Ipswich streets a big challenge for fun runner

STEPPING OUT: Sixty-year-old Lawrie Esmond is taking part in the Bridge to Brisbane this year.
STEPPING OUT: Sixty-year-old Lawrie Esmond is taking part in the Bridge to Brisbane this year. Rob Williams

A SELF-CONFESSED fun-run junkie is hoping to use the punishing hills of Limestone Park to make a molehill out of the Gateway come Bridge to Brisbane day.

The running bug first infected Lawrie Esmond a few years back, when a mate coerced him into taking part in the Bridge to Brisbane.

Since then, the 60-year-old from Booval has found himself limbering up for fun runs across the countryside, as well as training every day in order to reach his personal milestone.

After finishing this year's Park to Park 10km in one hour and three minutes, Mr Esmond has been smashing the hills of Limestone and Queens parks, determined to finish September's Bridge to Brisbane in less than one hour.

"They say you should aim to beat your age in terms of your time in minutes - well I'm getting close now," Mr Esmond said.

"I reckon Ipswich has the best 10km race around - it is definitely the cruellest - because of those three big hills.

"They make the Gateway Bridge look like a gentle slope."

The September 7 run will be Mr Esmond's seventh Bridge to Brisbane, but he has also tested his ticker in countless others across the country over the last few years, including events in Melbourne, Darwin and Perth.

He plans to take some time off work to focus on preparations for next year's Tough Mudder event in Melbourne, as well as a tilt at the Masters Games.

"I just got the bug," he said.

"I just like hanging out - I love the thrill of it.

"Ten-kilometre runs for me are a social event.

"I have nothing to prove to anyone."

Topics:  bridge to brisbane

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