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 Friday, December 30, 2005 

Kenyan taunts Buster

World 5000m champion Benjamin Limo has sent a New Year's message with a sting to Australia's Craig Mottram in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.

The Kenyan, who beat "Buster" Mottram into third when he claimed gold in Helsinki, is looking forward to upstaging him again in March.
"After winning gold in Helsinki, he (Mottram) told me that he would avenge the defeat in Melbourne next March during the Commonwealth Games," Limo told London's Evening Standard. "I can assure him I will beat him right before his home fans."

But Mottram's coach Nic Bideau said Limo should worry about getting to Melbourne before sounding off. "Ben better concentrate on making the Kenyan team first," Bideau said. "It's one thing beating Mottram, but there's 10 guys from Kenya that he'll have to beat to even make the team. Craig wouldn't worry about what these guys say, he'll just worry about the three guys who turn up. They'll all be great runners but Craig's looking forward to the challenge."

The depth of Kenyan talent includes former world champion Eliud Kipchoge, who Mottram just passed to claim bronze in Helsinki, Isaac Songok and John Kibowen.

Athletics Kenya has indicated it will discourage its athletes from doubling up at the Commonwealth Games and world cross-country titles in Japan the following week. And Bideau believes Kipchoge has made the world indoor titles in Moscow (March 10-12) his priority.

Limo is ranked No. 2 in the world for 2005 in the 5000m in Track and Field News annual rankings, which were released yesterday.

Mottram was ranked No. 4, the highest position for an Australian in the 5000m since Ron Clarke was No. 1 in 1969.

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 11:40     [Perma-Link]

Bentley's early Great Ocean Road marathon entry

Geelong distance runner Steve Bentley is the first entrant in the Great Ocean Road International Marathon.
The race on Sunday, May 21 is five months away but Bentley is keen to show his support for the race. The 46-year-old former world class ironman from Ocean Grove is also taking advantage of discounts on early entries.

"Having competed in so many similar events in the past, I know how early entries make it easier for the organisers" he said.

Bentley competed in the first Great Ocean Road marathon in May this year, describing it as an unforgettable experience. "I've run marathon courses throughout the world and the Great Ocean Road course is as good as any," he said.

Bentley has done 250 normal triathlons, 30 ironman triathlons which include the marathon run, and has contested about 15 normal marathons. Among his best performances were top 10 finishes at Hawaii, the Australian Ironman, the Japan Ironman, New Zealand Ironman and Dutch Ironman.

"Running along the coast from Lorne to Apollo Bay is a very memorable experience, it's something people will look back on and be the highlight of their lives," he said.

Complete article at Geelong Info

Posted at 11:12     [Perma-Link]

Crowd treated by track stars in Devnport TAS

The crowd at the Nationalgrid Devonport Carnival was treated to the spectacle of enjoying two of Australia's best runners in Jana Pittman and Craig Mottram competing in the Devonport Gift and Devonport mile and one of Australia's top sprint cyclists, in Ben Kersten, showing his prowess on the bike at the Devonport Oval last night.

These elite athletes did not disappoint the spectators with some eye-catching performances.

Australia's top athlete, Craig Mottram, put in an outstanding run in the men's mile from the back mark to record 3:58.79 - the fastest time ever recorded on a grass track in Tasmania.

Mottram brought the crowd to its feet as he swept through the field, overtaking all but the frontmarker, Devonport's Craig Brown, who had a 260m start.

He thanked the crowd for its support in helping him to run a sub-four-minute mile and said he was looking forward to competing at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in a couple of months.

The crowd appreciated the efforts of Australian 2003 world 400m hurdles champion Jana Pittman in running second in her heat of the Women's Gift from the scratch mark, but despite a valiant effort she found the distance she had to make up too great a task in the final.

Australian steeplechase contenders at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria Mitchell (Vic.), Donna McFarlane (Tas.) and Melissa Rollinson (Qld) showed their national class with sterling runs in the women's mile with Mitchell taking out the race in fine style from a back mark of 70m.

Complete article at The Tasmanian Examiner

Posted at 11:04     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, December 28, 2005 

Mottram falls back on his mountain heaven

Australian medal hope Craig Mottram, 25, is using Falls Creek as his preparation base in the lead-up to next years Commonwealth Games.

The middle distance runner has competed in two Olympics and one Commonwealth Games and finished third in his preferred race, the 5km run (in which he holds the Australian record), at this years World Championships in Helsinki.

That result made him |the first non-African to win |a medal in the event since 1987.

Mottram spent three weeks in each of November and this month and plans the same next month running across the alpine terrain he describes as the best training ground in the world.

"Lots of people dont know how good it is up here," Mottram said. "You can head out and run 50km in any direction over flat or steep ground, around lakes, and at the end of a run jump in one of the streams to cool your feet off."

Mottram averages 180km each week in Falls Creek and has been training with Irish Olympic silver medallist Sonya OSullivan, who hopes to gain Australian citizenship and run in the green and gold at the Games.

Mottram said as well as the thin air providing the best possible physical preparation, the isolation was also helpful and allowed him to focus on the task at hand without too many distractions.

Complete article at The Border Mail

Posted at 11:52     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, December 27, 2005 

Kate Smyth wins NZ Mountain Run

Australian Commonwealth Games marathon contender, Kate Smyth entered Cool Running's Haywards to Haywards Journey Run in Wellington on Boxing Day, and took out first place after just making the start line in time. Kate registered at the last possible moment, and arrived at the start line as runners were being called to the start, but unfazed ran 1:43 for the mountainous 20km course to take first female and fourth place overall.

The course includes crossings of two mountain ranges near Lower Hutt, in the south end of New Zealand's North Island. The first male runner Martin Lukes sliced 9 minutes off the previous course record. Second female was local Wellington runner Dawn Ashkettle-Smith, while third woman was a Swedish runner Annika Ostman who has been holidaying in NZ for a month.

More info at www.coolrunning.co.nz/races/h2h/

Posted at 13:51     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, December 24, 2005 

Melbourne Training Sites to be locked out for Comm Games

Victoria Park is on a secret list of community facilities to be used for the Commonwealth Games.

Dozens of suburban venues will be quarantined for up to a month before and during the big event. The training venues are in addition to competition facilities that will be shut to regular users for up to 10 weeks.

