Marathon champ to tackle Frenzy

February 9, 2024 BY

Pep in her step: A world champion in marathon running for the 55-59 years class, Jill Wilkie will race in the first of three support heats of the 5km Frenzy leading into the elite women's and men's showdowns. Photo: AJ TAYLOR

A WORLD age group champion in marathon running, Bendigo Harriers star Jill Wilkie will race in Friday night’s 5km Frenzy at the Retreat Road athletics complex in Flora Hill.

Wilkie is among 85 athletes to have nominated for the fourth edition of the Bendigo Harriers-run classic.

The gun athlete ran the 42.2km of last year’s Chicago Marathon in 2 hours 57.16 minutes to be the 55-59 years women’s champion.

In Friday night’s racing, Wilkie will be among a field of 17 in the first of three heats in the A.L. Parker Electrical-backed 5km Frenzy to be run at 6.30pm.

There will be two other 5km mixed heats sponsored by Mulqueen Finance and Intersport Bicknells at 7.30pm and 8pm.

City of Greater Bendigo has backed the mixed open 1000-meter and mixed under-14 1000-meter events at 7.15pm.

The elite women’s 5km Frenzy will be run from 8.30pm.

Athletes will be vying for prizemoney and to pocket incentives for breaking track records.

Fastest time for women’s open was 16:08.63 set by Deakin’s Ellie Pashley in 2021.

The under-20 record of 17:42 was set by South Bendigo’s Clare McKechnie in 2003.

Those to watch in Friday night’s elite women’s race of 12 ½ laps include Shepparton’s Brooke Williams, Ballarat’s Claire Johnson, Katherine Dowie and Eliza Lepair, South Bendigo’s Taryn Furletti and Yazmin Hayes, and Bendigo University’s Abbey Reid.

In the elite men’s 5km at 9pm it will be Nathan Stoate from Bendigo Harriers chasing back-to-back victories up against the likes of Wendouree’s Josh Hawkes, South Melbourne’s Musa Genemo Jegula, and Wendouree’s Jacob Cheesman.

Bendigo’s open track record of 14:10 was set by University’s Andy Buchanan in 2022.

Bendigo young guns such as Logan Tickell and Jayden Padgham will be aiming to break the under-20 mark of 14:42 set by Uni’s Ned Buckell two years ago.