ONE of Ipswich's leading runners led Aussie legend Steve Moneghetti for nine kilometres.
However, Clay Dawson was far from disappointed about seeing the former world championship bronze medallist pass him with the finish line approaching.
The memorable duel was in the recent Park2Park 10km race where Dawson covered the Ipswich course in 34 minutes, 26 seconds.
Moneghetti passed Dawson with one kilometre to go to claim victory in 34 minutes, 12 seconds.
"It was huge,'' Dawson said, comparing running against Moneghetti as the equivalent of a musician playing with John Lennon.
Even though super fit 52-year-old running great 'Monas' was below his prime, Dawson admired his tactical nouse, on show in Ipswich.
"He just run that race perfectly,'' Dawson said.
"He knew the exact splits he needed to run to win.
"I was out in front until 9ks then he passed me.
"He didn't speed up. He didn't change pace. He got that methodical pace the whole way through.
"He knew exactly what he needed to do.''
The Ipswich athlete later enjoyed a chat with the former Commonwealth Games gold, silver and bronze medallist, gaining some valuable tips for future marathons.
However, finishing second to an Aussie great on home territory meant so much more.
After losing enthusiasm for middle and long distance running last year, Dawson dramatically reduced his competition program.
That came after two incredibly successful years where he conquered a number of marathons around Australia, won several major state events and even triumphed overseas.
His willingness to pound the pavement in training started to take a toll. He lowered the quantity of races to take some time out to run for fun.
Dawson is now back on track, preparing for this weekend's Brisbane Marathon.
He has a special motivation to enjoy running again.
Find out more about the Rosewood State High School teacher's remarkable journey in tomorrow's QT.