While exclusion periods will start in little more than two months, the Bracks Government and Melbourne 2006 yesterday refused to say what grounds, pools and stadiums would be affected.

But it can be revealed Melbourne 2006 is negotiating to take over Victoria Park -- the former Collingwood home ground now a public park -- as a rugby sevens practice ground.

The Herald Sun has learned that exclusive deals have already been done to take over:

RICHMOND Recreation Centre for swimming.

OLYMPIC Park and Newport Park athletics tracks.

VICTORIAN Weightlifting Centre in Hawthorn.

BANYULE Netball Stadium in Macleod.

McIVOR Reserve in Yarraville for hockey.

BRUNSWICK Sports Hall for boxing.

KINGSBURY Bowls Centre for lawn bowls.

ALTONA Sports Centre for basketball.

DAREBIN International Sports Centre for cycling.

The Altona Badminton Centre is also in the sights of organisers.

The Australian, New Zealand and England netball teams will train at Waverley Netball Centre but it is unclear if this is an official M2006 venue.

Banyule Netball Stadium will be closed to the public from March 1 to 28.

The Richmond public pool will back up the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) as a training centre.

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 18:46     [Perma-Link]

More watching sports, rather than playing

Americans are playing fewer sports but watching more, according a report released Wednesday.

Participation in almost every recreational sport, from golf and tennis to bowling and snow skiing, was down in 2004, while attendance at professional sporting events was up. Television viewing also increased, continuing an eight-year trend.

Those and many other facts were included in this year's Statistical Abstract, a 1,023-page book of numbers quantifying just about every aspect of American life.

The Census Bureau assembles the statistics from a myriad of government and private sources, so researchers, academics and businesses can find them in one place.

"It reflects the changing nature of the country," said Lars Johanson, a statistician at the Census Bureau.

Norman Chad said he didn't need a government report to tell him that people are watching more TV and playing fewer sports.

"We all have televisions. They are relatively inexpensive," said Chad, who writes a syndicated sports column called "Couch Slouch" about the sports he watches on TV. "We all have microwave ovens. Why do we need to go out?"

Chad also does color commentary for the World Series of Poker on ESPN. Card playing increased slightly in 2004, but was still down from five years earlier.

Skiing, tennis and other recreational activities enjoyed increased popularity until 2004, when participation slipped.

Andrew Yiannakis, a sports sociologist at the University Of Connecticut, said there are several potential reasons for the decline.

"During times of security and abundance, people feel more inclined to spend money and enjoy themselves," said Yiannakis, who teaches a course called, "Defining Leisure: A Sociological Perspective."

"During times of, say, political unrest, insecurity, economic downturns, people feel insecure, and their mood shifts into a negative state," Yiannakis said. "People don't feel as good, so they shrink away from spending money and engaging in activities."

Yiannakis also said children are taught, intentionally or not, that they shouldn't play sports if they are not good at them. It happens when kids get cut from sports teams, or when coaches bench them for poor play.

"It is an elitist system that encourages the best to play and in a sense teaches the rest to be fans and spectators," Yiannakis said.

Among professional sports, baseball is still the national pasttime when it comes to attendance, in part because there are 162 games in the regular season. Nearly 75 million people attended Major League baseball games in 2004, compared with 23 million who went to National Basketball Association games and the 22 million people who attended National Football League games. The National Hockey League's 2004-2005 season was cancelled because of a labour dispute.

Among those who play, exercise walking was the number-one sports activity, followed by camping and exercising with equipment.

The number-one leisure activity was dining out, followed by entertaining friends and family at home and reading books.

--

On The Net:
2006 Statistical Abstract:
http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/statab.html

Complete article at Seattle PI

Posted at 18:42     [Perma-Link]

Benita Johnson wins 10km in Japan in 32m 26s

Commonwealth Games gold medal hope Benita Johnson has bounced back to top form to win a 10km road race in Japan yesterday.

Johnson, the 2004 world cross-country champion, sprinted clear in the last 200m in Okayama to win in 32min 26sec. It was her first race since a disappointing world championships 10,000m final in Helsinki this year, when she was suffering from anaemia.

Johnson cancelled several race commitments in September and October to focus on Melbourne's Games, where she may take on English superstar Paula Radcliffe in the 10,000m.

She returned from a training camp at Falls Creek in Victoria's Alps early this week to fly to Japan for the race.

The Australian 10,000m record-holder was too strong for Japanese 5000m and 10,000m star Kayoko Fukushi and Kenyan Winfried Kebaso in the final 500m, sprinting away to win by two seconds.

It was a big turnaround from the world titles in August, where Fukushi's 11th place was 52 seconds ahead of Johnson, who finished 19th.

Johnson retains her unbeaten record in Japan, having now won five races on the track, road and cross-country. And it will fuel her confidence for the world cross-country titles in Fukuoka, Japan, the week following the Commonwealth Games.

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 14:12     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, December 23, 2005 

Cadbury Tasmanian Marathon Day Part of Huge Weekend of Athletics

The annual Cadbury Marathon will be a key feature of the huge weekend of athletics in Hobart on the first weekend in January.

The Marathon and associated events to be held on Sunday 8 January, will this year incorporate both the Tasmanian Marathon and Half Marathon Championships.

In addition, making the occasion an affair for both the fun runner and more serious athlete, two funs runs will also be staged – over 2km and 4km.

Athletics Tasmania President, Brian Roe said that the Association was delighted to once again have Cadbury as the sponsor of the big day.

"Cadbury’s long term support of our Marathon Day has been critical in ensuring it is a popular event amongst the running fraternity. We do have an advantage at this time of year, as it is difficult to stage a marathon or even a half marathon, anywhere else in Australia. For once we have the market all to ourselves," Mr Roe said.

"The result has been that we have a clientel which comes back from one year to the next, knowing the race will be on and that it will be well conducted."

Complete article at Athletics Australia

Posted at 14:15     [Perma-Link]

Busy New Year Programme for Mottram

Craig Mottram is set for a testing early New Year racing programme in his build-up to the Commonwealth Games on home soil in Melbourne.

The World 5000 metres bronze medallist favourite to lift the Games gold medal over the distance in front of Aussie fans next March, has both outdoor and indoor races planned as part of his preparation plans.

The 25-year-old Aussie will race over 1500 metres when after three years the National Athletics Circuit returns to to the island of Tasmania.

