Australian Elite Marathon Update: Melbourne & Chicago

What a weekend of running! The Medibank Melbourne Marathon and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon both took place on Sunday (13 October) with a slew of previous Gold Coast Airport Marathon high achievers producing fantastic results.

Congratulations to the following:

Three-time ASICS Half Marathon & 2012 Southern Cross University 10km winner and race record-holder for both events Lisa Jane Weightman won the women’s Melbourne Marathon clocking a personal best & a new course record with 2:26:05. Weightman’s run was the fourth fastest marathon time on Australian soil by a female and was also the fastest marathon run by an Australian female in Australia. Her time was also an A-qualifier for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

  • Nikki Chapple

2013 ASICS Half Marathon winner Nikki Chapple backed up her Gold Coast win by claiming the women’s Melbourne Half Marathon in 1:11:23.

  • Yuki Kawauchi (JPN)

2013 Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner and course record holder Yuki Kawauchi came second in the Melbourne Marathon clocking 2:11:40.

  • Yukiko Akaba (JPN)

2013 Gold Coast Airport Marathon female winner and course record holder Yukiko Akaba ran seventh in 2:27:49.

  • Liam Adams

2012 ASICS Half Marathon winner Liam Adams was the first Australian to cross the Melbourne Marathon finish line with a time of 2:14:09. It was his debut marathon and an A-qualifier for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

  • Scott Westcott

2011 Southern Cross University 10km third placegetter Scott Westcott ran 2:14:21 in the Melbourne Marathon. Despite it being his last competitive race, Scott’s time was also an A-qualifier for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

  • Steve Moneghetti

Gold Coast Airport Marathon ambassador & 1993 ASICS Half Marathon winner Steve Moneghetti crossed the Melbourne 10km in fifth position clocking 31:27. It is an unofficial world record for a 51-year-old.

  • Michael Shelley

Five-time Southern Cross University 10km & 2008 ASICS Half Marathon winner Michael Shelley came 12th in the Chicago Marathon running  2:13:09. This is his second A-qualifier for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after he clocked 2:13:12 in the Beppu-Oita Marathon in Japan back in February.

  • Kurt Fearnley

2009 Wheelchair Half Marathon winner Kurt Fearnley came second in the wheelchair marathon in Chicago when he rolled over the line in 1:30:38, just losing in a sprint finish with eventual race winner Ernst van Dyk from South Africa by one second.

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Interview: Michael Milton

Six-time Paralympian Michael Milton has competed on the world’s largest sporting stage but admits his world record attempt at this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon (6 – 7 July) could be his toughest challenge to date.

The Australian Paralympic skier, cyclist and paratriathlete will run the 42.195km course on Sunday 7 July using a world-first custom-made pair of carbon fibre crutches with the aim of beating the Guinness World Record time for a marathon on crutches.

The record stands at six hours, 42 minutes and 47 seconds.

Last week we got the chance to interview Michael and we learnt more about the reasons why he has chosen to run, his training efforts, how he is feeling during the lead-up and his views on the growth of the Paralympic Games.

Q1. When did you decide to take on this challenge? What drove you to your decision and why?

I have had a marathon on the bucket list for a long time. I have always enjoyed running but didn’t do much during the second half of my skiing career as I have some overuse injury issues, etc. After skiing and cycling I got into triathlon so I returned to some running. I then developed some very special running crutches and started to think a marathon may be possible. I’ve been building up to it distance-wise but, when I completed my first half marathon a couple of months ago, I decided it was time to have a crack at the longer distance.

Q2. You have a long list of both sporting and life achievements. Where will this sit in comparison when you cross the finish line?

It is hard to say until I’ve been through the pain, finished and know the final result. I hope I can finish and, when I do, it will feel great to accomplish a major goal, even better to share it with my young family. I hope it doesn’t hurt too much.

Q3. Do you believe that this will be one of the hardest challenges you have set out to achieve?

This could be the hardest physical challenge so far. Running on crutches for around six hours will be super tough.

Q4. How are you feeling two weeks out? Confident, nervous, excited?

Definitely nervous. My preparation so far has not been great. That’s weighing on my mind as 42km is the great unknown for me. I just don’t know how deep I will have to dig. I am prepared to put my all into it on the day though.

Michael Milton ThredboMichael Milton takes a detour onto the Friday Flat slope during a run in Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains. Photo by Steve Cuff / skitracks.com.au

Q5. How has your training been going? What sort of training program have you set? For example, how many kilometres a week?

