RECORD RUNNERS IN HILLY HALF MARATHON
Australia’s athletics royalty turns back the clock at the age of 52
THE sun glistened and the water sparkled as Steve Moneghetti made Hamilton Island his kingdom for the day.
The 52-year-old is Australian athletics royalty, but it was Hamilton Island’s Hilly Half Marathon that he ruled on Sunday, clocking a course record on the way to victory.
Despite a nagging achilles injury, Moneghetti finished the “unbelievably tough” course in 1.36.22 to beat reigning champion James Tunna and Richard Banks.
Moneghetti, who has raced Olympic and Commonwealth marathons, said the trek looked like a butterfly but stung like a bee.
“There aren’t many as tough as this,” he said.
“If you climb such high peaks you deserve a beautiful view and the view from the lookout is just amazing, looking right across the islands... that’s a view worth running up there for.
“There weren’t a lot of flat sections either. It was either pretty steep up or pretty steep down and that’s really unusual.
“A bit of experience and years of training probably helped me out there.”
Moneghetti admitted the course surprised him before the race and said it was an achievement to cross the line.
“I didn’t realise until I got up here just how hilly it was and I kind of panicked a bit yesterday (Saturday),” he said.
“I went for a run down around Coral Cove and I got really sore quads and I thought ‘if that’s just an easy 7km run how hard is the half going to be?’.
“It was unbelievably tough and once you’ve finished you’ve got a great sense of satisfaction.
“At the end of the day we’ve all had a win because it’s such a tough course.”
Local runner Lloyd ClodeRoberts won the under-30 category and finished eighth of all men while Fred Diedler, of Proserpine, claimed second in the over-50s.
HILLY HALF: Ben Cooper charges up a hill during Sunday’s race.
STRENGTH OF MIND: Richard Banks flexed his muscle to finish third overall.