Nanango trio runs to cross country glory

Kirsten, Stephen and Paige O'Connor have excelled in cross country events on the Sunshine Coast.
Kirsten, Stephen and Paige O'Connor have excelled in cross country events on the Sunshine Coast. Aiden Burgess

ATHLETICISM certainly runs in the O'Connor family.

Stephen and his daughters Kirsten and Paige have been rewarded for their hard efforts, all of them getting second-place finishes in the Sunshine Coast cross country series.

Efforts that have seen the Nanango trio slog it out in running sessions five to six times a week, as they hit the town streets and their own property track in preparation for their cross country races.

Stephen trains often with his two daughters, guiding them along at the same time as he carries out his own training.

"I have days where I'll run my own pace, and there'll be days when I'll go back with Kirsten or Paige and push them, and it helps them a lot to run against each other," he said.

Kirsten said training with her father helped her to finish second against the top-class Sunshine Coast field in her race.

"Running with dad makes us improve and it makes us train a lot harder," she said.

"He always tells us if there's no pain, there's no gain and if you're not sore enough at the end, then you haven't done enough."

Paige said her father gave valuable advice that had improved her technique.

"He tells us a lot of things that we have to improve, and he sets a good example and encourages us."

A former hurdler and long distance runner in his twenties, Stephen said he returned to competition because of his daughters' interest in athletics.

"I sort of came back into it when Paige and Kirsten got into Little Athletics and it's taken 12 months for me to get back to a level where I can be competitive," he said.

"They're both natural runners and Kirsten has good endurance and is great through the middle of the race.

"Paige is the complete opposite as she starts well and is a better sprinter than Kirsten.

"She can sprint at the end and has acceleration when she needs it."

Stephen said the car trips to the Sunshine Coast gave the family a chance to prepare for their races.

"We discuss tactics in the car and before each race as we know a lot of the opposition from the girls' Little Athletics," he said.

The proud father said he was happy his daughters had followed the same athletic path as him.

"I take a lot of pride, especially when they have that first win," he said.

Sunshine Coast series:

  • Stephen finished 2nd of 23 competitors in 3km 40-49 years age group
  • Kirsten finished 2nd of 50 girls in 2km under-12 age group
  • Paige finished 2nd of 28 girls in 1km under-10 age group
South Burnett

Topics:  cross country nanango

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Murgon Golf Club to host Blue Ribbon for Ange

Murgon Golf Club will tee-off in support of Ange Blaikie.

Mustangs and Titans committed to player development

POSITIVE LINKS: NRL head of football Brian Canavan, Mustangs coach Dean Bosnich, Titans CEO Tony Mestrov, Mustangs chairman Paul Reedy and QRL head of football Neil Whart .

It is an exciting time to be a South Burnett rugby league player.

Nanango fighter a national champion

Zak Hartman placed first in continuous sparring at the ISKA Australian Open in Sydney on October 23.

Nanango fighter returns from first national titles with first place.

Local Partners

Rinehart continues Christmas lights competition support

MINING magnate Gina Rinehart has confirmed she will continue to sponsor the South Burnett Community Christmas Lights Competition.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Young lads chipping in to help

HERE TO HELP: Alec Gerdes, Rylie Gilbert and Peter Hunt enjoy lending a hand for their local community.

The young generation in Mt Perry lend a helping hand.

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals