Record numbers witness Australians take out all distances of the Melbourne Marathon
The Samsung Melbourne Marathon, boasted record numbers with 16,294 competitors pounding Melbourne’s pavements across four race distances in an out and back course from the MCG. The early Sunday morning start saw competitors take to a choice of the Samsung Melbourne Marathon 42km, Asics Half Marathon 21km, Coffee Club Melbourne 10km or the Active Feet 5.5km run/walk.
The male elite competitors in the hero event saw a field of 2253 International and Australian entrants in the 42km Samsung Melbourne Marathon. Rowan Walker (ACT) ran a personal best of 0:2:19:16 to take out the title for 2007. Close behind was Kenyan, Josphat Gatiiya Mwangi running 2:20:51 followed in third place by local South Yarra resident, Trent Harlow in 02:21:58.
Geelong takes out another victory, as local resident marathon winner Rowan Walker lays claim to the Samsung Melbourne Marathon. Rowan is a regular competitor with Geelong Regional Team and has focused his 2007 training program on this event. Rowan’s previous marathon victory was in the inaugural Run for The Kids in 2006. Rowan will now set his sights on the heat of Hong Kong Marathon where he’ll represent Australia in the Greatest Race on Earth Challenge.
With 664 females registered in the 42km marathon, the field was anticipated to be highly competitive and did not disappoint. Australians took out the trifecta with Hanny Alston (TAS) first in a personal best time of 02:40:34, Helen Stanton (QLD) second in 02:41:51 and Billinda Schipp (NSW) third in 02:42:22.
Only her second marathon attempt ever, Tasmanian female winner, Hanny Allston has quickly established credibility as an elite runner on the Australian athletics scene. Hanny competed in her first marathon in her hometown of Hobart last January 2007 and placed an impressive 6th. Hanny is also a World Orienteering Champion.
The Asics Half Marathon also had an impressive line up of athletes with a majority of Australians placed. The half marathon attracted a full field of 5000 competitors. The male winners were Brett Cartwright (ACT) first in a time of 01:03:02, second Martin Dent (ACT) 01:03:44 and third Japanese Yoshihito Sato. The female winner was Lauren Shelley (WA) in 01:14:57, second Japanese Hisako Koguro in 01:15:11 and third Susan Power (VIC) close behind on 01:18:14.
Visit http://www.melbournemarathon.com.au for race results.