A STRONG contingent of Ipswich and District Athletic Club runners have nominated for today’s three foot races at the Ipswich Turf Club.
Among the main hopes in the $5000 Ipswich Mile Gift race are Brendan Whelan, Connor McNamara, Scott Brittain and Madeline McGuire.
Whelan is a smart 1500m runner who has held the Ipswich Winter Carnival 30-34 years record (4.16.53) since 2007.
The Brisbane-based athlete is well positioned off his mark to challenge at the finish.
McNamara, of Marburg, could be a surprise packet for the handicap race after last year’s experience.
He also benefitted from the tough competition in Sydney at the Australian Open 3000m steeplechase where he finished 10th.
Brittain is a former Ipswich and District Club champion (2004/05) when he was a noted 1500m runner. As he matured, Brittain moved onto half and marathon running.
Distance is not a problem for him as the sand track will make it hard for the others.
Brittain, now living in Brisbane, also represented Australia when he ran in a cross country relay team in Japan in November 2005.
McGuire, of Karrabin, turns 16 next week.
She has been training hard for this event after winning the Junior One Mile Gift in 2011 when off 150m.
Betting will be allowed on track today for the Ipswich Mile Gift.
Meanwhile, seven regional hopes are chasing the prizemoney today in the Ipswich 300m Gift.
They are Scott Tuohy, Lindsay Maher, Steven Johnson, Kirsty Johnson, Nick Hough, Darrin Norwood and Gary Warrener.
Ipswich-based Tuohy is as tough as teak when it comes to professional running.
He was a finalist in the Ipswich 110m Lightning Gift, before winning the 120m Mulgowie Gift.
A week later he finished third in the Noosa Gift.
Tuohy has worked hard on his technique and this enabled him to have a go at the Stawell Gifts of 70m 120m and the 200m for 2013.
Maher is a training partner of Tuohy.
Johnson, of Goodna, is hoping to beat his younger sister Kirsty home in the race.
Kirsty was third in this race last year when off 50m. She will still be a threat for a place as she is off 43m.
Hough, of Fernvale district, is the under-18 70m Dash Gift winner at the Ipswich Winter Carnival for 2012.
Raceview-based Norwood won this race last year when off 48m. He will find it a bit tougher this year when off 38m.
Warrener finished a gallant fourth in this race last year after tearing a hamstring when leading with 40m to go.
With Gary off the same mark of 70m, he should be hard to beat.
The Ipswich Junior Mile Gift field features Emily Beston (Redbank Plains), Kelly McNamara (Marburg), Annie McGuire (Karrabin), Liam Bayles (Hattonvale) and Zoe Greinke (Deebing Heights).
Fields for today’s foot races at the Ipswich Turf Club.
Ipswich Mile Gift at at 3.10pm (handicap in brackets): Luke Eastwell (75m), Hinsta Mebrahtu (100m), Andrew Barralet (135m), Brendan Whelan (180m), Connor McNamara (180m), Scott Brittain (180m), Brittany McGowan (190m), Andrew Dey (235m), Magaret Atthow (240m), Wayne Adams (270m), Madeline McGuire (290m). Bethany Holt has withdrawn.
Ipswich Open 300m at 1.50pm (handicap in brackets): Scott Tuohy (23m), Nathan Carr (23m), Koffi Agbaleti (34m), Steven Johnson (35m), Lindsay Maher (35m), Connor Van Rossum (35m), Gary Parkinson (35m), Nick Hough (35m), Wayne Adams (37m), Kobi Van Rossum (37m), Ian Adams (38m), Darrin Norwood (38m), Kirsty Johnson (43m), Joseph Begley (43m), Emma Rynne (44m), Michelle Mackay (47m), Gary Warrener (70m), Paul Adams (95m).
Ipswich Mile Youth at 2.30pm (handicap in brackets): Emily Beston (175m), Madison Shay (205m), Kelly McNamara (260m), Annie McGuire (270m), Liam Bayles (305m), Zoe Greinke (315m).