Ready for marathon O’Keefe Challenge

April 05, 2018

Jika Knight.

Bruce Hibbert.

Lavinia Petrie.

Leon Griffin.

MEET Leon, Lavinia, Bruce and Jika: Four different ways to tackle the O’Keefe Challenge.

World Duathlon Champion in 2006 and (very recently retired) pro triathlete Leon Griffin has returned to Bendigo after a long stint in Boulder, Colorado (USA).

He has fallen in love with this region’s rail trails and is set to line up for his first marathon race at the O’Keefe Challenge.

Leon has been seen on Instagram training on the trail during his Saturday training sessions and there will be no doubt about his mental and physical toughness come April 22.

“I don’t have a specific time in mind that I want to put out there, I am looking forward to enjoying the trail,” Leon shared during a recent Sunday morning long run.

Lavinia Petrie — who will be known to many as the 2017 Age Grade Prize winner — is this year dropping down distance from the marathon to the Connally’s Real Estate 5km Run/Walk Against Dementia.

The cause of dementia is particularly close to her heart.

“Awareness and understanding about dementia is still alarmingly low and the prevalence of dementia is growing in Australia,” Lavinia said of her switch of events.

While Leon and Lavinia are seasoned runners, Bruce Hibbert is very different.

He caught the running bug after seeing a flyer at the coffee table at his work in 2017 and before he knew it he’d entered in 14 events in 12 months.

He’s dropped his park run PB by a huge 12 and a half minutes and has run more than 450km since January 1.

The 42 year-old is on such a roll he recently called the O’Keefe Challenge team to upgrade from the half-marathon to the full marathon.

“This will be my first full marathon and my training has been going so well and I’ve been enjoying it so much I just thought: why not?” He said.

Jika Knight may live with cerebral palsy and typically a wheelchair to get around, but not during The O’Keefe Challenge.

The 21-year-old is expected to line up for the third time in the Ekiden Relay, where teams of seven runners take turns to complete the 42.2km marathon distance.

Teams can enter the all male, all female, mixed and an all-abilities category to further extend the opportunities for more people to enjoy the trail.

Haven’t experienced the O’Keefe Rail Trail before?

The team invite you to choose your challenge.

Register now at

Registrations close midnight April 18.

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