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Port to Park a Flying Success
THE results are in for the Port City’s new fun run, after thousands of participants set their alarms and laced up for Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) Port to Park fun run over the weekend.
The event included four categories for competitive runners for both 3km and 9km races, including an open, masters, 13-17 and 5-12 year old category for the pint-sized athletes, with 16 participants in total receiving a share in the prize pool.
The Team Prize for the 9km course was awarded to Walking 4 Warriors – a local charity group which raises money for Veterans.
Random prizes will be awarded to participants this week.
The new-look fun run saw thousands of people hit the streets of Gladstone, celebrating the 25th anniversary of GPC’s Spinnaker Parklands and the first birthday of East Shores 1B with rides, entertainment, face-painting and of course birthday cake.
Local runner and Tannum Sands State High School teacher, Jack Powell crossed the finish line first in both the 9km and 3km races – adding Port to Park to his long list of fun runs.
“I have participated in most of the running events around Central Queensland. This year I have competed in runs in Gladstone, and as far away as Brisbane for the state cross country championships and at the Springsure Mountain Challenge. But basically, too many to count,” Mr Powell said.
“It's a great way to clear the head and I have enjoyed starting a running group at school and seeing the enjoyment kids get when improving and being outdoors,” he said.
A father-daughter duo, Ryan and Shana Paterson have been training for weeks for the event and both placed in the 3km event.
Ryan came second with a time of 11 minutes while 10-year old daughter Shana, following closing behind in her father’s footsteps was the first female across the 3km finish line in her category with a time of 13 minutes.
“We’ve been training for the Port to Park every opportunity we could get, even going for runs after school together. We were really keen to participate in the first Port to Park fun run and do the best we could”, Mr Paterson said.
“We are not going to stop training. I’m probably going to get slower and she’s going to get faster but we’ll see what happens next year.”
Chief Operating Officer Craig Walker said while the fun run was an opportunity to celebrate GPC’s parklands, it will have a lasting impact on the community.
“The Port to Park event has not only helped get locals outdoors and supported their physical and mental health but it has also supported local schools across the region with funding, “Mr Walker said.
“It is a privilege we get to support our community in this way,” he said.
A $20,000 cheque has also been donated to the Community Beneficiary, Act for Kids who will be using the money to create a therapy garden for disadvantaged children in the Gladstone region.
“The fun run might be over but Act for Kids are now getting to work on their therapy garden and we can’t wait to see it once it’s complete,” Mr Walker said.
“I’m sure the garden transformation at the centre on Glenlyon Street will be spectacular, brightening the lives of disadvantaged children and bringing them some happiness,”
“This event brings GPC and its employees so much pride to be able to support our community in such a big way and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”
Jack Powell if the first to cross the finish line in both the 9km and 3km race.