GARVOC export Virginia Moloney has produced the greatest performance of her athletics career to win the Melbourne Marathon.
Moloney was the first female across the line in the 42km event on Sunday.
The 26-year-old school teacher was on a high after the win.
“It is an enormous buzz, I can’t believe it,” Moloney said.
“I didn’t think a girl from Garvoc would win the Melbourne Marathon.”
Moloney covered the distance in a time of two hours, 34 minutes and 27 seconds.
Her moment in the sun came at the most famous sporting arena in the country with the finish line on the hallowed turf of the MCG.
She was one of 32,000 people who battled windy conditions to take on the marathon course.
She shared the podium with fellow Victorian runners Sinead Diver who was second with a time of two hours, 41 minutes and 15 seconds and Victoria Beck who was third in a time of two hours, 46 minutes and two seconds.
The first male over the line and overall winner was Tom Do Canto from New South Wales in a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 53 seconds.
This was Moloney’s second Melbourne Marathon having finished fourth in her debut run in 2015.
On that occasion, she recorded a time of two hours, 40 minutes.
Moloney said the marathon provided plenty of challenges.
“I went in not thinking about winning, I just wanted to run a time I was proud of,” Moloney said.
“I was really happy with the time I ended up with considering the weather conditions.
“The wind was just phenomenal, there were parts of the course where it was nearly blowing us backwards.
“I decided to put the conditions to the back of my mind and just try and run my own race.”
The win has announced Moloney as a star in distance running circles.
She now has her eyes set on more big races.
“What this does is it shows I’m a marathoner,” Moloney said.
“The marathon fields are really hot at the moment but it does give me the confidence to go for some of the big events.
“There are world championships for cross-country and marathon as well as the Commonwealth Games coming up in the next 18 months. Before today they were pipe dreams but after this win they are something I can now aim for, why not?”
Moloney’s raise to athletic stardom has been a rapid one, given she only started running seriously two-and-a-half years ago. One of 11 children, Moloney went to Emmanuel College and is now based in Melbourne.