Mottram will be the top name competing in th Graeme Briggs Memorial Track Classic at the Domain Athletics Centre, Hobart on January 6.

Then Mottram will run his first-ever indoor race in the Unites States, taking on world class opposition at the Reebok Indoor Games in Boston on January 28.

Complete article at Athletics Australia

Posted at 14:13     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, December 22, 2005 

Revealed: the runners of 20,000BC

HUNDREDS of human footprints dating back to about 20,000BC - the oldest in Australia and the largest collection of its kind in the world - have been discovered in Mungo National Park in western NSW.

They were left by children, adolescents and adults at the height of the last ice age as they ran and walked across a moist clay area near the Willandra Lakes.

Some people appear to have been hunting, with one very tall man sprinting at about 20kmh.

The first footprint was spotted by Mary Pappin Junior, of the Mutthi Mutthi people, two years ago and more than 450 more have been uncovered by a team led by Steve Webb of Bond University.

Complete article at the Sydney Morning Herald

Posted at 16:49     [Perma-Link]

Poms think Melbourne Comm Games "Second Rate"

Britain's leading athletics coach has told his track and field stars the Commonwealth Games are a second-rate meet and that their focus instead should be on the European championships next August.

UK Athletics' performance director Dave Collins is not even planning to come to Melbourne in March, and has threatened to cut the funding of any athlete who doesn't perform at the European titles.

The British snub of the Games which are always opened by the Queen or a representative from the royal family has shocked Melbourne's Commonwealth Games organisers.

Tony Lester, the coach of several of Britain's leading medal prospects - who will be split into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland teams - says a Melbourne medal haul will not compensate for failure at the European championships.

"If they go to the Commonwealth Games and win but then flunk at the Europeans, that's no good," he said.

"The Commonwealths are in March, which also isn't ideal, and they are really just a stepping stone to the European summer. The European championships are where they've got to make an impression."

British hopefuls are being told that their results in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the European championships from August 7 to 13 next year will be the catalyst in deciding whether they have a future in the sport.

Lester says it is the results in Gothenburg rather than Melbourne that will determine who secures the lottery funding so important in allowing British athletes to train full time.

Collins, who has the fingers on the purse strings, has raised the stakes by threatening that he will cut the financial lifeline to those elite athletes who don't deliver the goods in Sweden.

Australia's leading athletics authorities understood the British outlook but argued it did not diminish the Commonwealth Games event.

Australia's leading coach Nic Bideau said British athletes had always regarded the European championships higher.

"The European circuit is the centre of athletics and, as an example, when you are running in Zurich, you never get introduced to the crowd as the Commonwealth champion," Bideau said.

Athletics Australia chief executive Danny Corcoran also understood the British viewpoint. "Each program and each nation has its own priorities relative to where they are at the time of the year," he said.

Complete article at Fox Sports

Posted at 14:27     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, December 21, 2005 

Mottram takes on African challenge in Boston

Craig Mottram of Australia, the surprise 2005 World Championships 5000m bronze medallist who split an otherwise all-African top-8 finish in Helsinki, will take on some of the continents best again on 28 January 2006.

Mottram, the 2002 World Cup 3000m winner headlines the participants for the men’s Two-Miles at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, which takes place at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, Boston. The meeting is in its 11th year.

The Australian, who is the first non-African born athlete to win a World Championships medal at 5000m since 1987, takes on the man who only just beat him to the silver medal in Helsinki (13:32.81 to 13:32.96), 22-year-old Sileshi Sihine. The Ethiopian was also the silver medallist at the 10,000m both in Helsinki and at the 2004 Olympic Games, and bronze medallist at 10,000m in the 2003 World Championships.

Joining this top duo will be another three notable Ethiopians, Gebre Gebremariam, the four-time World Cross Country Championships medallist, Markos Geneti, the 2004 World Indoor bronze medallist at 3000m, and Abebe Dinkessa, a 10,000m finalist at the 2005 World Championships, and Kenyan Boaz Cheboiywo, a two-time NCAA champion.

Assuring that Mottram will not be alone in his contest with the Africans, he will be joined by Ireland’s Alistair Cragg, who is the European Indoor 3000m champion, and Americans Ryan Hall, Ian Dobson, Jorge Torres and Dan Lincoln, who all have global championship experience.

Complete article at the IAAF website

Posted at 07:52     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Race for the kids attracts all ages

by Emily Power

KEEN athlete Robert Frencham is fit and ready to make an impact in Victoria's new premier charity fun run.

Mr Frencham, 69, is the oldest competitor to sign up for the inaugural Herald Sun/CityLink Run for the Kids on Sunday, April 9.
The event will launch the 75th anniversary of the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

"I've retired and I want to keep active," Mr Frencham said. "I love these charity runs . . . it's a great cause."

The Herald and Weekly Times has pledged $20 from every $25 fee for the 14.7km race to the appeal, as well as $15 of every $20 for the 4.5km event.

Complete article at the Herald Sun

Posted at 09:06     [Perma-Link]
 Sunday, December 18, 2005 

Moneghetti smashes old-timer's mark

Steve Moneghetti, the fittest, retired 43-year-old runner on the planet, smashed the veteran's one hour world record at the Ron Clarke Classic on Saturday night.

Moneghetti defied cold, windy conditions at Landy Field to cover 19.71km in one hour, smashing the old mark of 19.149km set by Belgian Jozef Eyckmans in 1996.

"I have said to everyone I think I'm the best 43-year-old in the world, and tonight I had to prove it," said an emotional Moneghetti, who won marathon medals at three successive Commonwealth Games in a glittering career. "This is not coming out of retirement, this is just me showing that if you just enjoy what you are doing and stay in there and set little goals.

"I do a lot of speaking, I've spoken to every group in Australia and I tell them back when I ran I set little goals and I think here I am telling these guys, but I've got to do it myself and tonight was really a chance to walk the walk."

Moneghetti paid tribute to runner-up Magnus Michelsson who took an early lead and ran with him throughout the middle stages of the race. Michelson covered 19.47km and another Victorian, Rowan Walker was third with 19.02km.

From the day that Moneghetti's protege, best friend, and meet organiser Lee Troop contacted him about this race six months ago, he had Eyckmans' over 40s world record written down on a note on his desk, along with the lap time of 74 seconds that would be required to beat it.

