We are very excited to welcome back Benita Willis, a 4-time olympian, multiple Australian record holder and now a Brisbane local, as an ambassador for Brisbane’s Great South Run.
Benita first represented Australia in hockey in 1995 and then made her Australian athletics debut at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Benita represented Australia 25 times at the World Championship level including 4 Olympics – Sydney 2000 5km, Athens 2004 10km, Beijing 2008 marathon and London 2012 marathon.
Benita has broken every Australian National record from 2km to the marathon (2:22:36) and currently holds 11 National records on indoor, track and road. Her road race wins include the Great North Run Half Marathon, Berlin Half Marathon and the Rock n Roll Vegas Half Marathon. Benita also placed third and fifth twice at the Chicago and London Marathons.
Since retiring from competition in 2012 after the London Olympics, Benita has become a successful running and fitness coach, first in Boulder Colorado and now in Brisbane at her business B Plus Fitness. Benita is the recreational running manager at Queensland Athletics and the cross country and athletics (middle distance) head coach at Brisbane Girls Grammar. Benita is an ambassador for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Mackay Marina Run and Pan Pac Masters Games.
Pat Nispel is an international marathon runner, accredited running coach, founder of P.A.T.42.2 Running Coaching in Brisbane and winner of Brisbane’s inaugural Great South Run half marathon in 2016. Pat plans to return in 2018 to challenge his 2016 time of 1:10:33.
Pat’s first track success came when he was 17, winning a gold medal at the Junior Cross Country Swiss Championships. In 2007, Pat moved to Brisbane to train with the legendary coach Pat Clohessy at the University of Queensland Athletics Club. In 2008, he had his most prestigious track race win in Melbourne, winning the Zatopek 3000m Steeplechase in a time of 8:59.
Pat transitioned to the marathon in 2011 and ran the Gold Coast Marathon in a debut time of 2:23:01, placing 10th overall. That year he also won the Australian and Queensland Mountain Running Championships. In 2012 Pat finished 3rd in the Osaka Marathon in Japan and in 2013 he finished 9th in the Zurich Marathon in 2:22:55.
As an accredited running coach, Pat has coached runners from 800m to ultra-distances and has been the running coach for South Bank Tri Club since 2009. Pat founded P.A.T.42.2 Running in 2013 to offer personalised running coaching services in Brisbane and online worldwide.