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 Tuesday, May 31, 2005 

Jackie Fairweather looking for Comm Games qualifier at Gold Coast

Australian Institute of Sport-based former Gold Coaster, Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher), will be looking to post a Melbourne Commonwealth Games selection time when she competes in the 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday 3rd July.

With three marathon places available to Australian women, Fairweather is currently the fourth fastest female in the nation and needs to run a low 2:33 to force her way into the team ahead of the already-qualified trio of Benita Johnson (ACT), Anna Thompson (Vic) and Haley McGregor (Vic).

Compounding her situation is the fact that Australian Athens Olympics marathoner Kerryn McCann has not run a marathon this year and may leave her attempt at qualifying for Melbourne until later in the year.

"Strangely enough this will be my first ever marathon on Australian soil and I chose the Gold Coast because it's really my sporting home," Fairweather said. "It was the obvious choice and I'll be counting on a fair measure of hometown support to run a fast time," she said.

Fairweather took the marathon bronze medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games behind McCann and silver medallist, Queenslander Krishna Stanton. She'd only shortly before taken up distance running after hugely successful duathlon and triathlon careers - holding world championships in both disciplines in 1996.

That year she was also crowned Australian Female Sports Star of the Year.

Her husband, Sydney 2000 Olympic Archery gold medallist, Simon Fairweather, will join her on the Gold Coast streets as he temporarily lays down his bow and makes his marathon debut.

He'll fly in directly from June's World Archery Titles in Madrid, Spain, and will team with four-time Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner and 2005 pacesetter, Pat Carroll, to post a sub three-hour time. And cracking three hours looks more than achievable after he ran impressive 1:20:55 at the recent Sydney Half Marathon.

Competition is also hot for places on the Australian men's team for the Commonwealth Games with Scott Westcott (NSW), Shane Nankervis (Vic) and Sisay Bezabeh (ACT) already having posted the 2:13 qualifying time.

2004 Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner Gemechu Woyecha (ACT) is tipped as the most likely runner to snare a late berth, but will need to improve almost two minutes on his personal best of 2:14:50.

A dark horse might be Brett Cartwright (SA), a sub 28 minute 10,000 metre runner who will make his marathon debut on the Gold Coast.

Some 12,000 people are expected to take part in the 42-kilometre feature event, Asics Half Marathon, Telstra Country Wide 10 Kilometre Run, Gold Coast Bulletin 7.5 Kilometre Walk and the Norco Pauls Junior Dashes.

Entry forms for the 2005 event are now available and for more information people can call Queensland Events Gold Coast on 07 5564 8733 or race to www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au.
Posted at 00:28     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 30, 2005 

7000 compete in Run to the G

by Julia Medew

Thousands of runners and walkers swarmed through the city yesterday for the 11th annual Age Run to the G.

Almost 7000 people braved the chill to break the event's record turnout of 6800 in 1997.

Event spokeswoman Althea Bond said: "It was a terrific day. The cool conditions were perfect. It meant participants could get out there and run their hardest."

The event had grown steadily in recent years, Ms Bond said.

"In 2003 we only had 3000 participants and this year we have nearly 7000, so people have grown to love it," she said.

Sixty-three corporate teams participated and the age of runners ranged from three (pushed in prams) to 81, the oldest participant, Ruth Warner.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 12:48     [Perma-Link]

Steve Moneghetti wins Victorian 10 kilometre road championship

by Len Johnson

Steve Moneghetti won the Victorian 10 kilometre road championship at Sandown racecourse on Saturday, 19 years after he had won his first title at the distance. He broke away from the leading pack over the last of three laps of the motor racing circuit to win in 29 minutes 38 seconds, three seconds clear of second-placed Scott Rantall with Richard Jeremiah third.

Susan Michelsson won the women's 10 kilometre title in 34:46 from Kate Seibold and Lisa-Jane Weightman.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 12:44     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 29, 2005 

Nic Bideau & Benita Johnson rumoured to lead boycott of top USA road race over drug runner

Freihofer's Run for Women field in doubt amid protest of entrant suspended in 2003 for blood-boosting drug use

Plans for the most dynamic field in the history of the Freihofer's Run for Women began to crumble Friday when a representative of top athletes threatened to withdraw his runners because a woman suspended for performance-enhancing drug use is among the entrants.

Pieter Langerhorst, the agent for Hilda Kibet and Olympian Lornah Kiplagat, told the Times Union on Friday that both women would withdraw if Morocco's Asmae Leghzaoui is allowed to compete. He said several other elite runners are likely to do the same.

The 3.1-mile road race is scheduled for a week from today in downtown Albany.

Leghzaoui was suspended for two years in May 2003 after testing positive for the blood-boosting drug EPO two months earlier at the World Cross Country Championships in Avenche, Switzerland. EPO, which is injected into the body, increases red blood cells, which in turn carry more oxygen to the muscles, a key part of maintaining high performance in endurance sports.

Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong was accused by his former personal assistant of using EPO, an allegation that hasn't been proved and that Armstrong vigorously denies.

Leghzaoui, 28, has won all five of her races since the ban was lifted earlier this month, and has set three course records.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has cleared Leghzaoui to compete in the Freihofer's run, but Langerhorst isn't as forgiving. He said his runners, both native Kenyans, will not enter any race that includes Leghzaoui. (Kiplagat is a citizen of The Netherlands, the country she represented in the 2004 Olympics).

"The ban is over, but basically, she is a drug cheat," Langerhorst said. "That means she stole records and money from clean, honest athletes. If this woman is around, everything is negative. She tried to pass (the ban) off as maternity leave. I have a problem with that."

Langerhorst said agent Nic Bideau would pull Australian Olympian Benita Johnson from the race if Leghzaoui competes, and hinted that agents for others would follow. Neither Bideau nor Johnson could be reached for comment Friday.

The controversy comes at a time when Freihofer's Run for Women organizers are trying to elevate the status of the race, first run in 1979. Elite international athletes were invited for the first time since 1992, and organizers have all but guaranteed the course record of 15 minutes, 24 seconds will be shattered.

Race director George Regan said he has no plans to rescind Leghzaoui's invitation, even if other elite runners boycott the race. Kiplagat was touted as the headline athlete by Freihofer's.

"We have seven other Olympians in the field even if Kiplagat does drop out," Regan said. "Leghzaoui served her time and has been cleared by the USADA. What more is she supposed to do?"

Langerhorst is not the only agent to voice concern over Leghzaoui's invitation. Lisa Buster, who represents Kenyan runner Teresa Wanjiku, said she was upset that Freihofer's and other events were labeling Leghzaoui's ban a "lay-off." Buster initially threatened to pull Wanjiku from the field, but backed off Friday and said Wanjiku still plans to run.

Regan said Langerhorst and Buster are using Leghzaoui's suspension to diminish the fact she's the best female middle-distance runner on the planet.

"If Lornah Kiplagat is afraid to meet (Leghzaoui) in a race because she knows she's better, then she should just come out and say it," Regan said. "They know they will get beat cleanly because Leghzaoui is running better. If not, let them go head-to-head, and we'll find out the truth."

Leghzaoui, a 4-foot-9, 95-pound wisp of a runner, won San Francisco's Bay to Breakers 12-kilometer race in 38 minutes, 22 seconds on May 15, one second faster than the previous world record for that distance. Leghzaoui also owns the world record for 8 kilometers (24:27.8), set before her suspension.

She was in Canada preparing for a race on Friday and could not be reached for comment. Her agent, Hussein Makke, said Leghzaoui requested Freihofer's organizers provide drug testing to prove she is clean.

Makke, speaking on Leghzaoui's behalf, characterized her words this way: "I am there to prove to the world that I deserve a second chance and that I want to run. I have made my suffering; now I want to face everybody. I have been invited to the race, and I am coming to compete in an honest way."

Freihofer's was not selected for drug testing this year by the USADA because the race lost its status as the national championship when organizers decided to allow international competitors. But upon hearing Leghzaoui's request, Regan contacted the USADA to set up a post-race drug test for Leghzaoui, which Freihofer's will pay for. She will provide a urine sample following the race. No other athletes are expected to be tested.

Article from Times Union.com
Posted at 11:47     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, May 27, 2005 

ACT Mountain Running Championships - Mt Majura

This Saturday's ACT Mountain Running Championships on Mt Majura provide a preview of the Australian Championships over the same courses on Mt Majura three weeks later. Both are all important selection trials for the World Mountain Running Championships in Wellington, New Zealand on 25 September.

Race favourite for the men s 13km championship will be 2004 Australian junior champion Stephen Brown of Wollongong who excelled two weeks ago in finishing 6th in the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships, less than two minutes behind the winner. However, Brown will face strong opposition from seven time Australian representative and defending ACT title holder David Osmond and 2003 Australian representative Kevin Laws of Albury. Adrian Sheppard of Woden Harriers could cause an upset if he recovers from sore feet suffered in last weekend s Australian Rogaining Championships.

The women s 9km championship features four outstanding performers in 2004 Australian champion Marnie Ponton, Six Foot Track record holder Emma Murray, Commonwealth Games marathon medallist Jackie Fairweather, and Bogong to Hotham champion Vanessa Haverd. Murray will be representing Australia in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship over 42 kms in the Pyrenees in France in July.

The junior men's 9km championship should provide a comfortable victory for 2004 Australian representative Scott Tomlinson who showed he was in top form a week ago by placing a close second to orienteering senior international Eric Morris in the ABS Fun Run.

