NATHAN Hartigan is the state’s champion marathon runner after he was the first Victorian to finish in yesterday’s Melbourne Marathon.
The Ballarat long distance runner completed the 42km course in two hours and 20 minutes flat, to finish sixth overall and third among the Australian runners.
Kenyans Jonathon Chesoo (2:12.35) and John Kyui (2:15.58) finished first and second.
New South Welshman Scott Westcott was the first Australian to finish with a time of 2:16.00, to be the only man to qualify for next year’s world championships in Moscow.
While Hartigan was disappointed to miss qualification for Russia he said he still had time to get a time for the world championships.
“I am pleased to be Victorian champion.
“It is my first state championship,” he said.
“‘Mona’ (Steve Moneghetti) and Shane Nankervis guided me along the way and we’re pretty happy with the result.
“It was a bit disappointing not to qualify for Russia.
“I missed by about two minutes and I lost a couple of minutes over the last couple of kilometres.
“I’ll have to go to Hamburg next year to qualify there so I have got time to do it.”
Hartigan was also part of the Victorian team that claimed the teams’ event.
Lauren Shelley and Jane Fardell were the first and second women home with times of 2:36.29 and 2:37.54 respectively, both qualifying for the world titles in Moscow.
Another Ballarat runner, Duer Yoa, won the 10km race in 30.35 minutes, in what was an unofficial record time for the course.
The 23-year-old was part of a breakaway group with Ben Ashkettle, Tyson Popplestone and Brady Threlsall.
Yoa made a break from the lead group with only Ashkettle staying in touch, before the Ballarat runner won by three seconds.
Popplestone was third, with Threlsall fourth.
“He has broken 30 minutes at the distance but it was a very technical course with inclines, twists and turns,” Yoa’s coach Rod Griffin said.
“Duer is thrilled with the result and the time.
“He is a pretty quiet, laconic lad who doesn’t give much away but you can tell he was pretty happy.”
Yoa will contest the Run Ballarat race next Sunday. His next major race after that is the Zatopek 10km in December at Albert Park in Melbourne.
The 35th Melbourne marathon attracted about 30,000 runners over five distances, with 6368 completing the full marathon course.