Emma hones Kraft Ahead of Marathon

Two local athletes turned on the speed to beat all comers in yesterday’s highly anticipated 5km cross country run.

In a real show of girl power, champion Alice Springs runner Emma Kraft not only took out her age division but was the first overall competitor to cross the line in a smashing time of 19:29.09.

Yesterday’s outing was her last competitive run before she takes on the gruelling 42km Medibank Melbourne Marathon on Sunday morning.

Hot on Kraft’s heels and the first male across the line was another local runner, Mitch Cameron, who finished in a time of 19:42.04.

Alice Springs turned it on for the interstate and international visitors with cool and windy conditions and a wet Todd River.

The cool and windy start to the day didn’t deter the 150 competitors taking to the scenic trails near the Alice Springs Heritage Telegraph Station.

The normally dry Todd River also offered a surprise – there was water in it for the runners to traipse through for the first time in the history of this Games event.

The out-and-back trail took the field of competitors from the Telegraph Station, along rocky and sandy paths, past fields of colourful wildflowers, under the glowing red of Spencer Hill before finishing with a tour of the historical reserve.

The medal presentation was certainly one to remember, with former cross country champion and 92-year-old Alice Springs historian Jose Petrick joined by the ever charismatic Daryl Somers to present medals to the winners.

Overall, it was another fantastic morning for the athletics road and cross country.