The oldest competitors will be 77 year old Rad Leovic and 70 year old Bob Chapman, both superbly fit for their age.

Race start: 2.30pm Saturday 28 May 2005
Venue: Innabaanya Girl Guide Camp, Majura Road, 7kms north of Canberra airport
See web-site for all event details
Posted at 00:43     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, May 24, 2005 

Gold Coast Marathon bans prams and running buggies

Athletics Australia has come out in support of the decision by organisers of the 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon to ban prams and running buggies from the distance events in July.

Athletics Australia Chief Executive, Danny Corcoran, has written to Queensland
Events Gold Coast to "support the race director's decision to reduce and manage the
risk of their event and therefore cost to the sport."

"From an insurance perspective the event organiser must be able to show they have
taken reasonable steps to minimise any incident occurring," Mr Corcoran said.

The statement has reinforced the stance of Gold Coast Airport Marathon organisers
who say their decision has been made purely on risk management and their duty of
care to all participants.

"We have to appreciate that the event has grown at amazing rate over recent years
and is now internationally-sanctioned," Queensland Events Gold Coast General
Manager, Cameron Hart, said. "We are one of four major marathons in Australia and now join the lead from Melbourne and Canberra who have also taken similar measures. Honolulu, Boston and Chicago are just three international events where runners only
are permitted on the course. We are also hosting the Australian Marathon Championship, Australian University Marathon Championships, Queensland Marathon Championships and the event is being used by a number of Australians and New Zealanders to qualify for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

"The last thing we want is for an on-track incident to occur that might hinder the
efforts of any of our participants. We should also point out that this is only one of a number of safety-motivated decisions we have made over recent years in light of the ever-growing numbers of participants. Course changes, alterations to the start and finish line configurations and many more have been implemented. And, at the end of the day, having identified the risks that we have, if we were to reverse our decision and allow equipment on the course and something did happen, the liability ramifications would be enormous," he said

At the request of Athletics Australia, Queensland Events Gold Coast arranged a
meeting with Australian running icon Ron Clarke MBE to put forward its position and
explain why the decision has been made.

After a lengthy and healthy discussion on the policy enforcement this year, Mr Hart
said that Queensland Events Gold Coast and Ron Clarke "agreed that their views
differ on the matter."

Mr Hart said there is also a perception that parents with children in strollers
cannot participate in all the events on the day.

"They are more than welcome to enter the Gold Coast Bulletin 7.5 Kilometre Walk,
where they'll be walking in a slower-moving, safe and controlled environment. Our objectives are to ensure that our competitors get the best possible chance to compete and enjoy the Gold Coast Airport Marathon experience and that the wellbeing
and safety of every single competitor is the best we can possibly provide," Mr Hart
said.

For more information contact:
Tamara Morris
Communications & Sponsorship Manager
Queensland Events Gold Coast
Ph: 5564 8733 Mb: 0419 393 608
Posted at 17:58     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 23, 2005 

Craig Mottram Wins Healthy Kidney 10K in New York

Two-time Australian Olympian Craig Mottram ran away from the field to win the Healthy Kidney 10K in 28 minutes, 28 seconds in Central Park on Sunday.

That was the second fastest 10K in Central Park, behind Paul Koech's time of 28:10 in 1997.

Mottram finished well ahead of Hendrik Ramaala of South Africa, winner of the 2004 New York City Marathon. Ramaala was clocked in 28:51, just 1 second ahead of Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, who was making his season debut.

"I came here with no intention of finishing second," said Mottram, who was eighth in the 2004 Olympic 5,000 meters. "It was my goal to win this race. I knew I was ready."

Last month, Mottram won a 10K in Dublin, Ireland, to prepare for his New York debut.

"I tried to intimidate Craig early in the race," said Ramaala, who was the early leader through two miles. "But he didn't take the trap."

Keflezighi, a native of Eritrea, became the first American to win an Olympic silver medal in the men's marathon since Frank Shorter in 1976. He had been hampered by an Achilles' tendon and hip flexor injuries this year.

"My expectations weren't so high because of the injuries," Keflezighi said. "I wanted to see what kind of condition I was in. My plan was to finish in the top six or seven."

From Chicago Sports
Posted at 09:24     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 22, 2005 

Half-marathon winner's secret: caffeine tablets

Canberra long-distance runner Brett Cartwright has admitted to taking a caffeine tablet before going on to win the Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon today.

Cartwright, who also won in 2001, finished almost a minute ahead of Scott Westcott from Parkes in central western NSW and former Olympic runner Steve Moneghetti, who retired from competition five years ago.

Haley McGregor, making her half-marathon debut, won the women's event ahead of previous winner Susie Power Reeves and former Australian triathlete Jackie Fairweather.

Cartwright revealed he had taken a No-Doz tablet to help counter the early start time for the race of 7.30am.

