Monners shades our Jimmy
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.”