Blue Line Legends Get Their Marathon Fix

Today, six Blackmores Sydney Marathon ‘Blue Line Legends’ took part in a special edition Blackmores Sydney Marathon ensuring they didn’t miss out on their marathon fix for 2020.  Each ‘legend’ has taken part in every Sydney Marathon since the event’s inception in 2001 when the Sydney 2000 Olympic Legacy event began.  The “Blue Line” references the blue line that was painted on the Sydney 2000 Olympic Marathon course to denote the route.

Mild to warm weather made for good race conditions and the runners aged between 52 – 71 years took to the track at 7am at ES Marks Athletics Field, Kensington tackling 105 laps to complete the task.

Rick Patzold, who took out the title, completed his 300th marathon and was delighted with his time, ‘today was my 300th marathon and the quickest Marathon in the 80 I have completed in the last 3.5 years.”

Ray James, the oldest of the legends at 71 said, “The legends are delighted that Pont3 (the organisers) planned something special for us this year. Running is a great pastime and while I enjoy running solo, marathon running for me is about taking part alongside other enthusiasts like the legends. A marathon takes a long time to complete, so you need the camaraderie of other runners to keep your spirits up and to get you to the finish line. And I can’t wait to get back to the real thing in 2021 and enjoy probably the most beautiful marathon in the world.”

Jo Tebbutt, the only female legend was excited to get back to racing ‘There’s nothing like being part of a race, its inspirational to see people like Ray at 71 still running marathons, and to have the stars to shoot for.’

The legends were cheered on by veteran runner, Olympian and Commonwealth Games 5000m Gold Medallist, Andrew Lloyd and 4 x Commonwealth Games representative, dual Olympian Eloise Wellings along with dual Olympian and Commonwealth representative Ben St Lawrence.

Ben St Lawrence said of the legends ‘It is so inspirational to see the Blue Line legends today. I know how hard it is to be fit enough to run a marathon every year for 20 years is impressive.”

Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Race Director, Wayne Larden commented, “In a typical year, the legends would complete the Blackmores Sydney Marathon alongside attending many other runs across Australia. This year that hasn’t been possible so they were all very grateful and excited to lace up their ASICS and take part in this event.

“It’s been a tough year for runners and marathon tourists not being able to travel to their favourite events and compete. 

“We know runners are still passionate about taking part in events. The Blue Line Legends are a group of runners who are close to our hearts having taken part in our event every year since the event started. We are delighted to give them this opportunity to continue their commitment to the Blackmores Sydney Marathon.

“Like many industries, 2020 has been a rough for the mass participation industry and though we have adapted with virtual runs, nothing replaces the real thing. It is estimated up to 75% of the existing endurance events in the country may not survive the year. And billions of dollars have been lost from the economy through economic impact. Not to mention the huge amounts of monies raised for charities each year.

“The benefits of running are well documented including helping to provide real mental health benefits impacting depression, anxiety and self-confidence, they are a fantastic fitness activity and as we’ve seen during COVID-19, they connect communities, local and international.

“The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival traditionally brings in over $18 million in tourism dollars each year and the Sydney Marathon broadcast is seen live for 3hrs in over 450 million households.

We are not sure what our international field will look like next year, but we hope that we will be able to welcome those from interstate back to the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival alongside what is usually a field of 40,000 including local runners.”

“We are grateful for the support of Blackmores without which this annual event would not proceed. We are very well aligned as brands and have had a great relationship delivering health and wellness to thousands of Australians over the past 20 years and we look forward to continuing in 2021.”

The 2021 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival will take place on the 19 September 2021.  The 2021 event will see the 20th running of the event, after this year’s cancellation.  Early bird entries are available now at www.sydneyrunnningfestival.com.au

Event results
Rick Patzold (Albion Park) 03:22:33
Graham Wye (Frenchs Forrest)  03:43:44
Jo Tebbutt (Collaroy Plateau) 03:50:59
Eric Schmierer (Terrey Hills) 05:04:08
Ray James (Balmain) 05:28:27
Grant Deitch (Woonona) 6:54:34