When Royal Australian Navy (RAN) officer Lieutenant Rowan Walker crossed the finish line in eleventh place in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in early July he became the Australian Marathon National Champion for 2014.
Completing the marathon with a time of 2:21:47 after a gruelling 42.2km run, Lieutenant Walker was the first Australian in the field of over 5,000 runners to finish.
At the age of 44, Lieutenant Walker claims to be past his prime as a runner but his achievement and training regime would suggest otherwise.
“I run ten times a week. At least once a day and twice on many days.
“Distances vary from 37 kilometeres when I’m training for a marathon to 8 kilometres on an easy day.
“When running I am competing more with myself that the field. I have to remain very focused on my pace, rhythm and breathing and it takes a considerable amount of concentration,” Lieutenant Walker said.
The 2014 Gold Coast Airport Marathon hosted the Australian Marathon Championships and saw the best Australian marathoners battle it out in pursuit of becoming the men’s and women’s national champion along with a state or territory based teams champion.
For the first time, the Australian Marathon Championships was contested on an IAAF Road Race Gold Label course and attracted a high quality of Australian elite marathoners, from all states and territories as well as a distinguished international field.
Each state and territory nominated a team of six athletes and the event gave spectators an opportunity to display their state colours with pride. There is no higher honour domestically than being the Australian Marathon Champion.
Lieutenant Walker appreciates the support that he has received from the RAN throughout his Naval career.
“Navy has been very supportive of my running aspirations over the past 15 years as fitness is one of Navy’s core tenants,” Lieutenant Walker said.