"The world record meant a lot to me personally and I hope all these people can share it with me because that's what I love," said Moneghetti, who thanked an enthusiastic crowd which lined the track to cheer him on.

"I knew I could do it and it was only going to be the conditions that could have stopped me getting it tonight."

Complete article at The Australian

Posted at 18:00     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, December 17, 2005 

Stars set to shine in Geelong

Geelong can expect the stuff of heroes tonight when past and present stars of the track light up Landy Field.
Olympian and event organiser Lee Troop tipped about 4000 people to attend the Ron Clarke Classic, which kicks off at 5pm.

Troop said world records could tumble as athletes aim to rewrite history in optimum cool weather conditions.

Clarke himself, Geelong footballer Gary Ablett, John Landy and Rob De Castella are just some of the big names who will take part. "It will be an extravaganza . . . something similar to the Nike-style grand prix meets of the nineties," Troop said. "This is a great opportunity for Geelong people to see some great athletes, particularly from Geelong, in action and it's also a chance for athletes to perform in front of their home crowd."

Geelong runner on the rise Louis Rowan plans to run the fastest mile recorded in Geelong.

Out to break John Landy's record, Rowan also hopes to clock another qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in the process.

Marathon man Steve Moneghetti would love to smash the one-hour race veteran's record. And paralympic gold medalist Richard Colman is out to slay a giant of his sport. Colman will attempt to break the 800 metre world record set by his sporting hero Heinz Frei of Switzerland.

Geelong footballer Gary Ablett will also pull in the crowds, down to run in the celebrity sprint with other runners including ex-Cat Bill Brownless and former Socceroo Steve Horvat.

The celebrity sprint is scheduled to be run at 7.27pm. The meeting is part of the new National Series meet circuit, sanctioned and supported by Athletics Australia.

The men's and women's mile and the women's 800m are sanctioned for Commonwealth Games selection.

Troop said he was overwhelmed by the number of people who supported the event. The meeting recognises the 40th anniversary of the world record Clarke set at the track.

Money raised will go to local charity United Way and Geelong and district athletics clubs.

Complete article at Geelong Info

Posted at 13:49     [Perma-Link]

Aussie sprint team claims bronze after 1587 days

Matt Shirvington and three of his Australian sprinting teammates yesterday won a world championships bronze medal . . . 1587 days after they crossed the finish line.

The drug-related suspension this week of American Tim Montgomery has led to boosts in status and finances for Shirvington and his mates, with the International Association of Athletics Federations annulling results of the disgraced former world-record holder. The ruling has officially elevated from fourth to third the Australian men's 4 x 100m team in the final at the 2001 world championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Shirvington ran the first leg in the event and was followed by Paul Di Bella, Steve Brimacombe, and Adam Basil.

As well as soon receiving medals to acknowledge their achievement, the Australians may also each receive a cash bonus of $1300.

In finishing fourth in the event -- behind the Montgomery-anchored US, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago -- the Australian athletes shared $21,000. Third prize was $27,000.

The IAAF yesterday informed Athletics Australia of the official change to placings in the 2001 4 x 100m final. AA chief executive Danny Corcoran said he would request, on the athletes' behalf, the additional prizemoney and that new medals be struck.

In the final, Montgomery had teamed with the extroverted Bernard Williams, Dennis Mitchell and Mickey Grimes to claim gold. "It's a win for the good guys," Corcoran said.

Basil was not aware of the elevation until told by the Herald Sun yesterday. "That is just great. I was hopeful this might happen and now, no matter what happens, I'm going to be able to walk away with a medal from a world championships," Basil said. "That's a pretty good feeling."

Montgomery's two-year ban was issued on Wednesday and the IAAF has demanded he return prizemoney gained since March 31, 2001.

Montgomery has had all records post-March 2001 removed from official books, including his then world-best for the 100m of 9.79sec, set in September 2002.

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 12:18     [Perma-Link]
 Thursday, December 15, 2005 

Louis Rowan aims mile high

Runner on the rise Louis Rowan is set to run the fastest mile recorded in Geelong at the Ron Clarke Classic on Saturday night.
Out to break John Landy's record, Rowan hopes to clock another qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games in the process.

The middle-distance runner ran 3.40mins for the 1500m in Box Hill last week for his first B-qualifier. Athletics Australia has agreed to take 16 seconds off the time he runs in the mile for a chance to post another qualifying time.

Rowan said he was looking forward to running on the familiar Landy Field track and hoped the vocal home crowd would help him edge closer to a berth at the Games in March.

"I'm really excited, it's going to be a great atmosphere," Rowan said. "I've never ran a mile (in competition), but training's going well, there's no reason why I can't go under four minutes. I'll be running my best in my home town in front of family and friends."

Rowan is vying for one of three spots in the Australian team for the 1500m and also hopes to qualify for the men's 5000m event at the Games.

Complete article at Geelong Info

Posted at 12:11     [Perma-Link]

Record Race Field for 2006 North Pole Marathon

The world's most northerly marathon, the North Pole Marathon, is set to have a record race field of fifty athletes in 2006. This amazing race is run entirely on the frozen ice that overlays the Arctic Ocean at the geographic North Pole.

A diverse range of competitors from a dozen countries are taking part in what's now dubbed the world's coolest marathon. They range in age from 18 years to 66 years and among them is a former Olympian and world medallist as well as contestants making their marathon debut.

On 7th April 2006, entrants will be flown by private jet from Spitsbergen, Norway to a temporary North Pole camp. A course will be established that avoids breaks in the ice and large pressure ridges, and the marathon is scheduled to be underway on 8th April. Following the conclusion of the race and a photo opportunity at the precise geographic North Pole, competitors will be flown back to Spitsbergen on 9th April.

Although the sun never sets at the North Pole at this time of year, temperatures are expected to be in the region of -20C to -30C. Participants will wear three layers of clothing to contend with the frigid conditions and they will hope that winds are light. Faces will be covered with a balaclava, facemask and goggles to avoid exposure.

The North Pole Marathon, organised by Polar Running Adventures, is a truly unique marathon event. In addition to its race location at the top of the world, it is the only certified marathon run on an ocean. Some participants will be using it to achieve a marathon 'grand slam' by running the distance on all seven continents in addition to the Arctic Ocean.

