Jacaranda Fun Run – Richard Palmer
Race Date: November 8th Results: 2015
I grew up in Grafton and was returning to help my parents pack up and leave Grafton after living there for over 40 years. The weekend I was going up I noticed that there was a fun run on and decided to run it.
There was a 5km, 10km and 2km race on with the 5km and 10km starting together. The course was undulating grass, gravel and tarmac with a 5 km loop with 3 x 180 degree turns. So not a fast course! And it was humid and hot.
Start was fast with all the 5km runners taking off and it was unclear who was a 10km runner and a 5km runner. After a couple of kilometres a clear leader was out front and I was moving my way past all the fast starters that were starting to slow. Managed to get myself into 2nd spot by 3km mark and was closing in on the leader. Coming up to 4km I was curious whether the leader was doing the 5km and should I let the gap grow or should I close the gap and take the lead. I decided to hedge my bets and closed to within 20 meters and waited to see if he turned into the finishers shoot for the 5km. Plan was if he did not turn and finish I planned to attack on the hill at about 6km and take the lead.
He turned and won the 5km!! Change of plan! I was now in the lead and had to look behind to see what was coming up and how hard do I push. With 5km to go I keep the pace even and ran the hills a little easier and waited to reassess at the 180 degree turn at 7km. Noticed that I had a fair gap but there was a good female runner starting to close the gap and she was running strong and was now it 2nd outright. At the 9km 180 turn I was comfortably in the lead and enjoyed the last 1km and a good vocal crowd of locals supporting the run. Crossed the line in 37.15 which is not a great time but happy with that on this course which was challenging. Plus the humidity was much higher than I am use too which did not help with running a fast time.
Cooled down by running the 2km race with all the kids and enjoyed this a lot. This event was well run and had good prizes and show bags for all runners. Got interviewed for the local paper and found out the 2nd placegetter (winning female) was a former UK cross country representative who had just moved to Australia. All up a great local run that was well organised and fun.
Local paper head line reads "Palmer returns to claim spoils in 2015 Jaca Fun Run"