Click here to view the 2020 Weipa Running Festival Results
Weipa Running Festival 2020
Race Director: Lauren Gregory
The race report is a little different this year. It can be said with confidence that everything is a little different this year. In early 2020 planning had well and truly commenced for the 3rd Weipa Running Festival which the committee were quietly confident was going to be bigger and better than previous years. No one was prepared for the impacts that COVID would have on the world let alone running events.As things started to look interesting here for us in the Cape and halfway through normal processes, we made the call to officially go virtual. Back to the drawing board for the committee!
Thankfully, we had a virtual option in our 2019 event making it a slightly easier transition for us. What we didn’t expect was the 450 + registrations we received and how many participants from outside Weipa would enter. COVID has released a running/walking boom. We are blown away by the amount of support we have received locally, around the country and internationally. Not only does this event depend on participants, but we significantly depend on our sponsors. Even through uncertain times for these businesses, our sponsors continued to support us. Their continued support meant we were able to focus on bringing participants something to look forward to once COVID well and truly took over especially given the loss of team sports.
From a local perspective, it was beyond expectation to be out on our daily runs seeing all the new runners and walkers around town since COVID hit. The running community has officially changed…. for the good. This year’s event was definitely special. Despite not having a ‘race day’ we feel we were able to be a part of a lot of running journeys! From the runners who worked hard and achieved their PB’s to the people who have never signed up for a race before and completed it and especially to the people who caught the running bug we loved hearing about everyone’s story
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020
The first shout out is to Troy McNamara, Troy is a previous Weipa local who now lives in Singapore. Troy stared off his grand slam challenge at 12am on the night of the 12th of August to run his 21km component…… now that’s dedication!!!
Our youngest participant Naveyah Nester (4 years old) wanted to be just like her mum, she tackled the 2.5km fun run stopping for a small drink at the 1km and ran out the rest!
Bridie Maher is a local up and coming athlete. You know who Bridie is because she is the one always running with a huge smile on her face, which makes you feel so much better as she effortlessly passes you on the running tracks around town. Bridie entered the 5km event. At just the age of 12, she ran a 47min 10km as part of the grand slam challenge!
Our most supportive partner goes to Kev Smith from Devonport in Tasmania. Lib his wife ran the Marathon and entered the grand slam challenge. Ken would like to know if there are there any help groups for "running widowers"?
Nick Stock entered the 21km event this year…not much of a known runner in town but somehow ran all 5 events including the Marathon that he had never attempted before (or even had planned to do). Sorry for this part Nick, but your wife told me that you actually did some research around running marathons and techniques, and that your rather competitive when she runs with you. Clearly a natural runner…see you at parkrun when it starts again.
Lisa May gets the award for being the best motivator in town!
The Heit family ran their half marathon together…. Allan and his 3 kids from Biloela. One in all in.
Ross Dawson (course coordinator) was the first person to finish the grand slam challenge… even though he was coming off recovery from some not to great injuries. Ross was down at Andoom oval each weekend supporting other runners and even rode his bike along a fellow marathoner for their entire run…. Ross is well known for his ability to run, talk and motivate at the same time. Loves a bit of healthy competitor also. Just amazing!!!!
Fiona Kruger our lucky last registration…. You thought you could just run and not get mentioned here but……this was Fiona’s first 10km event, which almost didn’t happen given she had forgotten to register until asked when she was running! Fiona came through the finish line, got her medal and race pack and even an awesome family photo on the podium. As Fiona was walking away, she realised she never stopped her Garmin, if only we had filmed that part, because the look on her face was priceless. Classic rookie error.