There are still a couple of places remaining for those thinking of the North Pole in the run up to Christmas. The race currently features in the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records and is a member of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS). A leading international sports photographer will photograph the race and television documentary plans are in place. For more details visit www.northpolemarathon.com.

Prior to the North Pole Marathon, a sister race of the event known as the Antarctic Ice Marathon will be launched in the interior of the Antarctic in January. The Ice Marathon is the southernmost marathon in the world and the only marathon within the Antarctic Circle. Details of the race can be found at www.icemarathon.com. The second edition of the event, which also features a 100k race for ultra athletes, will take place in December 2006.

Contact
Richard Donovan, Race Director.
Polar Running Adventures
Email: rd@npmarathon.com
Tel: +353-91-566077

Posted at 06:31     [Perma-Link]

Moneghetti going for Australian record

the spotlight swings to the seemingly ageless Steve Moneghetti. Originally "Mona" planned to run the one-hour race with Troop, his aim being the world veterans (over 40 years of age) record of 19.149 kilometres set by Jozef Eyckmans of Belgium in 1996.

Now, 43-year-old Moneghetti is the star turn, his aim upgraded to the 20.232 kilometres Clarke ran in 1965, which has been surpassed as the national record by Rob de Castella's 20.516 kilometres but remains the Australian all-comers' mark.

Moneghetti is a good chance to get it, too, though he was playing down his chances yesterday, saying he had done little since finishing fourth in the Zatopek 10,000 two weeks ago. "I'm in the ball-park," Moneghetti conceded.

He will attempt the record at The Ron Clarke Classic meet, Landy Field, Geelong, on Saturday 5-9pm.

Complete article at The Age

Posted at 06:22     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, December 14, 2005 

Athletics Australia delays Commonwealth Games marathon team selection until February

Athletics Australia will not name its Commonwealth Games marathon and 50km walk competitors until February.

AA had initially planned to announce the competitors for the long-distance events this month, but put the decision back until after the February 2-5 selection trials after consultation with the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA).

Four Australian men and seven women have bettered the A standards for the marathons, while three men, headed by defending champion Nathan Deakes, have met the qualifying mark in the 50km walk. Australia can enter no more than three athletes in any event at the Commonwealth Games.

Complete article at The Advertiser

Posted at 10:46     [Perma-Link]
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

'Crazy' Fryer on the mend after discovering it's a long, long way to the top

by Rebecca Wiasak

Canberra endurance runner Martin Fryer returned from a record-breaking effort in a Coast to Kosciuszko Ultra Run but instead of celebrating his win the athlete was visiting the doctor.

Two doctors were needed to assess Fryer and, while they labelled the runner "crazy", the recommended medication was for an inflamed foot rather than his psychiatric state.

Seven competitors embarked on the two-day journey that started at Boydtown Beach, south of Eden on the NSW South Coast, on Friday. Only five finished.

Fryer was the first across the finish line at Charlotte's Pass more than 30 hours later.

His time 31hrs55min broke the race record by seven hours and was three hours ahead of his nearest rival Paul Every, a zookeeper at Sydney's Taronga Park.

Fryer, 44, said he was sometimes "paranoid" during the 246km journey to the summit of Mt Kosciusko, but crew members Ian Wright and Seb Dunne's clever tactics helped him maintain the lead.

Wright and Dunne are accomplished ultra-marathon runners, and when the gap between Fryer and Every narrowed they chose not to post updates to a public forum updating interested parties on the race progress.

"Some of their tactics allowed me to do better than other teams," Fryer said. "They were a critical part of it."

The Weston Emus orienteering club member decided to enter the gruelling event after completing a 24hr track race in Queensland last year. He said part of the attraction of the event was to go from sea level to the highest point in Australia.

"The thought of it was intimidating but the way to get through it is to break it up in micro chunks to the level you run to the next snow poll then walk to the next pole.

"The worst part for most people was between two and three in the morning.

"You body wants to shut down at that stage and it ends up being willpower rather than physical that gets you there."

Complete article at the Canberra Times

Posted at 12:09     [Perma-Link]

Fox Sports announces Commonwealth Games Pay TV deal

Fox Sports will deliver Australians the most comprehensive television coverage in the history of the Commonwealth Games from Melbourne next March.

The details of the coverage were announced in a landmark Melbourne 2006 broadcasting agreement today.

Subscribers to Foxtel, Austar and Optus TV will be able to choose the sports they want to watch from seven simultaneous digital channels throughout the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The coverage starts with replays of the Opening Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday March 15, and concludes in the early hours of Tuesday morning, March 28.

The unique coverage will be provided through Fox Sports, which has secured the exclusive subscription television rights to the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The seven channels will be available to digital subscribers on Foxtel, Austar and Optus TV as part of a special Fox Sports pay-per-view subscription package from approximately 10.30pm (AEDT) on March 15, through until approximately 4am on March 28.

Innovative digital technology that is available only on subscription television will also allow viewers to choose the sports they want to watch from the seven available channels.

With the promise "You?ve never seen it like this", the Fox Sports coverage will result in more than 1180 hours being broadcast across the seven channels during the Games.

The seven channels will provide viewers access to every sport in the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games program, and coverage will include live action of many sports, delayed broadcasts, full replays and daily highlights.

One of the seven channels, titled "Gold", will feature 24/7 coverage of the Games focusing mainly on gold medal events and key highlights of each day.

A state of the art interactive application will also provide digital subscribers access to an additional unique multi-view channel, where each of the available channels can be viewed, along with an updating medal tally.

Subscribers who book on or before March 8 2006 will be charged $49.95 (including GST) for the special Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games package, in addition to normal monthly subscription rates.

Those booking from March 9 will be charged $64.95 (including GST) for the Games package.

Games chairman Ron Walker announced the rights agreement today.

"I'm delighted to welcome Fox Sports and subscription television to the Melbourne 2006 family in a history-making deal that will bring the Games to even more Australians," he said.

"This coverage, combined with existing Games broadcasters, means the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games will be available to more viewers in this country and around the world than ever before.

"The technology being used will also ensure subscription television sports fans have the opportunity to see even more medal-winning performances and heart-wrenching experiences of their favourite sport."

Television coverage of previous Commonwealth Games has delivered a fraction of the coverage viewers will have access to on Fox Sports from the Melbourne 2006 Games.

