Mount Hawthorn’s Thomas Bruins took home first place winnings in the 2016 Busselton Runners Club Half Marathon. Image – Supplied.
The annual SunSmart Busselton Runners Club Half Marathon and Fun Run took place in perfect weather conditions last Saturday (February 13) at the Busselton foreshore, with three events in tow – the half, the 10kms and a 5kms.
This year saw a record field of 1,340 runners take part.
Start times were staggered to minimise congestion, with half marathoners taking off just after 7am and the remaining participants following 15 minutes later.
As it was, all the frontrunners in the 21.1kms headed down Geographe Bay Road while the 5kms runners peeled off at a turnaround and returned to the finish as the 10kms participants continued on.
For the men, Thomas Bruins from Mount Hawthorn took control of the half marathon, coming in first overall with a time of 01:09:33.
He was followed by Chris O’Neill (01:11:37) and Liam Fuery (01:12:01).
In the women’s, Jules Bennett from Victoria Park chased for a podium finish with 01:18:34 and close on her tail were Rochelle Rodgers (01:19:30) and Eilidh MacMaster (01:21:38).
In the men’s 10kms division, first to third placings were given to Carine resident Nic Harman (00:31:11), Dean Menzies (00:32:21) and Matt Smith (00:33:00).
The ladies weren’t far behind, and saw Emily Loughnan (00:37:22) from Subiaco first, Emma Walkey (00:37:50) second and Claire Broadway (00:38:46) third.
Coming back from a disc injury in her back, Thornlie runner Kelly Underwood ran an unbelievable 00:57:09 in the 10kms event and told Runglobal that despite not having competed in the half as she had in previous years, Busselton was her chance to have fun again.
“I signed up on Thursday with no plans beyond just enjoying myself and try to come in under an hour,” she said.
“I’d say I was having a good run day; I think my slowest kilometre was my first one, but then as the pack thinned out that was when the paths narrowed so it never really felt too congested.”
Underwood, 37, revealed she had a soft spot for the Busselton Half Marathon and Fun Run, having run her first ever 21.1kms back at the February 2013 event.
Race director Lee Paine was ecstatic to see how far the event had come since its inception in 2009.
“The half marathon has been running since 2009, but this is only the second year the Busselton Runners Club has organised the event,” she said.
“We’re very proud to see it grow, and this year we had competitors from seven different countries.”
This year organisers was raising funds to help the Volunteer Marine Rescue Group purchase a new model Forward Looking Infrared Camera (FLIR) for their rescue boat BJ Lucy.
The equipment will help them to more efficiently search for vessels in distress in the night hours or in situations of low visibility.
In the 5kms men’s event, the top three spots went to Alex Dreyer (00:15:21), Kurt Wesley (00:15:40), Alex Martin (0:16:12).
For the women, it was Jessica Jason (00:18:14) first, Jessica Claxton (00:18:16) second and Loretta Wesley (00:19:24) third.
For a full list of results, visit here.