Two runners from Mount Isa Athletics jetted off to Mackay earlier this month to compete at the North Queensland Games.
Alli Thomson (10) and Ken Dickson (52) faired reasonably well at the bi-annual meet, returning with an array of medals and personal bests.
Thomson with her mother and grandmother in tow, made sure their trip wasn’t wasted by posting substantial personal bests in her 800m and 1500m races.
And just to keep Coach Ken Dickson happy she hit the goals he set for her on the trip down.
The coach was particularly happy when Thomson applied her newly acquired sprinting technique in the 200m.
“Alli is predominantly a middle distance runner but at her age the last thing we want to do is box her into specific events,” Coach Dickson said.
“We were working on her sprint technique and she absolutely nailed it in one of our run throughs.
“She then applied it in her 200 and was going great guns but as most athletes find when discovering new techniques that the energy they expend is also increased,” he said.
“Alli’s excellent start gave her enough space within the field to bring home a bronze.”
In the eight events Thomson contested, she placed in all but three and scored herself four personal bests.
She received silver in the 1500m with a time of 6m 42.67s and bronzed in 200m, 400m, 800m and high jump.
Dickson however had his work cut out for him in the throwing events.
Not long after he gave up athletics as a teenager in his home club of Sarina there was a new kid on the block, Kevin Galea.
Kevin went on to represent Regional Australia at a number of Oceania Championships and usually placed well. Now with his son following in his footsteps he has returned to the sport as a master.
Dickson managed to stay in touch with Galea in most of the events but was relegated to second place in all the throwing events including the throws pentathlon.
“We had a running joke that there was a two metre rule and that he couldn’t beat me by any more than that which was working fine except that two metres was actually a really long way in shot put,” Dickson said.
“But hey, that was his pet event when he was younger.
“Mind you he must have forgotten in javelin as he pumped out four throws over 40 metres and a 39 metre all of which were massive PBs for him.
“I managed a respectable 35 meter but so much for the two metre rule,” Dickson laughed.
Dickson did redeem himself on the track though, scoring gold in the 60 metre and 100 metre races in times of 8.76 seconds and 13.95 seconds respectively.