Barralet goes extra mile for gift
By David Lems
5th May 2014
TOP THREE: Ipswich Mile Gift placegetters Jack Warner (2nd), Andrew Barralet (1st)
and Connor O’Leary (3rd).
HAVING taken nine attempts to win the $3000 reward, Andrew Barralet was already plotting his return to Ipswich next year.
Such was his persistence, he deserved to be the latest winner of the annual Ipswich Mile Gift.
"It's about time," Barralet said.
"I think I've been getting a little bit closer to the finish each time.
"The handicappers were feeling a bit sorry for me."
Barralet, 28, had run in every Gift race since it started in 2006.
After coming fourth last year and second in 2007, he finally found the lead on the Ipswich Turf Club sand track and held on.
"I stuck with the back for a little while," he said, sharing his tactics.
"Then as soon as I got to the home straight the wind finally died down and that's when I took the opportunity.
"I stayed composed and not try to make up too much ground early.
"When you get to the last 400, that's when you can put the pressure on."
Ipswich runners Jack Warner and Connor O'Leary came second and third respectively.
Saturday's Queensland Athletics League 300m handicap race was won by Stawell Gift competitor Jarrod Whittaker.
The Jimboomba sprinter held out training partner Koffi Agbaleti down the home straight to claim his first success in Ipswich.
"It was a great experience after all the hard work and training," Whittaker said.
"It was actually really tough. From the start, it looked like everyone was going to be bunched."
However, he and Agbaleti ran on opposite sides of the track to finish the strongest.
Whittaker, 15, came third in his junior event at the recent Stawell Gift.
Saturday's Junior Mile Gift was won by Forest Lake cyclist/triathlete Caleb Sadler, contesting the under-16 event for the third time.
"That was pretty tough," said Sadler, 15, after triumphing in the windy conditions and on a damp track.
"The last couple of years the track was better because it didn't rain beforehand."
Ipswich and District Athletic Club runners Clinton Suthers and Aeysha Granzien followed Sadler across the line.
Saturday's annual foot racing was supported by the Ipswich Hospital Foundation, Queensland Athletics League, Queensland Athletics and Ipswich Turf Club.
ONE Mile Gift winner Andrew Barralet loves coming to Ipswich and not just because he's $3000 richer.
"I just like running handicap events," he said. "They are much more fun than the straight races. I think it gives everyone a chance."
After investing his well-deserved Ipswich winnings, the Brisbane-based athlete is keen to run a 10th time next year.
"I don't think I'll give it up too soon," he said. "I'll keep coming down and show my support. It's one of the best events on the calendar."
The next major Ipswich athletics event is the 33rd annual Winter carnival on August 17.
Ipswich Mile Gift:
1. Andrew Barralet 4.17,
2. Jack Warner 4.21,
3. Connor O'Leary 4.23,
4. Patrick Hagan 4.25,
5. Clay Dawson 4.27.
QAL 300m Open:
1. Jarrod Whittaker 35.04,
2. Koffi Agbaleti 35.90,
3. Daniel Parnell 36.29,
4. Gary Warrener 36.58,
5. Andrew McCabe 36.74.
Junior One Mile Gift:
1. Caleb Sadler 4.43,
2. Clinton Suthers 4.50,
3. Aeysha Granzien 4.55,
4. Ben Peters 5.03,
5. Cara Jardine 5.06.