Running with crutches is pretty demanding and hard on the body. I limit myself to a max of 50km per week. I tend to do another 150km on the bike to retain the base fitness without the injury and overuse problems associated with too many running K’s. My energy levels go up and down a lot after a cancer battle six years ago. Consistent training is a dream for me.

Q6. How will you remain positive and motivated if things get tough on course?

I will have a couple of mates there with me. I don’t tend to talk much but retreat internally to look for the strength to keep going and to push through the mental and physical barriers. My fastest 5km split was the last 5km of the half marathon so I am hoping I can get to the 30km mark before it hurts too much.

Q7. I understand you want people to be inspired not by your disability but rather by your actions and what you do. Do you have a message to other people out there who are aiming to complete a goal of their own?

Find something that is fun and healthy and just get out there and do it.  I think the hardest part for most people is starting.  Take a breath and begin.

Q8. The Paralympics has seen major growth both financially and popularity in recent years, most notably London 2012. What is your view on the growth of the Paralympics and have you seen many changes since you made your debut?

I went to my first Games in 1988 as one of just five self-funded Australian athletes and a coach I’d never met. There was no coverage and the spectators were mostly athletes’ families. There’s been a shift in perception over recent years about what people with disability can achieve. The Paralympic movement has played a major role in that change and it’s great to see athletes with a disability admired for their physical prowess instead of pitied because of their disability or even treated as a bit of a curiousity. There was huge public interest in the London Games and loads more coverage.  That growth will continue through to Rio and I can’t wait!

Michael Milton ThredboPhoto by Steve Cuff / skitracks.com.au

Michael also spoke to Radio RPH in Adelaide this week. You can listen to the full interview here.

Steve Moneghetti: The Final Word

By Steve Moneghetti

Well, here we are just three days out from the Gold Coast Airport Marathon race weekend and thousands of readers are about to achieve their goal of making it to the start line.

Well done. It’s an achievement in itself.

Enjoy the atmosphere on the start line and during the event as it is a truly life affirming experience.

GCAM-001-9878And to make sure your final preparations are as enjoyable and trouble-free as possible, I’d like to share the following last-minute tips with you:

Make sure you do only light jogging or cross training this week to allow your body to absorb the months of training you’ve done.

Remember to charge your GPS watch fully (you certainly don’t want to lose battery half way through your race).

Don’t forget your numbered bib with the timing chip in it and pin it on to your singlet or t-shirt the night before so you are ready for your very early start.

Always allow extra time as I find the morning closes in on you very quickly.

Go to the toilet before you leave home or the hotel as there will invariably be queues at the start area.

Men, be sure to tape or band aid your nipples to avoid chafing.

GCAM-044-0061Familiarise yourself with the start area and the course by checking out the Gold Coast Airport Marathon  website www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au

You’ll find the Official Race Guide there, a really helpful race day checklist and the all-important information on race start assembly times and places, course and precinct access and road closures.

Let your friends and family know the good spots to cheer you on as they will provide much needed morale support for you out on the course.

Ask them to cheer from the roadway this year because the Southport Aquatic Centre re-development means the finish area is for participants only in 2013.

Keep the carbohydrates and fluids up on the days leading in.

Consider taking a day off work on Friday.

I appreciate such advice carries the risk of bringing the country to a grinding halt if everyone does it, but you will appreciate it in the last few kilometres of the race.

And don’t try or do anything different on race day.

You’ve done your preparation, so just enjoy the spoils of your training and every minute of your run.

GCAM-131-8621One bloke who always does is my old mate, three-time Olympian and 2004 ASICS Half Marathon winner Lee Troop who says he’s out to crack my own Australian 40+ half marathon record of 64:33.

In the spirit of records being made to be broken, I wish Troopy all the very best.

And for those still considering a run or a walk on the weekend, entries will remain open until this Friday evening at 8:00pm.

My wife Tanya and I are both running in the Southern Cross University 10km Run, and our children Emma, Matthew and Olivia will also be along (our daughter Laura is overseas on a school trip at the moment).

So we’ll see you out there.

Good luck everyone!

Steve Moneghetti is a four-time Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Australian Chef de Mission and Gold Coast Airport Marathon Ambassador.

This year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon race program will feature the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank  5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races.

Entries for the 35th Gold Coast Airport Marathon are open.

