Some Olympic Games News Headlines are here.
Melbourne Marathon - 30 Years and Running Strong - All the Way to the MCGThe Samsung Melbourne Marathon today announced a new race format to celebrate its 30 year anniversary. On Sunday 7th October, both the elite and the recreational runner will be able to take to a new course that runs along Melbourne’s Bayside and finishes with a lap of the MCG.
There will be four distances that competitors can take part in. The Samsung Melbourne Marathon covers the full 42.195km distance, while the Asics Half Marathon is 21.1km. Both races are set to produce fast times with the introduction of an out and back course format. For those who prefer the shorter distance there is the Melbourne 10km run and the Yarra 5.5km run / walk.
As recognition of the strength of the Event, an agreement with the MCC has been struck to make the MCG the start and finish points for all events. This will give all competitors the chance to run a lap on the hallowed turf with their loved ones cheering them on. No stranger to this experience is Samsung Melbourne Marathon ambassador Kerryn McCann, who was lifted by the MCG “crowd’s roar” when she took gold in the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
“The thrill of running along William Barak Bridge with the crowd cheering and then entering the stadium gave me the biggest boost of my running career and I’m sure everyone who enters this year’s event will get a tingling sensation when they enter the MCG, whether they are running, jogging or walking” Kerryn commented.
Only three marathons have ever been run on the MCG, the 1956 Olympic Games and last year’s Male and Female events at the Commonwealth Games.
The Samsung Melbourne Marathon and Asics Half Marathon course will take in Melbourne landmarks such as Federation Square, The Arts Centre, Albert Park Lake, Fitzroy Street and the Port Phillip Bay foreshore with both races commencing at 7.45am. The Melbourne 10km, starting at 8.30am, includes a lap of the Royal Botanic Gardens, while the Yarra 5.5km which begins at 9.00am, will take in the banks of the Yarra River.
Dallas O’Brien, IMG Director of Athletics and Fitness, said “The 2007 Samsung Melbourne Marathon will see a new era in marathon racing in Australia. The introduction of the MCG as host to the new out and back race format and a truly fast and internationally accredited course contribute to making the Samsung Melbourne Marathon the best marathon in Australia!”
IMG, the Event owners and promoters will donate $25,000 to the official charity partner, The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC). Competitors will also have the opportunity to pledge their support or be sponsored to run for CPEC.
The Samsung Melbourne Marathon expects to attract 15,000 competitors with a strong international field. Competitors will be racing for over $20,000 prize money and over $30,000 worth of prizes. Last years winners were Kazunari Suzuki from Japan (2 hours 23 minutes) and Karen Natoli from Australia (2 hours 53 minutes). Keep an eye on Karen who is sure to be a force again this year.
Event registration commences Tuesday 22nd May and can be made at www.melbournemarathon.com.au
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Olympic qualifiers a target on the Gold CoastOlympic qualification will be at the back of many elite Australian marathon runners’ minds when they contest the Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday 1 July.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games qualifying period for Australian marathon runners commenced on 1 January this year, making the Gold Coast’s annual marathon race a great opportunity to post either an ‘A’ or ‘B’ qualifying time.
A number of early elite entries for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon are capable of producing an Olympic qualifying performance – MEN ‘A’ 2:12:00, ‘B’ 2:14:50; WOMEN ‘A’ 2:32:00, ‘B’ 2:36:00.
Both the early Australian and international interest also suggests this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon and Asics Half Marathon will once again be hotly contested.
In the women’s marathon, West Australian 30-year-old Lauren Shelley will be one of the leading contenders with a runner-up finish on the Gold Coast in 2005.
Shelley, coached by former world triathlon champion Jackie Fairweather (nee Gallagher), set a personal best in that race before lowering it even further at the 2005 Tokyo Marathon clocking 2:33:42. Last year she contested the Asics Half Marathon on the Gold Coast finishing seventh in a crack field in a fast 1:14:47, after finishing eighth in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games marathon.
“I’ve got a fair bit of work to do in the six weeks leading into the Gold Coast Airport Marathon,” said the Esperance-based runner.
“I haven’t run a marathon since last year’s Commonwealth Games in March, but had a good hit-out in last weekend’s Sydney Half Marathon finishing sixth.
“I’d like to run sub two hours 40 minutes on the Gold Coast given where I’m at. It’s the biggest and most important Australian marathon to run well at, so I’m aiming to be in good shape.”
1998 Commonwealth Games marathon silver medalist Lisa Dick is returning to the Gold Coast which has proved a happy hunting ground in the past. The 38-year-old from Victoria set her personal best of 2:36:54 when second in 1998.
