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Benita Willis: Olympic long-distance runner selling her home in Richmond

By on October 28, 2021 0


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Long-distance runner Benita Willis is set to auction off the house where she hosted track stars including Mo Farah and walked around from the ‘G to compete in the Comm Games.

Four-time Olympian Benita Willis was listed with her longtime home in Richmond overlooking the CWM.

The long-distance runner told Property Confidential she bought the renovated Edwardian at 276 Lennox Street shortly after winning a gold medal at the 2004 World Cross Country Championships.

Willis also represented Australia at four consecutive Olympic Games from 2000-2012, in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon events, and at two Commonwealth Games.

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She said when Melbourne hosted the 2006 Commonwealth Games, “instead of staying in the village, I stayed at home and crossed the road to the MCG”.

“People like Mo Farah, who won Olympic gold, have been in this house, and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia – they loved this place too,” Willis recalled.

“When they were here training or running, they would come by.”

Willis has price hopes of $ 1.8 million to $ 1.9 million for the auction scheduled for the four-bedroom house on November 13. CoreLogic records show the property was last sold for $ 730,000 in 2005.

The retired athlete divided her time between there and London until 2010. She then moved to Boulder Colorado, where she trained for the London Games while also working with the St Kilda. Football Club in altitude camps.

The property has been an investment ever since, with Willis now living in her home state of Queensland, where she is Recreational Running Manager for Queensland Athletics, Events Management Queensland Board Member and Director of Lace Up Running.

“It’s hard to sell because it’s such a beautiful house,” she said.

“It’s huge, it has a balcony with a view of the MCG. It was close to all the training spots – I used to run around Sunbathing, Yarra Park, Fawkner Park, and Yarra Park. And my love of coffee started when I lived in Lennox St.

“I love Richmond. I haven’t lived in such a bustling suburb since.

The red brick house charms with its high ceilings, ornamental fireplaces and other period features, and had plenty of space for Willis to set up a gym and study, while having a guest bedroom.

Nelson Alexander’s agent Charlie Barham said the size of the residence – the result of an extension added by the previous owner – had appealed to young families looking to expand.

Its proximity to the shops and restaurants of Swan St and Bridge Rd, public transportation to the city, waterfront parks and the MCG was also a big plus, he said.

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samantha.landy@news.com.au

Originally published as Benita Willis: Olympic long-distance runner selling her home in Richmond

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