"Total television coverage in Australia of the Manchester Games in 2002 amounted to approximately 230 hours on free-to-air television, while live coverage of the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998 saw approximately 130 hours broadcast," Fox Sports chief executive David Malone said today.

"Compare that to the extraordinary offering we have available for viewers - more than 1180 hours of coverage in total, with more than 650 hours of live action - and you begin to realise the enormity of this Fox Sports commitment."

Approximate total hours of Fox Sports coverage per sport :
Athletics: 70 hours
Badminton: 108 hours
Basketball: 56 hours
Boxing: 65 hours
Cycling: 36 hours
Diving: 34 hours
Gymnastics: 53 hours
Hockey: 88 hours
Lawn bowls: 101 hours
Netball: 56 hours
Rugby sevens: 23 hours
Shooting: 60 hours
Squash: 59 hours
Swimming: 48 hours
Table tennis: 108 hours
Triathlon: 5 hours
Weightlifting: 59 hours.

Complete article at The Courier Mail

Posted at 07:47     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, December 12, 2005 

Fairweather's Melbourne bid

Jackie Fairweather has stamped her claim for a spot in the marathon team for next year's Commonwealth Games with a win in the Black Mountain Challenge in Canberra.

Fairweather, the marathon bronze medallist from Manchester and former world triathlon champion, put in an impressive effort in the national capital, and rates herself an outside chance of making the team for Melbourne 2006.

"I feel as if I've got maybe a 20 per cent chance," the wife of Olympic archery gold medallist Simon Fairweather told ABC Online. "They've got such a hard job selecting because there's six girls within a minute and a half. The reality is I'm the slowest of those six, but I'm also by far the most consistent of those six. They could go first three, fastest three. They could go for a balanced team and have Kerryn (McCann) as the defending champion, one of the younger girls that's really improving, and maybe myself as the consistency factor. We'll see what happens, but I've still got plenty of other goals and I still love my running."

Fairweather, who won her 2002 bronze under her maiden name of Gallagher, said she wouldn't be too concerned if she missed selection.

Complete article at Sportal

Posted at 00:38     [Perma-Link]

Commonwealth Games uniforms released

The designer says it's a "baggy green cricket come college type of look". One fashionista said it was Old School v Bodyline. But one thing was clear – the very vintage home team uniforms for the 2006 Commonwealth Games are unmistakably Australian.

At first glance yesterday, the athletes looked like a gaggle of private school children. The regatta blazers were big and bold with wide wattle trims setting off deep green.Insignias sat proudly on the breast, the brown shoes were subtly funky.

Netball star Bianca Chatfield said she could not wait to wear the outfit at the MCG in 96 days time.

"The guys, when we were trying them on, were saying they looked just like the 1956 Olympic uniforms. It's very Australian and the colours are great. When we're all together, it's going to look fantastic."

Corporate clothing specialists Table Eight had a simple brief – give us something in green and gold.

Everything is made in Australia except the jumpers, which were made in China.

The Australian team for Melbourne is expected to top 600, including more than 400 athletes.

Not everybody was taken by the uniforms, including high-profile Melbourne designer Katie Davenport. "It's very preppy college student crossed with the Australian cricket team," she said. "It's hard to please everyone, but I think it will take Tamsyn Lewis to make it look sexy."

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 00:34     [Perma-Link]

Tasmanian athletes scoop 16 medals at All-Schools titles

Tasmanian athletes have won 16 medals at the Australian All-Schools and Youth Championships held in Sydney over the past four days.

In the championships which concluded yesterday and drew nearly 1700 of the most talented athletes form around the country aged from 12 to 19 years, Tasmania's emerging talent more than held its own.

On day four, Scotch Oakburn's, Karinna Fyfe added silver to the gold she won in the 3000m earlier in the championships.The Glengarry teenager ran a competitive race to record 4.30.83 in the blustery conditions to just miss out on first place.

Todd Hodgetts (Newstead College) also added to his personal medal tally at national level, taking another bronze, this time after throwing 17.52m in the under-18 shot put final.

Other Tasmanians to finish in the top eight in yesterday's finals were: Lauren Vaessen (Exeter High) 4th U18 Pole Vault 2.60m; James Guest (Scotch Oakburn) 4th U20 Hammer 45.95m; Boys Relay Team 4th U18 4x400m 3:25.81 Holly Baxter (Riverside High) 5th U17 100m 12.96; Kim Dutkowski (Elizabeth College) 5th U18 1500m 4:39.41; Hamish Peacock (Hutchins) 5th U16 Discus 58.49m; Elyse Jenkins (Guilford Young) 7th U17 1500m 4:42.37; Huw Peacock (Hutchins) 7th U14 Javelin 43.24m.

In all, the Tasmanian team picked up two gold, seven silver and seven bronze during the championships.

Athletics Tasmania president, Brian Roe said the results were very pleasing. "Our team is relatively inexperienced but has been growing in confidence. Many of our youngsters now know very clearly what it takes to succeed at this level and they are grasping the opportunity with relish," Mr Roe said.

He said Athletics Tasmania is looking at a range of initiatives, in conjunction with Athletics Australia and the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, to provide more support to developing athletes and their coaches. He said the inclusion of opportunities for world junior championships aspirants, Todd Hodgetts and Daniel Coleman in the Graeme Briggs Memorial Meet was one such example. Hodgetts will compete in a special shot put event for under-20 male athletes while Coleman will take on some of the nation's best 10,000m walkers in an attempt to reach the qualifying standard for the worlds.

Complete article at The Tasmanian Examiner

Posted at 00:27     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, December 10, 2005 

Kris McCarthy picking up the pieces

an insight into what the past 18 months have been like for Kris McCarthy can be found in Athletics Australia's season guide.

There are 120 pages of profiles on athletes expected to vie for Commonwealth Games selection but no mention of McCarthy, who four years ago claimed bronze in the 800m at the Manchester Games.

"I'm alive," McCarthy said yesterday. "But I'm only just starting to get back into it."

When the season guide was going to print a few months ago, McCarthy was struggling to jog for more than 30 seconds with his reconstructed ankle continuing to drive him mad, as it had since he was forced to withdraw from the Athens Olympic team.

