Half Marathon winner Richard Pearson is cheered over the line by a huge gallery of Coffs Coast fans.
Half Marathon winner Richard Pearson is cheered over the line by a huge gallery of Coffs Coast fans. Rob Wright

Prince Pearson dethrones King Moneghetti in half marathon

THE 'king' of distance running has been dethroned.

Determined Coffs Coast runner Richard Pearson set a goal of out-running marathon man Steve Moneghetti in today's Bendigo Bank 21.1km Half Marathon and succeeded.

Pearson crossed the line in 1:45.58 to finally achieve something he's been planning since running the same time but placing behind the two time race winner.

When entries for the Coffs Coast Running Festival opened earlier in the year and Moneghetti was award the No1 bib, Pearson sought and was granted No.2, claiming it would be extra motivation in the quest to tame the champion.

"The first thing was to run a good time," Pearson said.

"I did that and am pretty happy."

Moneghetti competed in the 10km run before lining up for the half marathon.

Race tactics were the same as for the victories of 2011-12 as he settled back in the field and planned the run that would (hopefully) overwhelm the tiring bunch up front.

"I knew he was behind me and was looking over my shoulder to see when he'd make his run," Pearson said.

"He's like that and leaves you running scared.

"I kept looking back in the straights to see if he was coming but about the 15km mark it started to feel like I could really take this out.

"All I thought about was to keep running and make sure I couldn't be beaten from there."

As expected, Moneghetti rattle home with a Bernborough finish.

But he couldn't peg back Pearson or runner-up Travis Shields and had to settle for third.

To the amazement of spectators, Moneghetti then accompanied wife Tanya on the 5km run before collecting his children to head off on the 3km run.

With the title now his, Pearson says he is likely to target the race again in 2014 but in the interim has plenty of events to consider.

"There are some big races around but I haven't settled on a specific one yet.

"Maybe go up and down the coast or over to Perth.

"There are even some more overseas including Hawaii that I'd like to enter."


21.1km Half Marathon
1 - Richard Pearson
2 - Travis Shields
3 - Steve Moneghetti

10km Fun Run
1 - Steve Moneghetti
2 - Daniel Stein
3 - Cameron Pensini
1 - Jacinta Smithers
2 - Jess Dougherty
3 - Kate Pensini

5km Fun Run/Walk
1 - Jordan Gusman
2 - Jai Lyons
3 - Trevor Fidge
1 - Karlie Swanson
2 - Tenielle Stubbs
3 - Lia Mills

3km Family Fun Run/Walk
1 - Benjamin Burridge
2 - Hugh Churchwell
3 - Thomas Burridge
1 - Chloe Bulloch
2 - Charlotte Williams
3 - Tara Everson