Two time Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion, Olympian and Australian Representative, Michael Shelley has announced his retirement. The 36-year-old Gold Coaster, took to Facebook on Wednesday to reveal he is hanging up his running shoes.
Michael Shelley, an Australian long-distance runner, competed in track events and road races. Shelley madehis Marathon debut in 2010 at the Rotterdam Marathon where he finished in twelfth place with a time of 2:13:05. Shelley then represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and in only his second outing over the distance, the relatively slow pace worked in his favour as he overhauled Amos Tirop Matui in the final stages to take the silver medal behind John Kelai.
From there, Shelley won gold medals in the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, Scotland, as well as the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia. Shelley has also represented Australia at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. On the road, he has won at the Oceania Half Marathon Championship/ Gold Coast Half Marathon and the City2Surf race in Sydney. The Queenslander made his Olympic debut in London, 2012 and was Australia’s best performer in the men’s marathon, finishing in 16th place in a time of 2:14.10.
In a Facebook post today Shelley thanked his family, friends and coach, Richard Telford;
“Over the last couple of weeks, I have come to the decision that I no longer have the desire to compete competitively again. While I have still been out running the drive to complete the training that I feel I need to compete at my best is gone. To my Dad, Mum and brother it is hard to put into words how much your support and encouragement has meant to me. Thank you for all you have done to help me follow my dreams. Extended family and friends thank you for your support, encouragement and understanding throughout my running journey.”
“Richard Telford. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come to Canberra 17yrs ago to train with your training group. Having that opportunity has helped me achieve so much more than I ever thought I could. Your knowledge, support and encouragement is second to none and I feel very privileged to have been coached by you. Brett Green thank you for your great foundation in my early years in athletics. To all of the people I have trained with and have been on teams with over the years, thanks for the many laughs and hard sessions.”
Michael Shelley retires with a Personal Best of 2:11:15 (Glasgow, 2014)
Shelley’s career certainly places him amongst legends of Australian marathoning, Rob de Castella (Deek) and Steve Moneghetti (Mona). Turtle, as Shelley is affectionately known, became only the second in history (after Deek) to successfully defend a Commonwealth crown and only the second after Mona to win three medals (Gold Coast, Glasgow and Dehli).
Congratulations, Michael, on a phenomenal career, and we wish you all the best for the future.