The McCarthy tale of woe started in March 2004 when he began to feel pain in his ankle. He tried rest and then numerous other remedies to get to the Olympics but was forced to finally have surgery. When he returned to training in December, he was horrified to find that he was experiencing the same pain in exactly the same spot of his troublesome ankle.

"I had more scans and then they put my foot in a moon boot for a while and basically just stuffed me around for a little bit longer," he said. "So that meant that we had to start way back at the beginning again, I mean way back. I would jog for 30 seconds and then walk, move up to jogging for one minute and then walk. And I was seriously struggling when I first got back, I was really, really unfit and the 30 seconds of jogging was actually hard."

He was finally able to run properly by August and is now training fully. The ankle has held up for a couple of interclub races but the injury is still weighing on the mind of the two-time Australian 800m champion.

"At training I'm still worried about how it is going to pull up but so far it has been good," he said.

The 26-year-old made a big step forward last night when he clocked 1min 51sec to finish second in a Box Hill race.

Complete article at The Herald Sun

Posted at 17:01     [Perma-Link]

Jackie Fairweather ready for Black Mountain after Tokyo tilt

Commonwealth Games aspirant Jackie Fairweather is out to break this weekend's Black Mountain Challenge race record this weekend despite coming back from the Tokyo women's marathon last month.

Fairweather finished ninth in Tokyo just three weeks ago and said her recovery from the gruelling race had gone well so far. "It normally takes me four or five weeks to be running well but I feel alright so hopefully I can give the record a shake," Fairweather said. "You've always got to have something to aim for so I'd like to aim for that."

Joy Terry holds the current race record, finishing the five kilometre course in 20min 15secs in 2001.

This year Fairweather and world long-course mountain running champion Emma Murray are setting their sights on breaking the record. Fairweather, 38, expected Murray to be tough competition but was confident she could overcome the 27-year-old.

"My record on shorter, more dynamic stuff is a bit better than hers. We've raced a lot against each other before and I have a lot of respect for her ability. We bring out the best in each other and hopefully that will spur us on to run really well."

Fairweather is still hoping to gain selection in the three-woman Commonwealth Games marathon team, despite being slightly slower than the other six runners who have run qualifying times.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said her time in Tokyo was disappointing but she was still happy with her fitness. "I'm probably only about a 20 or 30 per cent chance of making the Commonwealth Games but you just never know. I'm one of the most hardy of everybody in terms of not getting injured too much and holding together... If they want somebody that they know will run in the mid 2hr 30mins they can almost bet the house on me."

Fairweather expected a good turnout and atmosphere on Sunday for the Black Mountain race.

Complete article at The Canberra Times

Posted at 16:57     [Perma-Link]

Lee Troop - Trooping on

Four days after watching his Commonwealth Games dream shattered, Australia's No. 1 marathon runner Lee Troop was yesterday content with encouraging the future south-west stars of the track.

The Geelong runner was pushed out of the top group of the Fukuoka marathon in Japan on Sunday and finished 45th. Running with an injured hip, the result has cut short any hope of making the Australian team for the March Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The 32-year-old had been plagued by injury since his marathon run at the Athens Olympics last year. Yesterday Troop said that despite the setback and injuries he had no plans to end his 15-year running career.

"It's time to get away and get my head around a few things," he said. "It doesn't matter what people say, I've answered all the questions I can. It's just happened. I've had media offers to commentate and to write newspaper columns but it really doesn't compare with competing."

Taking time out to hand out the Barwon-South Western Regional School Sports Awards in Warrnambool, Troop said he was looking forward to three months of complete rest and to think about his future. Since the 2000 Sydney Olympics he has been competing with career threatening injuries.

Much of that time he has dealt with a stress fracture of the pelvis which forced his right leg to become two centimetres shorter than his left, pushing his hips on a lean. He said that 7km into Sunday's marathon his body had already reached its pain limit.

"I've always been suffocated by timelines. I only had three months to prepare for Japan when my body really needed six months," he said. "I've been racing for about 23 years. You look at a car and you wouldn't keep it that long. My
body is like that. It runs 8000km per year."

Getting out of bed in the mornings and even touching his toes has become hard work. "I have to have cortisone injections to function and most of the time they don't work," he said. "My hip has basically wasted away and the muscles all don't work. The hamstring and glutes have lost their strength."

Every race this year Troop has struggled, but he is refusing to walk away from running. He told youngsters yesterday that some of the best athletes competing in the Games were from the country. Troop said he started running in a pair of Dunlop Volley shoes.

"It's not shoes that make the athlete - it's the amount of determination and heart," Troop said. "From little things big things grow and Warrnambool is on the rise to have more success with athletes making teams," he said.

Complete article at The Warrnambool Standard

Posted at 16:43     [Perma-Link]
 Friday, December 09, 2005 

Stayer's mile time is season best

Loius Rowan found the Zatopek a step too far for him last week, but back on familiar ground last night he clocked a Commonwealth Games B-standard for 1500 metres.

Competing at the Victorian Milers Club meeting at Box Hill, which also featured the return of Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kris McCarthy to serious racing, Rowan ran away from Mark Tucker over the final lap to record 3:40.0, the fastest time in the Australian domestic season so far.

Rowan attributed his failure to finish in the Zatopek 10,000 metres to the weather.

"The heat just got to me," he said. "I needed everything to go well and it didn't. I think in the future I'll try one again."

For now, though, Rowan will stick to the 1500 and 5000 metres, hoping to make the Melbourne 2006 team in the longer event. He will race over 5000 in Hobart on January 6.

McCarthy, giving his reconstructed ankle its sternest test since he resumed running a few months ago, was caught in the last 30 metres of the men's 800 by Ballarat runner Mark Cornish.

Cornish ran 1:50.7, McCarthy, who fought back when caught, was a stride back in 1:51.0.

McCarthy looked to have the race won as he turned clear into the straight but Cornish reeled him in step by step.

McCarthy won the bronze medal in Manchester and then reached the semi-finals of the world championships the following year in Paris.

An ankle injury early in 2004 eventually forced him out of the Athens Olympic Games team. He had surgery, but the pain returned once he started running. Gradually the joint has improved, however, helped by the use of orthotics.

Complete article at The Age

Posted at 11:49     [Perma-Link]
 Wednesday, December 07, 2005 

Mottram plans Golden Sausage Sizzle

Craig Mottram has a message for everyone at the MCG on the night he competes in the final of the 5000 metres at the Commonwealth Games: have the sausages and beer handy because if he wins there will be a party immediately afterwards outside his house. And he lives only 100m away.

