Coffs runner has top result at Brisbane Marathon Festival

Thomas Bruce competing in Brisbane.

COFFS Harbour runner Thomas Bruce has recently competed in his first official half marathon event at the Brisbane Marathon Festival.

The 19-year-old finished third in his age division (18-20 years), and placed 55th overall out of a field of 2738 competitors.

His finishing time was 1:26:30, which was much faster than he anticipated.

Finishing 55th in the largest field of his running career in Brisbane has been his biggest accomplishment, and a realization that his professional dream is still possible.

He developed a passion for running in his earlier years and started competing in early 2018.

He competed in consecutive NSW Cross Country Championships at Eastern Creek race track in 2018-2019, while attending Orara High School, and was the school’s cross country champion in Year 11.

The young runner is currently preparing for the Coffs Running Festival in September, where he will compete in the 36.1km Nyami and Jaanybarr of the Creek.

This consists of a 5km,10km and half marathon which are raced as individual events, but times of all events are combined together to determine your finishing place.

In the past two years he placed in the Coffs Running Festival in his age group over 5km and 10km.

He also competed in the Port Macquarie Running Festival in March this year with a top three finish in his age division in the 10km event, achieving a personal best time.

Since leaving school, he has secured an apprenticeship to become a painter and is in his third year at present.

He juggles hefty workloads with his career and rigorous training, and he has recently proven himself against strong competition.

The young runner said he was surprised at his time at the Brisbane Marathon Festival.

“I was absolutely shocked, and finishing the race in 1:26:30, I was already stoked with that,” he said.

“Then to find out hours later that I placed third in my age group and 55th overall made the achievement better.”

He explained the hardest part of competing at a top level.

“The hardest part about running at my current level is trying to find out what things I can incorporate into my training and racing that gives me an advantage over my opponents,” he said.

“Finding these one percent improvements that I can implement, whether it’s in my training plan, race strategy, nutrition or recovery.”


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