Sunday, 4 June, saw the Mansfield Marathon along the Mansfield end of the Great Victorian Rail Trail (GVRT) return for the second time on a stunning winters day. Organised by the Mansfield Athletics Club, the day was a great success with just under 300-entries participating across five events.
In addition to the full and half marathon, the 10-, 5- and 2-kilometer runs proved especially popular. People travelled from all over Victoria and New South Wales for the event confirming Mansfield has what it takes to hold a major running event.
Bendigo’s Virginia McCormick took out the women’s Marathon in an elite time of 2:43:35 and Melbourne’s Shane Grund won the men’s Marathon in 2:38:11, a solid time for the 40 plus age group! Wodonga’s Kaitlin McIntosh came in first for the women’s Half Marathon in 1:24:12 while Somalian Abdi Rhoble, coached by race director Liam Delany, made the Half Marathon look easy in the time of 1:12:23. Wangaratta’s Penny Townshend won the women’s 10kms in 39:45 and Mt Beauty’s Ryan Blackwell took out the men’s 10kms in 33:58.
With the cost of organising events constantly rising, race director Liam Delany was pleased with how the event went but said “they will need to build the numbers to make the event sustainable”. Local support from the Mansfield Shire and major sponsors makes the event possible, along with volunteers from Mansfield Athletics and The Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail. Mansfield Scouts and the Coffee Merchant manned stalls to ensure all participants had a great day with plenty of refreshments.