Rocky River Run wows winners who vow to return
RUNNING: Half-marathon winners Louis McAfee and Kiarra Walters have vowed to return to defend their titles in next year's 7 Rocky River Run.
The Brisbane runners were among 1600 participants who took part in the popular annual charity run in Rockhampton on Sunday morning.
Perfect conditions greeted those who contested the half marathon, 10km, 5km and 2km events, with hundreds of spectators turning out to cheer them on.
Competing in his first Rocky River Run, McAfee stormed home to win the male half-marathon in 1:12:21, shaving five minutes off last year's winning time.
"I got challenged for the first 10k and I was really hurting but I just tried to push it a little bit and thankfully I got away with it,” the 20-year-old said.
"I don't really run many halves but it was definitely a PB. I think the last one I ran was 1.15.”
McAfee was impressed with the course and the support of the Rockhampton community.
"It (the course) was really flat and it broke it up a little bit going over the bridges so I liked that. It made a half marathon feel like a 10k so it was good,” he said.
"I'll come back for sure. I had a really good experience so I'll be back.”
It was also the first Rocky River Run appearance for Walters, who clocked a time of 1:27: 52 to win the women's half marathon.
She said conditions were perfect for running and she just felt "ready” when she stood at the start line.
The 18-year-old executed her race plan perfectly, although an unplanned stop on the course likely cost her a PB.
"The plan was to go out a little bit faster at the start just to get out of the mush and get into a rhythm. Once I'm in a rhythm nothing can get me out of it. I can run forever,” she said.
"I love it. It's a beautiful event, a beautiful course and I love doing 21ks. I'll be back to defend my title next year.”
Emmaus College student Ciaran Toman, 14, was the first male home in the 5km run and was quick to point out his recipe for success included porridge for breakfast.
His time of 17:17 was more than two minutes faster than he ran last year.
"I went out hard and then got into a rhythm. My first k was fast and then I went normal pace,” he said, proudly displaying his winner's cheque.
ROCKY RIVER RUN RESULTS
Channel 7 Half Marathon, Female: Kiarra Walters (1:27: 52) 1, Liz Maguire 2, Michelle Broadfoot 3. Male: Louise McAfee (1:12:21) 1, Darryl Hill 2, Rhys Williams 3
McDonald's 10km, Female: Josephine Auer (37:41) 1, Lily Dolton 2, Rebecca Jenner 3. Male: Lachie Irvine (34:02) 1, Jayden Mills 2, Ben Cameron 3
CTC 5km, Female: Emily Arthurs (21:40) 1, Liezl Kruger 2, Allison Gale 3. Male: Ciaran Toman (17:17) 1, Shane Ward 2, Dylan Mills 3