McLoughlin defends half marathon title in record time
FORMER Whitsunday resident Reuben McLoughlin became the first man to succesfully defend the Hilly Half Marathon title, and set a new course record at the marathon event on Hamilton Island on Sunday.
After trailing newcomers including Mackay's Jack Atkinson and Wollongong's James Tunbridge over the opening six kilometres, McLoughlin stepped up the pace once the race entered the trail section.
Moving into the lead at the 8km mark, McLoughlin powered through the technical ascents including the feared Passage Peak and Resort Lookout climbs to finish in 1:37:39.
Proserpine's Josh Dyke did his best to challenge for the title, and moved up through the field to take an impressive second place and Tunbridge held off all other challengers for third.
Guest athlete and two-time world orienteering champion, Hanny Allston, made a great comeback after a three-year hiatus away from competitive running to dominate the women's race, coming in first and finish fourth overall. She set a new women's course record of 1:46:26.
During her visit to the island she generously conducted a school visit and running technique clinic, with her tips proving immediately beneficial to a number of the runners during the races.
With a $1000 Harvey World Travel voucher up for grabs in the corporate relay, husband-wife team of Ryan and Lisa Stansfield from Victorian based firm JRL Land Surveyors, took the honours, holding off the Hamilton Island IT Department and Team qualia.
There was more local success with seasoned campaigner Fred Fiedler winning his age group and the all Hamilton Island team of Maja Zepcan, Brooke Evans and Sarah Osbourne claiming the women's team relay title.
Father-son team of Andrew Clode and Lloyd Clode-Roberts also proved too strong and won the male team relay.
The Westpac junior fun run saw 47 children compete across three distances and the crowd loved the children's enthusiasm.
Island resident Ryder Harvey continued his form with a 12:47 to steal the 3km title while Shaylah Hunter led home the girls.
More running awaits Hamilton Island this weekend with the Mother's Day Classic being staged for the third time.
A fundraising event for the Breast Cancer Foundation, the classic is a non-competitive walk, pram push or run of 4.2 or 7km.
Participants can register on the day at the Bougainvillea Marquee from 6.45am onwards.
The starting time of 8am was set to be family-friendly and organisers hope runners will get into the spirit of the day by donning pink.