A FRIENDLY CHALLENGE: Shaun Manthey, pictured with his son Blake, made a pact with two mates to run a marathon together.
A FRIENDLY CHALLENGE: Shaun Manthey, pictured with his son Blake, made a pact with two mates to run a marathon together.

Christmas pact ends in marathon glory

SHAUN Manthey made a boozy pact with two mates to run a marathon at a Christmas party,

And while he hadn't run competitively since his school, Shaun came through with the goods.

"I was talking to a mate who was thinking of doing one of those Tough Mudders, I said, 'I'll come with you,' but he said 'nah, we're going to do a marathon',” Shaun said.

"I thought he was joking and I said I'd join in.”

What followed was an eight-month slog to lift his fitness.

Shaun was active in running while at school, representing the district in cross country running.

But work and family life had taken its toll.

"As most people do, life got in the way,” Shaun said.

"I got off the tools and went into a supervisor role so I was less active.

"Before the kids came along I used to train five nights a week and play footy on the weekend.”

Once Shaun committed to the marathon he eased back into training, started shorter runs and gradually increased their length with each session.

"I never thought too much of it, just started training by myself, but I started having trouble with my knee,” he said.

"When I got to about 15km my ITB started giving me curry. I got stuck at 15km for six weeks, I just couldn't get above it.”

Shaun turned to Google and his mates for help.

"I started talking to mates who do a bit of running and they helped me out. I got on Google, found some exercises and bought better shoes and a running watch.”

The new regime helped - a month out from the race Shaun made it 38km.

"When I started training I was hoping I could finish the marathon in four hours but once I made it to the 30km- mark I though maybe I could do it sub-3.5 hours,” he said.

"Plenty of people were telling me I was mad even before I said I could do it in 3.5 hours. Even my mother told me about people who run half marathons and collapse when they try a full.”

The doubters were mistaken.

Shaun not only finished the Sunshine Coast Marathon, he did it in three hours and 26 minutes.

"It was obviously very satisfying. It was something I worked eight months for,” he said.

Almost two years later Shaun is still running regularly and he tries to do 10km every weekend.

South Burnett

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