Yarham's focus turns to making world titles and Olympics
VICTORIES in Ipswich and Townsville over the past fortnight were just what 2016 Olympic hopeful Glen Yarham needed.
Troubled recently by injury at his new United States base, the Ipswich athlete returned home for some training and competition before refocusing on an important year ahead.
His "summer break'' in Queensland paid dividends.
The Collingwood Park runner won Ipswich's Park2Park half marathon on July 27 before backing up over the same distance to win in Townsville last Sunday.
"I've never done the event before so I thought I would get involved in it and it's a great event,'' Yarham said of winning the Park2Park half marathon in one hour, 11.13 minutes.
"It's a great course and it's quite an enjoyable run actually around the two parks up there.''
A week later, he faced a different test in Townsville. However, Yarham defied the headwind along the Townsville esplanade to finish first in one hour and nine minutes.
He earnt a handy $1500 for his latest half marathon performance.
Yarham said he benefited from both runs to work on his base fitness after some setbacks.
"I thought the two half marathons would be a good run just to help me out with getting back into shape and a bit of prizemoney would have helped me as well,'' he said.
"Between the Park2Park and the Townsville run, they are two highly recommended runs. I reckon they are two of the best half marathons in Queensland.''
Yarham said winning both races gave him a confidence boost after battling a hip injury during his first stint in the US.
"It's always good to get a win and mentally, it makes you want it a bit more,'' he said.
"I've been back about 10 weeks now coming off my injury.
"My body definitely responded pretty well so I'm excited now that I can get back to America next week and get in some real hard training for the upcoming season.''
The former Ipswich sportstar of the year is hoping to contest World University Games qualifiers in December (half marathon) and March/April (track events).
Good times there could secure the versatile runner a spot at the World University track championships in Korea next July.
"That's something I'd really like to make and qualify for,'' Yarham said, having represented Australia at the world university cross country titles a few years ago.
"The qualifying times (for the track games) are about 20-30 seconds off the Rio Olympic qualifying time.
"If I can get into that competition and have the whole year injury free, maybe I'll have an outside chance of qualifying for Rio.''
Returning to his home base in Ipswich also helped Yarham touch base with long-time mentor and respected international coach Pat Clohessy.
He also caught up with other elite Ipswich athletes like Clay Dawson and Al Stevenson during his short stint at home.