Palmer returns to claim spoils in 2015 Jaca Fun Run
BORN and raised in Grafton, Sydney-based runner Richard Palmer returned to bid farewell one final time - and took the Jacaranda Fun Run 10km crown with him.
"I grew up here," Palmer said. "I lived just out here at Seelands and came back to help my parents pack up to move to the Central Coast.
"My first fun run was along the beach at Yamba when I was eight. I came third and that's what kicked it all off. I love running and have been doing it for a long time.
"This is my first Jaca Fun Run. I like coming up for the Jacaranda Festival but it has clashed in the last couple of years."
Palmer won in a time of 37 minutes 13 seconds, but perhaps benefited by the conservative approach of runner up and fastest female Ceri Mitchell, who was rapidly closing the gap when she finished 25 seconds behind.
"I saw she was catching me," Palmer said.
"I could see the way she was running she was a good runner. I just had to make sure I kept that lead."
Mitchell is a former English cross country representative and used the fun run as a springboard after taking a break from serious training.
"I didn't have a clue what pace we were doing or know how fit I am, so I didn't want to try and go any quicker," Mitchell said.
"My PB is 34 minutes. But I haven't raced for so long - apart from a half-marathon with my brother for fun."
Mitchell came to the Clarence Valley in 2014 on a teaching exchange at Maclean High School. She soon linked with Junction Hill athletics coach Terry West.
But since her return she has only been 'jogging'.
"I enjoyed it so much I decided to come back and have been back living in Yamba for six months," she said.
"But I have not really been running since I came back, just jogging around town."
"So this is to kickstart me into training properly, and make me go back to Terry."