TO suggest Rosewood State High School teacher Clay Dawson is a hard man to keep pace with is an understatement.
It takes his wedding to slow him down.
The nationally recognised runner has continued a tremendous spate of form in recent weeks, winning the Park Run at Augustine Heights last Saturday.
Dawson set another record in that 5km event and was the fastest park runner (15:54) in Australia that day. Toby Menday (15:57) was second from his run in Parramatta.
He later learnt his time was 15th in the world.
The inspirational teacher also ran the second fastest time the next morning in winning the Brisbane Road Runners Half Marathon Championship at West End. His time was 1:12.34.
"I was super happy with that time, it was my second ever half and the first since I started training properly," Dawson said.
"I've got to start training a bit harder now."
With that attitude, Phantom wonders how much better the easygoing regional runner will get.
Dawson was thrilled with his performances last weekend.
"They both had different merits," he said. "I'm really proud of the Australia thing because it's for Ipswich but half marathons are a positive indication that I can hold my own."
However, the most amazing news is perhaps what's ahead for the dedicated athlete.
Unless he makes a late decision to find an event, Dawson has a rare weekend off before his wedding on May 4.
Dawson and fiancée Michelle are off to Phu Quoc in Vietnam for their honeymoon.
But you guessed it.
Dawson is planning a 10km race while overseas. And Michelle is planning to run a 10km race in Vietnam as well.
The couple met at Rosewood State High School where Clay teaches art and Michelle teaches drama.
They share a love of running, though Michelle enjoys the more social aspects of events.
Phantom congratulates Clay and Michelle on their wedding and for being such good sports.
ENGLISHMAN George Marchant and Welshman Ollie Olds have been made to feel welcome since arriving in Ipswich and joining the Ipswich Jets for this season.
Their welcome has been lifted a notch this week after the club made an appeal to help them furnish their new share house.
The response was overwhelming.
"We had lots and lots of people offering goods," Jets CEO Wayne Wendt said.
"Some would offer a bed, some a TV or a couple of lounges.
"It was going to be problematical to go around and get them all."
Enter Steve Sutton, of Sutton's Security, who looks after the security for the Jets Leagues Club and the North Ipswich Reserve.
He has provided all the two need in one hit. That includes washing machine, fridge, dryer, television and linen.
"It should remind all of us why we are proudly the mighty Stockland Ipswich Jets, why Ipswich itself is such a great city and why rugby league is our national sport in Ipswich," club chairman Steven Johnson said.
"This anonymous act of unconditional generosity by one of us embodies who we are."
IF ANYONE is wondering who the Grizzly Adams-type character running around resembling Swifts forward Josh Seage is, there is a good answer.
It is Seage.
He has taken a bet to grow a beard and keep it until Ipswich Cup Day.
Word is he stands to win about $400 if he goes the distance.
By then he is likely to look like Captain Caveman.
SWIFTS stalwart Anne-Marie "Ammo" Callow is one of those players who rarely looks under pressure.
The number of goals she has scored despite being heavily marked in the Ipswich A-grade hockey competition is proof of that.
However, Ammo said being a fill-in coach is tough work this season as she recovers from an ankle injury.
"It's way too stressing," she said. "I'd much prefer to play."
However, she applies her calm manner to coaching, laughing when she says she's no sideline ranter.
"The girls pretty much know what the game plan is when we go out there," she said.
IN his fourth season with Western Spirit, Dan Liddy deserves his opportunity to captain the club's top football side this season.
Winning his first Capital League 1 game against Southside Eagles last weekend was an encouraging start.
Liddy is a respected player, speaks well and enjoys working with established players at the club.
The former Queensland futsal skipper appreciated his new role in the outdoor game.
"I captained Queensland teams growing up and I was fortunate enough to captain the squad when I was about 19 or 20 for a campaign down at nationals," Liddy said.
"I've still got a lot to learn in terms of being a captain but I'm normally pretty vocal on the field and point people in the right direction regardless of whether I've got the armband there or not."
NEW Swifts rugby league coach Lee Addison discovered something last Saturday that locals have long known.
West End's Davies Park can be a cold, unwelcoming place on a Saturday evening. And that's nothing to do with the Bulldogs supporters.
"It's got its own micro-climate," Addison said of the ground, which sits on a bend of the Bremer River.
"The hoodie was out."
WHOOPS. River 94.9's Saturday morning "local sports report" team made a meal of previewing last weekend's Queensland Cup rugby league game between the Ipswich Jets and competition leaders Northern Pride.
They got the venue right - the North Ipswich Reserve - but suggested the Jets were playing the Mackay Cutters.
Sports guest Yvonne Sampson, from Channel Nine, was asked her tip and opted for Mackay.
Sadly, she wasn't given the right information on that game but did a good job previewing national competition matches in other sports like rugby.
Phantom is also amused how River calls it a "local sports report" when it's largely focused on Brisbane-based national teams.
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