The men’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon also looks strong at the top end with an intriguing ‘Tri Nation’s’ battle set to develop between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Aussie frontrunners are set to include former Gold Coast winner Gemechu Woyecha who established a pb of 2:15:47 when he won in 2004, and recent Canberra Half Marathon winner Scott McTaggart who is making his marathon debut on the Gold Coast.
Last year Woyecha set a new best in Nagano, Japan with a 2:15:44 run, while McTaggart was the fourth ranked Australian over the half marathon last year with his 1:04:56 on the Gold Coast.
“I would like to set an Olympic qualifier on the Gold Coast – it will all depend on the competition and how fast the pace is,” said Woyecha. “It’s been a busy year so far but training is going really well. My baby girl was born in February, not long after I ran the Beppu Marathon, but that didn’t turn out to be the best of races for me. I’m much looking forward to the Gold Coast because I love the course and the conditions.”
South African runner Sandile Lembetha and New Zealand entrant Ben Ruthe are two early internationals out to spoil an Australian celebration in the marathon.
Lembetha, who came seventh on the Gold Coast in 2005, has a personal best of 2:18:15, while Ruthe, from Tauranga near Auckland, is a former national 5000m champion making his marathon debut.
The Asics Half Marathon is also drawing quality interest with Olympian Lee Troop confirmed as well as last weekend’s winner of the Sydney Half Marathon Brett Cartwright.
Troop sits third in the Australian all-time rankings for the half marathon with a sizzling 1:01:00 set in Tokyo in 1999, but will face some stiff competition from the in-form Cartwright.
In the women’s Asics Half Marathon, Victorian Lisa-Jane Weightman will be striving for the number one podium place following her second last year in 1:12:54. This time put the 28-year-old inside the top 20 Australians all-time, and second in last year’s national rankings for the half marathon.
The SOUL 10K Run will pit the winners of this race over the past three years – Queensland’s Michael Shelley, champion in 2004 and 2006, and fellow Queenslander Chris Reeves, champion in 2005.
These two Aussies already have a strong Trans Tasman rival with New Zealander Dale Warrander using the 10K race as preparation for the marathon in August’s World Championships.
Many more elite entries will be confirmed by June 6 with more top Australian and New Zealand runners expected alongside a strong Japanese field.
People can enter the Gold Coast Airport Marathon at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au or receive an entry form from the office on phone (07) 5564 8733.
Posted at 06:58 [Perma-Link]
Mizan Mehari takes own life in CanberraMizan came out to Australia in 1996 for the World Junior Champs in Sydney; together with 4 other athletes he stayed in Australia. Mizan and Sisay made Canberra their home, were in and out of clubs, AIS etc and have represented Australia at Olympics and World Champs.
From his IAAF bography he had a pb of 13:20.85 for 5000m and 7:54.97 for 3km.
Mizan took his own life last week on Mt Ainslie. He had been troubled for sometime largely due to the absence of a family base and finances.
Mizan's death notice is in the Canberra Times today, they are trying to raise funds to send his body back to Ethiopia and the local distance running fraternity are likely to organise a memorial service/Run in Mizan's honour.
He was one of the most talented runners we’ve had in Australia but he suffered a series of injuries that curtailed his running. He ran 13:20 for 5km as a 19 year old and finished 12th in the final of the 5000m at the Sydney Olympics (the only Australian male to make a track final). He won the National XC in 97, 98, (ahead of Moneghetti) - as he was born in December 1980 he would have been just under 17 the first time he won.
He was super talented but just kept getting injured. He was still trying to make a comeback. Many of his training sessions are still talked about. Things like 6 laps of Mount Rogers faster than we could do one. Runs up Mount Stromlo 1min faster than anyone else. Coming out and doing the group’s session in the afternoon as an easy run after running really hard in the morning. Destroying everyone including Shaun Creighton and Darren Wilson in training sessions when they were in great shape.
Mizan was 27. His Funeral is on Saturday at O’Rourke Funerals, 113 Crawford St Queanbeyan.
Profile from ABC
Posted at 07:43 [Perma-Link]
Kokoda to Gold Coast MarathonKokoda to the Gold Coast is a long journey. But for one Papua New Guinea national, it will be a trip of discovery and the trip of a lifetime.
This year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon to be held on Sunday 1 July will feature a 36-year-old PNG runner by the name of John Hiviki.
It will be a trip of discovery because John holds the record for the Kokoda Track Run with a time of 21 hours 1 minute 13 seconds which he set in 2005 over the arduous 97km journey from Kokoda to Owen’s Corner.
And, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be his first ever marathon race, so John will be able to test his endurance running talents against some of the best athletes from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
It will be a trip of a lifetime because John, who hails from the village of Kebara near Kokoda, has never been outside his native country. Thanks to the efforts of PNG tourism identity Mrs Sauni Priscilla Ogomeni, the trip has been made possible.
Mrs Ogomeni, who lived and worked in Townsville for many years before returning to Kokoda to develop local tourism, runs ‘Kokoda Mountain View Lodge’ and organises treks along the Kokoda Track through her company ‘Kokoda Oro Treks and Tours’.
A Kokoda local herself, Mrs Ogomeni, 59, expressed a desire to support young Kokoda residents in experiencing an overseas adventure linked to their talents.
“I really wanted to provide an opportunity for youth in Kokoda and give them an experience overseas,” said Mrs Ogomeni. “With Australia being our neighbour and having such strong history with Kokoda coupled with John being a runner, I thought this would be a great first opportunity. I am also taking another Kokoda local by the name of Philip Arari who is my senior guide and coordinator for my trekking company. It will be a great experience for Philip as well.”
John is looking forward to making his marathon debut on the Gold Coast and visiting one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.
“I am very excited and looking forward to the trip,” said John. “I can’t wait to get on the plane and have a ride on the train to the Gold Coast, and then prepare for this great event. This means so much.”
Mrs Ogomeni will accompany John and Philip on the trip and will celebrate her 60th birthday on race day, Sunday 1 July.
Any companies interested in sponsoring John’s trip can contact Priscilla Ogomeni on phone 0011 675 329 7653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
People can enter the Gold Coast Airport Marathon at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au or receive an entry form from the office on phone (07) 5564 8733.
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Trail Running Association of Queensland is operationalAustralia has some great places where we could be running – if only there were more events – we decided to form the Trail Running Association of Queensland. A bunch of the committed trails addicts attended the formation meeting – Don Wallace, Ian Javes, Bruce Hargreaves, Tamyka Bell, David Waugh, Rob Ware, Adam Barron, Greg Waite.
Our aim was go beyond casual groups running trails, to lobby so that we can get permission to use our parks for larger events - we want more people to be able share the trail experience. We believe trail running will be an increasingly important part of building up the running scene, adding a bit of adventure and excitement.
Our 2007 calendar keeps growing as permits and organisers are confirmed. So far it includes five new trail runs at Woodford, Wild Horse Mountain, Beerburrum, Lake Manchester and Dayboro-Woodford. We’re still working on others - including Mapleton Great Walk and Toowoomba Range in 2007, Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach in 2008
The www.runtrails.org website is up and running. If you have some great trail running information that’s not there, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com. We’re also keen to cross-promote related sports like mountain and ultra-running, rogaines and orienteering.
Finally, a plug for coming events. The first Glasshouse run of the year is coming up on May 20. This year there’s a new start from the relaxed rural town of Woodford. Plus we have a brand new run on a new course in Brisbane Forest Park, complete with online entry – Lake Manchester Trails (7/21/33km) on Sunday 17 June. More information at www.runtrails.org - Events.
Greg Waite, TRAQ treasurer.
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Evan Hourigan Memorial Walk, CanberraAll are most cordially invited to participate in a Memorial Walk in memory of Canberra athlete Evan Hourigan. The walk will be held on Sunday 20 May at 10.30 am, starting and finishing in Commonwealth Park.
Evan participated in many athletic events and was a keen triathlete. He finished his first marathon at the Gold Coast in 2005 and was embarking on his first Ironman Triathlon. He has competed in many Sri Chinmoy events. Tragically in November 2006 Evan died while competing in a Sri Chinmoy event in Canberra. He was 34 years old. He was very popular with other athletes. He is survived by his wife, Sharon and son Kai (who is now 15 months old). Sharon is expecting their second child in July this year.
This is an event to remember and celebrate Evan and also help raise money for his children. The Walk is being organised by Evan's friends. At the end of the walk there will be a complimentary barbeque lunch and drinks, with lucky door prizes, including signed Brumbies, Sydney Swans and North Melbourne Football jumpers to be given away.
If you are unable to attend the walk but would like to make a donation, please see the details below.
Where: Commonwealth Park, Rond Terrace at the bottom of Anzac Parade on Lake Burley Griffin
When: Sunday 20 May 2007
Start time: 10:30 am
Entry fee: $10.00
The Course: from Commonwealth Park, crossing both Commonwealth and Kings Avenue Bridge, returning to the park (approximately 5.5 kilometres)
In order for the organisers to know how many to cater for, it is important to RSVP to the following email address:
The entry fee and any further donations can be made on the day or by making payment to the following account:
Account name: WalterTurnbull Pty Ltd - Evan Hourigan Memorial Walk
Account Number: 062 919 1028 2636
All proceeds will go directly to Evan's son Kai and his soon to be little brother/sister to assist them with their development and education.
