Melbourne, 30 November 2008
Distance running great Haile Gebrselassie won the inaugural Great Australian Run around the streets of Melbourne, covering the 15km course in 42:40. Kenya’s Patrick Makau, who ran with the Ethiopian great until the final four kilometres of the race, was second in 43:15, while Collis Birmingham overtook a tiring Craig Mottram in the closing stages to be the first Australian home, in third place, in 43:35.
Most of Australia’s top distance runners took the opportunity to share the road with ‘the Emperor of Ethiopia’ on home turf. The men’s lead pack shortly after the start consisted of Craig Mottram (2), Ben St Lawrence (20), Youcef Abdi (12) and Scott Westcott (14).
Two-time world champion and twice Olympic silver medallist in the marathon, Catherine Ndereba, took out the women’s race in 50:43 ahead of New Zealand’s Alice Mason (51:26) and Lisa Weightman (51:31).