Race Patrons

Race Patrons

Steve Moneghetti – Australia’s greatest marathoner

Steve Moneghetti needs no introduction. He is a household name and Australian athletics legend.

In a career spanning more than 20 years, Steve competed with distinction in track, cross country and marathon.

In track, he won Australia’s most prestigious 10,000 metres track race, the Zatopek 10,000, on no fewer than four (consecutive) occasions.

He competed at world cross country where he was the dominant Australian for 15 years and for 10 of those years was the most dominant non African cross country runner in the world.

In the marathon he took over from Robert de Castella as Australia’s leading marathoner, a position he held for more than a decade.

His best performance was victory in the prestigious Berlin marathon in 1990 in a PB of 2:08:16. This was a special occasion as the Berlin Wall was dismantled a year earlier and the race symbolically re-united the former East and West factions. In 2017, Steve was inducted into the Berlin Marathon Hall of Fame, along with female winner Uta Pippig and they are the inaugural and only inductees to date.

Steve won the marathon at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria (Canada) in 2:11:49.

He is a 4 time Olympic marathoner, his last Olympic marathon being the Sydney 2000 as a 38 year older where he ran a very creditable 2:14:50.

Steve continued to compete and in 2010 he was third in the Australian Half Marathon Championships in a time of 1:07:53. This was the last of his 20 national championship medals across track, road and cross country.

His most significant PB’s are noteworthy:

  • 5,000m – 13:25 (1996)
  • 10,000m – 27:47 (1992)
  • half marathon – 1:00:06 (1993)
  • marathon 2:08:16 (1990)
  • oldest Australian to run 10 kms in sub 30 minutes

During his career Steve also won the City to Surf in Sydney on four occasions.

He has acted as mayor of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Village in 2006, Chef de Mission to the Australian Commonwealth Team in New Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014. More recently Steve has been appointed Chef de Mission to the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

In 2014 Steve was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘significant service to athletics as a marathon runner, administrator and mentor to young athletes.’

In semi-retirement, Steve continues to give back to the sport. He is a renowned celebrity speaker and athletics coach. He was Chair of the Board of the Victorian Institute of Sport from 2001 to 2010 and currently serves on the Board of The Australian Sports Commission.

We feel very honoured and privileged to have Steve as one of our two Race Patrons.

Gary Parsons – Australia’s greatest ever extreme ultra marathoner

As a young man in Geelong, Victoria, Gary ran track and cross country with moderate success. On relocating to Caboolture, Qld in the early 1980’s, Gary turned to longer distances, training up for his first marathon, the Brisbane marathon in 1986. He was on track for a sub 2:35 time, but approximately 7 km from the finish, while in the lead group, he was sensationally run down by a car from behind and spent the next 10 months in hospital.

Then total disaster! He was told by top specialists that he would never run again and was advised to find some other, more sedate sport.

Not to be deterred, he eventually managed to run again, not as fast as he once did, but at a slower steady pace that gradually improved over time.

After completing several ultras, he contested the world 1,000 mile track championships held at Nanango, Qld in 1994. He won the race, breaking 9 world records in the process. He repeated the performance in 1996, further lowering 10 world records along the way.

In 1998 he ran the Birdsville track in 4 days 03:19 taking 18 hours off the existing record. In December 1998 he successfully completed a summer crossing of the Simpson Desert in 3 days, 20 hours. The Simpson desert is the world’s largest sand dune desert and frequently has summer highs of 50 degrees C.

In April 1999 he embarked on a continuous run around Australia. The word ‘continuous’ is important. It means that he set himself a minimum of 20 kms each and every day. Miss a day… just one day… and the run is no longer ‘continuous’. He ran for a total of 19,030 kms in 274 continuous days, breaking 4 world records. He finished on Australia Day, 26 January, 2000, averaging just on 70 kms/day.

This was further and faster than any other runner in history… a record that still stands to this day.

Gary has gained numerous awards for his achievements and has become very well known in Cabooolture and SE Queensland. In 2002, Gary entered Local Government, winning a by-election as a Councillor of Caboolture Shire, now Moreton Bay Regional Council, a position he held until his retirement in 2016.

He remains a fervent supporter of sport and a healthy lifestyle.

The organisers of Gold Coast 50 feel privileged to have Gary as one of its Race Patrons.