Mon­ners shades our Jimmy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

THE Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon stepped up to its high­est level yet with a huge field of par­tic­i­pants throng­ing Four Mile Beach for the var­i­ous dis­tance events.

The pre­vail­ing wet con­di­tions less­ened the hu­mid­ity and made con­di­tions much more com­fort­able for the hosts of run­ners.

Per­haps against ex­pec­ta­tions, Moss­man ra­di­ol­o­gist gave up his man­tle as last year’s win­ner to the old warhorse, Steve Moneghetti, who took out the 42km marathon for the fourth time, hit­ting the line with a time of 3:07:21, which was 11 min­utes ahead of Jimmy.

Moneghetti’s name is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to the event, and the pair have an en­dur­ing ri­valry in the Port Dou­glas event. At 36, Jimmy Hil­ton is in his run­ning prime, while the leg­endary Moneghetti, a child­hood hero of Jimmy’s, is now in his early 50s

“I’m very happy with the re­sult,” Hil­ton told News Corp.

“Steve’s a world-class ath­lete. He put the pedal to the me­tal and I couldn’t catch him.

“I wasn’t quite as ready for it as last year, con­di­tion-wise.

He said the Bump Track leg of the 42km track was its usual gru­elling self, with run­ners hav­ing to trek up­hill on rugged ter­rain for sev­eral kilo­me­tres.

“We got to the bot­tom of the Bump and Steve and I pow­ered off to­gether for a bit,” he said.

“Then I got cramps in my ham­mies and quads, which I’ve never had be­fore and it slowed me right down.

“Port Dou­glas is prob­a­bly one of the tough­est (marathons) you can do, just be­cause of the ter­rain and the hill in­volved in the mid­dle of it. “I found it very, very hard.” De­spite a busy work­ing sched­ule Hil­ton said he man­aged fit in about eight hours of train­ing per week in the leadup to the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon.

The long-dis­tance races var­ied from the gru­elling 74km ul­tra marathon, down to the 2.5km kids fun run.

The event raised more than $20,000 for James Cook Univer­sity’s Run for the Reef Re­search Fund.

The win­ner of the men’s Ul­tra Marathon was Rob Clarke. Ladies win­ners were Britt Cal­ing in the Ul­tra Marathon and Lau­ren Drury in the Marathon. Olympians Craig Mot­tram and Jess Tren­gove also took part.

“The date for next year’s event has been set with Sun­day, Novem­ber 6, locked in for the Trop­i­cal Jour­neys Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val,” said gen­eral man­ager Jess Uh­lig.

“Reg­is­tra­tions will open in March and we look for­ward to see­ing ev­ery­one next year.”

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