A RESOUNDING SUCCESSFUL WEEKEND OF RUNNING & FUN!
RECORD fields, a friendly atmosphere and one of the world’s most breathtaking stretches of road – it all adds up to form an unforgettable weekend.
The ninth annual Great Ocean Road Real Estate International Marathon Festival weekend was the biggest and best yet, an achievement which would not have been possible without the support of our incredible competitors.
MOST POPULAR KIDS’ GALLOP
Whether it was one of our gallant veterans who has competed each of the nine years, or a toddler who ticked over their little legs so they could pump their arms in the air when they reached the finish line of the popular Vetta Pasta Kids’ Gallop, every participant contributed to the success of the weekend.
THE CHAMPION AFRICANS
The marquee 45km marathon from Lorne to Apollo Bay welcomed a new name to its honour roll, with Kenyan Joel Chepkopol crowned champion after outsprinting compatriot Philip Kigen in a heart-stopping finish.
Thousands lined the main street of Apollo Bay to witness the exceptional display of athleticism from the Africans, who completed a trifecta in the headline event as reigning two-time champion James Kipkelwon crossed the line third. His record of 2:27.42 remains, although Chepkopol was just eight seconds shy of eclipsing Kipkelwon’s time.
Four-time Olympian Craig Mottram was a clear crowd favourite, highlighted by a group of enthusiastic spectators at Wye River letting out an enormous cheer when the Australian track star passed through the town. About 29 kilometres later and spectators were scrambling to give him a high-five as he approached the finish line in Apollo Bay, marking the end of his first marathon. While the longest distance the track star had covered before the event was 36 kilometres, he managed to complete the arduous 45km journey in 2:49.12 to finish ninth overall – an impressive time which suggests he will be a force to be reckoned with as he ultimately aims to contest a major international marathon.
TRACIE KAYE TRIUMPHS IN FEMALE SECTION
The triumphant female was Ballarat’s Tracie Kaye, who had to pinch herself at the finish line as she struggled to comprehend what she had just achieved. The Great Ocean Road Real Estate Marathon was only her second marathon but the personal trainer managed to pip race favourite Magda Karimali-Poulos.
HALF MARATHON WINNER ONLY 18 YEARS!
Honours in the Fagg’s Mitre 10 Half Marathon from Kennett River to Apollo Bay went to Kenyan young gun Festus Talam and Echuca’s Tarli Bird, while Talam also took out the 14km Geelong Advertiser race. The first female was Amelia Aslanides. Race patron Steve Moneghetti had his first competitive hit-out since returning from Achilles surgery, finishing a credible fifth in the 14km run to Paradise.
Another Australian running legend quietly slipped into the 14km event, with Cathy Freeman (now Murch) spotted enjoying the event. And the Olympic stars didn’t stop there. Oarsome Foursome member James Tomkins returned to the festival, stepping up to the Half Marathon after competing in the 14km last year.
The Mizuno 6km race to Marengo was taken out by Geelong’s Brenton Rowe and Melissa Duncan, from Upwey South.
HISTORY RE-WRITTEN WHEELCHAIR CHALLENGE
The history books were re-written after the TAC Wheelchair Athletes’ Challenge as Jemima Moore became the first competitor to win four consecutive titles, being the top female the past four years. Overall honours went to dual Paralympian gold medallist Richard Colman, who thrives on competing in local events. He squeezed the 14km Challenge into a hectic schedule as he prepares for the World Championships in France in July, where he will contest the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and marathon.
INTERNATIONALS FROM 23 COUNTRIES
The Great Ocean Road Marathon Festival has truly stamped itself as an international race, welcoming athletes from 23 overseas countries, as well as all Australian states and territories. Preparation is already underway to ensure the event continues to grow and improve. SO COME AND JOIN IN THE 10TH YEAR CELEBRATIONS TOO!
Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you again next year on May 17-18, 2014.