Father and son Brett and Wil Thornalley ran the second leg of the two-person Monaco mid-winter marathon on Sunday. Photo: Jacob Page.

Father and son pair up for leg of Monaco marathon leg

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Gasping for air, hands on knees and struggling for that first spoken sentence were all common sights at the finish line of the Monaco mid-winter marathon on Sunday.

Those first time finishers barely had the energy to bow their heads to receive their medal, their knees wobbly and an exhausted handshake of accomplishment often came next.

Stephanie Barker, with daughters Sophie and Emily O'Donnell, seven months, ran part of the Monaco Marathon with their team The Babysitters. Photo Simon Bloomberg
Stephanie Barker, with daughters Sophie and Emily O’Donnell, seven months, ran part of the Monaco Marathon with their team The Babysitters. Photo Simon Bloomberg

While winner Aditya Kesarcod-Watson completed the 42.2km run from Monaco to Rabbit Island and back in 2 hours and 39 minutes, for others it was more of a personal journey.

Wil Thornalley ran his first half marathon as part of a two man team at just 12-years-old. Wil wanted to run the leg alongside his Dad, Brett, who had also completed his first marathon at the same age.

“I really enjoyed it,” Wil says. “It was what I expected it to be and to do it with Dad was great.”

Brett says his son proved to be the one setting the pace out on the course.

“I hadn’t done a half marathon for five or six years but thought this was the perfect opportunity.

“He (Wil) certainly kept me motivated and I was proud to be able to do it with him and experience it, as not every father gets that opportunity.”

Richmond’s Greg Delaney was one of 24 people to complete his first marathon on the day.

An experienced trail runner, he admitted to going “to a deep, dark place” late in the event.

“To be honest, there was a few times where I thought about giving up,” Greg says. “Your body tells you that you can’t do it.

“It feels great to finish but I don’t think I’ll be walking properly for a couple of weeks.”

More than 200 competitors took part in the event which raised several thousand dollars for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and the Great Taste Trail.