Weightman eyes Rio after marathon return

2016 Houston Marathon

Lisa Weightman has made an emphatic return to marathon competition, running 2:27:35 and taking second at the Houston Marathon, 13 months after giving birth to Pete, her first child.  The time puts Weightman at the top of the Australian rankings in the Olympic qualification period and gives her a very good chance of being selected for the Rio Games to make her third Olympics in the marathon.

In the cold Houston morning, Weightman broke out to an early lead over a pack of highly credentialed Ethiopian runners. Under the tutelage of legendary coach Dick Telford, Weightman has been noted for resolutely sticking with her own pacing strategy, and this race was no exception.  Weightman, with husband Lachlan Mcarthur beside her, reached half way just under 73 minutes, with a minute gap on the chasing pack of three, but that was soon about to change.  7km later, Biruktayit Degefa moved up to the lead with Lisa. The effort required was clear as Degefa then vomited up her sports drink without breaking stride.  Close behind the leading pair with a chase pair bearing down. Weightman, now running solo, demonstrated the toughness she is renowned for holding off the chasing pack over the last 12 km to take 2nd place behind Degefa.

With three Australian women under 2:29 for the marathon, the team looks likely to be a strong one for Rio, and all of MUAC will be cheering them on.