STEVE Moneghetti led the Ballarat charge in the Melbourne Marathon yesterday.
The Ballarat Olympian competed in the 10km event, finishing in 31:27 minutes, an unofficial world record for a 51-year-old.
Moneghetti’s performance capped off a strong Ballarat presence in the event, with athletes Duer Yoa and Nathan Hartigan placing third and fourth respectively in the half-marathon event.
“I was chasing down third for a while, but that’s the way it goes and I had a bit of a crack,” Moneghetti said.
Moneghetti said he was hoping to beat 31 minutes but was still pleased with the result considering his recovery from an achilles operation late last year.
“I knew I was in fairly good shape. After 35 years of running, you get to know your body pretty well,” he said.
“I’d never had an operation before and it was a challenge, but this just confirms I’m over that. It was personally satisfying for me.”
Yoa and Hartigan were shoulder-to-shoulder at various stages in their event, but Hartigan said he shared a healthy rivalry with Yoa.
“We are really good friends and the competition on the track is going to help us get to the world stage,” Hartigan said.
“If you don’t have the hunger and rivalry, you can’t achieve anything.”
Moneghetti ran alongside Emma Cameron for the last kilometre of her marathon, the first she had ever completed after two previous attempts were cut short, including an attempt in the Boston marathon that was closed because of a fatal bombing.
Kenyan runner Dominic Ordoro won the men’s marathon event, finishing in 2:10:47. Melbourne Olympian Lisa Weightman won the women’s marathon event with a time of 2:26:05.
More than 30,000 runners and walkers braved a chilly Melbourne morning to compete in the marathon, half-marathon, 10km, 5.7km and 3km walk, all finishing with a final lap of the MCG.