ALEX Matthews return to running couldn’t have gone more to plan.
The Bondi based surgeon was sidelined last year thanks to an apparently dislocated shoulder, which turned out to be fractured.
After a lengthy rehabilitation process, and a rushed training schedule over last summer, Matthews’s Orange Colour City Running Festival won’t be one he forgets.
Matthews made light work of a strong marathon field, crossing the line first in the men’s and overall categories to take home the gold, in 2.26.55.
The first nine competitors across the line were men, with Rowan Walker (2.37.13) and Karl Ayrey (2.51.01) second and third, before the women’s winner emerged around the final bend.
Newcastle’s Shayne Falkenmire took gold in the women’s in 3.14.55, a full 10 minutes and 52 seconds in front of her nearest competitor, second placed Orange runner Sue Dean (3.25.48).
Akiko Akashi, from Curl Curl, ran third in 3.29.34.
Matthews said he was impressed with his own effort, considering his less than ideal preparation.
“I’ve only been training since about Christmas last year” he said.
“And I fractured my shoulder last year but I’ve had a good summer and some good, long sessions in preparation, and this will help me as preparation for the Six Foot Track Marathon in two weeks time.
“My PB is about 2.25 for a marathon course, so I was pretty happy with my time today, it wasn’t the fastest course, and considering I was hoping for 2.30 or 2.35 I think I did pretty well.”
Matthews paid tribute to the track, saying it was tougher than expected.
“There was a headwind going out and coming back” he explained.
“It might it tough going for periods, it was also very undulating. Not hilly compared to the races I do in North Sydney, but certainly not a purely flat track. It’s a tough course, and a really good test for a runner with a good mix of road and fire trails. It’s a very comprehensive, enjoyable marathon course.”