"I don't drink coffee, I had one caffeine tablet just to liven myself up," Cartwright told the Macquarie Radio Network. "I'm not really a morning person, I think it's more a wake-up thing for me."

But his coach Peter Brett was quick to downplay the comments, saying the dosage Cartwright took was equal only to a cup of coffee.

"Purely the only reason was he does not like taking coffee. It upsets his stomach on the day of a race. I don't think that one cup of coffee is really performance-enhancing."

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 17:39     [Perma-Link]

Seb Coe tips a great Melbourne Games

Melbourne is on track to host a "great, great" Commonwealth Games that won't suffer in comparison with the Sydney Olympics, according to London 2012 bid chief Sebastian Coe.

Dual Olympic gold medallist Coe, in Portugal for the Laureus world sports awards, said Melbourne's Games -- which start in 300 days -- would stand alone as a great world sporting event.

"How can anything in Melbourne be of secondary priority?" Coe said when asked to compare the Commonwealth Games to the Olympics. "Melbourne is your sporting city. Sydney's not your sporting city. Sydney is just where you had your (Olympic) Games. Melbourne is the home of sport. That's where they are going to come out in their thousands."

As the opening ceremony draws closer, Australia is focusing on its target of a record medal haul.

With less medals on offer than in Manchester, where Australia won a record 207 medals, the task won't be easy, but Australian Commonwealth Games Association boss Perry Crosswhite said it's achievable.

"It is certainly a challenge but we believe we can win 208 medals, and even beat our previous gold medal haul of 87 in Victoria, Canada in 1994," he said.

Crosswhite said our swimmers will set the platform for the record bid but concerns remain about boxing, weightlifting and, to a lesser extent, track and field. "I was seriously concerned with athletics but I know slowly but surely we are making inroads and the sport is starting to go places," he said.

Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 14:08     [Perma-Link]

New chapter for Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie will open a new chapter in his legendary career when bidding for the BUPA Great Manchester Run title tomorrow.

The 32-year-old Ethiopian, the world's greatest distance runner, yesterday announced his retirement from racing in major track championships to concentrate on marathons, although he may appear in the odd race.

Gebrselassie plans to kick-start his build-up for an autumn marathon by racing against strong international opponents in a 20,000 field in the 10kilometre event in Manchester.

His world-record time for the distance - 27 minutes and two seconds - achieved in December 2002, easily makes him the fastest of the elite international entry and favourite to win.

Gebrselassie, despite a lack of recent competition, believes he is in shape to break the UK All-Comers' record time of 27mins 39secs achieved by Kenya's Felix Limo in Swansea three years ago.

The race also gives Gebrselassie the opportunity to prove he has recovered from the Achilles operation he underwent last September, and that he is ready to start a serious build-up to the marathon.

The fact he was forced out of last month's Flora London Marathon when not fully racing fit is further incentive to prove his fitness credentials and challenge not only Limo's mark but Craig Mottram's 12-month old course record of 27mins 54secs.

"I'm looking forward to a very fast race and of course if I am to break records the weather and in particular no wind, is very important," said Gebrselassie.

Although organisers announced there will be no pacemakers, Gebrselassie added: "There are some very great runners in the field and if we can have a fast early pace, the record (Limo's) is possible."

Yet none are likely to be required given Gebrselassie's finishing speed, which means Olympic marathon gold medallist Stefano Baldini from Italy and Ukrainian Sergiy Lebid, the five-times European cross country champion, are likely to set a fast pace from the gun.

Complete article at Sporting Life
Posted at 13:58     [Perma-Link]

Cartwright takes out SMH half marathon

Sydney half-marathon winner Brett Cartwright says he has received a solid indication that he is on the right track for next year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

The distance runner from Canberra won Sunday morning's 21-kilometre road race ahead of Newcastle's Scott Westcott, with retired champion marathon runner in third.

Cartwright said the win had been good for his confidence.

"It shows that the training I've been doing for the last three months has been working, it shows that I'm on the right path hopefully [to] running Commonwealth Games qualifying times," he said.

Hayley McGregor from Richmond in Victoria led the women's field, followed by Susie Power-Reeves from Mornington.
Posted at 12:15     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, May 21, 2005 

SMH is half the distance, but just as crucial for running stars

Steve Moneghetti believes tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon is a vital race for the future of Australia's marathon stars and has called on athletes to support 21.1-kilometre events for their own benefit.

He is one man who should know what he's talking about.

A former half marathon world-record holder and three-time winner of the Herald event, the 42-year-old elder statesman of Australian distance running is better known for his achievements over 42.2 kilometres, which have included four Olympic and four Commonwealth Games marathons.

However, Moneghetti rates the half marathon as his best event and he believes the distance both identifies and improves athletes who become elite performers in world athletics' toughest event.

"I think it is a really underrated distance; it's one of the distances that came to prominence in the early 1990s and now there's a world championship for half marathon and people are running very fast [times]," Moneghetti told the Herald yesterday.

