Freeman chuffed at marathon effort

OLYMPIC champion Cathy Freeman believed crossing the line in the gruelling 42.8-kilometre Cadbury Marathon yesterday was the best 40th birthday present a woman could ask for.

The winner of the women's marathon, Natalie Wallace, felt the same.

"The marathon usually falls around my birthday, so it's a birthday present for myself, and I might come back next year and have a bit of a holiday as another present," Wallace said.

Both women described the experience as a tough mental experience.

"I knew it was going to be hard, and it was going to be tough, and something I was going to have to draw on quite deep for but I'm very satisfied, I'm excited and over the moon," Freeman said.

The winner of the women's half marathon event, Karinna Fyfe, is no stranger to pain herself.

The Tasmanian took out the notoriously difficult Point to Pinnacle event last November, putting her in good position for the 21.1-kilometre half marathon.

The ACT produced the eventual winners of the half and full marathon events in the male division.

Marty Dent won the half marathon in 65 minutes, 31 seconds, with Matt Fenech smashing the full marathon in a time of 2:28:48.

London Olympian Dent said it was a perfect hitout before taking on an ultra event next month.

"I'm looking to do a 100km ultra marathon in about five weeks, something a bit different testing my body out, so this is a good little speed workout comparatively today," he said.

Fenech said he had been planning his assault on the Claremont course for nearly a year.

"I'm thrilled to win, I've been planning this race for a year and the aim was to stick to the schedule, to run my own race and that is what I did," he said.

"Marty Dent also won the half marathon so we got an ACT double so that is absolutely fantastic, a fantastic day."

More than 2200 participants took part in the event and shorter distance races.

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