Sunday, 29 May saw the inaugural Mansfield Marathon event along the Great Victorian Rail Trail (GVRT) organised by the newly formed Mansfield Athletics Club. There were just over 200 entries across the four events being the full marathon, half marathon, 10-kilometre as well as a five kilometer.
Starting and finishing at the Mansfield Station precinct, the course is an out-and-back run along the rail trail with those competing in the 42·2 kilometer marathon running across the iconic Lake Eildon rail trail bridge before heading back.
“The beauty of the rail trail is that allows us to run an effective event without significantly impacting road traffic” said event director Liam Delany. “The compacted gravel surface is also really good, plus it’s a relatively flat course, so its easy on the body, compared to road marathons”.
Simon Bevege from Albury took out the Men’s Marathon in a cracking time of 2:29 hours and Julie-Anne Undril won the women’s in a time of 3:01 hours. Xavier Meade and Cara Foot from Melbourne took the wins in the half-marathon, while many locals took this on as a major goal.
Event director Delany was very pleased with how the event went and anticipates it will become a regular fixture on the national running calendar. “A significant part of the vision involves engaging the Mansfield community and encouraging and supporting the uptake of athletics in the region,” Delany also said.