People Who Kick Buts: Rob de Castella
The marathon’s about being in contention over the last 10K. That’s when it’s about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what’s left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon.
- Born on February 27, 1957 in Melbourne, Victoria.
- an Australian former world champion marathon runner. He is widely known as “Deek” or “Deeks” to the Australian public, and “Tree” to his competitors due to his thick legs and inner calm. He holds the Oceanian record for the marathon.
- De Castella was born of Swiss-Italian descent and was the oldest of seven children.
- He came from a family where sport was a way of life. His father Rolet ran marathons at 59 years of age, and his mother Anne was a state-level tennis player. De Castella was an outstanding track athlete as a teenager and trained under Pat Clohessy from the age of 14.
- De Castella failed to finish the marathon at the 1987 World Athletics Championships and never again placed in a major marathon. He represented Australia at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics, competing in four straight Olympic Games. He finished in the top ten in three Olympics, but never won a medal.
- He retired from the sport in 1993 and lives in Canberra.
- From 1990 to 1995, de Castella was the director of the Australian Institute of Sport and subsequently became executive director of Focus On You, a company focusing on corporate and community health and fitness.
- In 2003, de Castella launched “deeks”, a specialist chain of grain and gluten free bakeries & cafés.
- De Castella was married to former champion triathlete Gaylene Clews.
- He lost his family home, along with many of his medals and other citations, in the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
Choosing to move rather than rebuild, he now lives in a nearby suburb. He later helped with the taskforce established for the reconstruction of areas worst affected by the fires.