Cronulla athlete Brad Pendergast pencilled the Shepparton Marathon in at Christmas time and yesterday it was mission accomplished as he crossed the line a clear winner.By Damen Francis
Cronulla’s Brad Pendergast can thank his friends for his win at the Shepparton Running Festival yesterday.
The 38-year-old took out the Shepparton Marathon in a personal best time of two hours, 37
The time was the fastest since Tim Cochrane’s race record of 2.34:17, set in 2004, and while a new course made it difficult to compare the two runs, Pendergast was pleased with the time.
Pendergast, who was cheered home by his family and some friends that had travelled up from Broadford to watch the race, said it was well worth the trip.
‘‘Some mates did the run a few years ago and raved about it, so I thought I would give it a go,’’ Pendergast said.
‘‘I enjoy the regional sort of races, they’re a good family sort of an atmosphere and it’s good fun. It’s good for the spectators, I’ve got my family here and it’s good for them, because I’m not sort of going off into the ether and come back three hours later, they get a few opportunities to see me.
‘‘This is the (event) I’ve had circled since Christmas time and the one I aimed for, so mission accomplished, I guess.’’
He crossed the line more than six minutes ahead of Cameron Hall (2.44:10) in second place in a dominant performance, but was just happy to take the win.
‘‘Finishing a marathon is hard enough,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a personal challenge and there is a lot of history behind marathons as well, so that’s why I run.’’
There was a local connection to the women’s winner, with former Wunghnu resident Katherine Macmillan crossing in 3.14:08.
Macmillan, 35, was contesting the event for the third time and, despite falling short of a personal best time, claimed her best finish in 13 marathon attempts.
‘‘I’ve never been on a podium for a marathon, so it’s quite incredible,’’ Macmillan said.
‘‘I don’t consider myself a fast runner, so I’m pretty happy.
‘‘Ten years ago I lived in Wunghnu and worked in Numurkah, so I spent a couple of years in this area and loved it. I saw my old boss running the half-marathon, so it’s amazing the people you see here.’’
An ultra-runner, Macmillan is preparing to tackle the 100
The Melbourne-based runner said the new course made this the best Shepparton Marathon yet.
‘‘I’ve run the flood-affected and the regular course here and I think (this year’s) is more scenic,’’ she said.
Macmillan finished more than four minutes ahead of last year’s winner, Athene Chariot (3.18:30).
Mooroopna’s Grant Hicks (3.12:32) was the first Goulburn Valley runner home for the second year in a row.
The marathon attracted a field of 83 runners, with 76 completing the race.
A total of 517 people entered the three main races — marathon, half marathon and 10
Marathon:Men: 1. Brad Pendergast (2.37:29) 2. Cameron Hall (2.44:10) 3. Bryce Leigh (2.56:57). 18-39: Brad Pendergast (2.37:29). 40-49: Kevin Muller (3.00:22). 50-plus: Larry Gilboy (3.10:17). Women: 1. Katherine Macmillan (3.14:08) 2. Athene Chariot (3.18:30) 3. Melissa O’Dwyer (3.19:50). 18-39: Katherine Macmillan (3.14:08). 40-49: Athene Chariot (3.18:30). 50-plus: Wendy Cook (3.58:30)
Half-marathon:Men: 1. Craig Perri (1.19:20) 2. Ryan Kervin (1.20:04) 3. Chris White (1.21:59). 18-39: Craig Perri (1.19:20). 40-49: Damien Arnold (1.25:09). 50-plus: Tim Neal (1.32:51). Women: Sarah McMullan (1.29:35) 2. Danae Sinclair-Clift (1.33:53) 3. Christie Peters (1.35:09). Under:18 Sophie Worsfold (1.49:16). 18-39: Sarah McMullan (1.29:35). 40-49: Anne Maclean (1.35:13). 50-plus: Catherine Bishop (1.42:49).
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