Praise for marathon from running legend

Apollo Bay youngster Lucas Humphries handed out  drinks to competitors during their run on Saturday.

Apollo Bay youngster Lucas Humphries handed out
drinks to competitors during their run on Saturday.

COMMENTS from an Australian running icon have boosted Great Ocean Road Marathon officials.

Event director Greg Hooton said former Australian Olympian and Great Ocean Road Marathon competitor Steve Moneghetti rated the 45-kilometre course, which begins at Lorne and ends at Apollo Bay, for its stunning scenery.

“Steve Moneghetti said it was the best view in the world,” Hooton said.

“You’re running along it and you can’t take your mind off it, it’s just amazing.

“It’s one of the most stunning and challenging courses in Australia if not the world, so the feedback’s always positive and it challenges people.”

Hooton said this year’s event was the biggest and expected the Great Ocean Road Marathon weekend to grow each year.

“It’s gone really well, the numbers are great,” he said.

“We had about 3000 in the half marathon and 1300 in the marathon, so it’s up about 10 per cent on last year, which is fantastic.

“I was down at the start and there were guys from Sydney, Queensland, Hong Kong, Thailand, everywhere.

“I think it will grow, but we want to be careful in its growth, we want to be able to manage the growth, so we don’t put too much pressure on, not only the infrastructure, but the accommodation and the community, so we just want gradual growth.”

Hooton said the volunteer contribution from participating towns added a special touch to the popular event.

“We appointed the Apollo Bay Health Foundation as the main charity this year, so we connected through them to the community groups and we used all the volunteers from here, whereas previously we brought them from Melbourne,” he said.

“All the groups are using it as fundraising, so it all stays here.”

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