Running Royals Returning to Strait Link Burnie 10

September 23, 2022

Australia’s distance running royalty return to the streets of Burnie this year, with both Ryan and Gen Gregson set to line up.

The married pair have been Olympic finalists, Australian record holders and past winners of the Strait Link Burnie 10.  This time they return as a family, with baby Archer coming to Tasmania for the first time.  

“I love racing in Burnie. It’s the most prestigious 10km road race in Australia, so it means a lot to win it. I was able to win it back in 2008. That’s a while ago now, but my training all year has been focused on the longer distances so I’m ready to be competitive,” Ryan said.

It was an unusual year for Ryan, who is used to travelling the world every year and racing on the international circuit.  However with business, husband and father duties now at home, the 32 year old is shifting gears from world class 1500m runner, to the roads.  On that day as a teenager when he won in 2008, he fell in love with the magic of the Strait Link Burnie 10, an event that captures a whole town’s imagination.

“There aren’t many events in Australia where it feels the whole town is involved, but the way the whole community gets behind the event makes the atmosphere awesome on race day,” he said.  

For Genevieve, her win came 11 years after Ryan.  Her winning time of 32:22 was the fastest since 2002 when the great Benita Willis got within 2 seconds of the course record.  

“When I won at Burnie in 2019 it meant a lot to me because it was a race I had never won, but always wanted to. If you look at the past winners, all the great Australian distance runners have won at Burnie - there’s so much history in the event”, Genevieve said.

It’s been a lumpy road back for the Australian athletics captain since that day in 2019 however.  After making the final of the 3000m steeplechase at the Tokyo Olympics, she famously left the track in a wheelchair.  Since then she gave birth to little Archer and has slowly been returning to road races, with outings at the Bridge to Brisbane and 10km Bridge Run at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival last week.

“This time around I’m coming back from double Achilles surgery and pregnancy, however Burnie will be a big stepping stone for my ultimate goal over the next couple of years, getting to the Paris Olympics,” Genevieve said.

While both are better known as track athletes and regulars at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals, Genevieve has been dominant on the roads of Tasmania in recent years.  Her 2019 victory in Burnie sparked a trio of titles in an undefeated run of major 10km road races in Australia, with wins at the 2020 Launceston Running Festival and a course record victory in the 2021 Hobart Run The Bridge.  

One thing is for sure, they’ll both be tough to beat when they line up on the Wilson Street start line on October 23.

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