GCAM11 Pace runner and ambassador Steve Moneghetti

Interview: Kate Hollywood

Beijing Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games hockey gold medalist Kate Hollywood will step up to the 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon at this year’s event. Kate completed the ASICS Half Marathon last year in a time of 1:50:05 and was so inspired by last year’s marathon finishers that she decided she would tackle the full marathon this weekend. We got the chance to chat to Kate about her goals for the race, the difference between training for hockey and marathons and much more.

6735_118422105691_2799200_n

Q. Why have you decided to enter the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon?

I ran the ASICS Half Marathon last year and stayed around to watch the finish of the Marathon. I was so inspired by the people who were competing in it, right there and then I decided I wanted to do it. The emotion on their faces as they crossed the line from the elite athletes to the everyday runners was truly touching.

Q. What is your goal for this year’s race? A certain time? Or to just finish?  

I would like to run it in under four hour as I’ve heard the average is 4:10mins (want to be better than average). But also just want to complete the race and cross that finish line.

Q. When things start to get tough on the course how will you motivate yourself to keep going?

I think by the other people who are running. Knowing that everyone else is there (most likely in a world of hurt) will inspire me to keep going.

Q. You ran the ASICS Half Marathon last year. How was that experience for you and were you happy with your run?

It was an unbelievable experience. I had never been in an event like that and loved every minute of the experience. I was happy with my time (can’t remember what it was) but only trained for about four weeks for it. So once again was just happy to finish.

Q. Are there many differences and similarities between hockey training and training for a running event?

I guess there are. We do a lot of running in hockey, but it is more short and sharp and I guess most of the time bent over! I guess the amount of K’s we do over and over week in and week out is something my body is used too.

 Q. You live in Sydney – where is your favourite place to run?

I love running anywhere where there is water, a sunrise or sunset. I live in Cronulla so I love running low tide on the beach or along the esplanade.

Q. What’s next for you after you smash the Gold Coast Airport Marathon?

I am competing in some other runs throughout the year (as an Ambassador for Autism Spectrum Australia) and hopefully some more Triathlons towards the end of the year when the Tri season starts back again. As well as anything else that I can be involved in.

6735_118422110691_8714_nImages courtesy of Kate Hollywood’s Facebook Fan Page.

Steve Moneghetti: Warm-Up & Cool-Down

By Steve Moneghetti

A proper warm up before and cool down after activity are both very important to maximise performance and enhance recovery and you should view them as an integral part of your training sessions and races.

The purpose of warming up for any sport, including running, is to prepare the body both physically and mentally for the training session or competition to follow.

And there are some terrific tips at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au

StretchingThey tell us slow running is a sensible way to prepare the muscles and cardiovascular system for faster running.

The warm-up should still begin with some five to ten minutes of cardiovascular activity to raise your core body temperature, increase your heart rate and get the blood flowing to the working muscles.

Activities such as leg swings, arm swings, sideways and backwards running, skipping, body weight squats, lunge walks and calf walks are all good ways to limber up and reduce stiffness in a more dynamic fashion.

Beach stretchingTechnique drills such as high knees and star jumps help to improve your neuromuscular co-ordination, ankle/knee/hip strength, balance and body awareness.

Aim to complete three to six runs over about 50m as a final preparation for the session proper or race begins. Focus on your form (tall, strong, relaxed and smooth).

You can intersperse the dynamic exercises or even some very light stretching if you feel the need with the periods of easy jogging so it becomes continuous and active.

And never underestimate the importance of the cool down.

In just the same way you never see a thoroughbred stop just after the winning post or a 1500 metre swimmer will have a 200m swim between his race and the medal presentations, an active cool down for runners is important to bring your heart rate back down gradually.

Cooling offFive to ten minutes of walking and jogging will reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by blood pooling in the extremities.

This continuous submaximal activity will also promote the removal of metabolites, such as lactate, produced during exercise and can reduce the muscle soreness often experienced 24-72 hours after a hard session or race.

The cool down can be completed with a period of static stretching. Static stretching is more appropriate during the cool down due to its relaxation effect on the muscles.

Steve Moneghetti is a four-time Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Australian Chef de Mission and Gold Coast Airport Marathon Ambassador.

This year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon race program will feature the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank  5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races.

Entries for the 35th Gold Coast Airport Marathon are open.

GCAM11 Pace runner and ambassador Steve Moneghetti