Jock Athletic does Bondi Barefoot

28th May 2015

By Jock Campbell

Melissa Campbell and Ali Najem do it again and take out the Bondi Barefoot 4km and 10km races respectively.

Melissa first won this race in 2007, then decided to have 3 kids, and with her 39th birthday 5 weeks away this could well be her last serious race. "This was my last race of a frantic last 12 months, starting with SurfLifesaving World titles preparation post child number 3 who is just over a year old now. It's been a worldwind, as Jock my coach and husband said, he thought it was going to be a stretch to get me ready for the Worlds last September, but the 4 weeks leading into after struggling last at training for 8 weeks, the weight just fell off and the form came back. It's been a real struggle to maintain training with 3 young kids, running a business and doing the Surf patrols, but Jock has been fantastic in support and I didn't think too much about it, I just did it."

"I now go immediately into preparation for a charity bike ride from Sydney to Byron Bay in November for the Steve Waugh Foundation. So yes, Jock is right I may never run as seriously as this again, but with Jock around me constantly dangling carrots and annoying me, who can say. I love all my training partners and there's great spirit amongst my race competitors as well, so we'll wait and see," says Melissa.

Well, look at what you've done: 

  • First across the line at the World Titles in her masters race. Two weeks later 4th in the women's open World Title final 6months after giving birth.
  • 1st in The Red Bull Dune Dusters Race 
  • 1st Wanda Xtreme 6
  • 1st North Cronulla Surf Carnival 2km
  • Wanda Surf Carnival 2km
  • 1st Sydney Branch Open 2k
  • 2nd NSw masters 2km
  • Bronze Medallist Open State Titles 2km
  • Silver Medalist Masters National Titles 2km
  • 5th open National 2km final
  • Wanda Club Champion 2km (beating all bar 2 of the men)
  • 1st Mothers Day Classic Wollongong 
  • 1st Bondi Barefoot 4km only 13 seconds off the course record and second fastest time of all. 

"In my mind Mel is a bit of a pin up girl for working mums getting out there and having no excuses"

Hers is a great story, she's a reluctant racer, loves training with all our running family, but just got into racing by accident. Back in 2005, I was training my first 2km runner and great friend of ours, 2006 World Champ Dee Cooper. I asked Mel to come and train with us just to keep fit. Soon enough she was pushing both of us. I asked her to race, but she said no she'd get too nervous. When state titles were on she asked why I hadn't entered her and I said you told me not to, her response was I thought you would have anyway. Can you see why it's sometimes difficult to understand women? The next year Mel competed and won the open State title and came second at the Aussies in Perth. Then the babies began. If this is her last serious race, then it's a great way to finish. Her battle with 4 x winner Greta Trusscott over the final stages and Mels mental strength to hang on and power away at the end is a favourite memory of her relatively short running career. Those 2 have had a couple of great races over the past year and there's a great spirit between the two of them."

Melissa is in pretty solid company winning the Bondi Barefoot with previous winners being:

  • Madeline Heiner - Aussie team member for 5000m at the Athletics World Titles in August
  • Greta Trusscot - 4 x winner and Australian representative triathlete
  • Jess Maurano - pro triathlete

Other great results for Jock Athletic included:

  • Ali Najem 1st in the 10km to go with his win from last year with a PB
  • Lachie Crawford at 15 years old sprinting home for a 3rd place in the 4km
  • Dee Cooper 3rd  in her comeback race in the 4km
  • Rory Darkins 1st in the 20-29 category - 6th overall
  • Jock Campbell 2nd in 40-49 category - 12th overall

    Jock Campbell is a Sports Scientist, Elite Strength & Conditioning Coach & Level 3 Athletics coach with over 25 years experience training and coaching surf life saving athletes, including beach flaggers, sprinters and 2km beach runners. For more on Jock, see

    twitter: @jockathletic
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