Jennifer Cooper was third in the open female 5.5km.
Jennifer Cooper was third in the open female 5.5km. CONTRIBUTED

Rocky Road Runners go off-road in season opener

RUNNING: The Rockhampton Road Runners' 2018 season is off and racing.

About 50 competitors took part in the season opener at Bluff Point and Kemp Beach on Sunday, wending their way through the hills and across the sand.

Jye Spanner and Karen Kleinert took line honours in the 5.5km, and Rhys Williams and Claire Massingham were first home in the 11km.

RRR president Nathaniel Veenstra said it was a good turnout for the first race of the year, and it was great to have a different venue for the event.

"Normally we would have it in Rockhampton but it's nice to try new areas and give people different experiences rather than just running around the block,” he said.

RACE MODE: Mitch McDouall hits the beach in the Rockhampton Road Runners' season opener on Sunday.
RACE MODE: Mitch McDouall hits the beach in the Rockhampton Road Runners' season opener on Sunday. CONTRIBUTED

"A lot of the runners who come to our events are training for longer distance events such as the Rocky River Run or the Gold Coast or Melbourne marathons.

"These shorter races offer a good training opportunity for them and because they do a lot of Ks on the road they like to have some different options.”

Veenstra said the club was flourishing, with early interest this year exceeding previous years.

"For the past couple of years our membership has sat at just over 100, and we are currently sitting at over 90 already,” he said.

"I don't think we've had that many members this early in the year for some time so there's a real positive uptake there.”

Veenstra believes it has much to do with the club's holistic approach, which includes offering activities that complement running such as workshops with physiotherapists and exercise physiologists.

He said there were plans to introduce different events such as a cross-country race at Rocky's Botanic Gardens, and trail runs at Seeonee Park and First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve.

"Our club motto is fitness for everyone,” Veenstra said.

"We want to encourage more people to start running to get fit and active, while also helping our more established and experienced runners improve or reach their specific goals.”

RESULTS

5.5km run

  • Junior male: Jye Spanner 1, Jonathon Keily 2, Riley Clark 3
  • Junior female: Hannah Richardson 1, Abby Richardson 2
  • Open male: Neal Thomsen 1, Tony Richardson 2, Derek Brown 3
  • Open female: Karen Kleinert 1, Natarsha Huth 2, Jennifer Cooper 3
  • Veteran male: Ian Cooper 1, Daryl Brown 2
  • Veteran female: Trish Maude 1, Rosemary Boyle 2, Helen Mcleod 3

11km run

  • Open male: Rhys Williams 1, Mitch McDouall 2, Scott Moss 3
  • Open female: Claire Massingham 1, Sara Francis 2
  • Veteran male: Pete Brady 1, Ian Dunbier 2, Kvetoslav Palov 3


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