Kenyan James Kipkelwon has collected back-to-back Great Ocean
Road Real Estate Marathon crowns after a convincing win in the
The Kenyan completed this morning's 45km trek from Lorne
toApolloBayin two hours, 29 minutes and 16 seconds.
"I wanted to defend my title and I did," he said.
"But I did not break my course record - that I was not very
Kipkelwon was hoping to slice at least three minutes off his
personal best time of 2:27.42 from last year.
"I did not break my record because the pace was too slow after
five kilometres," he said.
"There was nobody pushing with me."
At the start of the race, Kipkelwon said he had fellow Kenyans
Daniel Mwelu and Charles Muturi setting the early tempo.
But 2009 winner Muturi, who has been ill since arriving in
Australia this week, was forced to pull out at the 15km mark,
making it hard for the defending champion to notch up another
"After an hour and 29 minutes, I was running alone," he
The free-striding Kipkelwon heaped praise on the organisers of
the marathon, saying he was well-looked after at the event.
"This year was even better than last year," he said.
The 33-year-old, who hopes to return next year to complete his
quest for a hat-trick, will turn his attention to the Toronto
Marathon in October.
Rounding out the podium was Highton's Rowan Walker, who ran an
exceptional race to finish almost four minutes ahead of Mwelu.
Melbourne's Kelly Jarrett collected her first Great Ocean Road
Marathon title, being the first female across the line after
clocking in at 2:59.36.
She was awarded the Les Noseda medal, which is in memory of
marathon founder Noseda, who died last September.
It was the second marathon in Jarrett's career.
"I knew I was going to have a tough race on my hands," she
"Kirsten (Molloy) beat me by seven minutes in the Melbourne
Marathon last year, so she was a good person to chase.
"Obviously I was very happy to win."
Jarrett prevented New South Wales runner Molloy from defending
her title, with the interstate athlete finishing second ahead of
New champion Jarrett is no stranger to the podium at the Great
Ocean Road Marathon and Festival of Distance Running, taking out
the half marathon last year.
"I love it," she said of the event.
"I just love the course."
While the ultra-marathon welcomed 899 competitors, the Fagg's
Mitre 10 Half Marathon was the festival's most popular event,
flooded with 2185 entries.
Participants made their way from Kennett River to Apollo Bay,
The quickest of the record-breaking field was
MauritianAnrio Carver (1:14.27), who has recaptured his
passion for running.
The Geelong-based university student is fresh from an 18-month
break, which was due to him juggling study and work
"I wasn't motivated," he said of his hiatus.
But with some assistance from Geelong coach Bruce Scriven, he is
back running and plans to up the ante next year as he ultimately
aims for a marathon berth at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 24-year-old was isolated during today's half marathon.
"At the 500m mark, I broke away," he said.
"I thought everyone would follow but they didn't, so I just kept
Female honours in the half marathon went to Robyn Millard,
making it a festival double for the Prahan athlete.
After taking out the 14km Geelong Advertiser run yesterday, she
felt as though she could step up to the 23km trek, which proved to
be a wise decision after she finished on top of the podium
"I was really looking forward to the run because it's an awesome
course," she said.
"After running hard yesterday, I just wanted to look after
myself but I just kept passing people.
"At the 13km mark, I was in the lead and just told myself to
Before this weekend, the injury-interrupted runner had not raced
in a couple of years but shockwave therapy on her hamstring tendon
over Christmas ensured she was able to make a successful
Millard is preparing for her marathon debut on the Gold Coast
later this year.
A pair of City of Greater Geelong residents are now preparing
for the 2013 Senshu International Marathon in Japan after being the
first locals to cross the line in the marathon.
Ocean Grove's Robyn McGeary and Highton's Rowan Walker claimed
the enviable prize, which is thanks to Geelong's sister city
relationship with Japanese town Izumiotsu.
"It's a great honour to represent (the City of Greater Geelong)
over there," McGeary said.
Walker was also naturally excited about earning the ticket.
"It's a great opportunity, having not done an overseas marathon
before," he said.
This year's Great Ocean Road Marathon and Festival of Distance
Running attracted record entries of 4776 - a 34 per cent jump
compared to last year.
Clenched fists and raising both arms in jubilation were common
celebratory techniques when competitors crossed the finish line,
while one runner even had enough energy to do a handstand, much to
the delight of the crowd.
Spectators also appreciated the sportsmanship of participants,
highlighted by two runners stopping 20 metres short of the finish
to carry an exhausted half marathoner over the line.
Thousands lined the main street of Apollo Bay to cheer on the
entrants, who were blessed with ideal conditions.
Marathon (45km) Lorne toApolloBay
- James Kipkelwon,Kenya(2:29.16)
- Rowan Walker, Highton (2:31.41)
- Daniel Mwelu,Kenya(2:35.34)
- Kelly Jarrett,MiddlePark(2:59.36)
- Kirsten Molloy,MountHutton(3:02.31)
- Lucie Hardiman,BayviewNT(3:09.47)
Fagg's Mitre 10 Half Marathon (23km)KennettRivertoApolloBay
- Anrio Carver,Geelong(1:14.27)
- Asheber Germa, Ardeer (1:15.38)
- Paul Munro, Pascoe Vale (1:16.12)
- Robyn Millard, Prahan (1:29.14)
- Rebecca Tweed,Bendigo(1:29.30)
- Tina Major,Perth(1:29.59)