Lisa Weightman flies to victory in Japan

Lisa and Kate Smyth before the Nagano Marathon

Lisa and Kate Smyth before the Nagano Marathon

Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon

Olympic marathon runner Lisa Weightman and recent Melbourne University Athletics Club recruit has claimed her first major international marathon title in emphatic fashion to win the Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon in Japan, on Sunday, 18th April. Slicing more than two minutes off her personal best, Weightman clocked a time of two hours 28 minutes 48 seconds, and claimed fifth on Australia’s all-time list for the event, in only her fourth attempt at the marathon.

In a truly international field, Weightman had only the eighth fastest personal best, but was not intimidated by Kiyoko Shimahara (JAP), Irene Limika (KEN) and defending champion Irina Timofeyeva (RUS).  The group of four, including Lisa passed through 10 kilometres in 34:57 minutes, before the leading group dropped to three, with Timofeyeva dropping out through injury at the 15 kilometre mark.

Weightman passed through halfway (74:08) with a small but significant lead over the chase pack and spent the second half of the race extending that lead.  At the finish line, Lisa crossed the finish line more than three minutes ahead of second place (Olena Burkovska 2:31:53) and third (Eri Hayakawa 2:33:05) to become the first Australian to ever win the event and the fifth fastest Australian female marathon runner of all time.

Lisa and Lachlan

Lisa and Lachlan

Following Lisa for the race on a bike was her husband and training partner Lachlan Mcarthur, also a MUAC member offering support and encouragement.

After savouring the spoils of victory in Nagano (which included breaking a ceremonial barrel of sake and a guard of honour from the hotel staff amongst others), Weightman has returned to Melbourne and her job as a management consultant at IBM. Her next running challenges are likely to be the Sandown Classic 10km and the City to Surf before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi for which she has been selected in the Australian team for the marathon event there.

Lisa Weightman is sponsored by Adidas, Ascend, the Victorian Institute of Sport and IBM.