SAND SPEED: Jason Cronshaw and Dean Bridge tackle the Great Whitehaven Beach Run on Saturday. Photo Keagan Ryan
SAND SPEED: Jason Cronshaw and Dean Bridge tackle the Great Whitehaven Beach Run on Saturday. Photo Keagan Ryan

Event hits the ground running

IN JUST its second year the Great Whitehaven Beach Run has more than tripled in size.

The event took place on Saturday with participants tackling half-marathon, 10.5km and 5km distances on the sand and in the face of a powerful headwind. Event organiser Steve Jackson said he was thrilled with the race's development in the space of a year.

"We are incredibly excited by the growth of the event, with over 150 runners - up from 105 last year," he said.

"With the explosion in the various events for people to choose from, many established races have hit a plateau, and even begin to shrink, so to have an extra 45 per cent in just the second year bodes well.

"Of course, we like the boutique, yet community oriented and friendly feel of the Endurance Series events and hope that we can continue to make the day special for all the participants and will manage any growth to maintain that feel."

Olympian Eloise Wellings was first past the line in the half-marathon while Belthazer Nel won the open male's title. Bronwyn Humphrys claimed the 10.5km open title, finishing ahead of men's open winner and Hamilton Island local Bede Wheatland.

Peter Moore's time of 19.33 minutes saw him win the 5km race while Emma Hogan won the open female prize.

The day concluded with several kids' races, which saw Tom Stielow and Emily Hansen-Stewart share the spoils in the 1.5km race.

Seb Arthur and Tilly Stewart were the first boy and girl in the 500m sprint race.

Moving forward Jackson tipped the race to go from strength-to-strength in the coming years.

"Our new Hamilton Island Weddings Relay Challenge was a huge hit and will definitely become a highlight of the day moving forward," he said.

"We have a few ideas for other events including some flag races. What better beach to dive on than the soft silica sand of Whitehaven Beach."


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