Bakker our beach lightning
GOING for a jog on the beach has taken on a whole new meaning for Lennox Head's Ainslie Bakker.
Far from a leisurely pace, Bakker is renowned for her pace after claiming the Australian Under-15 2km beach run at Kurrawa in April.
It completed the set of gold medals from the New South Wales and the NSW Country Championships for the same event.
For her efforts Bakker was named the female competitor of the year at the recent Far North Coast Branch Surf Lifesaving Awards.
While she is committed to surf lifesaving, Bakker admits that her sporting future perhaps lies in running off the beach.
She competed recently in the under-15 10km event at the Gold Coast Marathon, finishing second.
The 14-year-old also finished 23rd in the NSW Cross Country Schools Championships at Sydney recently.
“I'll keep on doing long-distance events,” Bakker said.
“But I'll also keep doing surf lifesaving.
"I was surprised with the award.”
The Trinity Catholic College student trains under the guidance of Lou Wilson at Lennox Head and it takes her only a few seconds to get to her training venue.
“I live across the road from the beach,” Bakker said.
Next month, she will contest the City to Surf and the feared Heartbreak Hill.
“I went in it last year,” she said.
“It (the hill) wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.”
Besides being a talented runner, Bakker has also had some success with the board, winning medals at the FNC Branch Championships.
Clubmate Murray Thomas won the male competitor of the year at the lifesaving awards.
Thomas claimed a gold medal at the Australian championships, along with clubmate Jacob McGoldrick, in the under-15 board rescue.
It went nicely with his second in the prestigious under-15 ironman, while he also claimed a bronze medal in the under-15 surf swim.
As two Lennox Head teenagers claimed the two competitor awards, it was no surprise that Lennox Head was named as the competition club of the year.
However, the overall point score club of the year, which also includes lifesaving activities, was Byron Bay.