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5 Minutes with City2Surf Record Holder Steve Moneghetti

Steve Moneghetti spills the beans on how he fell in love with running, his best training tips and why he doesn’t listen to music while running.

Steve Moneghetti claiming his title in 1991

Steve Moneghetti claiming his title in 1991


Your record has remained firm for 26 years! How does it feel to still hold the record?

I was really happy about the way I ran that day. So, the fact the record has stood for so long, obviously is not something that I expected. I suppose it reminds me of how good my preparation and my execution of my race on that day was and I get a constant reminder every year that the record stands. It reminds me that it was a really good race for me.

I think when I broke Robert de Castella’s record it had stood for about 10 years and that seemed a long time. So, I can’t really believe that it has been 26 years to date that mine has stood since. It shows it’s a course that suits marathon runners. You have got to be going pretty well and respect the hills, the course and the event and we did that. That’s probably why our records have stood the test of time.

How did your love affair with running begin?

Cross country! To be honest, I still like my cross country and that’s where I kind of started from in Ballarat, Victoria. Ballarat has a history of distance running, particularly cross country because we have five, now four clubs in Ballarat, that means we have really good rivalry in cross country season. I got caught up in that running culture and continued it. So, from a school kid to secondary school I was okay, because I love running and have a passion for it I continued to do it. I didn’t realise that I would get to the level I did, but I am glad it happened. I still run now, well I have a bit of a sore calf at the moment but generally I run every day if I could. It’s nice to still do something you love.

Where’s the craziest place on earth you’ve done a run and why?

It was a personal thing for a TV show, but I ran against a train in Sydney to see if I could beat it. I also ran against Sydney traffic to see if I could beat that too. So, by running from Manly to the Opera House that was quiet extreme because it was quite busy. I remember I ran pretty hard because I wanted to make it pretty genuine. I remember jumping out on the road and a bus took out and I almost got collected by it. It worked out okay, I don’t like running in heavy traffic on the roads. I don’t have to do it, so that was a bit extreme and I did it just to prove that you can get there quicker by running or riding than by driving. That was the plan and it worked!

Heartbreak Hill: Any tips to keep runners motivated to conquer Heartbreak?

I think the key is obviously running hills and training. It’s all relative, if you have done some hill training it won’t be as hard as what people say it is. I think the other thing with the City2Surf course is there’s more downhill than uphill sections which is surprising to a lot of people but that’s a fact. You are starting in the city and finishing down at sea level in Bondi. You actually need to make sure you practice running over, up and down hills because there is as much of that in the race.

What are your most important training tips for participants leading up to a race like City2Surf?

I think running and training on a course that simulates the City2Surf course is best. If you are training on a course that’s 14 km over hills and down hills you should be doing that in training. So, I really say to people to replicate the course as much as you can in your training.

Tell us something that might surprise us about Steve Moneghetti?

I love my music! Yet I don’t run with music but I am probably as big of a music fan as I am of a running fan. In fact, I was at a concert on Saturday night watching The Killers! I have been to two concerts in the last couple of weeks. I love my live bands and music.

Why don’t you run with music?

I just like that time to be engaged with the run. I don’t see it as boring or need to be occupied when I run. I love enjoying the environment around me, re-engaging with my thoughts and that clarity of thought that I get when I run. I do run with music occasionally but generally I just have the sounds of the environment around me.

What are your three favourite things to do in your downtime?

Drink coffee, read Rolling Stones and probably listen to my daughter playing guitar.

We asked Liam Twomey, a future paralympian if he met you what would he ask? He said “What was the best advice you ever received as an athlete?”

My coach Chris Wardlaw told me “We need to get you back onto the track, you need to get faster so your differential is greater” best advice I ever got and enabled me to go from a 2.15 marathoner to a 2.08 one!

Now for the rapid-fire questions!

Who are three sporting legends dead or alive that you would love to have dinner with?

Edwin Flack is the first one, Australia’s first Olympian, Martina Navratilova and Michael Jordan.

Do you have a good luck charm?

Um, not really. I like to have new racing shoes. That’s probably as good of luck as I get!

Your favourite quote ever?

“The harder I work the luckier I get.”

Tea or coffee? You kind of already answered this one!


How do you have your coffee?

First up I’ve got to have a long black just to get the coffee aroma and taste to check the quality of the beans.

If you were in the blind auditions of The Voice what song would you sing?

Joy Division's - Love will tear us apart.

Take a leaf out of Steve’s book, treat  yourself to a new pair of runners, listen to your environment and get running up and down those hills!

Challenge yourself this year and kickstart your City2Surf training with our free training runs! Register before July 24 to save $10.