WHAT a challenge, what an event.
The O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon started on Friday night with 54 riders taking part in the inaugural Light the Trail event, from grandparents through to two 12-year-olds who rode this distance for the first time.
The night was ablaze with lights creating an amazing light spectacular.
Finishing on Sunday, organisers saw amazing achievements as people of all ages and abilities challenged themselves across distances as long as a marathon and as short as the 500m dash.
Times are available via the results tab at theokeefe.com.au
There were 114 starters in the marathon and 120 in the half marathon.
Bendigo athlete and former triathlete Leon Griffen won the marathon in a time of two hours and 35 minutes — the marathon world record is two hours, two minutes.
“It was a tremendous day. We had more than 700 participants in the running events and a crowd in excess of 3000 to support our participants and to enjoy the community events provided on the day,” event director Sandra Slatter said.
“Events like this would not happen without a team of dedicated community volunteers.
“I would like thank our O’Keefe committee of volunteers who have been meeting regularly over the past nine months to prepare for this event.
“Our team also extend their thanks and appreciation to all of our 200 plus volunteers who worked tirelessly on the day, helping to ensure the event was safe and enjoyable for all.
“The event would not happen without our generous sponsors. A big thank you to our gold sponsor Mandalay Resources for all of their support in making this event happen, and also our supporting sponsors and partners.”
These include Champions IGA, Athlete’s Foot Bendigo, Kirkland Lake Gold, Conally’s Real Estate, the Heathcote Lions Club, Athletics Bendigo, The McIvor Times, St Anthony Family Medical Practice Heathcote, Heathcote and District Community Bank, Bendigo Coachlines, Heathcote Community House, Holy Rosary School and Healthy Mates.
“Thank you to the community for supporting the O’Keefe Challenge,” Ms Slatter said.
Mandalay Resources Marathon:
1. Leon Griffin
2. Jai Edmonds
3. Rowan Threlfall
1. Alison Clark
2. Christa Tadich
3. Zoe Heath