ORANGE girl Kate Smyth made her return to the track yesterday after 12 months out of the sport in the Orange Colour City Running Festival’s 10 kilometre fun run.
But with the ease in which the 38-year-old took out the event, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Australian Olympic marathon runner had never left.
Smyth won the 10km run easily, gliding across the finish line in a time of 38 minutes and 56 seconds.
However, Smyth said her first run of 2011 was a difficult one.
“It was a bit tough today, I’m just getting back into the swing of things. I’ve only just started running again,” Smyth said.
“It’s fantastic here, though. It’s a really good course here in Orange, quite undulating and easy to run. It’s out of town away from traffic congestion and it’s a good surface.”
Yesterday’s run was the second time Smyth has run in the city’s running festival.
In her only other attempt in 2007, Smyth ran in the event’s half marathon.
Smyth, who finished seventh in the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon in Melbourne and 44th two years later at the Beijing Olympics, is looking to take part in the running festival each year.
“Absolutely, I wouldn’t miss it for anything. It’s well organised and it’s gathering more and more momentum every year,” she said.
“Things are getting better and better. The new start and finish line is great and everyone here is so nice.”
A total of 624 runners took part in yesterday’s festival with 154 runners going head-to-head in the half marathon - a record for the event.
In the 10 kilometre race 184 competitors ran while 286 people walked, jogged and ran their way around the 5km fun run circuit.