Running the numbers on a mighty marathon

June 16, 2017

744 competitors took on the 2017 O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon.

Young and old got in the marathon spirit.

THE 2017 O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon was a roaring success, and now the statistics are in to prove it.

Entries were up on last year, with 744 competitors running and cycling the tracks.

Thirty per cent of participants were from outside the region including many from interstate and even some from New Zealand, England and the Netherlands.

Some 223 dedicated volunteers operated aid and water stations, put out signs, marked the track, took registrations and helped with presentations.

Organisers donated more than $4,000 to community groups who assisted over the weekend.

There were more than 3,000 supporters and family members at the event. Of those, 37 per cent stayed in the region for at least one night.

The local economy received a shot in the arm with 62 per cent of visitors patronising local business.

On the competition side, records tumbled as competitors set a blistering pace.

Sarah Jalim obliterated her own overall course record in the women’s marathon by nine minutes and also set her own personal best with a time of 3.03.24.

The age graded winner of the Mandalay Resources Golden Prize, worth over $6,000, was 73-year-old Lavinia Petrie.

The multiple world record holder and world champion will now represent Australia in the Wenlock Olympian Games in the UK.

The age graded calculates your time as a percentage of the world record for your age. Second on age graded was the men’s overall winner, Julian Spence, who edged out local David Meade.

Event director Sandra Slatter said building partnerships within the community was key to the success of the event.

“On behalf of the O’Keefe Rail Trail Marathon board of directors, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors, organisation committee and volunteers for their commitment to making this event so successful,” she said.

“It was the vision of the board and organising team to create an all-inclusive, community-owned and led event to inspire not only the competitors but also its host communities.’’

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