"A lot of people use that and run quick there and then step out to the marathon. It's a very good indicator for future marathon success. I hope that by being in the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon and supporting it I'm showing other athletes that it is an important distance and it is an important event to come and do."

Despite his amazing close third in last year's Sun-Herald City to Surf behind athletes less than half his age, the mostly retired father of four claims he will be "making up the numbers" in tomorrow's race.

With up-and-coming marathoners Scott Westcott and Brett Cartwright likely to be fighting it out for the winner's trophy, Moneghetti was only half joking when he said he would be looking over his shoulder to see if any women runners were about to overtake him.

"As much as we underrate the half marathon we underrate how good Australian female distance runners are going," he said.

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 23:34     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, May 18, 2005 

Nowill off to Helsinki

Australia's top 3000m steeplechaser Peter Nowill has been named in the World Championships Team to compete in Helsinki August 6-14.

This addition comes after his impressive performance at the IAAF Grand Prix in Osaka (Saturday 7th May), where Nowill eclipsed the A qualifying mark by over half a second to clock 8:23.93. Nowill finished fourth place behind the Kenyan trio of Wesley Kiprotich (8:17.31), Richard Matelong (8:17.60), Julius Nyamu (8:19.83).

Athletics Australia National Performance Director Max Binnington says Nowill can now fully focus on his preparations for the meet "selectors made the decision to announce Peter’s inclusion outside the final team additions at beginning of June, so he can get on with his preparations rather than be distracted by the waiting game. Final track and field selections will be named in early June, after the qualifying periods close".

Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 16:59     [Perma-Link]

Mottram tackles New York road race

Australian distance star Craig Mottram is back in action this weekend, tackling the "Healthy Kidney 10k" race in New York on Sunday 22nd May.
Complete article at Athletics Australia
Posted at 16:57     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 16, 2005 

Ocean race a winner

by Ron Reed

TO THE surprise of nobody, the Kenyans cornered the cash from yesterday's first Great Ocean Road international marathon, and they'll be back for more next year.

And yes, there will be a next year -- runners, spectators and organises voted this spectacular new concept a big success, and former Olympian Steve Moneghetti predicted it had a long future.
"It's inspirational," he said.

Despite minimal publicity, 377 runners lined up in the main race along the iconic cliff-side drive from Lorne to Apollo Bay, a distance of 45km, which is about 3km more than the traditional marathon course.

Another 562 covered a half-marathon from Kennett River, while hundreds more entered two shorter races on Saturday. A few enthusiastic souls did three of the four.

Complete article at the Herald Sun website
Posted at 13:12     [Perma-Link]

Kenyan is king of Ocean Road

by Sarah Bieske

KENYAN Elkana Machuka won the battle of the Africans in yesterday's Great Ocean Road Marathon.

The 28-year-old ran a personal best time of 2 hours 20minutes 28seconds over the official marathon distance before finishing the 45 kilometre race 42 seconds clear of fellow Kenyan runner John Kioko.

Australian-born Amerdhican Scott Nicholls finished third, followed by Kenyan James Mwangi and the race's ambassador Steve Moneghetti.

It was Machuka's first marathon win. His last international marathon was in Hong Kong last year where he placed eighth, despite suffering from a mild strain of yellow fever.

Machuka is already planning on defending his title next year and hopes to cross the Apollo Bay finish line 10 minutes faster than yesterday's winning time of 2.31.12.

``It was a very hilly course and it was very windy so I was very, very happy,'' Machuka said.

``To do two hours 10 (minutes) is my ambition. If they invite me, I'll be back.''

It was also the first marathon win for Clifton Hill's Rosie Doran who took the honours in the women's event.

Doran finished in 3.31.08 ahead of Kellie Epis.

The 28-year-old moved to Australia from Ireland five years ago and planned to celebrate her victory in true Irish fashion.

``I might have a pint of Guinness at the pub,''she said.

``It's the first win I've ever had so I'm very happy. I got away early, it was a tough race but I'm just very glad I finished.''

It was another one-two finish for the Africans in the men's half marathon.

South Africa's Jacob Wajuki finished ahead of Kenyan Sylvester Moleko.

Melbourne runner Nadelle Legge was the first woman to cross the line and said her training for the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon had paid off.

``I'm happy with my time, I knew I had a chance so it's just great to get a win,'' she said.

``It's a really tough course, but it's a very rewarding run so I really liked it.''

Geelong's Mark Tucker won Saturday's 6.5km run from Marriner's Lookout and back while Clint Perrett won the 14km return run to Paradise.

Article from the Geelong Advertiser
Posted at 13:07     [Perma-Link]

Kenyan Machuka wins Great Ocean Road marathon

Elkana Machuka of Kenya fought off a late challenge from compatriot John Kioko to win Australia's inaugural Great Ocean Road International Marathon south of Melbourne.

