Is running the elixer of youth?
The annual Cadbury Marathon events starting and finishing under the shadows of the famous chocolate factory had a complete range of running age’s as the event also doubled as the Australian Masters Half Marathon Championships. Whilst first across the line were young, and in the prime of their athletisism I marvelled to see runners over the age of 70 still getting through 21km’s, and most likely enjoying a great quality of life. With the worldwide epidemic of poor health and lack of exercise plaguing modern society, if everybody ran, the world would be a better place to live.
The full 42.2km distance had a strong turn out of 300 competitors at 6am. The expected rain didn’t last and conditions warmed up during the morning. In a well judged race, Sydney’s Alex Matthews ran through the field after being in fifth position after the 10km mark. Matthews recorded a time of 2h 28m 7s in his second ever road marathon to take the victory. 2010 winner and course record holder Scott McTaggart came in second, with Ethiopian Asheber Germa third. First Tasmanian male home was Daniel Smee in a time of 2h 40m 16s.
The womens winner Kirsten Molloy of Wollongong had put it out there that she was after the course record and was moving well early, taking pb’s at 10km and half marathon. Unable to hold the pace, but take the title, Molloy finished in a time of 2h 48m 53s. This was only 1m 26s off the course record set by Hanny Allston in 2007. The other females on the podium were Lucie Hardiman and Claire Durrant.
Tassies own Dave Thomas showed his ripping form with a solid win in the half marathon, beating last years winner Wondwosen Geleta and last years first Tasmanian Andy Allison in a time of 1h 7m 30s. One of the most popular runners in the state, Thomas has been rumoured to be training up to 200km per week and a stint in endurance mecca Boulder Colorado. This capped off an eventful 12 hour period for Thomas after he had to sleep in his car at the race start on Saturday night, after not being able to find accommodation in Hobart. I do remember the event organiser having a red hot sledge in the Mercury at the Burnie Ten organisers a few years ago about the substandard treatment of elite athletes. Maybe he needs to look in his own backyard?
Fresh from Falls Creek training camp, Perth’s (WA) Lauren Shelley was too strong in the women’s half to finish in 1h 16m 11s. Shelley is a former Commonwealth Games marathon representative and was using this race as preparation for the Osaka Marathon in late January. Natasha Cole and Claire Williams rounded out the podium.
In the 5km challenge it was great to see one of tassies greatest women distance runners, Kylie Risk in action to take the win along with track specialist Tom Beard hauling in mountain man Jordan Harries before the line.
Images of the race will be found at Marathon Photo’s.