Event to be named after Coast legend
BY SHANNON SHEPHARD
03 Dec, 2011
ONE of the Coast's all- time greatest athletic talents will be honoured at this year's Devonport Carnival.
Former Olympic marathon runner Dave Chettle will officially have his name placed on one of the up-and-coming carnival events, the beep test, after Devonport Athletic Club organisers decided it would be a fitting move.
"It was very out of the blue," Chettle said yesterday.
"It is a great honour though and it's just funny to think these kind of things happen."
Devonport-based Chettle represented Australia in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, along with the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and competed in three world championships throughout his career.
Reflecting on his career yesterday, Chettle displayed one of the traits he was renowned for throughout his career - modesty.
"You always think you could have done better," he said.
"But I did as well as I could and I'm just happy and lucky to have been able to represent my country in my chosen sport."
While still keeping in shape bike riding, given his knees "aren't what they used to be", Chettle has also been forced to slow down after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2006.
"I had another tumour removed a little while ago, but there is no sign of it coming back," he said yesterday.
"I have check-ups every six months, but you can't dwell on it, you just have to get on with things."
In an odd twist of fate, Chettle is constructing the very trophies his name will appear on, through his job as a joiner at Fairbrother who donate the perpetual trophy for the event along with the individual trophies for each of the winners.
"It's a little surreal to be making the trophies myself," he laughed.
Having run with Chettle in his younger days, construction magnate Royce Fairbrother said he couldn't have thought of a better person to honour in such a way and applauded the DAC for doing so.
"I believe Dave is one of, if not the best runners Tasmania has ever produced," he said.
"He was world class and it is appropriate to have something like this to honour his contributions to the sport.
"I remember our group would run with Dave when he would visit the Coast and it was such a big event to run with him because of his outstanding achievements."
Having taken off in Devonport the beep test at carnivals appears to be growing on a national level, with Victorian Athletic League CEO Mark Howard considering it for all Victorian carnivals, including Stawell and Bendigo, should a sponsor come on board.
Beep Test at pro-running meets - Very interesting......could be the distance runer's equivalent of the skins concept.