The 27-year-old Machuka finished the 45-kilometre course run from Lorne to Apollo Bay in two hours, 31 minutes and 12 seconds, 42 seconds ahead of Kioko.

Australian-born American Scott Nicholas finished third, followed by Kenyan James Mwangi.

Machuka had previously held a personal best time of 2:21:12 hrs for the traditional marathon distance of 41.195 kilometres, a distance he covered on Sunday in 2:20.28 hrs.

Former Irish runner Rosie Doran, who now lives in Australia, won the women's race in 3:31:08 hrs, followed by Australians Kellie Epis and Louise Denley.
Posted at 00:04     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, May 15, 2005 

Wunderbar! as charity runner finishes Perth-Sydney run

Six pairs of shoes, four states and 4,658km later, marathon runner Achim Heukemes' has taken the record for the fastest person to cross Australia.

The 53-year-old ultra-marathon runner from Germany ended his epic run in Sydney today, completing a record 43-day, 13-hour and eight-minute charity run across the continent from Fremantle in Western Australia.

He broke the previous 47-day record, set by Frenchman Serge Girard in 1999, running for the Oxfam tsunami appeal.

Crossing the finish line just after 10.30am on Sydney's harbour foreshore, Mr Heukemes held both the Australian and the German flags above his head.

"Wunderbar!" he exclaimed, as a small crowd of onlookers and a support crew cheered him on.

Among those at the finish was 23-year-old Donald Maclurcan, who completed the run in 67 days in 2002, raising nearly $20,000 for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

"It's just phenomenally unbelievable," Mr Maclurcan said, offering Mr Heukemes a warm handshake. "I ran 60km a day, and I can tell you this guy is incredible."

Mr Heukemes, his partner Eva and manager Franz Brandmueller set out from Fremantle on the night of April 2, covering an average 105km a day.

The seasoned ultra-marathon runner, who has previously crossed the European continent, names the Nullarbor as both highlight and low point of the six-week journey.

"The Nullarbor was the highlight, the animals the nature and because it was so tough," he said, speaking through his manager. "[But] because the sun over here has got a very strong burning effect I lost all the skin on the back of my legs...and there was a couple of days where I was very delirious because of the heat."

At one point crossing the desert one of his ankles was so affected by fluid retention that he couldn't stand on it, Mr Heukemes said.

"But I still ran."

Complete article at The SMH
Posted at 23:52     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, May 14, 2005 

Kenyan takes in Great Ocean Road sights

Joseph Maina arrived in Melbourne yesterday to see the sights - and that he will certainly do tomorrow.

The Kenyan distance runner is the star turn at the inaugural Great Ocean Road marathon, a new concept in community fun running.
The iconic cliff-side drive will be closed to traffic for several hours today and tomorrow as 1275 runners of all standards and enthusiasms compete in one or more of four different races.

The main one, which starts at 8am tomorrow, is from Lorne to Apollo Bay, a total distance of 45km, slightly longer than the official marathon distance of 42.195km.

A total of $32,000 in prizemoney is available, with an extra $50,000 for anyone who can cover the orthodox marathon inside Rob de Castella's Australian international record of 2h 7min 51sec.

Or runners can earn $20,000 if they crack de Castella's national all-comers mark of 2hr 9.18min, set at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

The race's ambassador, four-time Olympic marathon man and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Steve Moneghetti, said the road's hilly, winding terrain makes it an impossible challenge.

Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 23:56     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, May 13, 2005 

Lee Troop to miss Great Ocean Road Marathon

For much of his athletic career Lee Troop has run with a constant companion on his shoulder . . . pain. It really is no surprise that he will be an onlooker for Sunday's inaugural Great Ocean Road Marathon because his body again has failed him.

If the body could sustain the huge desire for success and passion to do his best, then Lee Troop would be the best in the world.

He now admits he asked too much of his body and his latest injury, a stress fracture of the hip, came at a time when his acceptance of what he could physically ask of himself was complete.

The injury forced him to pull out of the recent London Marathon, plus a race in Japan.

He discovered that he had been running since the beginning of February for six weeks with a stress fracture in his right hip. He told the Advertiser the setback was enough to make him consider retirement.

Troop has been one of the driving forces behind the GOR marathon, helping race manager John Craven recruit runners and becoming an international ambassador for the race.

The Troop family, however, will be represented on the road with his wife, Freyja, competing in the half-marathon.

Complete article at Geelong Info
Posted at 19:28     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, May 10, 2005 

Johnson's itinerary for success

A bucket and a book just about sum up Benita Johnson's lifestyle at the moment.

Johnson had one of each in hand when she spoke to The Age recently. The bucket, she explained, would be handy for storing the bathroom cleaning items at the Richmond house she and husband Cam have just moved into.

