Running for Success

The outright winners of yesterday’s half marathon were surprised with their success.

Running in his first Alice Springs Masters Games, Charlie Maher set out to get the soreness out his legs after completing the Berlin Marathon two weeks ago.

Sarah Crawford, who is participating in her fifth Games, said while she had won gold medals in her age group, in the past there had always been another female ahead of her for outright honours.

Alice Springs-born Maher now lives in Port Macquarie New South Wales and brought his family – wife Talitha, daughter Frankie, 4, and son Boston 2 – for a week’s holiday in his home country after returning from Germany.

Berlin was his fifth marathon since becoming part of the Indigenous Marathon Project and running the New York Marathon in 2010. The project was established by Australian world champion marathon runner Robert de Castella.

“I’ve always seen the Masters Games growing up in Alice Springs and I wanted to be part of it,” Maher said.

“It’s good for Alice Springs to have the Masters Games every two years and have people come from around the world to participate.”

Maher said he was happy to just be a part of yesterday’s event.

“I will be encouraging people in the Indigenous Marathon Project to get involved,” he said.

“It was a good hit out and got the lactic acid and soreness out of the legs.”

Maher took the lead in the final lap of the three-lap course and was happy with his time of 1 hour 26 minutes.

He said it was a good course running past people and taking in the scenery.

Maher flew home yesterday to go back to work as a coach with the Clontarf Academy.

Mother-of-four Crawford completed the 21.1km run in 1 hour 34 minutes 44 seconds – two seconds outside her best time for the distance.

“I hadn’t run a half marathon doing laps before but it was a good course, although it was getting a bit hot towards the end,” she said.

“I’ve been running since I was 30. I had two children before then and two since I started.”

Crawford said how she placed on the day depended on who else was in the field. She said Alice Springs runner Emma Kraft was always a hard one to beat.

“But it’s not about who you can beat. It’s about doing it and being competitive with yourself,” she said.

“It had good scenery and reasonable flat, although it was a little uphill after the turn on to Stegar Road.

“I feel quite good but I have to keep my legs moving and don’t want to sit down for too long.”

Crawford has a bit more running to do in this year’s Masters Games as she has entered the 5km cross country, the Masters Mile and 10km run.