AUSTRALIAN champion Steve Moneghetti blitzed the field at the cross country eight kilometre run on Wednesday.
Moneghetti got off to a flying start in the Oceania Masters event, crossing the finishing line first at the Bendigo Jockey Club.
“I felt good, I felt like I ran okay,” he said.
“I love cross country... that is what I was brought up on.”
The 51-year-old runs about 100 kilometres a week.
He said he had been training alongside some of Australia’s best athletes to prepare for the masters event.
“I have been to Falls Creek, that is where a lot of the top runners in Australia go to train over the Christmas break,” Moneghetti said.
“I was training pretty hard up there so I knew I was going okay for this race.”
Moneghetti said running was what kept him young.
“I don’t need to run, not a lot of my peers are still running,” he said.
“I love what I do and I feel like I was born to run.
“It is something that has come natural to me.
“When you get to my age you need to have challenges to keep motivated.”
Moneghetti’s highest achievement was finishing third in the 1997 IAAF World Championships.
He also finished 10th at the Sydney Olympic games in 2000, his first marathon in Australia.
The Ballarat marathon man said it was hard to explain the feeling he gets while running.
“When I am in front I feel pretty special and know I am in a place where I am comfortable,” he said.
“Sometimes life can throw some challenges at you and for me to be in an environment where I feel pretty dominant, it is special.”
Moneghetti said events like the Oceania Masters were important for older athletes.
“It is not about winning, it is not about racing it is about doing the best you can,” he said.
“It is about putting a meaning to your training and your life.
“If you can set goals and achieve them in your 80s and 90s it shows there are no limitations in life.”
Moneghetti will now prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The marathon legend was appointed the Chef de Mission for the Australian team.
“I will go to Glasgow to look at the infrastructure and to look at the village and see how they are getting ready for the games,” he said.