POWERING ON: Brisbane's Brendan Press on his way to winning the male half marathon at the 7 Rocky River Run yesterday.
POWERING ON: Brisbane's Brendan Press on his way to winning the male half marathon at the 7 Rocky River Run yesterday. Allan Reinikka ROK300619a21k1

Great event: Elite runners blown away by 7 Rocky River Run

RUNNING: Good mates Brendan Press and Alexandra Blake shared the spoils in the half marathon at today's 7 Rocky River Run.

Press clocked a time of 1hr 11mins and 50secs to claim victory in the male 21km event from Jack Powell and Rhys Jones.

READ: HUGE GALLERY: Rocky River runners take to the streets

Blake crossed the finish line in 1:22:20, just a minute off her personal best, to take out the female half marathon and then backed up to win the 5km event as well.

The Brisbane runners were among almost 2000 competitors who greeted the start line in Quay St for the 21km, 10km, 5km and 2km events.

The 5km attracted the biggest entries, with close to 1100 participants running and walking the course.

 

21k winner Alexandra Blake.
Alexandra Blake won both the female 21km and 5km events. Allan Reinikka ROK300619a21k2

Press and Blake were both competing at the Rockhampton event for the first time and were delighted they made the journey for it.

"It's a really good event," Press said.

"It seems like the whole community is behind it and it's a pretty cool location to finish here along the river.

"I just wanted to try and sit in and run on at the end.

"It's a nice flat course which is what I like, I'm not a fan of the hills, so it was really good to be able to cruise and feel good, as much as you can in a half.

"That's a really good win.

"I'm getting married in three weeks so the missus will be happy when I come home and say I picked up 2100 bikkies."

 

David Baxter (2839) sets a cracking pace at the 7 Rocky River Run
David Baxter (2839) in the 5km event at the 7 Rocky River Run. Jann Houley

Blake said she probably went out a bit too hard in the first half of the race but she managed to settle into a good rhythm and was able to bring it home.

"I was really happy with the time," she said.

"I had one of those days where you're out there running and you're just loving it and everything's going to plan.

"I'm absolutely stoked to get the win. I'll definitely be trying to get back next year. It's a really well-run event."

Press and Blake will now turn their attention to the 10km at the Gold Coast Marathon this weekend.

Event organiser Jason Crowther from Atlas Multisports said it was another great turnout.

"It's a great course; it's not just fast but picturesque. To run along the river is absolutely beautiful and we've dialled in the most spectacular day," he said.

 

Erica Elford (2335) aka Ecky Thump at the 7 Rocky River Run
Erica Elford (2335) aka Ecky Thump at the 7 Rocky River Run Jann Houley

"There's a really good feel, and I think the event has the potential to grow significantly."

Crowther said it was not only a wonderful community occasion but also a great economic driver, with this year's run attracting up to 15 per cent of runners from outside the region.

He said the "community buy-in" was extraordinary.

"We also run events in capital cities on a bigger scale but the one thing we notice about this is that everyone is willing to help out.

"We had a lack of volunteers but we put a shout out on Facebook and people were putting their hands up everywhere to help.

"It's really good to see the community getting behind it.

"Everyone is here to enjoy themselves and it's a credit to Rockhampton."

7 ROCKY RIVER RUN RESULTS

  • Half marathon, male: Brendan Press (1:11:50) 1, Jack Powell 2, Rhys Jones 3. Female: Alexandra Blake (1:22:20) 1, Jacqui Swindale 2, Emma Burgess 3
  • 10km, male: Jayden Mills (34:50) 1, Stephen Butcher 2, Malcolm Rudolph 3. Female: Katinka Vol Elsner-Wellstead (36:53) 1, Lynda Ward 2, Sally-Anne Balharry 3
  • 5km, male: Ulrich Kruger (17:32) 1, Joseph Bebendorf 2, Josh Gale 3. Female: Alexandra Blake (18:37) 1, Victoria Gillies 2, Annali Philpott 3
  • 2km, male: Luke Mckenzie (8:30) 1, Tomas Long 2, Braedan Lye 3. Female: Sophie Wright 1, Anna Shaw 2, Jemima James 3