Luke & Jen lead the way at Mclaren Vale Marathon fest

Yesterday saw Leconfield and Richard Hamilton Wines play host to South Australia’s first Marathon festival weekend for 2021. Close to 40 RunAsOne runners tackled the new course for distances ranging from 13km on Saturday, to the half marathon and full marathon distances contested a day later. The scenic course ran through the famous South Australian wine region between McLaren Vale and Willunga. Despite forced late changes to the course that resulted in some surprisingly challenging sections, the cool conditions paired with the incredible support from volunteers and spectators, resulted in a huge number of personal bests results being achieved over the weekend.

In the half marathon, Luke Mitchell lead the way for the RunAsOne team. Paced by coach Riley, Luke took minutes off of his previous personal best with a 71 minute result, which earned him the bonus of a second place finish overall! This was a great start to the road season for Luke, after a promising Athletics SA summer season on the track. Josh Young also chased this hot pace early, and finished bravely to score another sub 80 minute result. Surrounding Josh at the finish was a group paced by coach Jacob. This included Matt Dimonte and Oscar Bloomfield on debut, as well as Ryan Haylock chasing a big personal best. At 16km Ryan began to push the pace to chase an even faster time. He finished 8 minutes faster than his previous best in 78 minutes, closely followed by Oscar who overcame some shoe troubles to hold on for 80 minutes, and Matt who let the group go early before storming home to finish just 1 minute behind Oscar. In the same race, Matt Ormsby and Nick Edwards kept one another company in the early stages before Matt flew home, and Nick held on for a strong result that was just outside his previous best. Matt’s strong second half of the race meant he passed a number of runners to finish in 85 minutes. One of the runners Matt passed was training partner Mark Routley who was just as impressive finishing just behind in a personal best time of 86 minutes.

Next to finish were Natasha Jarrett and Georgia Follett who were our first two female finishers! Finishing in home straight together, both scored personal best times of 88 minutes, which earned them both top 5 positions in the race. Joining Tash was her dad Tony who played a major role in her result. Not far behind these ladies was the smiling assassin Zenith Zaccarra who confused everyone by being the best spectator on the course, but also finishing in a time of 93 minutes; a time well inside his own predictions (I encourage you to read his post race Strava caption)! Not far behind Zen was Atsushi Ogai who had an age group battle on his hands with South Australian running and triathlon legend Mick Tagell! Atsushi prevailed in the end with a strong 97 minute finishing time. Olivia Buchanan was next in a personal best 98 minutes, with Steph Howard closely following her just 1 minute behind. Steph enjoyed a successful morning with partner Joe Beilby, as he placed top 5 in the full marathon with a 13 minute personal best! Gus Wilson was next in 1 hour 44 minutes after an interrupted preparation. He was closely followed by Rosey Batt who scored an age group victory, and finished just ahead of team mate Mayuko Kurashima who was all smiles finishing in 1 hour 48 minutes. Kate Abraham continued her UTA preparation carrying a weighted backpack to finish in 1 hour 54 minutes. Olivia’s twin sister Nicole Buchanan snuck in just before Kate completing a successful morning for the family!

The sub 2 hour barrier was the next point of interest for runners and spectator alike! This was a common goal for many of our runners, and we enjoyed cheering home a host of RunAsOne athletes as they achieved this! Alicia Stephens ran strongly in her debut at the distance to finish 5 minutes under the barrier. Tracey Baldwin finished in the same minute as Alicia, and Jo Howie was only 1 minute further back! Phenomenally, Anna Kovac appeared in the finish chute next, slicing nearly 20 minutes from her Half Marathon personal best set only recently at the Adelaide Marathon festival held in September! Equally impressive was Voula Nisyrios who completed her first half marathon after sustaining a significant injury during a trail run last year. Sandra Fry and Alessandra Perna will be eyeing off the same barrier next race, after they crossed the finish line together just 6 minutes later. Rounding out the half marathon results for the day were Kirsty Sideris in a 13 second PB finishing just inside 2 hours 30 minutes, with Jane Shepherdson only losing contact with Kirsty near the finish to also cross in a personal best time of 2 hours 33 minutes!

After many half marathon successes, it was great to see the RunAsOne runners hang around to witness Jennifer Robertson claim a thrilling 2nd place finish in the full marathon. Jen was joined by coach Izzi for the first 30 km, before running an incredibly tough last part of the race to finish 3 minutes inside her personal best with a time of 3 hours and 6 minutes. We have no doubt that Jen will smash that 3 hour barrier in the not too distant future! Jen was our lone marathon contestant, but a number of other runners also enjoyed the 13 km course on Saturday morning! Congratulations to Carla Scragg, Leon Kurashima, Bianca Rogers, and Atsushi Ogai who all ran strongly, and backed up for Sunday’s events by either racing again, or playing the role of a much appreciated spectator for their team mates. Similarly, a number of other RunAsOne runners competed in other events across the weekend. Special mention must go to the consistent James Bewes who debuted at the marathon distance in Canberra with a great time of 3 hours 11 minutes. Elsewhere, Russ Harris completed the challenging 33km Sea to Summit event. In triathlon news, Dylan Trennery, Tristan Taorima, and Stanley Aston put their running training to good use completing their respective events and distances. Dylan was an Age Group champion at the Murrayman Half Ironman, and Tristan completed the Olympic Distance to finish 2nd in his age group at the same location of Barmera, South Australia. Interstate, Stanley completed his first sprint distance triathlon in Wollongong finishing strong with a sub 20 minute 5km performance after a tough swim and ride!

After a successful weekend, we look forward to putting our feet up for a day or two before getting back in to our training schedules to prepare for the next racing opportunities!