Mackay Road Runners first social off season Sunday event for 2018 was very well attended by approximately forty dedicated runners. The casual group training session commenced from the Harbour boat ramp carpark precinct at 5.30pm under the expert guidance of Club Captain and Race Director, Jim Ford. Jim’s course had runners leave the Harbour parklands toward the testing Mt Bassett incline via a one kilometre warmup run. All runners regrouped at the base of Mt Bassett prior to challenging themselves to multiple loops of the testing Mt Bassett ascent. Jim, as usual, integrated options for various abilities and fitness levels as well as a relay loop and a grand finale surprise staggered loop, all this before posing for a 2018 Calendar photoshoot. Thankfully the south-easterly breezes made for more enjoyable running as opposed to the previous week’s northerly winds which caused treacherously dangerous humidity levels. All runners enjoyed the course concept as always with Jim’s unique spin on making each outing an enjoyable and social one. Jim’s interesting, well thought out courses throughout the off season always get great support from the participants, even though some softies comment “I do not wanna play anymore”….but they always do….!

Well done to Julian Picot who has returned to the Mackay running scene after a short stint in Townsville where he graduated from his medical studies – congratulations Dr Julian Picot! As well as successfully completing his studies, Julian also showed a very clean pair of heels throughout the Mt Bassett 10km event, where he pitted himself against local champion and USA student, Liam Mumford. Liam will be returning to Virginia’s snowy/icy conditions this week to complete his third year of his academic and athletic university scholarship, although we may see him return mid 2018 for his local pet events, the M-Test Eungella King of the Mountain and the BMA Mackay Marina Run.

Meanwhile, at the Mt Bassett event, there were some outstanding performances from many runners including friendly heckling from not so competitive family members ie siblings Peter and Alana Ford and Dad and daughter, Charlie Bone and Sarah Jensen. It was great to see every team relay member supporting each – those were but not limited to:- Jose short, Maddy Price, Ashlee Scott, Bill Morgan, Ross Connor, Mark Pashalis, Colin Hardy, Carmel Mahon, Steve Oberg, Jo Hughes, Brenda Windsor, Carol Brown, Tim Caddy, Leon Ryan, Derek Woods, Noel Barnett, Jo Skinner, June Bradley, Peter Ellison, Matt Graves, Jo Skinner, Mark Takagaki, Mitchell Thompson and Arthur Dick.

This Sunday‚Äôs social off season event will commence at 5.30pm from the Railway Station car park, Paget. The 9km team challenge will be a definite mental and physical test, therefore an afternoon Nana nap is recommended. Runners are also reminded to ensure they keep hydrated at all times and to bring their own fluids/snacks if required throughout the run. Jim’s lovely assistant, Alana, does an awesome job bringing post run refreshments, however, runners are to be mindful of their own replenishment needs as well. Many thanks to Jim and Alana for their time in organising the Sunday events….so much appreciated.