minutes was encouraged to nominate for the free event.

The community celebration event will also give people a chance to view the Queen's Baton, which started its journey in the hands of Central Queensland's own Olympian Anna Meares at Buckingham Palace on March 13.

Participants must register online at www.rrc.qld.gov.au by 5pm Wednesday to take part in the Rockhampton's Own Baton Relay.

ROCKHAMPTON'S OWN BATON RELAY

From 4.30pm at Sir Raymond Huish Dve

  • 4.30pm: Welcome
  • 4.40pm: Stage program starts
  • 5.30pm: Queen's Baton Relay arrives
  • 6pm: Rockhampton's Own Baton Relay starts
  • 6.45pm: Movie Paper Planes starts


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