Posted at 17:52 [Perma-Link]
ACT mountain running championshipsMt Majura, ACT, Saturday 5 May 2007
Stunning performance by Wallington the highlight of the ACT Mountain Running Championships
The ACT Mountain Running Championships were taken out by interstate visitors, Neil Labinsky of Queensland winning the men’s title and Canowindra school girl Veronica Wallington the women’s.
Sixteen year old Wallington produced a stunning performance, slashing more than a minute from the course record held by world long distance mountain running champion Emma Murray and over two minutes off the 2005 Australian championship record time of Vivian Pott of Queensland who went on to finish 11th in the World Championship that year. Wallington appears to be an outstanding prospect for this year’s World Junior Mountain Running Championship, after completing the first lap in under course record time and then accelerated in the next lap, clocking 46 mins 5 secs for the 9kms which had a total elevation gain of 600 metres. Canberra’s Vanessa Haverd was 2nd in 50:21 and Angela Bateup of Yass 3rd in 51:24.
Neil Labinsky showed outstanding endurance at the 2007 Six Foot Track in finishing 5th in 3:36:25 but used superior downhill speed to nullify the uphill running strength and local knowledge of South Canberra Tuggeranong’s Stuart Doyle in the ACT men’s 13 km championship. The lead see-sawed between the two during the first and second of the three ascents and descents of the mountain. Labinsky eventually claimed victory for the 13 kms in 65:04, with Doyle runner-up in 66:09, and M50 world long distance champion Trevor Jacobs of Weston Creek 3rd in 70:29. Unfortunately Labinsky is heading to South Africa for the Comrades Marathon and will not be around for the Australian Mountain Running Championship on Mt Majura on 16 June. But if downhill running is an advantage for the downhill Comrades, he will undoubtedly do very well.
Senior women’s 9kms:
1 Veronica Wallington 46.05, 2 Vanessa Haverd 50.21, 3 Angela Bateup 51.24, 4 Cindy King 55.18, 5 Narelle Patrick 58.29.
W35 9kms: 1 Angela Bateup 51.24, 2 Cindy King 55.18.
W40 9kms: 1 Narelle Patrick 58.29.
Senior men’s 13kms:
1 Neil Labinsky 65.04, 2 Stuart Doyle 66.09, 3 Trevor Jacobs 70.29, 4 Damian Green 73.12, 5 Norak Theam 80.32, 6 Ian Wright 80.37, 7 Mick Corlis 86.30, 8 Simon Krantzcke 86.58, 9 Christophe Vial 90.54, 10 Hugh Jorgensen 92.27, 11 Ross Stewart 98.38, 12 Matthew Hole 103.29.
M40 13kms: 1 Stuart Doyle 66.09, 2 Damian Green 73.12, 3 Simon Krantzcke 86.58, 4 Christophe Vial 90.54, 5 Hugh Jorgensen 92.27, 6 Ross Stewart 98.38.
M45 13kms: 1 Mick Corlis 86.30.
M50 men’s 8.8kms: 1 Ian Wright 53.33.
M55 men’s 8.8kms:1 Trevor Jacobs 45.59, 2 Peter Clarke 52.28, 3 Ian Wright 53.33, 4 Hugh Moore 56.17, 5 Mick Charlton 71.56.
Open 4.7kms: 1 John Revesz 54.42.
Posted at 13:15 [Perma-Link]
The Pichi Richi Marathon is on again!As per tradition, the marathon is being held on the first weekend of the mid year school holidays, Sunday 8 July 2007.
Due to overwhelming public support for the event, a new committee has been formed to continue the success that the Port Augusta Road Runners have established with this event. With the assistance of the Port Augusta City and Flinders Ranges Councils, along with local community/charity groups, the 26th Pichi Richi Marathon is shaping up to be bigger than ever. 2007 will see the same events offered as in previous years; 42km Marathon, 21km Half Marathon Walk/Run, and 10.5km Walk/Run.
As with any event, its success is not just measured by the strength and organization of the committee but by the commitment of competitors. So, we are encouraging everyone to start training to either run or walk our beautiful scenic route between Port Augusta and Quorn, culminating in a social afternoon at the Quorn Oval.
Please visit our website at www.pichirichimarathon.org.au for entry form locations or print off and send in the online entry form.
Posted at 08:33 [Perma-Link]