It’s been seven years since Alex Matthews last ran in the Carcoar Cup and the 34-year-old doctor picked up where he left off.
The inaugural winner of the event’s marathon in 2011, Matthews blazed his way to victory over the undulating 42.2 kilometre Carcoar course in a record time, clocking two hours, 36 minutes and 24 seconds to win his second Cup crown in as many attempts on Sunday.
A doctor in Royal Prince Alfred’s emergency ward in Sydney, Matthews is understandably busy and his seven-year break between wins hasn’t been by design.
He’s been busting to get back to Carcoar and run the marathon again, entering virtually every year before being a late withdrawal with work commitments.
The former Australian Marathon champion made it on Sunday, though, and certainly made his second run at the event count, even if he didn’t think he’d be near the pointy end of the field.
“I didn’t have high expectations because there’s some pretty competitive runners with Brendan Davies and Vlad Shatrov running, but I thought I’d give it ago early and see how I go,” he said.
Michael Daly finished second, over five minutes after Matthews in a time of 2.41:45.
Alex Matthews wins 2018 #CarcoarCup crown, his second but first since 2011, when he won the inaugural event.— Nick McGrath (@nickmcgrath4) November 4, 2018
He's set a cracking time too, especially over the hilly course - 2hrs, 36mins and 24secs. That's pretty quick.
Michelle Gailey is the first female past the post. pic.twitter.com/0P0QlAITE4
Shatrov ran third and Davies came fourth, stopping the clock in 2.44:04 and 2.47:29 respectively.
Michelle Gailey was the first female past the post in a time of 3.18:36.
“I ran the Dubbo marathon in late August and had a win and I’ve been training pretty hard since then,” Matthews continued.
“I just ran my own race and gradually got away from them, I had a great run.”
He said the unique Carcoar course made coming back for the 2018 event a must.
“There’s not a lot of flat, it’s up and down and because I’ve been training pretty hard the up hill stuff suited me and allowed me to get away (from the field) a bit,” he added.