GEELONG runner Brenton Rowe doesn’t rate the 10 kilometres as one of his pet events.
But the 1500 and 5000-metre specialist gave the Surf ‘T’ Surf 10-kilometre record a nudge yesterday.
Rowe, 25, broke away from the field early, finishing the iconic race in 30.49 and leaving the 30.30 race record to stand for another year.
Two-time winner Shane Nankervis of Ballarat and Warrnambool’s Kris McCartney filled the podium.
Nankervis registered 31.13 and McCartney’s time was 33.07.
Rowe, who grew up between Dunkeld and Penshurst, said he broke away from the group a couple of kilometres into the race.
“It was a pretty tough course, so I probably shouldn’t have done it that early, but I hung on all right,” he said.
Rowe said he led from start to finish, extending his advantage to almost 250m at the finish.
The first-time Surf ‘T’ Surf runner said the wind and hills made the course, which starts and finishes at Lake Pertobe, difficult.
“It was nice coming back with a bit of a tailwind but the hills were pretty challenging, pretty constant,” he said.
“It is a good event. I’ll be coming back as long as my coach Tom Paton lets me. He’s from Warrnambool originally.”
Rowe will throw all of his efforts into athletics this year. He is a member of the Deakin Athletic Club and Geelong Cross Country Club and spends time each year competing in Europe.
“I actually run for Austria internationally,” he said.
“I am well and truly Australian but I go over there and run for them. My grandparents are the connection.
“I ran at the European championships last year and ran in the 5km and 1500m.
“I was in the final in the 5km and just missed out on the final in the 1500m.
“It is a similar level to the Commonwealth Games, the European champs.
“The Olympics and European champs were a goal last year.
“I got to the European champs but I missed out on the Olympics by about one second in the 1500m.
“If I had run one second quicker I would have got in. So it wasn’t much but it is a bit when you get to the top.”
Rowe finished his studies in Geelong last year and works casually in between his extensive running commitments.
“I will give it a crack one more year and if I keep improving again, I don’t know, I might go another year ... but I probably should get a proper job,” he said.