Australian Road Running Championships
Less than two months after her ninth-place performance in the marathon at the IAAF World Championships in London, South Australian Jess Trengove returned to the streets of Adelaide to take first place at the 2017 Australian Road Running Championships on Sunday.
It was a busy weekend for Australian distance runners, with the road running championships coinciding with the Australian Marathon Championships held at the Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival as well as many other notable events across the country including Darwin’s Mitchell Street Mile.
Trengove took the win in the 12km run that was a part of the Sunday Mail City-Bay fun run which saw 26,000 runners complete the course between King William Road and Glenelg Beach.
Trengove finished in a personal best time of 39:03 to take the win from Olympic steeplechaser Victoria Mitchell (NSW) in 40:10 and Leanne Pompeani (ACT) in 40:46.
The win saw Trengove claim her first Australian road running title with her third win at the City-Bay event.
“It was a huge honour to take the win and I really enjoyed the morning,” Trengove said.
“There was a great vibe and the weather was beautiful – I loved it.”
“I was happy with how my body felt which is promising for the upcoming months because it’s going to be a busy schedule over the next nine months or so.”
Joined by many of her training partners and coach Adam Didyk in Adelaide, Trengove was full of praise for her squad’s effort on the day.
“A lot of my training partners from Team Tempo were running and there was a lot of personal bests from the whole squad across the day.”
“It was great to see a close training partner of mine in Riley Cocks get second place in the men’s race – he’s had some problems with injury recently so that was especially great to see.”
Trengove also shared praise for the thousands of runners who took advantage of the good spring weather to get out there and have a run.
“When the conditions are nice, you feel really good running and to see everyone out there enjoying it was great,” Trengove said.
“It’s an exciting time for distance running in Australia particularly at the participation level with the numbers we are seeing at parkrun and people getting out and running – it’s awesome to see.”
Trengove will now weigh up the possibility of running the Zatopek:10 (Australian 10,000m championships) at Lakeside Stadium (Vic) in December before possibly heading overseas for a half-marathon in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
In the men’s event, Olympian Brett Robinson (Vic) made a triumphant return to competition, taking the win after spending an agonising winter on the sidelines due to injury.
“I’m really happy with the run, not only to take the win but to feel good being back out there,” Robinson said.
Robinson, who hadn’t raced since February due to a stress fracture in his femur, took the win in a time of 35:06 and was understandably relieved with his pain-free performance.
“I knew I was pretty fit, but after an injury like that you never really know so to go out there and feel good after such a long time off was great.”
Long bike sessions at the Victorian Institute of Sport helped the 5000m specialist stay in shape over the winter as he targets his return to the track later this year.
“It’s going to be a big summer in Australia obviously – a very important one with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games coming up.”
World University Games representative Riley Cocks (SA, 35:48) finished second in the men’s race, while Dejen Gebreselassie (Tas, 35:55) crossed in third.
Olympic racewalking couple Jared and Claire Tallent (SA), were the first male and female walkers to cross the line. Claire took to the course four months after the birth of the couple’s son Harvey.
Australian Marathon Championships
In Sydney at the Australian Marathon Championships, it was Makda Harun Haji (Vic) who took the women's overall win and the Australian title in a course record time of 2:28:06.
An Ethiopian athlete, Makda runs for Melbourne University Athletics Club, making her eligible for the Australian title, but is unable to compete for Australia at international events until she gains citizenship.
Successfully defending the title she won in 2016, Makda crossed in 10th place overall and 55 seconds in front of Kenyan duo Bornes Jepkirui Kitur in 2:29:01 and Mercy Jerotich Kibarus in 2:30:12.
Makda’s rise to running prominence in Australia has been remarkable after she fled an unsafe situation in Ethiopia in 2014 and arrived in Australia with little money and no English.
The Australian men’s title went to Collingwood Harriers’ Jai Edmonds (Vic) who finished his first ever marathon in a time of 2:29:28.
Japanese marathoner Shota Hattori completed a hat-trick of male Japanese victories at the Sydney Marathon by taking line honours in 2:15:16 in front of Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye of Ethiopia in 2:15:36 and Kenya's Sammy Kigen Korir in 2:15:54.
In the wheelchair event, Kurt Fearnley (NSW) won his 11th Sydney Marathon title.
More than 33,000 people took part in the iconic Sydney event, including almost 2,000 people from 66 countries.
A record 3670 runners tackled the Blackmores Sydney Marathon which, as an IAAF Marathon Gold Label Race, now sits alongside renowned marathons such as New York, Boston and London.
While thousands took in the sights of Sydney and enjoyed the unique chance to run or walk across the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, some were seeking world record fame in various costumes.
Guinness World Records titles were achieved for ‘Fastest Marathon in a Suit’ set by North Bondi’s Matthew Whitaker with 2:44:29 and ‘Fastest Marathon in a KungFu Uniform’ by William Bond of Leichhardt in 3:50:38.
Mitchell Street Mile
In Darwin, the annual Mitchell Street Mile witnessed some of Australia’s (and the world’s) best middle-distance athletes battle it out in the city’s centre.
Three-time Australian 800m champion Brittany McGowan (Qld) took line honours and a $15,000in the women’s race.
Battling the hot and humid conditions, McGowan took the win from fellow world championships representatives Linden Hall (Vic) and Genevieve LaCaze (Vic).
“This is my second time here after last year taking about three weeks off before I got here,’’ she told the NT News.
“It was such a good field this year, I knew everything would have to fall into place to win it, including a way to beat the weather.
Visiting Kenyan Silas Kiplagat took the win in the men’s race beating out Jordan Gusman (NSW), Jordy Williamsz (Vic) as well as other notable Olympians Ryan Gregson (Vic) and Luke Mathews (Vic).
The fifth fastest runner in the world over 1500m is expected to compete for Kenya at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April next year.
“This is my first time in Australia and I wanted to show these people that I am one of the best runners on the planet and I did it today,’’ Kiplagat told the NT News.
“The crowd was very supportive and cheerful,’’ he said. “I want to be back in Australia for the Commonwealth Games and maybe the 5000 metres which I will begin to prepare for in Melbourne.’’
Other events that keep Australia busy running and walking over the weekend included Connor’s Run in Sandringham (Vic), the Hobart Fun Run (Tas), the Logan Running Festival (Qld), the Bloody Long Walk in Perth (WA), the Memory Walk & Jog in Canberra (ACT), the Wellness Walk & Research Run hosted by Olivia Newton-John in Bundoora (Vic) as well as Athletics NSW’s event the Greater Casino Fun Run and the culmination of the Athletics Victoria’s XCR17 series held at Princes Park in Melbourne.