This year was the 4th running of the Goldsborough Goldrush and from humble beginnings, a record 103 runners registered for one of the four distances offered. Thank you all for supporting our event! Unfortunately the weather put a slight damper on things (literally) but 87 runners toed the starting line to contest the 5km, 10km, 18km and Goldrush Marathon. All contestants headed down the initial grassy section of the Goldfield Track, with the 5km runners turning just before the rainforest and then wending their way up the narrow Wajil Track to the scenic Kearney’s Falls before turning for the finish line. 10km runners had a double dose of rainforest, venturing further down the Goldfield Track and into the rainforest before turning for home. 18km was the most popular distance this year and 40 runners made their way along the wide but slippery track to the East Mulgrave Causeway before returning to the Wajil Track and the Finish. The marathoners are a tough breed and 12 hardy souls continued past the Causeway and onto a narrow track described by one runner as “pretty messy”. This took them to the checkpoint at the Babinda Boulders where they refuelled and then returned to Goldsborough.
On to the results and in the 5km race Alyce Coventon raced away from the other ladies to win in 35:43, five minutes ahead of second placed Liz O’Connor and Erin Barnett took out third place in 42:16. For the males, Riley Jones (a junior) showed he will be one to watch as he streaked over the course to record the fastest 5km time of 26:43. Enrique Groth got to know the course a little better than most in taking out second place and a silver medal.
In the 10km event, females outnumbered males 2 to 1 and Hannah Skews put the pedal down to cross the line in a gold medal winning time of 53:38. Second place was a really close call with Emma Simpson, 58:03, just pipping Antje Exner by 8 seconds! The Groth family was well represented in the males race with older brother Miguel taking first place in a time of 50:41, two minutes ahead of Graham Camp. Morgan Flockhart received the bronze medal for his time of 59:53.
The 18km event attracted equal numbers of male and female starters (20 in each gender) For the ladies, the slightly built Akane Goode showed she is very Good(e) at trail running, blitzing the field to finish almost 10 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor in 1:34:15. Carmel Moran stepped up from her convincing win in the 10km race last year to take second place and the silver medal in 1:44:13. Susanne Rath was not far behind in recording 1:45:42 to take bronze. Calvin Deacon also stepped up in distance from his hard fought win in the 10km race last year to repeat the performance this year….just. A mere second! Calvin’s 1:25:54 finish time earned him a gold medal and Tyson Sundman the silver (wish I had been there to see the finish!) Marathon next year Calvin? Luke Johnston got amongst the medal too, with his time of 1:28:15 earning him a bronze (even though he started later than the others!).
The Goldrush Marathon is an iconic race that was started by Chris and Shane White and Adventure Sport NQ back in 2010 and was traditionally run from the Babinda Boulders. After a couple of years absence from the running calendar, Cairns Road Runners were very happy to offer it again. This year was different in that it was run in reverse, from Goldsborough. Some very strong trail runners entered the race this year and I was privy to watching events unfold as I manned the Babinda Boulders checkpoint. Incredibly, after a half marathon of really tough trail running, only 5 minutes separated the first four runners. Andy Baker and Leo Schoepflin took off like hairy goats early but the hill skills of Stevo Francis and Bryan O’Mahoney saw the leading positions change with Stevo crossing the line first in the amazing time of 3:38:34. Bryan O ran a very smart race (including a fairly lengthy, “chatty” stop at the Babinda checkpoint) to take second position, just under two minutes behind the winner in 3:40:25. Leo’s recent run of trail running wins came to an end but third position in just 3:49:56 was another awesome result for him. Special mention must go to “tough as nails” Alena Scurrah (the only female marathoner) Things were looking good in her training run for the upcoming 3Marathons in 3Days when she took a graceful leap over a log and came to a very ungraceful end just a few kilometres from Babinda.
We should all profoundly thank the volunteers who made this event possible. Much of the work goes unseen but I would like to acknowledge and thank the following people on the runners behalf. Promotion, admin’ and IT were well sorted by Susie Houlihan, Marian Webster, Sarah Dart and Colleen Harisson. Colleen also gave up her race plans to help with check-in and recording and timing at the finish. Colleen’s husband Wayne had “one of the scariest rides of my life” in riding to greet runners at the East Mulgrave Causeway.
Two time Comrades age champ’ Dave Von Senden, traded running shoes for serving tongs in manning the BBQ….and that was after giving the race briefings. My Japanese homestay student Haruna and her school friends Mio and Mai also helped with the catering, turning out those pancakes and serving tea and coffee. Permits, medals, shopping, course marking and Start/Finish set-up were all sorted. Thanks also to those helping that I did not see whilst at Babinda.
The next Road Runners event is the Blacksnake Trail event on Sunday July 29th. 5km, 10km, 21km and 34km races are on offer. See you there!