Entries are still open for the third Northparkes Rotary Fun Run this Sunday and your chance to race with an Australian Olympian runner.
Last week Scott Westcott, who grew up in Parkes, was selected for the men’s marathon team for his debut Olympics. “I am looking forward to the Fun Run on Sunday and will do the 5km and the 2km kids race. I want to give the kids a target and anyone can chase me down,” he said.
As for his Olympic dream, Scott said it was a long wait but a very special moment to hear he had made the team. His road to wearing the green and gold is a remarkable story of persistence. “My dream began when I was 16. I had run qualifying times for three Olympic Games back since Sydney 2000, and for some reason my attempts to retire from competitive running in 2013 were only half hearted. Something kept me going” he said.
Running the Berlin Marathon last year was his 40th birthday present from his family. His time of 2:15.30 secured his spot on the 2016 Rio Olympic team. According to the Australian Olympic Committee website, Scott will become Australia’s oldest athletics competitor to make his Games debut when he takes the Rio starting line at the age of 40 years and 331 days.
Westcott said having hunger for the sport and wonderful coaches over the years is the secret to his selection at 40.
“Having hunger and desire are essential,” Westcott explained. “I believe I have kept my hunger burning for close to 20 years. I am proud beyond words to represent all the people who have helped me along the long road I have taken. Special mention to my late Dad, Lawrie Westcott, who passed away in late 2014.”
Scott feels he is on track for a top performance in Rio. “I am probably in the best head space of my career. I believe I can lower the Australian Masters record I set last year in Berlin. I will prepare as smartly as I can and run myself into a peak for August 21. Bring it on!”
The Rio marathons will start and finish at the famous Sambódromo, the legendary home of the Rio Carnival parade, with a loop course near the edge of Guanabara Bay. The men’s race will be held on the final morning of the Games, Sunday 21st August.
This Sunday more than 300 competitors are expected for the Fun Run in Parkes.
The program for the day is as follows:
7:30am – Registrations open at Harrison Park
8:50am – Final call for all 5km and 10km competitors to go to the start
8:55am – Welcome by the Mayor
9:00am – Event start: 10km and Greater 5km
10:00am – Event start: 2km
10:30am – Presentations commence
There will be enough time between the Greater 5km and 10km races for participants to cheer on or run with their children in the 2km event. Runners are to assemble on the start line 10 minutes before the start time.