The book - a biography of Australian swimming coach Don Talbot - would help wile away the hours on her next overseas flight.

It was said of Ron Clarke that lesser mortals got tired just reading his running and racing schedule. The same could be said of Johnson, one of the few Australian distance athletes to approach Clarke's level of international excellence.

Since November last year, Johnson has consecutively run in the New York marathon, criss-crossed the Australian continent as she visited family in Mackay and Perth and trained at Falls Creek, crammed six cross-country races into a five-week European racing trip, returned to Australia for the national championships, and then ran in the world cross-country championships - finishing seventh in defence of her title - and the London marathon.

Johnson and her husband have barely had time to look at, much less furnish, the home they have just bought in Richmond. The house will become Johnson's Melbourne base in the lead-up to next year's Commonwealth Games and beyond, and she has already started to garner Victorian records. Her London time of two hours 26 minutes 32 seconds broke the state record, set just a couple of weeks earlier by Anna Thompson in Rotterdam.

The London race also redressed the disappointment Johnson felt over her marathon debut in New York, when she struggled to finish. Both Johnson and her coach, Nic Bideau, now feel she has the confidence to run a much better marathon when she focuses more on the event later in her career. Something better? "I believe I can run under 2:20," Johnson said.

Before that, however, Johnson wants to achieve much more at 5000 and 10,000 metres on the track. She believes last year's world cross-country win proves she can succeed in international distance running. "I did it once. I can do it again," she says.

Complete article at The Age
Posted at 16:54     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 09, 2005 

Mile barrier broken convincingly at UQ

Lachlan Chisholm and Youcef Abdi broke the traditional 4 minute mile barrier and set a new track record at the 2nd annual Milers Meet at the University of Queensland on Friday 6 May 2005.

A cool clear night in Brisbane with the wind dropping off just before the race started ensured that conditions were ideal for threatening Alistair Stevenson’s time last year of 3min58sec.

Chisholm, the current 1500m champion, held off the Abdi, the 2004 1500m champion in a brilliant finish to win in 3.56.27, one of the best mile times recorded in Australia in recent years.

Head UQ Athletics coach said that a tradition had now been established with both first and second places clocking sub 4 minute mile times in the last two years.

"We are attracting good runners to this event and with good prize money being offered – this is set to become a major event on middle distance runners’ calendars," said Mr Clohessy.

UQ’s up and coming 1500m star Mitchell Keally in his first race over the mile placed third in a time of 4.02.75.

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 12:04     [Perma-Link]

Deek Expands Support of Gold Coast Marathon

Australian marathon legend Robert de Castella has expanded his support of the 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

'Deek', who was on the Gold Coast in March for the launch of the 2005 event, said he was so impressed with where the marathon is positioned that he's decided to come back for the Sunday 3rd July event, both as an event ambassador and sponsor.

de Castella won the Australian Marathon Championship in 1979 on his way to unforgettable victories in the 1982 Commonwealth Games and the 1983 World Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

His SmartStart company will sponsor the athlete's recovery area at the Broadwater Parklands race precinct.

SmartStart for Kids targets children at risk of developing lifestyle related health problems whilst a new initiative SmartStart for Life is a program designed to assist companies and adults improve their health, fitness and wellbeing.

"The Gold Coast Airport Marathon and SmartStart have some very definite synergies with a shared mission to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians from children right through to adults. The fact that it incorporates an event for all ages and fitness levels collectively supports my own and SmartStarts passion - to encourage activity across all demographics. This event is the premier marathon in the country - its location, size and festival atmosphere are simply unbeatable. It's also fantastic that the Gold Coast Airport Marathon will incorporate the Australian Marathon Championship this year. That will ensure this country's most outstanding runners make the trip in the hope of making an impression ahead of next year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games," he said.

Queensland Events Gold Coast General Manager, Cameron Hart, said the synergies between de Castella, SmartStart and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon are 'very strong'.

"We're hoping this is the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship," Mr Hart said. "Deek is an absolute legend and if his profile can encourage people to get off the couch for a walk or a run and get active and healthy, that would be a great result for the event and the nation," he said.

Some 12,000 people are expected to take part in the 42-kilometre Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Asics Half Marathon, Telstra Country Wide 10 Kilometre Run, Gold Coast Bulletin 7.5 Kilometre Walk or the Norco Pauls Junior Dashes.

That number would eclipse last year's record of 11,804.

Entries have already been received from every State of Australia and 20 countries.

Entry forms for the 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon are now available and people wishing further details can call 07 5564 8733 or visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au.
Posted at 07:28     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, May 07, 2005 

Rich to get pick of Commonwealth Games tickets

Wealthy people and company bosses will be given the chance to bypass the public ballot and buy their way into "sold-out" finals at the Commonwealth Games.

