For the first time in three years, an international field will line up for the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival. Still, a lot of interest will be in our best local hopes as they vie for the prestigious Victorian Marathon Championship crown.
Recently returned from the Commonwealth Games, Liam Adams (ATE) will headline the men’s field. With a personal best 2:10 from 2020, Adams again delivered for the green and gold by placing 4th in the recent Commonwealth Games. His time of 2:13:24 eclipsed his previous best Commonwealth Games performance of 2:13:49 in Glasgow in 2014.
In typical Adams fashion, his post-Games racing schedule hasn’t eased off with solid performances at the Australian Cross Country Championships and 3rd place in the Australian Road Running championships recently held in Adelaide.
A previous overall winner of the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival in 2018, Adams will be eyeing off the top Australian and Victorian position this Sunday.
In his first complete season in Victoria, St Stephens Harrier Reece Edwards will be looking to once again be amongst the championship medallists.
Edwards ran a 2:13 in Rotterdam last year and is looking to improve on that in the cool and calm conditions predicted for Melbourne this weekend. Venturing to Sydney a fortnight ago, Edwards claimed the Australian Marathon Championship as part of his final long training run before his goal event in Melbourne. Edwards’ time of 2:17 had him finish well clear of the domestic field.
Also looking for podium finishes will be Bendigo Region pair Nathan Stoate and Jamie Cook. At the same time, Melbourne University’s Jonny Earl will debut over the distance but impressed at Burnley and may be a factor.
The women’s championship could be a much more even affair. Vanessa Wilson (OSC) comes in with the fastest PB of 2:40 in last year’s edition of this race and has run consistently in the 76min range for several Half Marathons in 2022.
Likely to challenge Wilson will be Sophie Fitt, who has a 2:42 to her name from 2018. In her recent return to running, Fitt has been steadily improving and will be well suited to the Melbourne course.
With a debut time of 2:44 at the Gold Coast in July, Deborah Bruce (SME) may be one to watch to take her first Victorian crown. With a recent 5km PB while touring in the UK, Bruce is another excellent example of a running mum producing career best form.
Bruce’s South Melbourne teammate, Jess Jason, will debut in the marathon and is looking to run a steady race aiming for a time that will have her amongst the top Victorian contenders.
Australia’s largest Marathon and Half Marathon, The Nike Melbourne Marathon, will take place on Sunday, 2nd October, and all events will finish inside the iconic MCG.