CHAMP: Samuel Woldeamanuel defended his title in the Sunshine Coast Marathon.
CHAMP: Samuel Woldeamanuel defended his title in the Sunshine Coast Marathon. Patrick Woods

Woldeamanuel, Geraghty claim Coast marathon honours

MARATHON: Ethiopia's Samuel Woldeamanuel and Brisbane's Clare Geraghty have claimed honours in the Sunshine Coast Marathon at Alexandra Headland on Sunday morning.

Woldeamanuel defended his title in the men's race, stopping the clock in 2hrs22min16sec, almost a minute ahead of Jonathan Peters, with Dion Finocchiaro finishing third, more than four minutes adrift.

It was a runaway performance by the African 35-year-old, who led from start to finish.

But he was almost four minutes slower then the race record pace he set last year.

Winds were slightly stronger this time around.

"It was a comfortable win," he said.

"There was no one with me except the bike rider (course marshal)."

Runners took on a coastal route through Mooloolaba, Maroochydore and Alex Head.

"The course is good, it was great," he said.

Peters was delighted with his effort.

"I'm very happy. I didn't expect to run that fast. I just ran really conservatively " he said.

Geraghty, 30, won her first marathon in just her fourth attempt, crossing in 2hrs50min47sec.

She was five minutes ahead of Roxie Fraser, with Elkie Belcher a minute further back.

Belcher led for most of the race.

"I actually enjoyed having the challenge of having Elkie in front of me, leading into the last lap (of three)," Geraghty said.

"We had 10km to go and thats when I made my move. It broke up the race for me. I had someone to chase and then I put my foot down, so I was really strong in the last bit."

The marathon is part of the Sunshine Coast Marathon and Community Running Festival, which consists of six races.

About 6000 participants are involved.

The winners of the half marathon were David Dellow (1hr13min23) and Cassie Fien (1hr13min25sec)

More to come