Shepparton Runners Club Marathon, 29 August
A change in running style and recovery from a knee injury has enabled Brighton runner, Paul Gladwell, to win the Shepparton Runner's Club marathon on Sunday, August 29. Gladwell, 44, had been looking forward to competing on the scenic route along the river banks, but instead was faced with a different course due to minor flooding in Shepparton which had cut the original course in many places.
The two-lap 21km loop was held on sealed and gravel road, which also allowed for spectators to follow the runners closely. In a record breaking field of 74, Gladwell finished with a time of 2.50:07, 10 minutes outside of the record, in front of Brendan Woodman 2.54:19 and Steven Barker 3.02:22.
The women's event was won by Meta Vincent, a 40 year-old resident of Preston, in a time of 3.18:26. This event was Vincent's 19th marathon in nine years, who is also a half-ironman competitor. Melisa Lynn and Bryony McConnell finished second and third in times of 3.19:31 and 3.19:37 respectively.
A half marathon event was held in conjunction with the main race which saw Wangaratta runner Robbie Herbert victorious. Stress fracture and shin splints in the past two years did not stop the 40-year-old from storming home in an impressive 1.17:14, six minutes ahead of Michael Hill 1.23:28 and Chris Armstrong 1.25:57. April Humphray was victorious in the women's half marathon finishing with 1.29:26, ahead of Anna Podbury 1.30:44 and Shepparton triathlete Anne Maclean 1.31:44.
Local runner John Serra took out the 10km honors in a time of 40:08. Despite being local, Serra had no unfair advantage due to the course being changed only one day before the race. Minor placings went to Peter Elliott 43:25 and Bryan Hanson 43:28. Yarrawonga's Stephanie Elliot was the women's winner with 41:47, ahead of Leanne Rawson 42:43 and Jeannie Furphy 42:58.
A 3km fun run/walk was also held with an eager group starting shortly after the main races. While there were no winners or times recorded, the event is to encourage spectators and family to participate in healthy exercise, and to help pass the time while they await their athletes to return.
The Kids Marathon was concluded on Sunday with children finishing their 42.195km run. Over the past eight weeks the school children had been running one kilometre per day around their school oval, and were eager to finish their event in an official capacity. Sixty students took up the challenge and were ecstatic to cross the finish line to the huge applause from spectators, who were in awe that the children completed such a mammoth task.