GBR Marathon suc­cess

Beat­ing the heat was the name of the game

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Shane Ni­chols

THE grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val was on dis­play on Sun­day as nearly 2000 con­tes­tants lined up to bat­tle it out against each other a slew of var­i­ous dis­tance races.

The Port Dou­glas fix­ture, this time ded­i­cated to rais­ing money for re­search into whale sharks, prom­ises to be big­ger and bet­ter next year, with corol­lary events also planned for Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Sin­ga­pore to be run in Septem­ber, shar­ing the same fundrais­ing con­cept as the Port Dou­glas event.

Sun­day was op­pres­sively hot, and it was too much for five run­ners who had to be treated by the paramedics. And at least one com­peti­tor, com­ing first at the time in the marathon, was di­rected the wrong way by a mar­shal and fell out of the event.

Event am­bas­sador, run­ning leg­end Steve Moneghetti, was there to com­pete in his own name­sake marathon, com­ing in third.

“It was so hot out there,” Moneghetti told the “I just walked the last 5-6 km. I reckon a lot of peo­ple out there are go­ing to be strug­gling,” he said, as cooked run­ners stag­gered to the line.

Rio Olympian and fes­ti­val am­bas­sador Jess Tren­gove, who won the women’s 10km, urged peo­ple to keep spread­ing the word about the event.

“Once some­body has run here they can re­lay back the in­for­ma­tion on just how pretty it is and a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment it is and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

“I think if ev­ery­one who had a good ex­pe­ri­ence here this year goes and tells a friend, that’s go­ing to be what in­creases the num­bers.”

Tren­gove could even use the 2017 event as a lead-in to the Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games in April 2018.

Moneghetti agreed. He said he was con­vinced the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val was at a “tip­ping point” to es­tab­lish­ing it­self as a must-do event.

“Peo­ple now know it’s on and just need to get or­gan­ised and en­ter next year,” he said.

Eleven run­ners from El­cho Is­land off the coast of north­east Arn­hem Land at­tended the Great Bar­rier Reef Marathon Fes­ti­val for the 5km and 10km events, fol­low­ing the lead of trail­blazer Eve­lyna Dhamar­randji.

The mother-of-two, 26, was one of the first mem­bers of the In­dige­nous Marathon Foun­da­tion project, tak­ing her from the re­mote area to the New York Marathon in 2013.


MC Bruno in­ter­views the Ul­tra­ma­rathon win­ner An­thony Ralph, with coun­cil­lor Abi­gail Noli and Bar­ron MP Craig Craw­ford look­ing on.

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