Games organisers yesterday confirmed they were preparing a special release of high-priced tickets. The previously unpublicised deals would include swimming, cycling, netball, basketball and other finals that were swamped by mums and dads in the ticket ballot.

Fifty-one of 241 Games sessions were oversubscribed in the ballot, which will be drawn next week or soon after.

Complete article at The Herald Sun
Posted at 13:53     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, May 05, 2005 

Benita Johnson's itinerary for success

by Len Johnson

A bucket and a book just about sum up Benita Johnson's lifestyle at the moment.

Johnson had one of each in hand when she spoke to The Age recently. The bucket, she explained, would be handy for storing the bathroom cleaning items at the Richmond house she and husband Cam have just moved into.

The book - a biography of Australian swimming coach Don Talbot - would help wile away the hours on her next overseas flight.

It was said of Ron Clarke that lesser mortals got tired just reading his running and racing schedule. The same could be said of Johnson, one of the few Australian distance athletes to approach Clarke's level of international excellence.

Since November last year, Johnson has consecutively run in the New York marathon, criss-crossed the Australian continent as she visited family in Mackay and Perth and trained at Falls Creek, crammed six cross-country races into a five-week European racing trip, returned to Australia for the national championships, and then ran in the world cross-country championships - finishing seventh in defence of her title - and the London marathon.

Complete article at The Age website
Posted at 09:04     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, May 03, 2005 

Mottram strong in Stanford

Australia’s Craig Mottram led the Aussie charge at the Cardinal Invitation meet in Stanford, San Francisco, overnight (Sunday 1st May).

Mottram contested the 10,000m and crossed the line in third place, clocking 27.56.02, a world Championships B qualifier. Mottram had hoped to give the 10,000m Australian record a nudge, but according to coach Nic Bideau, the Olympic finalist "didn’t feel great". The race was won in 27:50.20 by Takayuki Matsumiya

Complete article at the Athletics Australia website
Posted at 16:48     [Perma-Link]

Funding farce forces 1st ranked hurdler to call it quits

Australia's No1 ranked men's 400m hurdler Tobby Sutherland has turned his back on cash-strapped athletics just 11 months out from the 2006 Commonwealth Games to reignite a lucrative AFL career in Melbourne.

And the frustrated former Canberra-based AIS scholarship holder has fired a parting broadside at the sport he dedicated the past three years of his life to, saying self- interested administrators failed to care for their athletes.

Sutherland said there was too little money and too few rewards for elite athletes, and there was "no future in athletics" for young stars aspiring to represent their countries.

"It's not really a sport that looks after the athletes, it's a sport that looks after the people in the office and it makes it difficult for an athlete to live," Sutherland said. "You can't be a full-time athlete in athletics and live as well, it's too difficult. When you try and do both you end up wearing yourself out. It's a sport where you put in 120 per cent and you only get 20 per cent back."

Complete article at The Canberra Times
Posted at 11:58     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, May 02, 2005 

Horne wins "Nail Can Hill" in Albury (NSW)

Jeremy Horne recorded a personal best time on the way to claiming his fourth Nail Can Hill Run victory at Noreuil Park yesterday.

Horne rose to the occasion as a record field of 1200 competitors took part in the run to finish in 37 minutes and 58 seconds as he continues to close in on former Olympian Pat Scammells record of six victories in the male section of the event.

The Sydney-based runner came home below 38 minutes for the first time ahead of Albury physiotherapist Kevin Laws (39.54), John Kent (40.10) and Richard Welsh (40.16) to secure his fourth win from as many starts in the Nail Can Hill Run.

Horne, 30, is only the second runner to achieve four wins in the event, moving past Jeff Chambers who won in 1981, 1982 and 1984.

"I broke my previous best time which was 38.16 so that was good,” Horne said. "I've still got three wins to go to get the record but everyone seems to be getting a bit closer every year so it will be tough. Ive got a pretty good strike rate so far. I'll certainly try and get one more win if I can.”

He timed his run superbly yesterday, shooting to an early lead and was never headed in claiming the win.

"It was a bit windy at the start, running into a headwind but once I got on to the hills it was all right," he said. "I wanted to run by myself as much as possible. I'd prefer to do that instead of chasing".

Complete article at The Border Mail
Posted at 18:03     [Perma-Link]

Great Train Race

The 24th Annual Great Train Race was conducted in fine cool weather on 1st May 2005.

Full details of winners are;

Number of runners 2478

Number of male runners who beat the 1st train 325

Number of female runners who beat the 2nd train 340

Puffing Billy train times: 1st train 56 minutes 54 seconds

2nd train 75 minutes 58 seconds



First Male: Mark Tucker

Second Male: Chris Hamer

Third Male: John Meagher

First Female: Susan Michelsson

Second Female: Anna Thwaites

Third Female: Belinda Dennett

Full details at race website
Posted at 13:33     [Perma-Link]


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