FOR THE 20th time, the famous Echuca-Moama Sweat vs Steam race has been held along the mighty Murray River.
And for an impressive eighth time, Echuca’s marathon man Brady Threlfall has scorched the course on his way to a fine victory in the open male category, cruising through the 12-kilometre run in 43:35, nearly three minutes quicker than second-placed Kim Harrold.
Marni Nicholls was the fastest female with a time of 54:29, holding on to edge out Eilidh Grigg by half a minute.
Isabella Reid took out the open female class, finishing in 59:16 to claim the win from Claire Harrison in a time of 1.05:27.
In the five kilometre event, 16-year-old speedster Archie Reid was fastest in a quick 15:41, winning the school division as well.
His coach Laurie Edmondstone said Archie had taken it easy in the Sweat v Steam to maintain his edge for the hectic campaign he has between now and Sunday.
On Thursday Archie will be running in Bendigo at the regionals for Victorian All Schools Track and Field championships in November, and will have to back up on Sunday in Melbourne for the 5km event as part of the Melbourne Marathon weekend.
Mark Mitchell won the open male 5km title, pulling away to win by just more than a minute in a pacey 18:42.
Ethan McDonald finished second, while Harrison Jarvie was close behind to round out the podium.
And in the women’s open five kilometre race, Hendrika Kirchhofer bolted away to win by nearly two minutes, completing the course in 21:53. Stacey Rothacker was second, Beck Brisbane not too far behind in third.
After a cracking morning at the Hopwood Gardens, organiser Lindy Leyonhjelm was thrilled with how the 20th edition had turned out.
‘‘There was a little sprinkle of rain but we got perfect running weather,’’ she said.
‘‘There was plenty of family fun in the garden with a barbecue, coffees, activities and games.
‘‘We had more than 400 participants which was really good, there was a bit of a hiccup with the timing but we got there in the end.’’
Leyonhjelm wasn’t surprised Threlfall, back in town shortly after his strong showing in the Berlin Marathon, had again blitzed the field, but said the day was just as much about the community.
‘‘He did really well, and we great support from the community and many businesses. It was fantastic, we’ve had great sponsors,’’ she said.
Leyonhjelm paid tribute to the hard work of Laurie Edmonstone as well and Nick and Chris Lee in making the day function as smoothly as possible.
An event backed by Bendigo YMCA, Leyonhjelm was glad to be able to put funds back in to local community groups.
‘‘The YMCA really needs the support, they want happy and healthy people and the whole idea is raising funds for groups in Echuca-Moama,’’ she said.
‘‘The overall reason is to give funds back to the community, and help with the things groups are trying to do.’’