Maleny Cross Country - Benita and last months winners

Benita and last months winners

Australian Running Legend, Benita Willis, has given the go ahead for the Queensland Athletics State Cross Country Championships to be held at Maleny on July 30.

The course was presented to the Queensland Athletics Championship Manager, Greg Ison, and Manager, Recreational Running Services and Programs, Benita Willis, who is a four times Olympian and World Cross Country Champion.

Benita is one of Australia’s best ever distance athletes. She won the World Cross Country in 2004, the only Australian to have achieved that feat, and holds ten unbroken Australian records on road and track.

Benita said, “The course is awesome. I love all the hills and the uneven surfaces, so it seems to be more of a cross country course than a lot of the courses which I’ve run on here in Australia.

“I like the finish here because it’s up hill with a flat section at the end in front of lots of people which creates a fantastic atmosphere.

“It’s also great for the spectators because they can see the whole course from one spot, whereas at a lot of cross country courses that I’ve seen you have to run from point to point.

Cross Country - Off they go at the June Sunshine Coast Cross Country Series races in Maleny

Off they go at the June Sunshine Coast Cross Country Series races in Maleny

“Everything’s also very central here with the food, the coffee van and the sports shop, so it’s a really good setup.”

Maroochy Athletics – co-coordinators, Maleny Golf Club, Sport Recreation, Maleny Little Athletics and the Maleny community have given their 100% support to this event.

300 are expected to participate, and athletes and families will travel far and wide to showcase the Maleny community.

“I think it’s really valuable for the community to move state title races around and I think it will be great to have it in Maleny.”