It was another glorious day in paradise when the city of Townsville hosted the McDonald’s Running Festival, one of the city’s most anticipated and recognized events of the year.
Although I barely practiced this year, I just had to participate in the run as my feet were itching to pound the tarmac and this event provided a classic opportunity to chase my passion. I did the Half Marathon (21.1 Kilometers) this time and completed the circuit in 2 Hours and 29 Minutes. This was definitely not my best finish but it shall remain as one of the most memorable as I had my six month old son waiting for me at the finish line for the first time along with my beautiful wife, Ambika.
It is always so motivating to see people of different age groups and abilities running side by side. There was even one person in a wheel chair who did the half marathon and set a blistering pace. It’s is rightly said that Running a Marathon is like climbing your own Mount Everest and the only person you should race against is yourself.
I thank the organizers, the RAR Band and the all the volunteers for making the entire day such a huge success. Most of all a big thank you to all the people of Townsville who turned up to show their support and cheer all the runners! The run would not be half the fun without you!
In the end, the winners of the race are not only the persons who crossed the finish line first in their individual event. The winners are all the participants who dared to challenge themselves and chase their passion and I congratulate each and every one of them!
Dejen Gebreselassie has made history today as the youngest participant to win the Townsville Marathon in the event’s 18 year history. In his first professional marathon, 23 year old Gebresalassie conquered the feature race of the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival, clocking 2:39:19 ahead of Townsville local, Sam Stedman who placed second with 2:43:59 and Jonathon Camilleri from Mount Sheridan 2:48:24. Dejen Gebreselassie, explained “The race really tested me mentally but I really appreciate the people, they are the best people ever, they cheered me on. If it wasn’t for them I would not have finished the race.” “This is my first marathon ever, this is exactly the time I ran on my Sunday run two weeks ago,” said Mr Gebreselassie. Gebreselassie crossed the finish line and fell to the ground, entertaining the crowd with ten push-ups. Townsville McDonald’s Running Festival President, Mr Tony Gordon, said the crowd was delighted to see Dejen Gebreselassie’s joy as he won the marathon. “It was an exciting finish to the race, with 226 participants tackling the 44km course,” said Mr Gordon. “We knew Gebresalassie was going to one of the runners to watch in this marathon and we are thrilled for him in that he not only won the marathon, but that he has also made history being the youngest runner to win this event. Dejen Gebreselassie crossing the Finish Line It was a fantastic start to our event, with seven more races to take place. “Dejen was very gracious in his win, thanking the crowd of supporters and spectators and also the city of Townsville for hosting this event.”
At the same time, more than 250,000 Chinese runners are tackling the 44km course in their home towns, through the virtual marathon app, Codoon. “The fact that we have more virtual runners than the population of Townsville is incredible and it’s something that has taken us by surprise. We thought it was a good opportunity to explore the virtual app, never imagining there would be so much interest. It’s just so impressive how technology can connect us and we look forward to working on this for the 2017 event,” Mr Gordon said. With record numbers, the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival is going from strength to strength, with international eyes now firmly on the event. “One lucky participant in today’s marathon will win flights to Iwaki, Townsville’s Sister City in Japan, as part of the Townsville City Council’s Sister City program,” said Mr Gordon. “We are also thrilled to have two Iwaki runners with us in Townsville who competed in the Marathon.”
Article Provided by- McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival
THE EVOLVING BACKPACKER
Sailor, Adventurer, Thrill seeker. I am an avid traveler who seeks every opportunity to travel and evolve . Join me on my numerous adventures and voyages of discovery of the Outside World as well as the Inner Self.