"Hopefully everyone who pours out of the MCG will be there," he said of his street shindig.

His bronze medal in the 5000m at the world athletics championships last August made him the fastest white man - over a middle distance - going around. He became the first non-African since 1987 to win a 5000m medal.

But Mottram admitted it would not be easy to get his lanky legs over the finishing line first at the Games, especially with the speedy Kenyans packing the field.

Benjamin Limo, who was first at the world championships in Helsinki, is the one to beat. "I was speaking to him after the race in Helsinki," Mottram said. "And he [Limo] finished second in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and he said to me he doesn't want to run second in the Games again. I said, 'Oh well, bronze will be good [for you]'. He said, 'No chance'."

Mottram is based in London part of the year and lives a couple of houses down from "the Kenyans". When they run past each other in the nearby Bushy Park they exchange banter. "It's a friendly rivalry," he said.

For the past weeks he's been living in the icy air of Falls Creek, pounding trails in the high country. He runs twice a day and winds his way around 180 kilometres of dirt track a week. "It's as much for the altitude as it is for the solitude," he said. "For getting out of Melbourne … the distance-running fraternity of Australia tend to migrate there over summer, a lot of people don't know about it. It's a great place to train."

Yesterday he was back in Sydney, pounding the harbour foreshore with early joggers - and he spotted a star walking with his son. "I ran 16km this morning," Mottram said. "I saw Russell Crowe so I was pumped."

To promote the fact there were 100 days to go until the Games, Mottram and other athletes and volunteers gathered at Mrs Macquarie's Chair yesterday.

"It's flat out with 100 days to go," Mottram said, swatting flies. "It's full steam ahead … I'll be ready to go in March."

If all goes perfectly he has his heart set on two gold medals. He is sure to run in the 5000m, but is yet to decide between the 10-kilometre or 1500m events. "It just depends, I might not do either … the body will decide it for me, really," he said.

Complete article at The SMH

Posted at 23:40     [Perma-Link]

On the run for special kids

MARIELA Alberici is the first Victorian to pledge to work up a sweat for some very special kids.

Ms Alberici, 27, was the first entrant to sign on for the inaugural Herald Sun/Citylink Run For The Kids next April, which will raise money for the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

She will join scores of keen and committed Victorians who will walk, run or jog the 14.8km and 4.5km courses on the Sunday before Good Friday.

Both routes start at the Docklands and end at the RCH. For more information, contact the Herald Sun Reader Helpline on 9292 1928, or go to www.runforthekids.com.au for details.

Complete article at the Herald Sun

Posted at 13:31     [Perma-Link]

Comm Games Triathlon Team member looking for Gold Coast training partner

Commonwealth Games Triathlon Team member, Brad Kahlefeldt is seeking a run training partner to run quality sessions with him on the Gold Coast, starting mid-January, in the lead up to the Games.

Requirements are for three sessions per week - Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons. Payment will be $25 per session.
The runner will be required to be of the following standard:
Capable of:
- 15x400m holding approx 63 sec per 400 (on a 2:00 cycle)
- 5-6 x 1k reps holding approx 2:45min

Sessions will be along the lines of the above, plus a fartlek session on Sunday afternoons.

Initial contact is Jackie Fairweather on 0408 412 063 or fairweatherj@ausport.gov.au

Posted at 11:34     [Perma-Link]
 Monday, December 05, 2005 

Troop's hopes slump in Fukuoka

By Len Johnson
Australian Lee Troop's late bid to run in the marathon at next year's Commonwealth Games appears to have failed after he finished well back in yesterday's Fukuoka marathon in Japan.

Troop had hoped to run at least the Games A-standard time of two hours 14 minutes and force the selectors to consider him for Melbourne 2006. But, hampered by injury, he had to settle for a time of just under two-and-a-half hours, behind Dmitryo Baranovsky's winning 2:08:29.

Troop said he was off the pace less than two kilometres into the race and struggling with a hip injury well before half-way. "I went through half-way just under 70 minutes, hurting, and I just grit my teeth and got home," he said.

Troop had two cortisone injections before he left Australia to help settle inflammation in his hip.

Baranovsky, a Ukrainian, took almost three-and-a-half minutes off his previous best in winning the prestigious race. Spaniard Julio Rey was second in 2:09:41 and Japan's Atsushi Fujita third, another seven seconds back.

Complete article at The Age

Posted at 07:22     [Perma-Link]
 Saturday, December 03, 2005 

Last roll of the dice for Troop

Lee Troop faces the toughest of challenges if he is to force his way into the Australian Commonwealth Games marathon squad at the 11th hour.

After enduring a horror run with injuries since finishing 27th at the Athens Olympics, Troop will take a hip injury into Sunday's Fukuoka marathon in Japan.

Four Australian men - Scott Westcott, Andrew Letherby, Shane Nankervis and Sisay Bezabeh - have already bettered the Commonwealth Games A qualifying standard of 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Only three can be selected to run the marathon in Melbourne in March, meaning the 32-year-old Troop also needs to go under 2:14:00 to push his case with the selectors.

"It's a tough ask," Troop's coach and mentor Steve Moneghetti said. "The marathon is a cruel event at the best of times and it's extra tough if you're starting the race with a sore hip. And Lee obviously knows beforehand that he has to run the time. He can be controversial but no-one can question his capacity to race tough and hard and that will serve him very well. He'll be calling on every ounce of that and we're just hoping the hip problem doesn't prevent him giving it his best shot."

The Australian Commonwealth Games marathon squad will be named later this month, meaning the Victorian had no choice but to take his chances in Fukuoka. Troop, who has a personal best of 2:09:49 set two years ago, is one of eight invited international runners for the annual Fukuoka marathon.

The major contenders include Moroccan Abdelkader El Mouaziz, Spain's Julio Rey and Atsushi Fujita of Japan.

"Troopy has had a bad run with injuries since Athens but a month ago we felt he was back and right to run 2:10 or 2:11," said Moneghetti. "Now he needs everything to go right. Our hope is that the marathon gods at least give him a fair chance."

Complete article at 7 News Sport

Posted at 21:23     [Perma-Link]


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